Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ Motherboard Review

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In July of 1969, Apollo 11 supposedly landed on the moon. Why do I say “supposedly”? Well, there has been a lot of conjecture as to whether or not it actually happened, and seeing the same small rock formation in photos from two different landings put some doubts in mind. But, we aren’t here to discuss conspiracy theories, after all, they are probably reading this right now and gathering outside to break through one of my windows with tear gas and stun guns…..or I merely want to acknowledge those who believe it may not have happened. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which. Either way, we can pretty much all agree that Neil Armstrong did, in fact, say “one small step for man, one giant step for mankind” when he (supposedly) took man’s first steps on the moon. Though I still wonder why we spent all that money going there in the first place…..

 

The point of this being, it sometimes takes small steps to become giant leaps. Those anxiously awaiting Bulldozer are already primed for it to be a giant leap. As to whether it will be in the performance category, only time will tell, but in the world of architecture, it is certainly a giant leap right from the start. The thing is, AMD has always been very customer loyal and backwards compatible friendly, so how do you make this leap and retain that stance? One answer is the newly unveiled 990 chipsets, which are capable of handling Bulldozers AM3+ socket, but still retain full AM3 compatibility. So, again, AMD offers the option to upgrade one small step at a time. Based off the 890FX and sharing the 950SB South Bridge, the 990FX is a small step on the noticeable feature end from the 890FX in most cases. On a couple of boards we have seen, SLI support has been added for up to four cards and CrossFire-X support has been upped to four cards across the board. For the serious gamer, this would certainly be a larger step. But, in the end it’s the giant leap into Bulldozer that is the main attraction here.

 

Gigabyte is coming out of the gate with the GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ Motherboard. The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ Motherboard is feature rich and Bulldozer ready, but is still fully compatible with existing AM3 processors. Featuring amenities such as USB 3.0, 8 SATA III connections (with 3TB support), PCIe slots capable of three way CrossFire-X or SLI, and onboard HD audio, the GA-990FXA specs like an enthusiast's dream. Opening the box and finding an all black design with gunmetal heatsinks, the GA-990FXA-UD5 also LOOKS like an enthusiast's dream. The GA-990FXA-UD5 retains Gigabytes most sought after features – Ultra Durable 2oz copper design, Dual BIOS, which almost nullifies the chance of BIOS failure, On/Off Charge and Driver Mosfet VRM technology. Included software includes Gigabyte’s Easy Tune 6 for hardware monitoring, overclocking and tweaking, Cloud OC for remote overclocking and Auto Green, which can link to a Bluetooth cell phone and put the computer to sleep when the phone loses its link. With the GA-990FXA-UD5, Gigabyte presents a strong package of features in a very nicely designed motherboard.

 

 


The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 Motherboard Unboxing and Overview video:

Click Picture Above to view Video

 

 

 


BIOS

A short video Overview of the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 BIOS

Click Picture Above to view Video

 

 


Special Features

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 Feature Overview

 



The 990FXA-UD5 motherboard is designed to offer a stable, high-speed platform for delivering amazingly fast data transfer via the GIGABYTE 333 onboard acceleration technologies. Featuring the USB3.0 controller, AMD 900 series motherboards allow users to take advantage of super fast USB transfer rates of up to 5Gbps, delivering 10x faster data transfer compared to USB 2.0. Utilizing the industry's first Serial ATA Revision 3.0 solution via AMD SB950 chipset, GIGABYTE AMD 900 series motherboards offer native 6 ports of next generation high speed data storage devices support with data transfer speeds of up to 6 Gbps with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10. The AMD 900 series motherboards introduce a unique hardware design with lower resistance fuses for ensuring lower voltage drops and providing more stable and plentiful power delivery. All USB ports also benefit from a 3x power boost for better power delivery to power hungry USB devices.

On/Off Charge Technology

GIGABYTE On/Off Charge technology allows you to charge your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch regardless of whether your PC is on, in standby mode or even off. A derivative of GIGABYTE's highly acclaimed 3x USB Power feature, On/Off Charge enables devices to draw more current from GIGABYTE motherboard USB ports than standard USB ports allow, so that charging from your PC can be as fast as with a charger.

