GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

Some really like the colors that GIGABYTE typically uses, some don't. Personally, colors always take a back seat to the performance I like and the features I need. The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 is packed with features that will meet most users' needs. With over twenty years of manufacturing experience, GIGABYTE has built a reputation for bringing quality products to the table. With a bit of luck the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 will be no different. Just a few short weeks ago I took a look at another GIGABYTE board, the GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H. That board, for the most, part blew my mind especially when you consider that it is a sub $100 board. The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 is a more expensive board, although it is also the top tier GIGABYTE ATX AMD motherboard. At $179.99 it is the fourth least expensive board in the AMD 890FX series (or the fifth most expensive).

Despite having a lower cost than several of the AMD 890FX boards out there, the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 has no shortage of features. As you undoubtedly discerned by now, the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 motherboard is based around the AMD 890FX+SB850 chipset. Currently this chipset is the cream of the crop chipset for enthusiasts.

AMD 890FX Chipset

AMD's 890FX chipset has a couple of significant differences when compared to the 890GX chipset. The first and most obvious on the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 is the lack of onboard graphics while the 890GX features the Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics. The second and quite possibly the most important to the enthusiast looking for the best performance from the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 when running in CrossfireX is the number of PCI Express lanes. The 890GX chipset is limited to 16 lanes while the 890FX chipset has double that at 32 lanes. Most people will most likely never notice a difference unless, of course, you are one of the lucky ones that can afford a pair of ATI Radeon HD 5970's or one of the insane ones who is lucky enough to pick up a pair of the ASUS ARES. Another significant difference is the IOMMU (input/output memory management unit). This is a feature that is typically available only on server boards, although is included in the 890FX chipset only when comparing the 8xx series chipsets. According to AMD: The IOMMU (input/output memory management unit) included with the 890FX chipset is a function of a chipset that enables enhancements to system-level software and that prevents illegal access of memory by I/O devices. By preventing illegal access of memory, the IOMMU can prevent problems with latency. An IOMMU can map device memory addresses to physical memory addresses, but in a manner that is transparent to the device hardware. The IOMMU automates the translation between the physical address of the I/O device and the host system.

CPU Support for Socket AM3 processors: AMD Phenom II processor / AMD Athlon II processor
Hyper Transport Bus 5200 MT/s
Chipset
  • North Bridge: AMD 890FX 
  • South Bridge: AMD SB850
Memory
  • 1.4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory (Note 1)
  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR3 2000(OC)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
Audio
  • Realtek ALC889 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Home Theater
  • Support for S/PDIF In/Out
  • Support for CD In
LAN
  • 2 x Realtek 8111D chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Support for Teaming
  • Support for Smart Dual LAN
Expansion Slots
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) (Note 2)
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
  • 2 x PCI Express x1 slot (All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 Standard.)
  • 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  • Support for 2-way/ 3-way ATI CrossFireX technology
Storage Interface South Bridge:
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD 
GIGABYTE SATA2 Chip:
  • 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
  • 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD 
JMicron JMB362 chip:
  • 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s connectors (eSATA/USB Combo) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD
ITE 8720 chip:
  • 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
USB South Bridge:
  • Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 on the back panel, including 2 eSATA/USB Combo, 6 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
NEC D720200F1 Chip:
  • Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
IEEE 1394 T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
  • Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 x floppy disk drive connector 
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 2 x system fan header
  • 1 x North Bridge fan header
  • 1 x power fan header
  • 1 x front panel header
  • 1 x front panel audio header
  • 1 x CD In connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF In header
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  • 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 1 x serial port header
  • 1 x parallel port header
  • 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
  • 1 x clearing CMOS button
  • 1 x power button
  • 1 x reset button
Back Panel Connectors
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x coaxial S/PDIF out connector
  • 2 x IEEE 1394a port
  • 6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 2 x eSATA/USB Combo connectors
  • 2 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  • ITE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring System voltage detection
  • CPU/System temperature detection
  • CPU/System fan speed detection
  • CPU overheating warning
  • CPU/System fan fail warning
  • CPU/System fan speed control
BIOS
  • 2 x 8 Mbit flash
  • Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  • Support for DualBIOS
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
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

Above is full list of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 specifications. Throughout testing we will look at some of the key features such as USB3 and SATA6 performance. Of course we will also be taking a look at the overall performance of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 with games and applications such as Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage.

