GIGABYTE 870A-UD3 Motherboard Review :: Layout

06-23-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

GIGABYTE tends to use dark purple PCBs instead of the standard black or green ones we see from other manufacturers. Starting on the upper right hand corner of the motherboard we find that GIGABYTE has included an 8-pin power connector in the usual spot under the Rear I/O of the board. The CPU Fan header is under that.


GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review Board

Board

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review CPU Sockets

CPU Sockets

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review Back of PCB

Back of PCB


The CPU Cooler area itself is free of obstacles, meaning you can fit an after-market cooling fan if you wish. The Socket AM3 interface is easy to work with, simply lift up the lever, lower the CPU into place and lower the lever. Under the CPU Socket is the memory area. The 870A-UD3 board has four DIMM slots that take up to 16GB of DDR3 memory clocked up to 1866+MHz (if overclocked).


GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review AMD 870 chip

AMD 870 chip

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review 8-pin power

8-pin power

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review PWM

PWM

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review SB850 chip

SB850 chip


The bottom of the board starts off with a fan header, followed by the 24-pin power connector. From there we have a FDD and an IDE connector. These are legacy devices that are quickly disappearing from motherboards but are welcome additions to this board as some people might have IDE devices like a DVD-RW. The next item of note is the GIGABYTE SATA2 chip. This provides support for the two GIGABYTE SATA 3 Gb/second ports on the board.


GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review IDE and FDD

IDE and FDD

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review USB headers

USB headers

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review ALC892 and RTL8111D

ALC892 and RTL8111D


Two GIGABYTE SATA 2 ports are situated sideways on the board. These are controlled by the aforementioned GIGABYTE SATA2 chip along with the IDE controller. The SB850 Southbridge provides support for up to six SATA 6 Gb/second drives with RAID 0, 1,5,10 supported. Of course, I have always had issues with setting up RAID on AMD chipsets and will be running all tests with AHCI mode. There is a JMicron JMB362 chip controlling the eSATA and an ITE IT8720 chip for the FDD.

Expansion on an 870 board is interesting in that there isnít enough PCI Express lanes to supply more than one PCI Express x16 slot on the Northbridge. GIGABYTE offers two PCI Express x16 slots with their 870A-UD3 motherboard, with one running at x4 speed. There are also two PCI Express x1 slots which share bandwidth with the PCIEX4 slot. Two PCI slots rounds out the expansion options on the board allowing for maximum flexibility with the board.


GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review SATA

SATA

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review SATA2 chip

SATA2 chip

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

GIGABYTE 870A-UD3  Motherboard Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O


Onboard audio is provided by a Realtek ALC 892 CODEC, which is one of the latest CODECS from Realtek. The onboard audio is High Definition Audio compliant with 7.1+2 multi-streaming supported along with Dolby Home Theater, and S/PDIF In/Out. There isnít a discrete sound card market anymore due to the introduction of the High Definition Audio standard. There is a Realtek 8111D PHY to control the onboard Gigabit LAN on the board. The rear I/O ports on the board include a PS/2 Keyboard port, an optical S/PDIF Out port, a Coaxial S/PDIF Out port, a Firewire port, an external SATA 3Gb/s port, a RJ-45 LAN port, two USB 3.0 ports and six USB 2.0 ports. The last item on the board Rear I/O is six jacks for the onboard audio.