Get Ready for New Generation of 32nm AMD AM3+ CPU

GIGABYTE's AMD motherboards are ready to support new generation of 32nm AMD AM3+ multi-core processors, delivering the very best platform for multitasking, multimedia and high performance gaming.

 

Supports next generation of 45nm AMD AM3 CPU

This motherboard designs with Split Power Plane, 8+2 phase VRM to support AMD the latest 45nm AM3 Phenom™II series processors, delivering the great performance enchantment to system and ultimate scalability hardware expending.

 

Driver MOSFETs - Integration of VRM Components



A traditional Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) consists of a Choke, Capacitors, MOSFETs and a Driver IC. By incorporating the MOSFETs and driver IC in accordance with the Driver-MOSFET specification, we can achieve higher power transfer and increased efficiency at higher switching frequencies to satisfy the growing power requirements of today's processors. Driver-MOSFETs also help to reduce VRM real estate requirements in the CPU zone.

 

 

 

3x USB Power Boost

GIGABYTE motherboards feature a 3x USB power boost, delivering greater compatibility and extra power for USB devices. GIGABYTE’s unique USB power design is also able to efficiently regulate output over the full voltage range, which greatly enhances USB device compatibility. In addition, dedicated lower resistance fuses ensure lower voltage drops, and provide more stable and plentiful power delivery.

 

Multi-display Support with 3-way SLI™ and 3-way CrossFireX™

Flexible graphics capabilities - Up to 3 VGA cards are supported for either 3 way CrossFireX™ or 3-way SLI™ action (running at two x16 or three x8 bandwidth), delivering the ultimate in graphics performance for gaming enthusiasts who demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.

 

 

AMD OverDrive Support

The AMD OverDrive™ utility is provided by AMD, offering high-end users the ability to maximize the capability, flexibility, and adjustability of the platforms utilizing AMD processors, sockets, and chipsets.

 

Dual Channel DDR3 2000+ MHz

Delivering native support for DDR3 memory up to 2000MHz, GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 series motherboards allow users to easily reach higher memory frequencies at lower voltages; achieving higher memory performance with lower power consumption to run even the most memory intensive applications such as high-definition video and 3D games with ease.

108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio playback

GIGABYTE strongly believes that in 2011, HD audio playback is a standard specification, and as such, we have made Blu-ray audio playback a standard for all of our motherboards.
All of GIGABYTE's 2011 motherboards feature higher capability audio solution with 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback quality to deliver high-performance, multi-channel HD audio. SNR is a comparison of the amount of signal to the amount of noise such as hiss present in the signal (expressed in Decibels). A higher SNR equals a better audio experience. For example, 108dB, is a high audio specification, as this means the audio signal is 108dB higher than the level of the noise.

 

DualBIOS™ 3TB+ HDD Support (Hybrid EFI Technology)

Hybrid EFI Technology combines the benefits of GIGABYTE's mature BIOS platform including stability and compatibility with 3rd party products with 3TB+ HDD support from EFI technology, allowing GIGABYTE to offer the best of both worlds through a quick and easy BIOS update using GIGABYTE's @BIOS utility that is freely available from the GIGABYTE website.
GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ is a patented technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when the main BIOS has crashed or failed. Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated onboard, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating. In addition, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ now supports 3TB+ (terabyte) hard drive booting without the need for partitioning, and enables more data storage on a single hard drive.

 

Turbo XHD- Full Automatic RAID 0/Stripe

GIGABYTE Turbo XHD provides a quick and easy way to boost your hard drive performance. Just via the latest BIOS update, Turbo XHD will automatically enabled when the system detecting 2 new SATA3 HDDs and providing users effortlessly to set up a RAID 0/Strip configuration.

 

 

Ultra Durable 3


GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3 design, featuring 2 ounces of copper for both the Power and Ground layers which dramatically lowers system temperature by delivering a more efficient spreading of heat from critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU power zone throughout the entire PCB. GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable 3 also lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, which helps to reduce electrical waste and further lowers component temperatures. A 2oz Copper layer design also provides improved signal quality and lower EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), providing better system stability and allowing for greater margins for overclocking.

