Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 review

Price when reviewed

It’s easy to miss amid the stream of letters, but the “UD” in the name of Gigabyte’s top-end boards stands for “Ultra Durable”. We’ve seen that before with the likes of the GA-EX58-UD5, but this new board, the GA-X58A-UD7, takes the concept to a whole new level.

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 review

For a start, Gigabyte has included both USB 3 and SATA/600, the first time we’ve seen these features together on a motherboard. Both will be appreciated by enthusiasts, and both offer tantalising speed boosts: the former’s transfer speeds will sate the appetite of the fastest SSDs on the market, while the latter is a whole lot faster than USB 2 if you have compatible devices to pair it with.

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7

The rest of the LGA 1366-socketed GA-X58A-UD7 is more mundane but no less versatile. The two SATA/600 sockets and two USB 3 ports are joined by eight SATA/300 connectors and four USB 2 ports. The backplate also features two dual-USB/eSATA sockets, pairs of PS/2 and S/PDIF outputs, FireWire, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a CMOS reset button. Four PCI Express x16 slots – two running at x16 and two running at x8 – are ready to handle triple-SLI, and two PCI Express x1 and a single PCI slot are also available.

The blue PCB comes with a bevy of tweak-friendly features. A two-digit display shows POST results, and there’s an on-board power button alongside LEDs to indicate CPU and memory voltages, plus temperature levels. Gigabyte has also been generous with the extras in the box: alongside the usual SATA and SLI cables, you get a small bracket that can be fitted to the PCI backplate to provide two additional eSATA ports and a molex power output.

Even the cooling demonstrates more imagination than we’re used to seeing. A large heatsink surrounds Intel’s X58 chipset and is topped off with a water-cooling block but, if you’re not confident with liquid cooling, it can be replaced by the supplied passive cooler instead. It’s a large cooler, designed to exit through the top PCI backplate in the average chassis, so it shouldn’t interfere with all but the largest CPU and GPU coolers.

This level of technical and physical innovation doesn’t come cheap, though. At £213 exc VAT, the GA-X58A-UD7 is more expensive than the GA-EX58-UD5, which shared most of this board’s features. The two killers, though, are SATA/600 and USB 3 – for most of us a cheaper board will suffice, but for real enthusiasts and early adopters that small premium will be well worth paying.


Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsno


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)Intel
Processor socketLGA 1366
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetIntel X58
South bridgeIntel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters2
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipsetN/A
Audio chipsetRealtek ALC889

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type8-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total6
Internal SATA connectors10
Internal PATA connectors2
Internal floppy connectors2
Conventional PCI slots total1
PCI-E x16 slots total4
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total2

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)6
FireWire ports2
eSATA ports2
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
Extra port backplane bracket ports2 eSATA, 1 power

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?yes
Motherboard onboard reset switch?yes
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied3
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied0

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