Gigabyte’s first entry into the 890GX world comes with a few extra features compared to chief-rival Asus, with a full seven expansion slots, automatic PCIe x16 to dual x8 slot switching, and an added SATA connection.
Except for its missing eSATA port, the 890GPA-UD3H I/O panel could have been lifted directly from the Asus board. Gigabyte seems to be of the opinion that most eSATA users would rather connect their devices via the front panel ports of select cases, placing both additional connections internally. Two USB 3.0 ports highlight the I/O panel’s added features.
A row of pathway switches behind the top x16-length slot mean that Gigabyte's customers won't need to mess with pathway switch cards, and can simply insert a second graphics card or remove it at will (though this does add to cost). Like Asus, Gigabyte provides what would have previously been noticed as an exceptional number of internal USB 2.0 ports to support up to eight devices, and goes one step farther by adding a second internal FireWire connection.
Windows XP users who would like to take full advantage of the chipset’s AHCI or RAID capabilities will appreciate Gigabyte’s retention of a floppy interface, though putting it under the lowest PCI slot does make access inconvenient. On the other hand, SATA and Ultra ATA connectors are ideally positioned near the center of the motherboard’s front edge, for easy access to both upper and lower drive bays.
Gigabyte has, for a long time, put its front-panel audio connector near the center of the motherboard’s rear edge for easier access from above, though some users who’s cables would have been long enough to reach the bottom have mentioned that it makes the cable harder to hide.
|Reference Clock||200-500 MHz (1MHz)|
|iGFX Clock||200-2000 MHz (1 MHz)|
|DRAM Data Rates||REF x4-x8 (x1.33)|
|PCIe Clock||100-150 MHz (1MHz)|
|CPU Vcore||-0.6 to +0.6V (25mV)|
|IMC Voltage||-0.6 to +0.6V (25mV)|
|890GX Voltage||0.90-1.60V (20mV)|
|SB850 Voltage||Not Adjustable|
|DRAM Voltage||1.28-2.45V (15mV)|
|CAS Latency||3-11 Cycles|
Overclockers will love the variety of configurable settings provided in Gigabyte’s GA-890GPA-UD3H BIOS. We prefer to see actual (rather than offset) voltage listed, but Gigabyte makes it easy to see “where you’re going” by also listing the expected result.
Memory timing selections are only mildly advanced beyond the basic overclocker’s needs, but do include drive-strength control.
Eight custom BIOS configurations can be saved in a protected area of the BIOS IC as user profiles.
Users who forget to save a user profile in BIOS can still retrieve previous settings, since the motherboard automatically retains the “last known good” configuration.
We were disappointed to find only two SATA cables in Gigabyte’s installation kit, though retail samples might contain more.