First though, let's take a peek at the box and bundle that comes with the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

The retail packaging for the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 is busy but attention grabbing. It boasts some of the key features such as USB3, SATA3, and the three year warranty in the U.S.A. and Canada.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

The back of the retail packaging covers the features from the front in greater detail.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

The sides of the retail packaging aren't real exciting, although they do point out the fact that the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 is AM3 CPU ready.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

The ends of the retail packaging for the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 are similar to the sides. On one of the ends you can find the label that features the serial number and model number.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

The outer shell of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 slides off and reveals the box that contains the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 motherboard and the bundle.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Box and Bundle

The bundle with the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 contains all of the items needed to set up your new system. Included are four SATA cables, two of which have one end at a right angle to the cable, an IDE cable, user manuals, driver disc, and the I/O panel.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Board Layout and Features

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

As I mentioned on the first page, aesthetics always take a back seat to features and performance. The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 clearly has plenty of features for most, if not all users. As for performance, we will get to that shortly. First we should take a look at the layout of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 and see what makes it tick.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

Starting out at the DIMM slots we can see that this corner of the board is packed with features. The DIMM slots will support four sticks of memory at 2000MHz (oc). Just below the memory we have the onboard power and reset switches. Below the switches we have the 24pin power and to the left of that we have a 3-pin fan header and the floppy and IDE headers.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

Sliding down the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 we can see the clear CMOS button next to the mounting hole. Next to that we have eight SATA ports. The two white ones are SATA2 ports controlled by the GIGABYTE SATA2 chip above the clear CMOS button. The six blue SATA ports are SATA3 which are controlled by the AMD SB850.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

Spinning the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 we can take a look at the front panel header (slightly behind the LR Logo). Here we can see three USB Headers, a Firewire header and a 3-pin fan header.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

Next to the 3-pin fan header is the pin out for the parallel port and the com port.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

The large iTE chip on the right side of the photo is an IT8720f. To the left we have a cd in and the S/PDIF with the Realtek ALC889 codec. Just past the Realtek ALC889 codec is a pair of Realtek 8111D chips; these are the controller chips for the onboard nics that run at 10/100/1000 Mbits/s.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

Behind the I/O panel we can see the solid capacitors on the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 and the 8-pin CPU power, as well as the heat sink that keeps the 8+2 phase power circuitry cool. On the right side of the photo you can see the NEC USB3.0 chip.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

You will find no shortage of parts on the I/O panel. There is a total of ten USB ports; the two blue USB ports are USB3.0 which are controlled by the NEC chip mentioned above. There is also a pair of e-SATA/USB2.0 combination ports. As for the remaining ports, there is a combination mouse and keyboard P/S2 port, an optical and coaxial S/PDIF out, a pair of IEEE 1394a (firewire) ports, a pair of gigabit onboard RJ-45 ports and six audio jacks.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Images

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

The main page of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS will give you access to all of the sub-pages within the BIOS. You can also access the Q-Flash here as well as have the ability to save or load your CMOS settings.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

Above we have the top of the MB Intelligent Tweaker; here you can set all your frequencies and voltages. You also can have access to the DRAM configuration page.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

Above is the bottom of the MB Intelligent Tweaker page which shows the remaining voltages that can be altered.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

The Standard CMOS features allow you to set the system date and time. You can also see what devices you have plugged into which port.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

The Advanced BIOS Features page allows you to enable or disable various CPU technologies as well as configure boot devices and boot order.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

The Integrated peripherals page allows you to configure the various on board features of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

On the Power Management Setup page you can configure the various power settings.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

The PC Health page lets you check the voltages and temperatures of the system. You can also set up the fan control and warnings.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 BIOS Pages

Here we can see the eight CMOS profiles that you can save to or load your settings from.

Now that we have taken a look at the retail packaging, the GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H motherboard itself, and the system BIOS, we can get to the fun stuff. Let the testing begin!

The Legit Reviews Test System

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with all the latest updates installed. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Corsair Dominator memory modules were run in double-channel mode at 1600MHz with 8,8,8,24 timings. The ATI Radeon HD graphics cards were tested with 10.6 CATALYST suite drivers. The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 motherboard was running the latest BIOS. The AMD Phenom II X6 1055T processor was running at the default clock of 2.8GHz with turbo enabled.