 

Power eSATA- Power Cable-free


Featuring with two external SATA (Power eSATA) ports in the rear panel that provide smart setup and hot-plug functionality that allows easier data backup and content manipulation on external storage devices.

 

Dolby Home Theater Support

Delivers vivid surround sound for music, movies, and games, using two to eight speakers or any set of headphones.

 

Qualified for Windows® 7

The motherboard qualified for WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) certification of Windows 7 from Microsoft®, setting the standard for future Windows 7 certified motherboards.

 

ErP Lot 6 support

The ErP (also known as Energy-Related Products Directive) is part of the European Union's environmental regulations policy. It is based on concern for the environmental as the proliferation of electronic devices continues, and how to improve energy efficiency for a better and greener life. GIGABYTE supports ErP and produces motherboards that help you effectively improve system efficiency.


Software

 

 

GIGABYTE innovative technology- Easy Energy Saver

GIGABYTE innovative technology- Easy Energy Saver Featuring an advanced proprietary software design, GIGABYTE Easy Energy Saver is able to dynamically adjust CPU power depending on workload, delivering just the right amount of power needed for the task. Coupled with AMD’s highly efficient processors, the Easy Energy Saver is able to provide exceptional levels of power savings and enhanced power efficiency without sacrificing computing performance.

 

EasyTune6

GIGABYTE has completely redesigned EasyTune6 from the ground up to make it easier than ever to manage and monitor your hardware resources as well as tweak your system settings in order to achieve maximum system performance. Whether you are an overclocking enthusiast, or a computer novice, EasyTune6 provides the tools you need to quickly and effortlessly fine tune your system.

 

Gigabyte’s EasyTune 6 offers great control and monitoring for your motherboard and components. The CPU status screen gives all relevant status information for your current CPU state, while the Memory tab does the same for your RAM. The “Tuner” tab offers access to all basic OC options, including multiplier, FSB and voltages while also offering core unlocking from the software end. The “Graphics” tab allows for core speed and memory speed adjustment and OC of your installed video card. ET6’s “Smart” tab is not for your HDD status (S.M.A.R.T) as one might assume. The “Smart” tab is using for programming fan speed at varying temperatures to achieve the balance you desire of performance and silence. Note that CPU Smart Fan must be enabled in the BIOS for this feature to operate. Finally, a voltage and temperature monitor give a full picture of the current status. It is worth noting (and can be seen here) that changes made with AOD are not reflected in ET6’s status monitors. Looking at the difference in “Power On” and “Target” of the multiplier and CPU voltage, you can see that multiplier and voltage were both increased with AOD, but are not reflected in the read speed of the CPU.

 

Cloud OC

GIGABYTE Cloud OC is a free overclocking application that facilitates PC overclocking through any web browsing capable device such as a smart phone, iPad, iPhone, Netbooks or notebook PC. Being browser based, it connects via wireless Internet, Bluetooth or through an Ethernet cable, and its many functions are categorized into three tabs: Tuner, System Info and Control.

 

AutoGreen- Greening your PC via Bluetooth cellphone

AutoGreen technology can automatically save power by simply putting your PC in a state of sleep when your Bluetooth® cell phone is out of range of your computer.

 

Norton™ Internet Security

Fast, comprehensive, and up-to-the-minute protection against online threats. It safeguards your computer, identity, and home network without slowing you down. It sets a new standard for speed and makes online shopping, banking, and browsing safer and more convenient than ever.

 


Review Philosophy

In this review, Hi Tech Legion will evaluate the new Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 in conjunction with an AMD Phenom II X4 980BE AM3 Processor.

