With the notable exception of the EVGA X58 SLI Micro
none of the LGA1366 motherboards we've tested recently have been slow. Even so, the GA-X58A-UD3R’s overall Media Benchmarks stock speed score of 2,100
is rapid enough to nose it ahead of the competition.
Interestingly, the UD3R wasn’t the fastest board in Crysis at stock speeds, with a minimum frame rate of 31fps
, although to be fair, this is only 2fps
slower than the most game-friendly motherboard.
We've already covered how the board handles when overclocked
, but it's worth quickly recapping to say that it replicates its stock speed prowess when you start pushing extra voltage and MHz through it.
Our one area of concern comes with the storage ports: the Gigabyte SATA2 ports are much slower (183MB/sec
) than the Southbridge or Marvell 9128 powered ports, which can read at a much faster 245/246MB/sec
respectively. As such, it’s imperative that you switch your drives to the appropriate controller as soon as Windows is installed.
Click to enlarge
While Gigabyte has an enviable track
record for producing superlative micro-ATX and budget motherboards, in our experience, it hasn’t quite enjoyed the same level of success in the mid-range and high-end of the market in recent years.
One of the company’s main problems is that it tends to bundle far too many frivolous extras on its boards, making them slow, clunky and expensive compared to the leaner and meaner competition. At first, we thought the UD3R would be another of these boards, as it’s similar to the more expensive GA-X58A-UD7
. However, despite its plethora of controllers and slots, the GA-X58A-UD3R is a great performer and a fantastic overclocker.
Given that it costs £83 less than the cheapest SATA 6Gbps, USB 3 motherboard from Asus that we've reviewed, the P6X58D Premium
, and £109 less than Gigabyte's own GA-X58A-UD7, the GA-X58A-UD3R is also a fantastic bargain, leaving you with more cash to spend on the CPU, graphics card and cooling hardware.
If you're building a Core i7 PC, then this board should be top of your shopping list.