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GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H Review

In this review we will look at a very functional and well-balanced solution for mass use. Based on the AMD 880G chipset, GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H is the perfect match for AMD's new 6-core processor to unleash its full potential. The motherboard is equipped with an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250 video adapter. The board provides full support for SATA III implemented by the AMD SB850 south bridge, in addition, the motherboard supports USB 3.0 (support is provided by a third-party chip). If you bought a 2, 3, or 4-core processor, you can try your luck and try to unlock the hidden cores on it using the proprietary GIGABYTE Auto Unlock feature. All modern interfaces and 7 slots for connecting expansion cards are at the disposal of the user. But in order to fully appreciate the functionality and quality of the motherboard, you need to "get to know" not closer.

GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H Specifications:

Chipset: 880G + SB850 from AMD;

Processor socket and supported processors: AM3, AMD Athlon II / AMD Phenom II;

Memory: DDR3 up to 1866 MHz up to 4x1.5 V rails up to 16 GB, ECC parity memory supported.

Expansion slots:

2хPCI Express 2.0 x16 (16 and 4 PCI lanes);

3xPCI;

2хPCI Express x1.

Video subsystem:

Graphics core Radeon HD 4250 integrated into the 880G Northbridge.

Video outputs:

D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI.

Disk subsystem:

6xSATA III with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD (SB850 south bridge);

2хSATA II with support for RAID 0, 1, JBOD, IDE (GABYTE SATA2);

FDD (iTE IT8720).

Net:

Realtek 8111D controller up to 1000 Mbps.

Audio subsystem:

Realtek ALC892 8-channel HDA codec.

Food:

ATX power connector (24-pin);

ATX12V processor power connector (8-pin).

Cooling system:

Aluminum radiators on the north and south bridges.

Rear Panel I / O Ports:

PS / 2 (keyboard or mouse);

VGA;

DVI;

HDMI;

S / PDIF optical output;

4xUSB 2.0;

IEEE 1394a;

2xUSB 3.0;

LAN (RJ45) port;

6 connectors of 8 channel audio output.

I / O ports on motherboard:

4xUSB 2.0 (up to 8 USB ports can be output);

COM

S / PDIF (input and output);

6xSATA III

2xSATA II

2xIEEE 1394a

IDE (up to two devices)

fdd

Front panel audio connectors

System Panel Connector

BIOS:

2x8 MB ROM

AWARD BIOS PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b

Equipment:

CD with drivers and utilities, user manual, 2xSATA and 1x UltraDMA 100 cables, rear panel blank

Form factor and dimensions:

ATX, 305 x 244

The packaging of the motherboard is striking, thanks to the colorful design and a huge number of inscriptions and emblems illustrating the functionality of the product. The front and back sides of the package are almost cluttered with information on supported technologies and board specifications.

GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H package is not very rich and looks like this:

It would seem that all the essentials for assembling a PC are there, but the manufacturer could have been generous with at least a power adapter for SATA or a couple of cables.

Layout of board elements:

The printed circuit board is made in the ATX form factor thanks to which it can boast the presence of the maximum number of connectors for expansion cards. All the main elements of the GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H are arranged in such a way as to cause a minimum of difficulties when assembling and further upgrading your PC. The placement of connectors for memory modules and hard drives will allow you to replace the above elements without removing even a long video card. The power connectors are also located so that the user does not get tangled in the wires, changing the RAM or processor. The radiators of the cooling system are also made in such a way that even large expansion boards can freely fit above them. The connectors for additional ports and the front panel are located at the bottom of the PCB as usual.

GA-880GA-UD3H uses ATI's SB850 southbridge. According to the specifications, it provides operation of six SATA III ports, with support for RAID arrays of levels 0, 1, 5 and 10.In addition, his "duties" include the operation of 14 USB2.0 ports, of which 12 are implemented on the board. But on the other hand, a separate controller provides the operation of 2 USB3.0 ports. Of the 14 USB ports, 6 are located on the rear panel of the board, and 4 are soldered on the motherboard (2 USB ports can be connected to each).

In organizing the work of the file storage, the south bridge is "helped" by 3 additional controllers, which significantly expand the capabilities of the motherboard.

GIGABYTE SATA2 - Provides dual SATA II ports with support for RAID 0, 1, JBOD.

NEC D720200F1 - IDE controller with the ability to connect two ATA 133 devices.

iTE IT8720 - allows you to connect even a floppy drive to your PC.