  • Evaluate motherboard and processor with World Bench (Real World Benchmark) to calculate times and productivity with common applications.
  • Evaluate motherboard and processor with PCMark Vantage, which will encompass productivity, music, video and communications.
  • Evaluate motherboard and processor with SiSoftware Sandra to determine latencies, bandwidth and processor multimedia.
  • Evaluate motherboard and processor with AIDA to record both cache and memory, read, write, copy and latencies.
  • Evaluate motherboard and processor with Cinebench R11 to determine the processor's rendering capabilities.
  • Evaluate HD Gaming using the Hi Tech Legion suite of both synthetic and real world games, testing single GPU configuration.

 

The purpose of these benchmarks are to evaluate the 990FX platform as a whole. These benchmarks will provide statistical numbers to give an overall idea of what you can expect. Factors to observe are the benefits of the technologies that are included with the Intel 990FX system and the overclocking options provided by Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5. In the end, it will always be the overall computing experience the end user receives when using the platform.

 

 


Specifications

 

CPU AM3+ Socket:
  1. Support for AMD AM3+ FX processors
  2. Support for AMD AM3 Phenom™ II processors / AMD Athlon™ II processors
Hyper Transport Bus
  1. 5200 MT/s
Chipset
  1. North Bridge: AMD 990FX
  2. South Bridge: AMD SB950
Memory
  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules (Note 2)
Audio
  1. Realtek ALC889 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  1. 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) (Note 3)
  2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (Note 4)
  3. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4_1, PCIEX4_2)
  4. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
  5. (All PCI Express slots conform to the PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  6. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 2-Way/3-Way AMD CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA SLI™ technology
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  1. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0~SATA3_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD
2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  3. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB South Bridge:
  1. Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)
2 x Etron EJ168 chips:
  1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
IEEE 1394 VIA VT6308 chip:
  1. Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  4. 1 x CPU fan header
  5. 2 x system fan headers
  6. 1 x power fan header
  7. 1 x front panel header
  8. 1 x front panel audio header
  9. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  10. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  11. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  12. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  13. 1 x serial port header
  14. 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
  15. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  3. 1 x IEEE 1394 port
  4. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  5. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  6. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
  7. 1 x RJ-45 port
  8. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. ITE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control (Note 5)
BIOS
  1. 2 x 32 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune (Note 6)
  8. Support for Easy Energy Saver
  9. Support for Smart Recovery
  10. Support for Auto Green
  11. Support for ON/OFF Charge
  12. Support for Cloud OC
  13. Support for 3TB+ Unlock
  14. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

 

 

 


Testing

 

Benchmarking

To test all systems, processors, and motherboards, Hi Tech Legion has compiled a list of popular programs to test performance; these benchmarks are taken from programs that are available to the public. We have compiled these to create the Hi Tech Legion Benchmark Suite, which includes system, graphics, processor, rendering, compression, and word processing. All scores will be graphed for each specific test under its category: video benchmarks (gaming will be rated in FPS: Frames per second), system scores will be graded by numbers which are given as results by their respective programs, higher will be better unless otherwise specified. If file compression is chosen, then all times will be in seconds. All temperatures will be measured in Celsius. For the gaming benchmarks, only the resolution of 1920 x 1200 will be utilized (except for 3DMark 11 which will be run at 1920x1080).

Systems

Test System

  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 980BE
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
  • Memory: 2x2GB Patriot Sector 5 1600 MHz
  • Video Card: Sapphire HD 6950
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB SATA II
  • Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 750W
  • Media: HP 1270i
  • Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

 

Benchmarks

System Benchmarks

  • World Bench
  • PCMark 7
  • SiSandra (CPU)
  • AIDA (Cache and Memory)
  • Cinebench 11.5

Gaming Benchmarks

  • 3DMark 11
  • Unigine Heaven
  • Metro 2033
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
  • Lost Planet 2
  • F1 2010
  • Mafia II

 

 

 


World Bench

World Bench is a system benchmark that tests the rendering, DirectX, video encoding, file compression, data entry, and overall performance of your system. World Bench 6 Beta (stable) gives a base score of 100 for a baseline comparison when different systems are chosen. For our tests, these scores will not be valid; all benchmarks are run individually and will reflect times in seconds as given by the program. If you would like more information here is a link. World Bench 6

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 World Bench Benchmark 1

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 World Bench Benchmark 2

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 World Bench Benchmark 3

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 World Bench Benchmark 4

 

 


PCMark 7

Designed for Windows Vista, PCMark 7 benchmarks your system with a variety of tests including video, photo editing, gaming, and communications. For results, a total PCMark score will be given (default setting) and individual scores for the tasks that are tested. To learn more about PCMark 7 visit Futuremarks website.

