The word ‘monstrous’ doesn’t really have good connotations, but when it is applied to a motherboard, it can only mean good things. And Gigabyte’s X58A-UD9 is nothing if not monstrous. Even the packaging for the board is huge.
But this board does raise some interesting questions, most importantly: “how much motherboard does one need?” The answer related to what you’re going to be using your PC for… and if you’re out to build a super-fast, mega-powered gaming rig, then this is a board you’ll want to consider. We’re not talking about playing around here.
This is a serious piece of equipment that people who are going to put a lot of effort, time and – quite honestly – money into their rig. It’s not a board for an all-round desk-top, and it certainly doesn’t belong in an office, unless you need extreme power for your work. No, this is a gamer’s board, through and through.
Sporting an Intel X58 chipset and supporting both i5 and i7 processors (socket 1366), the potential for gaming power is already implied. But things go further – much further – than that.
One of the biggest deals is that this board works really well with water-cooling systems. While you don’t have to use water-cooling with it, the board ships with some parts already built for that kind of high-performance temperature control. While water cooling has been proven to be safe time and again, it is still something that an enthusiast will be after, rather than someone who is just ‘a bit keen.’ Part of this includes the Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 system, and additional heats dissipation device that is incorporated into a water cooling system. You’ll have to buy a water-cooling system yourself… it’s not included here.
That’s not where the implied performance of this mobo stops. It supports up to four graphics cards in SLI or Crossfire setups, meaning that the user can get an awesome amount of graphic power out of this board too. This will take up all of the available expansion slots (thanks to graphics cards being as bulky as they are these days) but with onboard sounds and an intelligent, dual LAN input system, there shouldn’t be too much need for more cards slotted in.
And there’s more… the architecture of the board supports numerous systems that speed things up. USB 3.0 is just the start… SATA 3.0 gets more speed out of hard drives, too. 24 Phase Power technology delivers smooth power to the CPU, and makes for even and reliable overclocking. In addition, the X58A-UD9 comes with numerous software and hardware options to improve performance and power consumption.
It’s a fantastic board. There’s no denying it. But it is also a massive board, in terms of what it can do, and it may be a little more than the average user needs. Power-users will love it – particularly those that are planning on a watercooled system – because it is fast, stable and extremely powerful in terms of what it can deliver and what it can support.
Quite honestly, the only downside to this extremely good hardware is the price. It will leave a rather big dent in your bank balance, particularly when there are several capable, cheaper models available on the market. But you get what you pay for, and if you are willing to pay for the
X58A-UD9, you will be getting and extremely awesome motherboard.
At A Glance
It might be really expensive, but power-users would love this board to bits!
• i5 / i7 supported
• X58 chipset
• USB 3.0
• SATA 3.0
• 24 Phase power
• 7 PCIe x16 slots
• 6 RAM slots
• Water-cooling support
• Up to 4 graphics cards
• Very quick