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Gigabyte GA-790FXTA-UD5 review

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.


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 socket AM3
Form factor ATX
Size 305x244mm
Processor support Athlon II, Phenom II, Phenom II X6, Sempron
Processor external bus 260MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridge AMD 790FX
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 £117

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 3
Dual graphics architecture CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 3
Fan headers 5
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 8
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)


Wired network ports 2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC889 (6x analogue out, 1x coaxial S/PDIF, 1x optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers 8/2
Firewire ports / headers 2/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2, parallel header, serial header
Other ports 2x eSATA/USB, 2x SATAIII
Cables included 2x SATA, 1x IDE
Brackets included none
Software included drivers

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 500MHz

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