LGA1156 Motherboard Review
Manufacturer's Part Number: P55-UD6
Price: $235CDN+ Price Comparison
Manufacturer's Product Page: Giga-Byte Technology Co., Ltd.
Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
Buy from: NCIX | DirectCanada
At this year's Computex we had the priviledge of taking an early look at Gigabyte's tentative P55 motherboard lineup. Even though most of the models were very much in prototype form, the potential for greatness was evident. As a result, we are excited to bring you a review of Gigabyte's flagship model, the P55-UD6.
This particular motherboard has numerous features that make it standout from the crowd, but two features in particular define the UD6. First, this model utilizes Gigabyte's brand new 24-phase power design, which should not only allow for stratospheric overclocking, but higher reliability, lower temperatures, and better energy efficiency as well. Secondly, we have the six memory slot design, which is a feature unseen on any other LGA1156 motherboard. Make no mistake, this is not a triple-channel design nor does it even increase the 16GB memory limit found on all P55. It simply allows for greater flexibility when choosing or re-using your DDR3 memory modules.
Although this particular motherboard doesn't support USB 3.0 or SATA 6GB/s like some of its newer P55A brethren, it still has exceptional connectivity in the form of 10 SATA 2 ports with two dedicated RAID controllers, up to 14 USB 2.0 ports, 2 eSATA/USB Combo ports, FireWire ports, and dual Gigabit LAN. With three PCI-E x16 slots (x16/x4 or x8/x8/x4), two PCI-E x1 slots, and two PCI slots, the UD6 certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to expansion slots. Befitting its upper-end roots, this model also supports 2-way CrossFireX and 2-way SLI. Rounding out the cool bits are onboard power/reset/clr cmos buttons, diagnostic LEDs, the debug LED, 7.1-channel HD audio codec, dual BIOS chips, and a redesigned BIOS layout.
Oddly enough, perhaps the best part of this motherboard is the software. As you will see in the coming pages, Gigabyte have created some interesting new utilities to help manage your system, secure your data, and even lower power consumption, all with a bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.