Gigabyte offers core unlocking on 890FXA-UD7

Also joins EVGA with XL-ATX form factor

MORE DETAILS ABOUT Gigabyte’s upcoming GA-890FXA-UD7 motherboard have tipped up online and this XL-ATX motherboard is the first motherboard outside of EVGA to use this slightly longer ATX form factor. This is far from a standard mainboard form factor and only a handful of cases will be able to accommodate the extra length.

Turkish website Donanimhaber got its hands on several slides with details of the features of this board, although bit-tech already had an early preview of the board a few weeks ago but that didn’t reveal as many details as these slides. Gigabyte has just like ASRock added a small chip that Gigabyte calls Core Boost, which can unlock additional cores depending on how lucky you are with your CPU purchase. The inclusion of an 8+2 power regulation design should also cater for the most power hungry and overclocked CPUs.

This is also one of a very select few motherboards that can run 4-way CorssFireX with dual slot cards due to a slightly unusual slot layout. The board has no less than six PCI Express x16 slots, although only two of them appear to be full speed slots, with two slots working in only x8 mode when the two main slots are operating in x8 mode, and the remaining two slots have four lanes each. The board also has a single PCI slot, although due to the board layout the potential eighth slot is missing, just like on EVGA’s XL-ATX boards.

This is an unusually high-end model when it comes to AMD boards, although with the upcoming Phenom II X6 processors should generate renewed interest in the AMD platform and it seems like Gigabyte’s timing is spot on when it comes to releasing a new high-end motherboard. Since the board uses AMD’s SB850 chipset it has native SATA3 6Gbps support across all six SATA ports, although Gigabyte has thrown in an additional SATA controller that adds another two SATA2 3Gbps ports just for good measure.

Around the back you’ll find six standard USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and two combo USB 2.0/eSATA ports. There’s also a PS/2 connector, two FireWire ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. The board also carries headers for an additional six USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port and oddly enough a serial port and a parallel port. There’s even a single IDE and floppy connector for those that still have older devices lying around. In terms of chipset cooling you can either add Gigabyte’s oversized Screen Cooler that pokes out the back where the first expansion card should be located, or use the pre-fitted watercooling solution.

This is going to be an expensive motherboard, there’s no doubt about that, as Gigabyte has thrown in just about every feature you could possibly want or need. However, it’s good to see some new high-end AMD motherboards and we know that Asus is getting ready with a competing solution under its R.O.G. brand of motherboards. It’s amazing what a new chipset and a few new CPU’s can do when it comes to getting renewed support from the motherboard manufacturers.S|A

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