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Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 Intel P55 Express Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 Intel P55 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The GA-P55A-UD6 has a trio of new improvements in the form of SATA 6.0 GB/s using a Marvell SE9128 controller for faster hard drive transfers, enhanced USB voltage capabilities and USB 3.0 support for high-speed peripherals thanks to a NEC µPD720200 controller.
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Jul 21 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6

Conclusion: a favorite in the PCSTATS Labs

Gigabyte had its work cut out for it when it came to improving on the original GA-P55-UD6 motherboard, which has become a favorite in the PCSTATS labs due to its rock-solid reliability and extensive features list.

However with the updated GA-P55A-UD6 motherboard Gigabyte has managed to add on some critical features that make this board more future compatible, so you can get more years of constant use and delay thoughts of upgrading for at least two or three years.

USB 3.0 support is undergoing the first glimmers of its eventual potential. The first USB 3.0-based thumb drives are making their way into retail channels, and later on this year prepare to see new high-definition displays, lots of external hard drives, and even HD recording devices taking advantage of the higher bandwidth of the USB 3.0 I/O bus.

Gigabyte's choice to equip this board with dual SATA 6Gb/s connections will also become very important as faster conventional drives and especially faster solid state drives (SSDs) become the norm for home computer users.

Shifting away from conventional hard drives to a high-performance SSD is one of the biggest overall performance boosts a computer system can get, but that change is pointless if your PC system bottlenecks the SSD's performance. SATA 6Gb/s opens the GA-P55A-UD6 up to nearly twice the bandwidth of today's fastest SSD drives, which leaves a lot of room for system growth.

Finally, you can't discount the value of having some extra power available for the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. Peripheral manufacturers have always been notoriously cavalier about USB 2.0's electrical limits, and the results have been peripherals that won't activate or detect properly, external storage drives that conk out unexpectedly (2.5" external disk enclosures are especially bad), and the worst case scenario of damaged hardware. The increased 3x milliamp capacity on both the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports of the GA-P55A-UD6 alleviates a lot of these problems.

Aside from these changes, most of the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 is the same as what you'd find on the GA-P55-UD6 motherboard, which is to say excellent. Performance and overclocking between the two boards is identical, as expected. This motherboard uses Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 3 manufacturing process and parts, so both build and manufacturing quality is top-notch.

If you're looking to upgrade to upgrade to a first-class Intel socket 1156 motherboard you won't have to look much further than the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6. It goes beyond Intel's specifications for what a motherboard based on the P55 Express chipset should be and adds on next-generation features that will open your computer system up to some impressive future upgrades. The GA-P55A-UD6 retails for around $270 CDN ($250 USD £130 GBP), which is just about right for a high-end motherboard with such a robust feature set. Recommended.

PCSTATS Editor's Choice Award

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< Previous Page © 2016 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 Intel P55 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel P55 Express Chipset
 Pg 3.  Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Bus and IGP, BIOS screenshots
 Pg 5.  Test System Specs
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra - Processor
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra - Memory
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, FEAR
 Pg 11.  — Conclusion: a favorite in the PCSTATS Labs

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