 

AMD Test Bench

Processor AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Live Pricing
Motherboard GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Live Pricing
Memory Corsair Dominator 1600MHz 2x2Gb Live Pricing
Hard Drive Western Digital Black 640gb Live Pricing
Hard Drive
SATA6 Testing
Western Digital Black 1Tb SATA6  
Video Card HIS Radeon HD5870 Live Pricing
CPU cooler ThermalTake SpinQ VT Live Pricing
Chassis None - Open Bench
Power Supply Corsair TX750 Live Pricing

 

GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H Test System

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 System Settings

PCMark Vantage

PC Mark Vantage

PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts.

A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security.

From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC.

PC Mark Vantage Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE 890890FXA-UD5 has the highest overall score in PCMark Vantage, although the only suite score it was the highest in was the Music Suite.

3DMark Vantage

3dmark vantage

3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

3dMark Vantage

Performance settings were used, so a 1280x1024 resolution was used.

3dMark Vantage Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 was competing at the top of the charts in 3DMark Vantage. The CPU score of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 was the highest of all the boards that we have tested; the GPU Score was within ~1% of the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula which seems to be the board to beat.

SiSoft Sandra 2010 Memory Bandwidth

SiSoftware Sandra 2010

The Sisoft Sandra 2010 benchmark utility was released a few weeks ago and we have started to include it in our benchmarking. Sandra 2010 now comes with support for Virtualization (Virtual PC/Server, Hyper-V, VMware) and GPGPU (OpenCL, DirectX 11 Compute Shader/DirectCompute). Today we will be utilizing Sandra 2010 to look at memory bandwidth performance!

SiSoftware Sandra 2010

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 has the highest memory bandwidth of any of the AMD 890FX system boards, albeit there is only ~.4 GB/s separating any of the boards.

USB3 Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The hard drive used was a Western Digital 640Gb Black Edition Hard drive.

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 had average read rates that hit the same 94.5MB/s speeds as the top boards. The average write it was able to achieve was a 91.4MB/s rate which was slightly lower than most of the other boards.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The hard drive used was a Western Digital 640Gb Black Edition Hard drive.

HD Tune Benchmark 
Results

Benchmark Results: HD Tune shows us very similar results to HD Tach. Average read rates were at the top of the charts with 90.4MB/s, while the average write of 87.9MB/s was just slightly below some of the other boards.

SATA6 Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

The SATA6 Testing was done using Western Digital 1Tb Black Edition SATA6 hard drive.

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 had an average read and write that was ever so slightly behind the other boards. The Burst speed was second only to the GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The hard drive used was a Western Digital 640Gb Black Edition Hard drive.

HD Tune Benchmark 
Results

Benchmark Results: HD Tune shows that all of the boards were very comparable to each other, which makes sense since they are all controlled by the AMD SB850 chip.

Network Throughput

NTttcp Tool

The Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers vary on each board, so it will be interesting to see what the performance is on all the boards. Each of the Socket AM3 boards uses a different Gigabit Controller. Let's take a look at what controller is on each of the boards.

To test the Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers we used the NTttcp tool to test Ethernet Throughput and the CPU utilization of the various Ethernet controllers used on the AMD Motherboards. To do this properly we set up one machine as the server; in this test an Intel Core I7 930 system with an EVGA X58 Tri-SLI motherboard acted as our Gigabit LAN server.

On the server side, we used the following Command Line for Gigabit PCIe Ethernet Testing:

Ntttcpr -m 4,0,<Client IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

On the client side (the motherboard being tested), we used the following Command Line:

Ntttcps -m 4,0,<Server IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

At the conclusion of each test we recorded the throughput and CPU utilization figures from the client screen as that is the system being tested.

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Network Throughput

Benchmark Results: All six of the boards that we tested had nearly the same throughput varying by less than .1%. What separates them is the CPU Usage; the ASRock 890GX Extreme3 and the BIOSTAR TA890GXB HD are both using the Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet controller and they both utilized ~7.3-7.4% of the available CPU. The ASUS Crosshair IV Formula uses a Marvell 8059 Gigabit Ethernet LAN controller and used only 1.82% of the CPU. The MSI 890FXA-GD70 uses the Realtek PCI-E GbLAN controller 8111DL and uses 4.23% of the CPU's capacity. The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 and the GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H both use the RealTek 8111D Gigabit Ethernet controller and uses between 3% and 4% of the CPU which is slightly less CPU than the BIOSTAR TA890GXB HD and more than the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula, which places the performance of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 comfortably in the middle of the pack.