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 PCMark 7 Benchmark 1

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 PCMark 7 Benchmark 2

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 PCMark 7 Benchmark 3

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 PCMark 7 Benchmark 4

 

 


SiSandra (Processor and Processor Memory)

One of our favorites, Sandra from SiSoftware is a system benchmark that individually tests all components of your system. For our benchmarking purpose, we will use the processor section which includes Processor Arithmetic, Multicore Efficiency, and Multimedia as well as the Memory Suite . All scores will be listed as given by benchmark, higher will be better unless otherwise stated. SiSandra

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 SiSandra Processor Benchmark 1

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 SiSandra Processor Benchmark 2

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 SiSandra Processor Benchmark 3

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 SiSandra Processor Memory Benchmark 1

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 SiSandra Processor Memory Benchmark 2

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 SiSandra Processor Memory Benchmark 2

 

 


AIDA64

AIDA64 is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool. AIDA64 will be used for its Cache and Memory benchmark. System memory, L1 cache, L2 cache, and L3 cache will be benchmarked for latency, read, write, and copy. FinalWare is the producer of this software.

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 AIDA 64 Benchmark 1

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 AIDA 64 Benchmark 2

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 AIDA 64 Benchmark 3

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 AIDA 64 Benchmark 3

 

 

 


Benchmarks (Cinebench)

Cinebench R11.5

Created by Maxon, Cinebench R11.5 tests rendering of your CPU and GPU and scores their performance individually. We will be using the CPU rendering portion of the program and benchmark single CPU and multiple CPU performance.

 

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 Cinebench 11.5 Benchmark

 

 


Gaming Benchmark (3DMark 11)

Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is a synthetic benchmarking tool designed to provide an accurate and consistent simulation of the latest DX 11 games. 3DMark 11 tests the video card’s performance capabilities using a native DirectX 11 engine which uses tessellation, compute-shaders and multi-threading. 3DMark 11 also tests the system’s physics capabilities using the Bullet Open-source physics engine, testing for rigid-body calculations via CPU, as well as simulating soft-body physics using DirectCompute.

3DMark 11 consists of four graphics tests, Tessellation tests as well as Physics.

  • Xtreme (1920 x 1080p)

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 3DMark 11 Benchmark

 

 

 

 


Benchmark (Unigine Heaven)

Unigine Heaven is the first DirectX 11 benchmark and has multiple options for Shader Models, DirectX versions, AA,AF, Resolution and Tessellation.

Settings:

  • Tessellation: Extreme
  • 16X AF, 4X AA
  • Shaders: High

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 Unigine Heaven 2.5 Benchmark

 

 


Stone Giant (DirectX 11)

“With advanced tessellation scenes, and high levels of geometry, Stone Giant will allow consumers to test the DX11-credentials of their new graphics cards”, said Tobias Persson, Founder and Senior Graphics Architect at BitSquid. “We believe that the great image fidelity seen in Stone Giant, made possible by the advanced features of DirectX 11, is something that we will come to expect in future games.”

Settings:

  • DOF: Default
  • Tessellation: High

 

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 Stone Giant Benchmark

 

 


DirectX 11 Benchmark (Metro 2033)

"Set in the shattered subway of a post apocalyptic Moscow, Metro 2033 is a story of intensive underground survival where the fate of mankind rests in your hands."

 

Settings

  • High
  • AA 4X
  • AF 16X
  • Tessellation ON
  • Depth of Field: ON
  • Advanced PhysX OFF

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 Metro 2033 Benchmark

 

 


DirectX 11 Benchmark (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat)

"The events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat unfold shortly after the end of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Having discovered the open path to the Zone center, the government decides to hold a large-scale military "Fairway" operation aimed to take the CNPP under control."

