Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H: Features And Hardware
Gigabyte's entry in the 785G roundup is the last full ATX-sized entrant, which offers 140W CPU support right out of the gate. The UD3H designation indicates Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 3 suite, including 50,000 hour Japanese capacitors, 2 ounces of copper in the board's inner layer, and Gigabyte's DualBIOS feature that makes worrying about a corrupt BIOS flash a thing of the past.
The only thing this board is missing is SidePort memory, which can be found on its sister model, the GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H.
As we've seen from some of the other boards in this story, sparse bundles are fairly common when you're looking at inexpensive motherboards. This one includes instruction manuals, a driver CD, an I/O shield, two SATA cables, and an IDE cable. There are no frills, but all the main bases are covered.
Other features include Easy Energy Saver (an AM2+/AM3 feature that disables extra power phases under light loads to save power) and EasyTune6 (Gigabyte's overclocking and resource monitor software).
The most fully-featured board in the roundup when it comes to connectivity, Gigabyte's product comes with all the trimmings: two x16 PCIe 2.0 graphics card slots [edit: The blue PCIe slot offers full 16x bandwidth, while the orange slot is limited to 4x bandwidth. This will likely have a negative effect on CrossFire performance compared to two 16x or even two 8x slots], three x1 PCIe slots, two legacy PCI slots, two FireWire ports (one internal), internal serial and parallel connectors, floppy and IDE ports, and six SATA ports. Gigabyte didn't skimp on the audio codec either, using Realtek's premium ALC889A on-board.
When it comes to the layout, Gigabyte did a good job cramming all of the options in the available space without making anything terribly hard to access. The 24-pin ATX power connector is well-placed, as are the IDE and SATA connectors, all facing the user. Just bear in mind that a long graphics card in the second PCI Express slot will likely cover the bottom two SATA ports, rendering them unusable.
The less-likely-to-be-used items, such as the parallel and serial connectors, are out of the way on the bottom of the board. The only complaint we have in this department concerns three internal USB connectors, which are located above the second graphics card slot. Should the user plan on a CrossFire setup, it'll complicate the USB wiring a bit.