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Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies the $699 price tag

Posted on 2nd Jun 2010 at 06:59 by Richard Swinburne with 35 comments

Richard Swinburne
Gigabyte's X58A-UD9 is one of the most expensive motherboards ever sold: that's fact. At $699 it costs as much or more than most whole computers or laptops sell for.

Straight up in our meeting pre-Computex we asked Gigabyte the obvious question: why should anyone ever pay that much for a motherboard?

Gigabyte stated that it was seeing "very good sales" from its UD9s already, but the answer was a bit more than "because we can" though.

Gigabyte's attitude is that, if the options are there and users want it, then it's worth making. Its X58A-UD9 has literally everything Gigabyte could throw at it, but it's more than the SATA 6Gbps, USB3, on-off charge and a few more power phases. The 24 phase power hardware is completely revamped, the board is XL-ATX and has seven PCI-Express slots for full 4-way CrossFire or SLI. If you're dropping $700 on a motherboard, it's fair to say you'll also be throwing more at graphics cards too, right?

Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies the $699 price tag Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies $650 price tag

That 24 phase hardware is now branded Gigabyte's Unlocked Power CPU VRM design: a "true" 24 phase, that Gigabyte have demonstrated will handle up to 1,500W (that's not a typo) through the MOSFETs. Gigabyte know this figure is completely OTT - the twin 8-pin connectors can theoretically provide only 480W - but it wanted to prove a point that its power hardware won't fail under any circumstances. Gigabyte explained it was another step in its continual evolution of its CPU power design, from Dual Power System, through solid capacitors, through its iterations of Ultra Durable technology to the current "Unlocked Power" that future motherboards will benefit from to some degree.

Along with Gigabyte's EnergySaver software, those 24 phases can be split into two sets of 12 phases that alternately power up to further prolong its life every time the PC is shut down or goes into hibernate mode. Should your OC require more than the 12 though, then all 24 will fire up with no additional user input.

From one set enabled with dual power on...
Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies the $699 price tag Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies $650 price tag

...to both sets enabled when it's turned off (either manually or when the PC powers down),
Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies the $699 price tag Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies $650 price tag

Then the alternate set of MOSFETs fire up when the PC is restarted.
Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies the $699 price tag Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies $650 price tag
Click to enlarge

With regards to the XL-ATX format versus EVGA's dual socket, wide-boy SR2 motherboard, Gigabyte said the case compatibility with XL-ATX is far better than wider EATX, and that demand for dual-CPU Xeon solutions was far lower than single CPU with multi-GPU. Even though the UD9 motherboard is designed for bench-top testing, Gigabyte explained it wants the board to be an investment to last long enough that it's still used in a case, as someone's system after they've done their benchmarking with it.

Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies the $699 price tag Gigabyte talks up its X58A-UD9, justifies $650 price tag
Click to enlarge

Users who buy the UD9 boards will also find Gigabyte listening far more closely to their needs. Upon registering they are then part of its VIP program, and it claims it's willing to throw engineers at the BIOS to meet your needs: it's the closest attempt to a personalised service we've seen yet.

Is that all worth $700 though? There's no doubting that enough people want personalised services for many products, such as cars for example, but motherboards too? Despite our continual pushes towards Gigabyte's excellent value UD2/3/4 boards, Gigabyte still sells many UD5/6/7 as people are easily upsold on the "more metal = faster" design at the point of sale. UD9 will be a difficult upsell though.

With respect to its latest power design, 1,500W certainly proves the hardware has considerable overhead, but statistically speaking surely using more components means chance of getting a bad component also goes up? And also what's the use of installing more hardware than you could possibly ever use?

From what we've seen Gigabyte is tapping into the "F1" market of hype and luxury quite successfully and it isn't the only company to do so: Asus Republic of Gamers program does very well and MSI is promoting its Big Bang series also very hard too now. As we already know from our own forums, 3/4-way SLI or CrossFire still sells and benchmark numbers are always discussed and drooled over by many. What does $700 get you then? A few more numbers and an empty wallet.

35 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
stonedsurd 2nd June 2010, 07:11 Quote
Gigabyte India just sent my friends a sample of the UD9 and there is literally no board that does LN2 runs like this monster does, straight out of the box. The Classified E760 is finicky and requires a degree in jiggery-pokery to get real scores (which can be rewarding too). The UD9 just jumps straight to max clocks and stays there.

