We offered everyone the opportunity to provide two boards at different price levels, but Gigabyte was the only company that took us up on the offer. The X58A-UD7 is packed with so many features that we’ve already used it in a recent System Builder Marathon machine.
A plethora of commonalities between the X58A-UD7 and the cheaper X58A-UD3R would make a full description of the high-end model seem redundant, but the differences are where this premium model really shines. The X58A-UD7 adds a second gigabit Ethernet controller, a Port 80 diagnostics display, power and reset buttons, a (3/8” hose barb) chipset water block for liquid-cooled configurations, and an oversized screw-on air-cooling sink. Overclockers will notice the increase from eight to 24 phase CPU voltage control, while anyone who doesn’t block the top PCIe x1 slot with the accessory chipset cooling sink will notice that its maximum card length has been improved slightly to 3.3”.
A short list of features carried over from the cheaper board includes the same trio of SATA controllers, the same port locations, the same slot layout, and the same space restrictions for 3-way and 4-way graphics card placement. If you think we’ve missed any major design features in this description, please flip back to this article’s X58A-UD3R overview on the previous page.
Keeping out eye on overclocking capabilities, we noticed an identical layout between the BIOS menus of the X58A-UD7 and the previously-discussed X58A-UD3R.
The X58A-UD7 installation kit is a little more extensive than that of the less expensive X58A-UD3R, with the inclusion of a slot bracket that extends eSATA to four ports by breaking out two internal connections, a 4-pin to dual-SATA power adapter for use with that bracket, two data cables that connect internal SATA drives to eSATA ports, and a hold-down plate for the 3-way SLI bridge. We were disappointed to see that even this expensive motherboard model includes only four internal SATA cables.