Gigabyte EX58-UD3R X58 Motherboard

 Gigabyte were one of the first motherboard manufacturers to take advantage of Intel’s latest X58 chipset with the formidable (and current editors choice) EX58-UD5. Along with the range topping Extreme (which is a clone of the UD5 but with fancy cooling) and the mid-range EX58-UD4P we reviewed here, Gigabyte also have a budget board in the form of the EX58-UD3R which we have for review today.
The UD3R is aimed toward the entry level of the market and despite costing a pint of lager over £150, the UD3R is certainly one of the cheapest X58 motherboards out there today. As with the UD4P, the UD3R is a stripped down version of the flagship motherboards, each having less features as we slip down the scale. That isn’t to say the UD3R isn’t a capable motherboard, far from it. Being Crossfire compatible as well as having RAID capabilities, 8 SATA ports, twin 16x PCIe 2.0 slots, 8 USB ports (expandable to twelve), things are not quite as clear cut as you may think. Budget board maybe but it’s certainly not lacking in features.
Sporting a similar Dynamic Energy Saver to it’s high end brother, the UD3R has hardware based dynamic four-gear switching as opposed to the UD5’s 6 Gear switching. The UD3R also features the confidence building ‘Dual-BIOS’ technology which automatically recovers BIOS data when the main BIOS has crashed or failed a flash due to improper BIOS updating. For those who do not like to delve into a motherboards BIOS, Gigabyte also include EasyTune6 which allows the monitoring and tweaking of system components in a windows environment.
Here’s what Gigabyte had to say about there entry level motherboard:
The EX58-UD3R is the latest X58 Series motherboards of GIGABYTE, designed from the ground up to unleash the awesome power of Intel’s new Core i7 processors. Equipped with a host of new features including the new QPI interface, 3 channel DDR3 support, CrossFireX™ support, Ultra Durable 3 (Classic) technology and the industry’s most extensive range of overclocking features, the EX58-UD3R is bringing excitement back into the high performance motherboard industry.
The following specification was taken directly from the Gigabyte website:
Support for an Intel® Core™ i7 series processor in the LGA 1366 package
Go to CPU Support List for the latest CPU support )
L3 cache varies with CPU
4.8GT/s / 6.4GT/s 
North Bridge: Intel® X58 Express Chipset
South Bridge: Intel® ICH10R
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory (Note 1)
Dual/3 channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2100+/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
(Go to Memory Support List for the latest memory support list.)
Realtek ALC888 codec
High Definition Audio
Support for S/PDIF In/Out
Support for CD In
1 x Realtek 8111C chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 x16
(the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI Express x4 slot
2 x PCI Express x1 slot
2 x PCI slots
Storage Interface South Bridge:
6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0, SATA2_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices 2x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GSATA2_0, GSATA2_1) supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD
iTE IT8720 chip:
1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
IEEE 1394
T.I. TSB43AB23 chip
Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (1 on the back panel, 2 via the IEEE 1394a brackets connected to the internal IEEE 1394a headers)
Integrated in the South Bridge
Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
8 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
3 x system fan headers
1 x power fan header
1 x North Bridge fan header
 1 x front panel header
 1 x front panel audio header
 1 x CD In connector
 1 x S/PDIF In header
 1 x S/PDIF Out header
 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
 1 x IEEE 1394a headers
 1 x serial port header
 1 x power LED header
 1 x chassis intrusion header
 1 x clearing CMOS jumper
Back Panel Connectors
1 x PS/2 keyboard port
1 x PS/2 mouse port
1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
2 x IEEE 1394a port
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x RJ-45 ports
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
iTE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring
System voltage detection
CPU/System/North Bridge temperature detection
CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
CPU overheating warning
CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
CPU/System fan speed control (Note 2)
2 x 16 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
Support for DualBIOSâ„¢
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Dual BIOS
Support for Download Center
Support for Xpress Install
Support for Xpress Recovery2
 Support for EasyTune (Note 3)
Support for Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced
Support for Time Repair
Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
Support for Microsoft® Windows Vista/XP
Form Factor 
ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
 As you can see, Gigabyte have only very slightly trimmed some of the excess fat from the UD3R’s bigger brother, the UD4P. The most significant difference is the omission of two DDR3 ram slots. Having just 3+1 ports might affect those wishing to utilise huge amounts of DDR3 but for the average user 6+GB is ample.
Let’s take a closer look at the motherboard itself…