windwithmefs X58 review Part 12 - GIGABYTE X58A-UD7 the New Generation Spec Review

Dec 1, 2008
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Since LGA1366 launched at the end of 2008, there are not many news in the market recently.
Instead the new LGA1156 has very high exposure rate in all medias.
These 2 structures are very similar and make users hard to choose as the different strength.

LGA 1366, the extreme level product line and will have 6 cores CPU soon.
Currently X58 chipset support 3 channel and 6 DIMMs DDR3 for higher extensibility and Quad core CPU with HT technology.
LGA 1156 is the following segment. P55 is single chip and the power consumption is lower.
HT version CPU and LGA 1136 are similar price. i5-750 is the most valuable choice so far.
In the future, i3 dual-core will make LGA 1156 product line be richer, but still only the combination of dual-core, quad-core and HT.

Even though there are not many news of X58 MB, but itfs still the top end product in Intel platform.
USB3.0 and SATA3 are launched in these 2 months, and most manufacturers implement with P55 MB.
Compared to X58 revision, there is only GIGABYTE X58A-UD7.
GIGABYTE X58A-UD7 is the key role for this review.
Letfs look at the appearance first.


Userfs manual, software manual, driver CD
SATA/eSATA cables, USB Port bracket
CrossFire and 3WAY SLI bridge

Lower Left Corner
4 X PCI-E, the bandwidth is 2 X16 and 2 X8, support CrossFire and 3WAY SLI
2 X PCI-E X1
Realtek 8111D dual LAN chipset support Teaming
Realtek ALC889, supports 7.1 channel and High Definition Audio/Dolby Home Theater technology
Design in Taipei

Lower Right Corner
6 X blue SATAII provided by ICH10R, SATA2 supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
2 X white SATAIII, provided by Marvell 9128, SATA3 supports RAID 0, RAID 1
2 X white SATAII, provided by GIGABYTE SATA2 chip, SATA2 supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD
1 X IDECGIGABYTE SATA2chip provide
Dual BIOS dual protection, also built-in Debug LED

Upper Right Corner
6 X DIMM DDR3, supports 800/1066/1333/2200, the max DDR3 capacity is 24GB
Cyan big button is Power and blue small button is Reset
DDR3 uses 2 phases PWM and next is 24-PIN power connector

Upper Left Corner
LGA 1366 CPU socket, and CPU metal cover is electroplated.
X58A-UD7 uses 24 phase PWM. Itfs same as own P55-UD6 design and the highest in X58 board in the market now.

4 X USB 2.0(Yellow)
2 X USB 3.0(Blue)
2 X RJ-45 LAN
2 X eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo
1 X S/PDIF Fiber/Coaxial output
1 X 1394a
clr CMOS button

Full look after installing the Hybird SILENT-PIPE
These heat pipe is also used in previous X58-EXTREME

The shortcoming is lose one PCI-E X1 after installation


Dec 1, 2008
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The screw holes next to NB heat sink are used to install Hybird SILENT-PIPE

This heat pipe also supports water cooling system.
The user can install the pipe into it without buying a water cooling block.

USB 3.0 chip is NEC D720200F1
3x USB power design to provide 3 times electric current by independent chip for all USB ports.
It can solve the insufficient power issue which may cause read write lose as using external storages.
I will test USB 3.0 performance later.

Below SB heat sink is Marvell SE9128 chip which supports SATA3
SATA3 ports is SATA6 and SATA7 in upper side.

Boot Screen

MB Intelligent Tweaker, also called M.I.T.

DDR3 parameters setting. X58 supports three channel, so there are 3 sets items

Voltage Page
Load-Line Calibration StandardLevel1/Level2
CPU Vcore 0.50000~1.90000V
QPI/Vtt Voltage 1.120~2.000V
IOH Core 0.850~2.080V
CPU PLL 1.000~2.580V
DRAM Voltage 1.300~2.600V

Advanced CPU Features
C1E is power saving and lower frequency feature. It runs automatically as low CPU utility rate.
Intel Turbo Boost is opposite with C1E. It will increase clock in full speed operation.
You can find many articles in internet.
Because of the limited space, also I had detail review in previous product, so I won’t explain Intel Turbo Boost

PC Health Status

X58A-UD7 is GIGABYTE most high end product. The voltage and items in BIOS are rich
The setting is stable at 175/2100. If your hardware OC capability is good, you can refer to this set up.
I hope it is valuable for your configuration.
Dec 1, 2008
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Test Configuration
CPU: Gulftown 2.40GHz ES
HD: Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Cooler: Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit

GIGABYTE “A” version means supporting SATA3 and USB 3.0 technologies
First, let’s see the difference of SATA3.
This time I use Seagate latest Barracuda XT.
It supports SATA3 and backward compatible with SATA2

In SATA2, bandwidth 3Gbps
HD Tune Pro 3.50 average read is 110.0 MB/s
ATTO DISK Benchmark over 8k can reach highest read in 142 MB/s and write in 139 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark is read 143.1 Mb/s and write 137.6 MB/s

HD Tune Pro 3.50 average write is 104.5 MB/s

In SATA3, bandwidth 6Gbps
HD Tune Pro 3.50 average read is 110.0 MB/s
ATTO DISK Benchmark over 8k can reach highest read in 142 MB/s and write in 137 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark is read 143.1 Mb/s and write 139.1 MB/s

HD Tune Pro 3.50 average write is 104.1 MB/s

As the test in SATA2 and SATA3, the performance is not big different in normal application.
After all, SATA2 bandwidth is 3Gbps, means 300MB/s and SATA6 is 6Gbps, 600MB/s
This spec is for max bandwidth, especially for multi-HDD RAID5 or SSD RAID0.
SATA3 will bring the max bandwidth into full play in such conditions.

