The GIGABYTE P55A-UD7 follows the same lines as GB's other high-end motherboards. They are all somewhat crowded and seem to be hastily thrown together (though they are not). The P55A is a little different, though. Yes, it still looks a little crowded, but without the usual sense of hasty design. I also have to mention the race car look they gave the Southbridge. Seeing this brought back memories of going to Daytona for the 24 hour race (I usually only watched about 3 hours, though).
The upper half of the board sports a semi-new look. Gone is the gleaming aluminium, it is replaced by a deep glossy grey. The socket color matches the ferrite chokes perfectly. Of course, the area around the CPU still looks a little busy, but overall you can get some decent sized coolers in here.
The 8-Pin 12V Aux connector (always a pet peeve of mine) is in one of the better locations for a GIGABYTE board. It is almost easy to get to when compared to a few others I have dealt with.
The lower half of the board has a number of PCIe x16 mechanical slots, but not all are x16 electrical. The first and third slots are both fully x16 while the second and fourth are only x8. This gives you some good options for SLI and Crossfire including a decent Tri SLI and CrossfireX setup. You can also get a closer look at the race car livery for the SB components.
In the middle of the board is a multi-function cooling system. By default GB is offering water cooling directly on top of the NF200 chip (which also cools the rest of the heatpipe setup. But this can be changed out and the SilentPipe 2 passive cooler put into place.
Although for the most part the I/O ports are typical for a high-end P55 board, the P55A-UD7 also has the ability to charge components while powered off and to even charge your iPad if you happen to have one.
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