Triple channel memory. Integrated memory controller. QPI rather than FSB. Individual L2 cache for each of the four cores. CrossFire AND SLI! The i7 is definitely different from the venerable Core 2 series. Though the i7 is based on the Core 2, it is light years ahead of the Core 2′s technology.
And the motherboard manufacturers have had to follow suit, creating motherboards much more complicated than the last generations of boards. They even had to cram another pair of memory slots and associated traces to an already crowded motherboard.
Everyone knows about Gigabyte, and their fine motherboards, so no introduction is necessary. They are the first company to provide a platform for our spankin’ new i7 920, and I suspect that it will be the standard for all others to meet.
Today I am looking at the Gigabyte X58-UD4P, Gigabyte’s mainstream X58 motherboard. With 2 PCI-E x16 slots and an x8 slot supporting both SLI and CrossFire, support for 24 gigs of memory, and even a newly designed PCB, this board is impressive even at first glance. Will this board compliment the awesome capabilities of the i7? Read on to see!
The EX58-UD4P comes in a nice looking sleeved box, at least I think it looks nice. After seeing hardware boxes in nearly every color in the rainbow, this overall white box appeals to me. The box is literally covered with specs and features. The rear of the box highlights the Gigabyte-specific features of the board.
Open the box and we see that it doesn’t have the niceties reserved for Gigabyte’s upper-end boards, separate containers for the board and the bundle. There also isn’t a handle on top of the box.