USB test is using BUFFALO 1.0TB external HDD. It’s very rare USB 3.0 product so far

Plug into USB 2.0 port
HD Tune Pro 3.50 average read is 33.2 MB/s
ATTO DISK Benchmark over 64k can reach highest read in 35 MB/s and write is 32 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark is read 35.25 Mb/s and write 32.76 MB/s

Plug into blue USB 3.0 port
HD Tune Pro 3.50 average read is 120.4 MB/s
ATTO DISK Benchmark over 64k can reach highest read in 154 MB/s and write in 159 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark is read 154.3 Mb/s and write156.2 MB/s

FDEBENCH test is read in 126 Mb/s and write in 136 MB/s

Formerly, USB 2.0 max bandwidth is around 30~35 MB/s. It’s fatal wound for USB devices.
FLASH mostly is MLC, is very hard to reach 30 MB/s.
However for users who using 2.5/3.5” USB external box, HDD performance is above 50 MB/s~100 Mb/s
USB 2.0 bandwidth will limit the products performance.
This issue will be solved soon as more and more USB3.0 MB.


Dec 1, 2008
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For the DRAM test, supporting 3 channels is big advantages for X58 platform.
I use the famous extreme memory maker, CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT CMG6GX3M3A2000C8, supports 3-channel.
Black/Red color make GT be more attractive


DDR3 2100 CL8 8-8-24 1T, BIOS set as 1.600V
SP2004 3 X Blend mode, 5.88GB stable in full load

Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 30925 MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read - 21274 MB/s

DDR3 OC can reach 2100 CL8 easily and only need 1.600V
Besides DOMINATOR-GT CMG6GX3M3A2000C8 quality is great, the X58A-UD7 OC capability is also in good standard.
It makes the combination be even greater.
Comparing to P55 dual channel performance, X58 3-channel bandwidth is much higher.

The CPU is Gulftown, 6 cores and HT technology work as 12
Itfs not selling in the market yet, but there are many CPU test since August.
CPU OC to 4GHz to see some future structure performance

CPU 175 X 23 => 4025MHz
DDR3 2100 CL8 8-8-24 1T

Hyper 12 X PI 32M=> 14m 53.289s
CPUMARK 99=> 620

1 CPU=> 5662
x CPU=> 31983

PCMark Vantage
GTX260 SLI 2WAY=> 20313

GTX260 SLI 3WAY=> 27205

During the test, you can see many software only support 4-8 cores.
In physical 6 cores plus HT, some benchmark scores decreased rather than increased.
I think the software need to improve more in this condition.
SLI 3WAY is also the same. CrystalMark 2004R3 scores is decreased.
So far, some software cannot support this high spec 100%.
However, Gulftown with SLI 3WAY really get the higher benchmark scores.

1.X58A-UD7 uses GIGABYTE most high end components and technologies
2.Support 3WAY SLI and CFX. NV system can use PhyX to build 4 VGA
3.SATA3 use high end Marvell 9128 chip. USB 3.0 uses NEC chip
4.BIOS items are rich and wide voltage items. CPU/DDR3 OC ability is great.
5.Built-in 6 SATAII, 2 USB/eSATA and 2 USB 3.0
6.Hybird SILENT-PIPE enhance the thermal solution. NB also support water cooling block

1.Hybird SILENT-PIPE will block one PCI-E X1
2.LAN and Audio chips are all Realtek. They could consider for some better one.


Performance šššššššššš
Components šššššššššš
Specification ššššššššš™
Outlook ššššššššš™
C/P Value ššššššš™™™

GIGABYTE X58A-UD7 is really the new blood for X58 platform
Except enhance the components, it also implements latest USB 3.0 and SATA3
LGA 1156 doesnft sell well because i7 CPU plus P55 price is almost the same as LGA 1366
After LGA 1156 i3 CPU launch, the platform should be cheaper and rise the C/P value.
For the current market, LGA 1366 is still the most high end one.

SATA3 is helpless for users who only use 1~2 HDD.
7200rpm HDD performance is around 100~120 MB/s.
However, for milti-HDD and SSD users, SATA3 is a great improvement.

The most attractive part is USB 3.0. USB2.0 has been using for years.
30~35 MB/s bandwidth is too slow for most USB external storage users.
USB 3.0 can reach 150 MB/s in test which is almost 5 times faster.
This technology is more practical.

GIGABYTE announced GIGABYTE X58A-UD7 is high standard in overall performance.
Previous GIGABYTE X58 series can support Gulftown 6 cores CPU by upgrading BIOS.
Itfs a pity that LAN and Audio can use better chip to match their high end components level.
If you want to build a top level PC, LGA 1366 is your best choice.
For top MB, X58 price is higher, but compare to the same price range X58 products, UD7 is still competitive. :)

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