Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review

November 11, 2009 | 10:17

Tags: #benchmark #crossfire #ga #mobo #motherboard #p55 #perform #performance #result #review #sata #sli #ud5

Companies: #gigabyte #test

Board Layout and Detail

Again we're presented with another blue board from Gigabyte, partnered with other blue, white and gunmetal piping that really looks quite attractive. Well, at least it's not black again.

The heatsinks are, well, strange though. Unique is nice, but on their own we wouldn't call them aesthetically pleasing. There's lots of flamboyant metal there for no real reason: the lower heatsink especially, since it covers chips that don't need any cooling. Again it's another case of "more metal looks faster", and it's a marketing strategy that really does work for Gigabyte.

Layout is a mix of great ideas and really poor placement of other components - the ten (yes, ten) 90 degree SATA ports are arranged neatly down one side, while the IDE port is in a horrible position and the highest PCI-Express x1 slot is aligned so any add-in card you might install will conflict with the P55 heatsink, making it as good as useless.

Because the heatsink is cooling a P55 chip placed high on the board compared to others, it also means the CPU socket is slightly more compact. Well, no more than LGA775 or LGA1366, and we haven't found any heatsink conflicts just yet.

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail
Click to enlarge

It's nice to see that we could get the memory in and out without removing the graphics card since there's plenty of room and, talking of space, there's a decent gap between the two PCI-Express x16 slots for graphics cards. That bottom slot is an x4 like other boards and not really suitable for graphics, although it should be able to take a single slot PhysX card if you really want to go down that route.

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail
Click to enlarge

The power circuit is considerable: 12+2 phase on the CPU is more than enough, as are the couple of phases for the memory and P55 too. Like every Gigabyte board bought today, the board features Gigabytes 2oz copper PCB (if you care), all Nippon Chemicon solid aluminium capped capacitors and other usual Gigabyte Ultra Durable 3 gizmos and Dual BIOS, which is always appreciated.

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail
Click to enlarge

The USB and Firewire pin-outs are extremely easy to identify along the base of the board, and as we said the many SATA ports are all neatly arranged along the side of the board at 90 degrees so that SATA cables can be tidily tucked away. Underneath, Gigabyte uses its own SATA chip, which also provides the IDE. There's also a JMicron JMB362 SATA 3Gbps chip for an additional two SATA ports to bring it up to a square ten. Despite being JMicron, Gigabyte has ironed out most of the performance issues others seem to face. The throughput isn't P55 SATA standard, but it's still reasonably high and all four white ports perform identically.

There are power, reset and clear CMOS buttons squirreled away into the corner too, but it's only the power button that's obvious and we found it was easy to mix up the reset and clear CMOS buttons, which inevitably became annoying.

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Review Board Layout and Detail
Click to enlarge

Discuss this in the forums
Elgato 4K60 S+ Review

August 14 2020 | 10:22

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU