iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H Motherboard

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The CPU VRM features 5 lanes, 4 MOSFETs (Low RDS (on)) per lane. Choke coils have ferrite cores. There are 10 x 820µF and 3x270µF capacitors, all solid, made by leading Japanese manufacturers. GA-890GPA-UD3H has twice thicker copper voltage and ground planes. It supports CPUs with TDP of up to 140W, meaning that Ultra Durable traditions are still there, which is good.

The motherboard features a 128MB DDR3-1600 memory chip (Hynix H5TQ1G63BFR-12) used as a video buffer by the integrated graphics core. In the typical mode, it works at 1333MHz.

The bundle is humble enough: two SATA cables (with L-shaped metallic latches for securer connection) and an IDE cable. Also included is a quick assembly guide.

GA-890GPA-UD3H comes with a lot of software: EasyTune (system monitoring, fan control, etc.), Face-Wizard (BIOS splash screen editor), Q-Share (LAN fire sharing), @BIOS (BIOS upgrade with automatic search), Update Manager (drivers update with automatic search).

There's also something new: the Auto Green utility that lets you put the PC into standby by means of your cellphone. It uses a Bluetooth channel and, sadly, you can't use the connection for anything else while this utility is running. In other words, if you want to use the phone as a modem, you'll have to close the utility. We probably need to explain this seemingly strange idea of putting PC to sleep. Some home automation systems allow users to disable unused electronics and ceiling lights by pressing a phone button -- switch the home into a night mode, in other words. And since it's not right to turn PC off by means of an external controller, this is where the feature comes in.


GA-890GPA-UD3H is based on the AMD 890GX chipset (AMD 890GX Northbridge + SB850 Southbridge). It features 8 internal ports in total, including six SATA 6Gb/s ports provided by the chipset (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD), two SATA 3Gb/s ports (RAID 0, 1, JBOD) and an IDE channel for two PATA/133 drives (both provided by the GIGABYTE SATA2 controller). The motherboard also has up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 on the back panel, 8 via USB brackets. Additional controllers include:

  • Integrated audio based on an 8-channel Realtek ALC892 HDA codec; supports Dolby Home Theater; optical S/PDIF Out on the back panel;
  • Gigabit Ethernet based on Realtek 8111D (PCIe x1);
  • FireWire based on TI TSB43AB23 (PCI); supports three IEEE 1394a ports, one of which -- 6-pin -- is on the back panel;
  • USB 3.0 based on NEC D720200F1 (PCIe x1) supporting two USB 3.0 ports;
  • FDD controller based on iTE IT8720;
  • System monitoring based on ITE IT8720F; BIOS supports fully automatic CPU and system fan control (manual controls provided by EasyTune; both 3 and 4-pin fans are supported).

We assessed the integrated audio solution in the 16-bit/44kHz mode using RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.2.3 and an ESI Juli@ sound card.

Frequency response (40Hz to 15kHz), dB: +0.04, -0.34 Very good
Noise level, dB(A) -88.2 Good
Dynamic range, dB(A) 88.2 Good
THD, % 0.0033 Very good
THD + noise, dB(A) -81.8 Good
IMD + noise, % 0.012 Very good
Channel crosstalk, dB -87.2 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, % 0.011 Very good

Overall grade: Very good.

A typical implementation of the codec. The audio quality is high, Gigabyte has enough expertise to avoid any issues in this area.

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Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Design cont'd, features

Page 3: Overclocking, performance, consumption

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