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Gigabyte GA-790FXTA-UD5 review

Kat Orphanides
11 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
117
inc VAT

This ATX board does almost everything, but it’s expensive and we’d have preferred more SATA3 ports at this price.

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Specifications

AM3, ATX, AMD 790FX chipset, supports: Athlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron

Gigabyte’s GA-790FXTA-UD5 is a feature-packed and rather expensive ATX motherboard. Its fast AMD 790G chipset isn’t the latest, but matches new AMD 890-based boards with an Overall score of 120 in our benchmark tests.

The main difference between the 790 and its successor is the paired SB750 southbridge’s lack of support for SATA3. However, Gigabyte has fitted a dedicated SATA3 controller that provides two SATA3 ports alongside the six SATA2 ports supported by the SB750, while another supplies two dual-purpose USB/eSATA connections on the back panel.

Gigabyte GA-790FXTA-UD5 ports

You’ll also find six dedicated USB ports, two of which are USB3, and two PS/2 ports, so your keyboard and mouse don’t have to use any of your USB connections. There are six driver-definable 3.5mm analogue audio ports and both optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs. Finally, there are both 8-pin and 4-pin Firewire ports and, very unusually, two 10/100/1,000Mbit/s Ethernet network ports, which are useful if you need either a redundant or load balanced network connection.

Gigabyte GA-790FXTA-UD5 top

There are plenty of expansion slots: one PCI-E x1 slot, three PCI slots and three PCI-E x16 slots, two of which run at the full x16 and one of which runs at x8. You could use them for three-way CrossFireX, although we prefer to just use a single powerful graphics card. Installing a double-height graphics card in any of the PCI-E x16 slots will block a PCI slot, but there are plenty to go round. You can install up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM running at up to 1,866MHz, including error-correcting ECC memory if your processor also supports it.

The GA-790FXTA-UD5 performs well and has plenty of bells and whistles, but it’s more expensive than most and has only limited SATA3 support. Unless you specifically need some of this board’s more unusual features, we recommend the cheaper MSI 890GXM-G65 instead.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Processor socketAM3
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportAthlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron
Processor external bus260MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 790FX
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB750
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 1066/1333/1866(OC)
Maximum memory speedPC3-15000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£117
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.gigabyte.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots3
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots3
Fan headers5
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports8
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB750 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10, JBOD), Marvell SE9128 (2x SATA III, RAID 0, 1), JMicron JMB362 (2x eSATA, RAID 0, 1, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC889 (6x analogue out, 1x coaxial S/PDIF, 1x optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers8/2
Firewire ports / headers2/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2, parallel header, serial header
Other ports2x eSATA/USB, 2x SATAIII
Cables included2x SATA, 1x IDE
Brackets includednone
Software includeddrivers

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment500MHz

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