Yes, it's ridiculously expensive, but it got HWBot top 20 ranks for most dual-GPU runs which makes it worth the price to the folks that are going to buy it.
Jipa 2nd June 2010, 07:47 Quote
I'm waiting to see the first thread in the "Hardware"-section of the forums where someone just /WANTS/ this board in his new $2000 gaming rig. Also the line "I want to have future-proof and reliable motherboard" just popped into my head.

Sick board, 90% tech demo, just about all will be sponsored hardware to overclockers/competitions, maybe a few also sold.
rickysio 2nd June 2010, 07:52 Quote
Quick, someone buy one and force Gigabyte to throw engineers at UEFI.

I mean, seriously, what in the world...? Customized BIOS?
B1GBUD 2nd June 2010, 08:25 Quote
Holy Sh!t

Said in the voice of **UT Announcer**
Unknownsock 2nd June 2010, 08:46 Quote
To be fair, if theres a markey why not make and sell a motherboard of this price range. Yea its complete OTT for 99.99999% of people, but its always good to see manufacturers look after more than just the mainstream.
BlackMage23 2nd June 2010, 10:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Quick, someone buy one and force Gigabyte to throw engineers at UEFI.

I mean, seriously, what in the world...? Customized BIOS?

Yeah, at that price I'd want the option of BIOS or UEFI.
capnPedro 2nd June 2010, 11:08 Quote
What's the warranty like?
mjm25 2nd June 2010, 12:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
What's the warranty like?

It's so ultra durable you don't need a warranty!

...I'll get my coat.
Bindibadgi 2nd June 2010, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
What's the warranty like?

Gigabyte boards get a warranty in years that relate to their UD classification: UD3 = 3 years, UD7 = 7 years. I haven't asked exactly about this in a while, but I would imagine UD9 = 9 years. Gigabyte claims its RMA rate is half the average across Taiwanese vendors though.
Jipa 2nd June 2010, 12:54 Quote
Hardly matters if it's a year or twenty, it's going to be obsolete next year ;) Also "Warranty void if overclocked" would be a funny little trick with this board...
TomH 2nd June 2010, 13:00 Quote
All very Ferrari FXX isn't it.. Pay a fortune, but you get access to Engineers.

I actually clapped eyes on one of these at Channel Expo in London and hassled the Gigabyte sales rep into putting my name down for a free one if they didn't sell - doesn't sound good for me now!

It is an absolute beast to behold though. From what the Engineer told me back then, it sounded like it'll over-clock like a peach and from the comments in the thread (particularly the first one) I believe they'll get there.

But still, Aston One-77, Bughatti Veyron, Ferrari FXX, Gigabyte UD9. :)
BlackMage23 2nd June 2010, 14:05 Quote
You left out the Mclaren F1 :)
rickysio 2nd June 2010, 16:24 Quote
McLaren F1 is an awesome car by far.

But it's place in terms of looks got booted off my mind's pedestal by the Reventon.

Then again, both companies don't offer you a chance to throw engineers.
TSR2 2nd June 2010, 19:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio


Then again, both companies don't offer you a chance to throw engineers.

Thank you for that mental image.
Cepheus 2nd June 2010, 19:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
But it's place in terms of looks got booted off my mind's pedestal by the Reventon.

The McLaren F1 is not meant to look good. It's meant to go fast around a circuit. Looking good is a byproduct.
Fizzban 2nd June 2010, 20:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cepheus
The McLaren F1 is not meant to look good. It's meant to go fast around a circuit. Looking good is a byproduct.

I couldn't help myself..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ttaWZT8g4A&playnext_from=TL&videos=LOnCRqu62No
logan'srun 2nd June 2010, 21:33 Quote
700 bucks and you still get the hideous baby blue and white color scheme? Seriously?
Gradius 2nd June 2010, 21:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
What's the warranty like?

Gigabyte boards get a warranty in years that relate to their UD classification: UD3 = 3 years, UD7 = 7 years. I haven't asked exactly about this in a while, but I would imagine UD9 = 9 years. Gigabyte claims its RMA rate is half the average across Taiwanese vendors though.

Wrong!

The capacitors are still rated 50K hours, or 6 years at best (24/7/365).
Gradius 2nd June 2010, 21:52 Quote
I careless about the color, no doubt this MB is a monster, I might get one.
The_Beast 2nd June 2010, 21:54 Quote
That motherboard cost more than my whole computer (minus a couple HDDs)
themcman1 2nd June 2010, 22:03 Quote
I think the fact it already has 3 world records says something:

http://hwbot.org/hardware/motherboard/ga_x58a_ud9
stonedsurd 2nd June 2010, 22:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
Wrong!

