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It sure isnt the best looking mobo

Introduction

To start with, this is a budget amd 990 chipset's mobo. Its one of the cheapest 990 chipset mobos I have seen on market so far. If Im right, converted to US dollars today this motherboard would cost about 115$(at least I bought it for an equal amount of money in other currency). Altough its not too expensive, it still has some nice features.

Features

This is an am3+ mobo so it supports a lot of CPU's. Including newest Vishera FX processors as well as older CPU's as Athlon II. Obviously, no one would buy this for running an Athlon. The board has three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots. However only one of them is running at x16, one at x8 and the last one at 4x. However it supports only 2-way nVidia SLI and AMD Crossfire(x16 and x8 slots) and not 3-way. Mobo is equipped with two old school PCI slots as well as two PCI Express x1 slots. It also has four DDR3 ram sockets which supports ram speeds up to 2000Mhz. 990XA-UD3 has six SATA6Gb/s connectors with a support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, and JBOD. Though I found it impossible to install 64bit Windows7 on a RAID 0 array as I found no 64bit drivers for RAID which would be recognized by windows.

Moving on the the next set of features - back panel connectors. This motherboard is equipped with 8 usb 2.0 ports in red colour which are all boosted up with additional power. This means they are outputting higher power than the standard usb 2.0 ports. Gigabyte homepage claims that its three times more than the standard ports, however I haven't tested that myself. On the back panel you can also find two usb 3.0 ports. I might add that gigabyte also has a feature for this board which allows you to charge your phone, iPad or a similar gadget even when the computer is shutted off. Apart from a RJ-45 port, audio ports and a few other regular ports there's nothing more interesting on the back panel.

Overclocking

Because of 990x chipset and an 8+2 VRM power phase overclocking with this board is pretty good. Well, as long as you don't want to get really extreme with OCing, this board is enough. Im pretty sure that in most cases the cooling would be a limit not this board.

Final Thoughts

This motherboard sure has some very good features for the buck. Sadly, I also experienced a few issues with it. So far I had minor issues with northbridge heatsink which gets pretty hot and some major issues installing win7 on a RAID0 array. Im going to put an aftermarket cooling one the northbridge but Im afraid that I'll have to give up the win installation on a RAID array.  Other than that, I haven't expereinced any other issues and I can say, the board is very decent.

The back panel with power boosted usb 2.0 ports in red