If you still lack the functionality of the motherboard, you can always expand it with 7 expansion slots 2xPCI Express x16, 2xPCI Express x1, 3xPCI. The slots are located so that even after installing 2 video cards with dual-slot cooling systems, 3 expansion slots remain available, of which two are PCI and one PCI Express x1. The only drawback of the board is the presence of only four PCI lanes on the second PCI Express x16 slot. But despite this, the board allows you to install 2 video adapters from ATI in CrossFireX mode.

As for memory, the motherboard is equipped with 4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets for DDR3 RAM, which will work in dual channel mode. A maximum of 16 GB of RAM can be installed on this board.

The GA-880GA-UD3H northbridge is represented by the AMD 880G chip, which has an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250 video core, which is currently the second most powerful integrated video core in the ATI Radeon HD 4290 post. Its only difference from the older model is the reduced frequency of 560 MHz in 4250, against 700 MHz in 4290.

The processor's power supply system is organized by very high-quality components. The processor is powered via an 8-pin connector. All this allows you to easily provide sufficient power even for the 6-core Phenom II processor.

The GA-880GA-UD3H cooling system consists of 2 copper radiators that are not particularly prominent in size. But despite the seemingly small dimensions, they fully cope with their task, the temperature of the north bridge even at maximum load does not exceed 47 degrees. Radiators are mounted on plastic clips, which is the most convenient way to install cooling systems. On the back of the board, under the processor socket, there is a special plate designed to prevent the motherboard from bending after installing the cooling system on the processor.

The sound subsystem and the network controller practically do not differ from those used in other boards of this level.

The most pleasant thing about this board is the presence of all common video interfaces, with the help of which you can easily connect almost any monitor to it.

BIOS:

Like most motherboards from GIGABYTE, the GA-880GA-UD3H is controlled by the Award BIOS, which has enough settings to ensure optimal and balanced system overclocking.

All motherboard settings related to system overclocking are grouped in one section "MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)". In this section, you can find almost all the settings to "calibrate" the system as much as possible and get the maximum performance from it. Let's take a closer look at the available system settings:

Menu item name

Parameter decoding

Value range and step

CPU Frequency

FSB frequency

200 to 500 MHz in 1 steps

CPU Clock Ratio

CPU multiplier

5 to 35 in 0.5 steps

CPU NorthBridge Freq

Memory controller multiplier (north bridge)

4 to 8 in 1.33 steps

HT Link Frequency

HT bus multiplier

1 to 13 in steps of 1

PCIE Clock

PCI Express bus frequency

100 to 150 MHz in 1 steps

CPU Voltage Control

Processor voltages

-0.6 to + 0.6 V in 0.025 steps

CPU NB VID Control

Memory controller supply voltage

-0.6 to + 0.6 V in 0.025 steps

CPU PLL Voltage Control

Clock chip supply voltage

2.22 to 3.100 V in 0.02 steps

DRAM Voltage Control

Memory supply voltage

1.275 to 2.445 V in 0.005 steps

DDR VTT Voltage Control

0.720 to 1.020 V in 0.025 steps

NB / PCIe / PLL Voltage Control

PCI-E bus supply voltage

1.45 to 2.1 V in 0.01 steps

NB Voltage Control

Northbridge supply voltage

1.0 to 1.6 V in 0.02 steps

In the "DRAM Configuration" subsection, full access to the RAM timings is open.

In the IGX Configuration subsection, you can change various parameters of the built-in video adapter, such as the frequency of the video core and the size of the allocated system memory.

In the monitoring section of the "PC Health Status" system, you can track:

The temperature of the north and south bridges of the motherboard, as well as the processor,

rotational speed of the processor and four case fans connected to the motherboard;

voltage on the processor core, RAM modules, as well as power lines +3.3 V and + 12V.

Overclocking capabilities:

To test the overclocking capabilities, we used a triple-core AMD Phenom II x3 720 processor. On the test system, we managed to raise the system bus clock speed to 310 MHz, which is not an outstanding but rather good result.

You can unblock hidden kernels without resorting to BIOS setup, for this you can use the EasyTune6 utility. To unlock the hidden cores, it is enough to activate the Core Boost function and restart the PC. In our case, the subject has successfully acquired a full-fledged fourth core.

Conclusions:

This motherboard is ideal for users who want to get the maximum set of functions for a reasonable price and do not want to sacrifice the quality of the product.