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GIGABYTE > 
Item#: N82E16813128514
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • AMD 990FX
  • FX / Phenom II / Athlon II / Sempron 100 Series
  • DDR3 2000(OC)/1866
  • $128.00
  • $108.00
  • Save: $20.00 (16%)
  • $93.00 after $15.00 rebate card
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

Pros:

--beefed up VRM and heatsink from its predecessor (rev 3.0)
--solid construction
--plenty ports and expansion card slots
--runs cool (ran prime95 most of the day - having read about over heating issues i popped open the case and touched the vrm & heatsink - was only warm and could have left my finger on it as long as i wished)
--good layout -for me-(see cons for potential issues)
--the installation manual was well written and easy to understand - also bios definitions provided enough information to use them properly
--several fan connectors
--core unlocking for those of us still packing around phenom II black series
--windows 7 installed easily
--hot-swapped Debian Linux; other than a few complaints about ports, it booted just fine (a quick kernel recompile should fix the unrecognized hardware issue)

Cons:

--no diagnostic LED - i understand this is a bottom end 990FXA board, but it's still a 990FXA board and should have one
--the worst thing about this board is the lazily designed, ham-fisted bios
--mouse support isn't quite there yet - sluggish and choppy movement
--there are plenty options and settings to adjust, but a few are missing and most voltages adjust in 0.0025 or 0.005v chunks (though you can hand type in the numbers instead of using the +/- keys, it still rounds the number to the nearest -nTH).
-shutting off cores is allowed, but you cannot pick which one you want to disable. the system automatically starts at the last core and numerically works its way up
--there are no adjustments for specific/individual cores (one size fits all)
--the LLC is just a sad thing (again you can hand type in a number, but they're meaningless - instead of a specific percent you get a generic setting)
----0 = Extreme will - add +.012v to idle and add another +.012 to .024v when under load (under volt if you choose this setting)
----1-60 = Medium will - vdroop -.012v under load
----61-80 = Low will - vdroop -.012 under load
----81-100 = Standard will - vdroop -.024 under load
then there're non-numeric options Normal and Auto, both which will vdroop -.024 under load
these numbers are just averages i monitored while running prime95
--the included software is annoying at best and horrid at worst
---you have to make adjustments with a slider on one tab, then go to another tab to see the results (annoying)
--the adjustments are just as heavy-handed and chunky as the bios (also annoying)
--the results displayed of any adjustments made are completely inaccurate and actually under-rate what was done. if third party software like cpu-z/gpu-z aren't used to monitor what is really being done to the system there's potential to keep running the adjusting slider up. a dangerous game when adjusting voltages. (horrid - if you want to adjust setting from a GUI environment find another third party software - this one is only good for monitoring temps and fan speeds)
--all this being said, there is no "fine tuning" an overclock

Other Thoughts:

most of my pros are for the hardware itself, most of my cons are with the bios
If you're looking for a good board that should last you a long time, has good capabilities to support gaming rig peripherals, cards and pluggins, and are only interesting in moderate to intermediate overclocking (or no overclocking at all) then this board would be a good choice.

If you're really into tweaking your system and squeezing every mV of juice out of your rig, you may want to pass until this less than impressive bios is re-vamped.

5 stars for the board - 3 stars for the bios = 4 stars overall

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  • Scott L.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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Item#: N82E16813128514
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