Rightmark Audio Analyzer

RightMark Audio Analyzer

The RightMark Audio Analyzer suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio devices, be it a sound card, an MP3 player, a consumer CD/DVD player or an acoustic set. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. The latest version of RightMark Audio Analyzer can be found here.

RightMark Audio Analyzer Results

Comparison Chart (click for larger image)

RightMark Audio Analyzer Results

The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 audio performance was top notch. Looking at the numbers, we can see that the performance across the board beats out the other boards.

Aliens Vs. Predator

Aliens Vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator is an entirely new title for PC and high-definition consoles from acclaimed British developer Rebellion, the team behind the 1999 original PC gaming classic. Bringing the most intense war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters FPS fans, AvP delivers three outstanding single player campaigns and provides untold hours of unique 3-way multiplayer gaming. Experience distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect.

Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark Settings

We cranked up all the image quality settings in the benchmark to the highest level possible, so we were running 4x AA and 16x AF with SSAO enabled at both 1920x1200 and 1280x1024 on all the video cards.

Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: When looking at the lower resolution of 1280x1024 the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 falls just short of the board to beat; the ASUS Crosshair IV. Looking at the results of the 1920x1080 the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 drops into the third spot just behind the ASRock 890GX Extreme3.

System Power Consumption

System Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fans, video cards and hard drives. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95's in-place large FFT's was run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. We also ran Furmark 1.8 at 1280x1024 to put a full load on the graphics card. All systems were tested using identical hardware.

GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H System Power Consumption

Idle power consumption of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 was right on par with the other boards that we tested. Once the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 was placed under load it was comparable to the other boards as well.

Overclocking the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 CPUz

With stock BIOS settings, the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor runs with a 200MHz bus speed (base clock) and an x14.0 multiplier that is used to reach the final core clock of 2.8GHz when all the cores are at full load. The past couple AMD 890FX boards that we have taken a look at were able to get past the 4GHz barrier with relative ease. Beyond that though, we were limited by the air cooling that we were using. Today I took a little bit different approach; we went with water cooling for this so that we could try and eliminate as much heat as possible.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Overclocked CPUz

When all was said and done, we were able to bring the FSB of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 up to an impressive 300MHz. This gave us an overclock of 4.2GHz! This is the furthest we have been able to push the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T to date thanks to the improved cooling.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Overclocking Results with 3DMark Vantage

Firing up 3DMark Vantage, we can see that we improved our overall 3DMark Vantage Scores by more than 2600 points! Much more impressive is the 6500 point boost in the CPU Score! Not bad for the short time I have had this board.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Motherboard Layout

The performance of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 was definitely solid but it wasn't mind blowing. Perhaps if I had tested the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 prior to the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula I would have a different perspective. I think we may have been spoiled by the performance of the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula early on. With that being said, I don't see any problems with the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5. The performance was great, overclocking was easy, and the layout works great.

GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 Onboard Switches

One feature that I really liked was the placement of the onboard power and reset switches. Most of the boards that I have looked at place the switches along the bottom edge of the motherboard which is fine unless, of course, you are running multiple graphics cards. Then the switches in that location become more difficult to access because they are blocked. On the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5, the switches are placed near the top of the board between the memory and 24 pin power plug. This makes them very easy to access regardless of how many graphics cards you are running.

When I looked at the GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H recently I had one issue with it, and that was the SATA ports being perpendicular to the motherboard. That isn't an issue with the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5. On the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 all of the SATA ports come straight off of the edge of the board so there will be no clearance issues.

Throughout the testing today we compared the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 to the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula. Despite my board preferences the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 fell ever so slightly behind the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula. Although, there is one area that the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 fell behind in that is a good place to be lower: the price. Currently you can find the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 for as little as $179.99 while the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula is sitting at a heftier price of $224.85. The question that arises is, is the extra $45.00 worth the ever so slight performance increase? Personally, I would rather put that money toward something with a much more noticeable gain, like the next level of graphics card or processor. As with all of GIGABYTE's motherboards, the 890FXA-UD5 is backed by a three year warranty in the U.S.A. and Canada.

Legit Bottom Line: The GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 may not have been the fastest AMD 890FX based board that we have tested, but the performance difference is near negligible. The lower cost of the GIGABYTE 890FXA-UD5 is anything but negligible!