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Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 socket AM3 motherboard review

Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 socket AM3 motherboard
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £101
inc VAT

Gigabyte's GA-790XTA-UD4 has plenty of slots and all the latest connection technologies at a lower price than a comparable Intel LGA1156 motherboard.


AM3, ATX, AMD 790X chipset, supports: Athlon II, Phenom II

We’d expect a motherboard equipped with the latest storage connection interfaces, USB3 and SATA III, to be fairly expensive but Gigabyte’s GA-790XTA-UD4 is reasonably priced at just over £100. There’s a pair of USB3 ports, in addition to six USB2 ports, which are well worth having – USB3 hard disks are at least three times as fast as their USB2 counterparts. If you already have eSATA or FireWire disks, these can be used too thanks to the pair of eSATA ports and two Firewire 400 connectors.

The two SATA III ports are less compelling as SATA III internal hard disks are currently no faster than their SATA II equivalents. Still, a RAID array can be created using SATA III disks, which isn’t true of all SATA III-equipped motherboards. There are also six RAID-capable SATA II ports as well. All eight SATA ports are oriented horizontally to the motherboard which aids tidy cable runs, but also makes inserting cables trickier.

There’s also a generous number of expansion slots for adding internal peripherals such as TV tuners and wireless networking adapters. There are three PCI slots and a pair of PCI Express x1 slots, which should be more than enough. Up to 16GB of DDR3 memory can be fitted. RAM can be overclocked to PC3-15000 speeds, although memory overclocking doesn’t provide significant speed boosts in our tests.

Despite the large number of ports and slots, they are all sensibly located and spaced out so it’s unlikely any fitted components will obstruct the path of another. One minor complaint is the close proximity of the 8-pin ATX power connector to the large, passive Northbridge cooler which makes inserting a secondary power connector trickier than on other motherboards.

We were very impressed with Gigabyte’s GA-790XTA-UD4. It plenty of slots, the latest ports and a generally sensible layout yet costs £45 less than a comparably equipped Intel LGA1156 motherboard. It’s a great buy if you need a flexible AM3 motherboard with plenty of expansion options.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor socket AM3
Form factor ATX
Size 305x244mm
Processor support Athlon II, Phenom II
Processor external bus 260MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridge AMD 790X
Chipset south bridge AMD SB750
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 1066/1333/1866(OC)
Maximum memory speed PC3-15000
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £101

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 2
PCI slots 3
Fan headers 3
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 8
RAID chipset (max disks) AMD SB750 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10), Marvell 9128 (2x SATA III, RAID 0, 1), JMicron JMB362 (2x eSATA, RAID 0, 1)


Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC889 (6x analogue out, coaxial and optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers 8/4
Firewire ports / headers 2/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2
Other ports 2x eSATA, 2x USB 3
Cables included 4x SATA, 1x IDE
Brackets included none
Software included Norton Internet Secuirty 2009

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 200MHz

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