|Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Mathew Williams|
|Monday, 20 July 2009|
Page 15 of 15
Gigabyte is one of the most well-known motherboard manufacturers out there. It comes as no surprise, then, that they represent their products well. The MA770T-UD3P arrived in an attractive, information-laden box with plenty of shelf appeal. Gigabyte also maintains an excellent website with additional information, photos, drivers, and support resources.
Once outside the box, the MA770T-UD3P is equally as appealing. The color choices work well and, although they're not necessarily about looks, the solid capacitors do contribute to an overall sense of quality and workmanship. Really, the only thing lacking in appearance is the heatsink. The anodized aluminum looks nice, but the heatsink is small and doesn't really instill the kind of confidence a more robust cooling solution would.
The small heatsink also seems to go against Gigabyte's claims of durability and construction quality. On one hand, the Ultra Durable 3 manufacturing process truly does reach beyond the marketing hype and help improve durability. But on the other, Gigabyte suggests that users find their own VRM cooling solution if they want to use ACC. It just seems counter-intuitive. Every other aspect of the MA770T-UD3P is built to last, but if you want to overclock with it, I suggest taking Gigabyte's advice and add some extra cooling.
Another little quirk with this board is the size. At only 8.3" in width compared to the standard 9.6", many of the components and ports had to be squeezed closer together or moved into awkward positions. Given the proximity of the RAM slots to the socket, you'll want to be extra cautious when picking out memory and CPU heatsinks. Once installed, though, most of these problems shouldn't be an issue and you'll be rewarded with excellent performance. In our benchmarks today, the MA770T-UD3P managed to keep up with the more expensive ASUS M4A79T in just about every test.
The Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P is currently on sale at newegg.com for $79.99. At that the price, the issues we had with the heatsink and layout are easily forgivable. It may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-priced motherboards, but it gets the job done and offers great performance in the process. If you're looking to build a new single-GPU AM3 system, this is definitely one of the better values out there and a perfect mate to AMD's new Athlon II processors.
+ Excellent performance/dollar
- Smaller PCB has layout issues
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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