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The addition of USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s controllers is nothing more than an evolutionary step in X58 motherboard design, and all of today’s boards used the same parts to address these technologies. Aside from those updates, frankly, none of today’s motherboards stood out in any technically-interesting way compared to previous-generation parts. The Asus and Gigabyte solutions aren't able to accommodate three double-slot graphics cards within an ATX case’s seven-slot confines, and ASRock even centered its third slot on PCIe 1.1 connectivity in order to free up a couple PCIe 2.0 lanes for its new onboard controllers. The performance difference between the Asus and Gigabyte boards falls within the 0.7% difference in base clock.
Yet, while none of the technology strikes us as exceptionally new, one product stood out by providing a great amount of it for an incredibly low price. Priced around $150 less than its "big brother" UD7 model, Gigabyte’s X58A-UD3R has nearly as many onboard features. The X58A-UD3R even offers more features than Asus’ mid-priced P6X58D-E, for a price roughly equal to ASRock’s lower-cost model. With consideration for the price premium that normally accompanies X58-based products, we simply haven’t seen a motherboard value this good since November of last year. That level of value earns the X58A-UD3R an award.
Meanwhile, there’s the low-cost ASRock X58 Extreme3. A BIOS issue that caused performance to drop dramatically when any of its onboard controllers were disabled has been solved with version 1.52, but to keep things fair from a development time perspective we simply retested the board with its previous BIOS version after enabling all controllers. Anyone who doesn't need all of the winning Gigabyte board's features might find value in ASRock's slightly lower price.