Settings

  • Preset: High
  • Renderer: Enhanced Full Dynamic Lighting DX11

Advanced Options

  • MSAA 4X
  • MSAA for A-tested Objects OFF
  • SSAO Mode DEFAULT
  • SSAO Quality HIGH
  • Tessellation ENABLED

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 STALKER Benchmark

 

 


DirectX 11 Benchmark (Lost Planet 2)

The saga of E.D.N. III continues in CAPCOM's Lost Planet 2, taking place 10 years after the successful terraforming of the frozen world. Now lush jungles, large stretches of desert and populated cities make up the geographic landscape of E.D.N. III. The dangers are far from over however as the warmer climes only served to make life easier for the mercenaries, raiders and a new NEVEC to strengthen their numbers. The warmer temperatures also gave rise to newer, tougher Akrid species evolving quickly to adapt in their ever changing homeworld. As a snow pirate you have access to a wealth of arsenal to take on all adversaries including the most advanced mechanized battle suits designed not only to survive in a firefight but also to survive the hostile planet environment.

 

Settings

  • 4X AA
  • All Settings HIGH
  • Tesselllation HIGH

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 Lost Planet 2 Benchmark

 

 


Gaming Benchmark (Mafia II)

"Mafia II is a gritty drama which chronicles the rise of World War II veteran Vito Scaletta, the son of Sicilian immigrants. As the game progresses, Vito will work with 3 different families the Clemente, Falcone, and Vinci crime families and eventually rise to become a made man. There are 15 chapters in the game, integrated into one storyline"

 

Settings:

  • AA: On
  • AF: 16X
  • Shadow Quality: High
  • Geometry Detail: High
  • Ambient Occlusion: ON
  • PhysX: OFF

 

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 Mafia II Benchmark

 

 


Gaming Benchmark (F1 2010)

"BE THE DRIVER....LIVE THE LIFE Experience the exclusive world of FORMULA ONE™ like never before. Discover what it’s like to sit behind the wheel of the world’s greatest cars as you race wheel to wheel on all 19 circuits from the 2010 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™ calendar, beautifully realised and in full HD."

Settings:

  • Preset ULTRA
  • 4x AA

Comparison

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD5 F1 2010 Benchmark

 

 


Performance Tuning (Overclocking)

The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 comes bundled with the latest incarnation of Gigabyte’s Easy Tune 6 software. In addition to hardware monitoring, it offers the “Easy Boost” overclocking feature for simple, one click overclocking. Simply hit the Easy Boost button and Easy Tune 6 does the rest, taking your build through a succession of speed bumps and stability tests to find a stable (and seemingly safe) overclock. The process took approximately 45 minutes on this build and could not have been simpler. Three attempts with Easy Boost yielded two results at 4.13GHz with a 1.44v, and one at 4.2GHz at 1.45v. That is a pretty impressive OC for a simple one click, and these speeds are certainly stable. A quick look at the final parameters showed that the 4.2GHz result was only a raise of the multiplier, while the 4.13GHz included a slight bump to the FSB.

ss1

 

Tweaking the GA-990FXA-UD5 by hand, of course, produced slightly better results. Raising the multiplier to 22x and voltage to 1.475 off the bat produced no problems booting at 4.4GHz. This was exactly the OC used on this particular 980BE previously in an 890GX MB. There were stability issues running OCCT and Prime 95 after several minutes, with core errors appearing. Bumping the core voltage and NB VID slowly, stability was achieved at 4.4GHz, with a final CPU voltage of 1.52v and NB VID of 1.24.

I attempted to OC by raising the FSB, but had no luck with this particular RAM and processor. Dropping the multiplier on the RAM did not help, and a FSB over 202 was not stable. I don’t see this as a reflection on the GA-990FXA-UD5’s capabilities, as I have had exactly the same results on three other motherboards, one being a Gigabyte and two from other top name manufacturers.

The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 offers very good overclocking potential. The inclusion of Easy Tune 6 lets even the most novice of users obtain a good OC while keeping the system stable. For the more advanced, the wealth of BIOS features makes tuning and tweaking exploration quite easy, while the GA-990FXA-UD5’s stability allows for unlocking the full potential of your CPU.