The capacitors are still rated 50K hours, or 6 years at best (24/7/365).

warranty != lifespan

If it has components that will fail within 5 days and the warranty extends to 10 days, then it has to be replaced, depending on the fine print, of course.
l3v1ck 2nd June 2010, 23:20 Quote
For that kind of money I'd get a good motherboard for less than half the price and use the change to buy a good SSD.
mecblade 3rd June 2010, 05:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Then again, both companies don't offer you a chance to throw engineers.

u get to throw engineers? XD

*chucks one which accidentsly flys off the cliff face*

p.s

could bit tech do a Gigabyte X58 UD9 vs EVGA X58 4 way classified thing?

i want to know whos better :P

btw the 4 way classified has 7 awards on hwbot and the UD9 has 3 -.-
stonedsurd 3rd June 2010, 06:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mecblade


i want to know whos better :P

btw the 4 way classified has 7 awards on hwbot and the UD9 has 3 -.-

The UD9 has been around for less time than the E762. Also, all three of the UD9's records are for CPU-specific benchmarks, which would make it seem that they're doing something right. All the EVGA board records are for 3DMark runs. I don't think too many people have had time to do 4-way SLI with LN2 on the UD9.
Spanky 3rd June 2010, 10:29 Quote
If nothing else this is a technological step forward for the motherboard industry, other companys might want to follow suit with ultra primo boards, in the end the price will only ever come down and not go up.

Sure is great for Joe Deep pockets but in the end this nice bits and peices are bound to be pushed further towards the mainstream market, think of it as a taste of what is to come .
isaac12345 3rd June 2010, 10:38 Quote
Well, this board does make some sense, Nvidia's trying to promote their Tesla lineup to academic institutions and companies who would like to use GPGPU muscle for their purposes and such a motherboard would help these institutions to implement and work with such hardware. Moreover, the personalised service is a major selling point for such institutions as they would not have to wait for the next BIOS release if they come across any problems. They simply call Gigabyte up and they assign engineers to the task and the institution can get back to their business. If you think about it, Gigabyte's service is quite similar to Nvidia TWIMTBP.
rickysio 3rd June 2010, 11:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaac12345
If you think about it, Gigabyte's service is quite similar to Nvidia TWIMTBP.

Gigabyte's TWIMTBT(hrown)
isaac12345 3rd June 2010, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Gigabyte's TWIMTBT(hrown)
hrown?
stonedsurd 3rd June 2010, 11:42 Quote
That's the way it's meant to be THROWN.
TomH 6th June 2010, 16:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
What's the warranty like?

Gigabyte boards get a warranty in years that relate to their UD classification: UD3 = 3 years, UD7 = 7 years. I haven't asked exactly about this in a while, but I would imagine UD9 = 9 years. Gigabyte claims its RMA rate is half the average across Taiwanese vendors though.
I know this was posted before my last post, but I've just re-read this thread for replies - I did actually ask the Gigabyte rep in the UK and he didn't seem to think that they would be extending the warranty to 9 years for this board, citing some reason - but I'm not a journo, so I didn't write it down - sorry. :D
[PUNK] crompers 8th June 2010, 17:04 Quote
seems to me this board is concept more than anything, surely just by making this board they are learning more about making high end products, the idea being what they learn will filter down to the line to less expensive products.

the fact that one or two e-peensters will needlessly spend £500 so that i can have better products makes me feel all warm inside =]
shadow 10th June 2010, 16:38 Quote
"...demand for the product is so great that it can't keep up with supply....
No one here in Old Taipei can remember when anyone was able to charge that much for a mobo. Asustek is livid, livid."

hehe

http://www.techeye.net/hardware/why-is-this-man-smiling
bw67958 13th June 2010, 18:00 Quote
That's a helluva price for a mobo!
Bindibadgi 14th June 2010, 02:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
I know this was posted before my last post, but I've just re-read this thread for replies - I did actually ask the Gigabyte rep in the UK and he didn't seem to think that they would be extending the warranty to 9 years for this board, citing some reason - but I'm not a journo, so I didn't write it down - sorry. :D

LOL gonna have to ask about that then.
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