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
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
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.
Find out about this and many other reviews by joining
the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS
latest reviews right here.
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as
- Biostar TA890FXE AMD 890FX Motherboard Review
- ASUS P7P55D-E Pro Intel P55 Express Motherboard Review
- Biostar TA890GXE AMD 890GX Motherboard Review
- MSI 890FXA-GD70 AMD 890FX Motherboard Review
- Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7 AMD 890FX Motherboard - FIRST
- ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AMD 890GX Motherboard Review
- Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P Intel P55 Express Motherboard
- Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 Intel P55 Motherboard Review
- Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 Intel P55 Motherboard Review
- MSI Eclipse Plus Intel X58 Express Motherboard
- ASUS P7P55D Deluxe Intel P55 Express Motherboard Review