Motherboard Guide

Native SATA 6Gbit/s Arrives - AMD 890GX Motherboards Examined

The Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H

The Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H

Gigabyte's naming convention has been quite standard for a while now; from the UD3H name, we can estimate that it'll fall right in the middle of the price range for AMD 890GX motherboards. The local retail price of S$229 fits somewhat. While Gigabyte has never been shy to splash out on the features, this board shows some restraint, with only one Gigabit Ethernet port and an absence of extras like eSATA. That's not saying it's behind the competition, because these absentees would be extravagant for its price range.

One does find Gigabyte's usual love for storage options, with the six native SATA 6Gbit/s ports supplemented by Gigabyte's own SATA controller, which gives two extra, albeit slower, SATA 3.0Gbps ports. A floppy controller is even present, so one is covered quite comprehensively, with NEC's USB 3.0 controller giving the final touches to the storage options on this board. These storage connectors are all located at the edge of the board and avoids getting in the way of other board components.

Besides the storage overload, there are also quite a few expansion slots, from the standard dual PCIe 2.0 x16 graphics slots to a mixture of PCIe x1 and PCI slots. The layout is nicely done to allow for dual-slot graphics cards and unlike some older Gigabyte designs where the innermost PCIe x1 slot can be blocked by a passive heatsink, this is no longer the case.

 

Overall, we have no complaints with the board's layout. Granted that it's less packed than some of Gigabyte's higher end boards, but still, we have seen badly designed boards with minimal features. However, it could have benefited from a Clear CMOS switch, rather than a jumper setting hidden in the middle of the board.

 

Gigabyte's usual litany of features gets longer with each new board, though the features are mostly familiar. One of the newer features that it's touting recently is a set of 'Onboard Acceleration' extras, that includes USB 3.0 and USB ports that deliver three times the amount of power (obviously geared for external storage devices). Ultra Durable 3 is also another linchpin of Gigabyte but we're sure you've heard enough about them by now, so we'll skip that. You can always refer to Gigabyte's website if you require more information.