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Conclusion

Provided By: Gigabyte

No compensation was received for review of this product.

Price Point

Price: $189.00USD

Class: Enthusiast

At a price point of $189.00, the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 falls into the Enthusiast class of motherboards.

Performance

Performance of the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 was excellent across the board. All drivers worked flawlessly on first install with no tweaking necessary. The BIOS of the GA-990FXA-UD5 offers excellent options and flexibility. USB 3.0 and SATA speeds exceeded expectations, with USB 3.0 being easily used for a boot device. PCIe speeds were as expected from an FX series board. The final OC achieved was what was expected from the processor, though voltage required was somewhat higher than expected.

Reviewer's Opinion

Straight out of the box, the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 lets you know that it is a serious motherboard design, and one that was executed well. The design is sleek and attractive, with great attention to detail. One may ask what looks matter in a motherboard, but the point is the execution. The parts aren’t flimsy, tolerances are exact and attention to assembly is flawless. That is what makes the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 so attractive. When you look at it and pick up the GA-990FXA-UD5, you know immediately that you are handling a top quality piece of equipment.

Getting into the board’s features, I was left wanting for nothing, and all of the features worked exactly as advertised. Tri-Sli and three way CrossFire-X are sure to keep gamers happy, as will the much better than average integrated 7.1 audio. Enthusiasts will certainly appreciate the great overclocking headroom and wealth of BIOS options for tweaking. Just about all will appreciate the upgraded USB 3.0, 8 SATA III ports and powered eSATA. And, of course, iPeople will appreciate On/Off Charge to keep their iStuff charged even when the computer is off. The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 is a feature rich board that should satisfy the needs of anyone planning on using less than four video cards.

Aside from the obvious, there were some really pleasant surprises that came with the GA-990FXA-UD5. The included Easy Tune 6 software is a truly nice program for novice overclockers to get their feet wet with. I was impressed with the one click OC achieved, which was only a few ticks off from what I could achieve when keeping the voltages in what AMD considers a safe zone. More than that, it enables you to see the changes made, enabling a novice to begin getting an understanding of what is going on, rather than having the Wizard of OZ behind a curtain. Kudos to Gigabyte for pairing this with the GA-990FXA-UD5 that clocks well to begin with.

The other nice surprise was increased read and write speeds on the GA-990FXA-UD5 from my 890 boards. Read speeds in HD Tune jumped a full 10MB/s from 92 to 102 with no change in any hardware excepting the MB. This was totally unexpected, as no mention of a tweak to this was made.

The one and only downside was the extra voltage I needed to put into the 980BE to get to 4.4GHz in the GA-990FXA-UD5. It took 1.52v to get the chip stable. Previously this mark had been achieved at 1.475v on other 790 and 890 boards. The jump in voltage also brought with it the natural jump in temperatures, both to the CPU and system. Temps were not out of control, but a little warmer than I would have liked to have seen.

There is no disputing that the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 is an absolute top of the line motherboard. The GA-990FXA-UD5 is packed with features, all of which work absolutely flawlessly. Build on the GA-990FXA-UD5 is solid, with great finish and attention to detail. The included Easy Tune 6 utility works extremely well as an overclocking utility for the novice, as well as being a very capable hardware monitor and fan speed controller. With the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5, you get an extremely capable and feature rich motherboard, all wrapped in one very attractive sleek black package. The GA-990FXA-UD5 is highly recommended.

Pros:

  • AM3+/AM3 Socket For Bulldozer and Existing Phenom II Compatibility
  • Three Way CrossFire-X and SLI Capable
  • USB 3.0 With Header
  • Eight SATA III Channels With Excellent Read/Write Rates
  • DDR3 2000 Ready
  • Excellent Detail and Finish
  • Attractive Styling
  • Excellent Included Utilities and Drivers
  • Easy Tune 6 For Easy One Click OC

 

Cons:

  • OC Required More Voltage Than Comparable Boards

 

Gold

 

 

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