Those who want to build the most powerful and extreme computer in the world will surely weigh the cost of a new Intel Core i7 processor. Even with the upcoming launch of the AMD Phenom II X4, we have reason to believe that the Core i7 will continue to be the heavyweight champion.
In contrast to more established platforms like the Core 2 or the AMD Phenom, potential Core i7 users currently have very few options that are limited to more expensive DDR3 memory and a high-end motherboard with the Intel X58 chipset. This didn't stop motherboard maker Gigabyte from confusing it with the same chipset. The company already offers six X58 boards in the $ 210 to $ 330 range.
At $ 270, the Gigabyte EX58-UD4P we're testing today is in the middle of the pack, offering some of the most interesting features of the X58 chipset, such as 3-way SLI and CrossfireX support, for gamers who are ready are burning money for that, especially useful should be ultimate performance.
The main difference between the EX58-UD4P and its more expensive siblings is a single gigabyte LAN controller and 8 SATA ports – as opposed to 10. On the similar EX58-UD5 and EX58-EXTREME cards that will be discontinued advanced cooling options also offered, however, they support at least $ 300. If you want to save a little money, you can buy the EX58-DS4 for ~ $ 245, which will limit overall SLI support and the design of the cooling.
Gigabyte's bargain base card is the EX58-UD3R for $ 210, which lowers the SLI in addition to the two three-channel DIMM sockets and one of the PCI Express 16x ports. The advanced 12 + 2 + 2 power phase design with VRD 11.1 support is gone, as are some other smaller, non-essential features like the built-in power switch.
This short compendium is a strong argument for the EX58-UD4P, which seems to offer the right amount of functions at the right price, at least on paper.
We recently tested the Asus P6T Deluxe (also Intel X58-based), which is a bit more expensive, but adds some features that are not found on this motherboard. If we take a closer look at the Gigabyte EX58-UD4P, we will certainly consider how it can be compared to another top competitor such as the P6T.