Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard Review

The BIOS
As does I guess every Gigabyte motherboard I’ve seen, the X58A-UD3R uses the Award BIOS, which is set up with a main menu and submenus for navigation. If you flash the BIOS to the latest one, as I usually do, Gigabyte’s Q-Flash works great for flashing with a thumb drive. Their software flash program, @BIOS flashes the BIOS in the Windows environment and also works well. Regardless of which method you use, after flashing the BIOS you need to go back into the BIOS and “Load Optimized Defaults” before doing anything else, either in the BIOS or in Windows. This redetects all peripherals and may correct some settings that are now wrong. It’s no big deal, and rebooting is not necessary before making adjustments in the BIOS.

I should note that all motherboard manufacturers recommend that unless you are having problems you should probably not flash to the latest BIOS. Out of the dozens of times I have flashed a BIOS I have only had a couple of issues, and they were due to the new BIOS not being totally ready for release. Gigabyte has so many fail-safe measures built into their boards that you nearly can’t screw up.

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard

The X58A-UD3R’s BIOS is very similar to the last Gigabyte X58 board I used, the X58-UD4P. There are probably some small differences, but the primary menu you will use, the M.I.T. (MB Intelligent Tweaker) menu is set up the same way. The Core i7 900 Series/X58 chipset is a little complicated in the overclocking department, and Gigabyte’s BIOS is the best layout for the X58 I’ve seen.

All of the relevant overclocking tweaks are either in the M.I.T. menu or one of the submenus located here. The items chosen for submenus are all to keep the M.I.T. menu less cluttered.

One awesome addition to this board’s BIOS over the earlier board is the “CPU Frequency” display. The older BIOS showed the current clock speed, and did not change as the BCLK or CPU Clock Ratio (multiplier) was changed. The X58A-UD3R’s CPU Frequency display changes as you alter the settings, so no need for calculator or pen and paper. This is always a greatly appreciated feature, and this may be the first Gigabyte board I’ve owned with it.

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard

The Advanced CPU Features menu is a submenu located on the M.I.T. menu. You won’t use it for overclocking, but all of the CPU’s other settings are here, including Turbo Boost, EIST, C1E, and some others. I always recommend disabling Turbo Boost, EIST, and C1E while overclocking or running benchmarks.

The Standard CMOS Features submenu contains Date/Time and drives found by the system.

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard

The Advanced BIOS Features submenu contains all of the boot relevant settings such as hard disk priority and boot device priority. The POST splash screen can also be disabled here.

The Integrated Peripherals submenu enables/disables most onboard devices.

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard

The PC Health submenu shows temps, voltages, fan speeds, and settings for the CPU fan.

Gigabyte X58A-UD3R Intel X58 LGA 1366 Motherboard

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