The layout of the 890GPA-UD3H is fairly clean with very little to clutter it up. Even around the bulky plastic mounting bracket for the CPU fan the 890GPA-UD3H manages to stay clean.
Looking at the area around the CPU (now that we have mentioned it), we find some of the normal items including four DDR3 slots, the AM3 socket and a 24-Pin ATX power socket. We also see that GIGABYTE has left a PATA port on the board to handle legacy devices.
Moving to take a look at the power regulation, we see part of the "4+1" phase setup that GIGABYTE talks about on the box. They have the solid caps lined up very neatly and you can see the chokes hidden under the large heatsink. You can also see the cooling for the 890GX Northbridge. It has a nice stylized look to it; we only hope that it can also keep the chipset cool as well.
Looking at the lower half of the board, we can see that the 890GPA-UD3H has been designed for good flexibility. The three PCIe x1 slots are great for items like TV tuners, add-in audio cards and even network cards. The two x16 mechanical slots are unfortunately not both x16; only the top slot is x16 while the other is x8. There are also two PCI slots just to round things out (wow, I can remember when the ISA [Industry Standard Architecture] slot was the legacy throw back). You can also see two 1394a headers, yet there are no brackets included.
Flipping over to the other side of the board, we find the six SATA 3.0 ports along with two white ports that are still SATA II, but are controlled by GIGABYTE's own RAID controller. There is something else that I want to draw your attention to on the board. Printed just above the USB headers are the words "ON/OFF Charge". This is interesting only because it was not mentioned on the box at all. With more devices getting their juice from USB cables, this would be a big deal and one that I would have thought would show up on the packaging.
The I/O ports are nothing to write home about, but they will certainly get the job done. The one thing to take careful note of is the DVI port. This is DVI-D only; you will not be able to use any other cables without an adapter.
In general the GIGABYTE GA890GPA-UD3H is a board designed with flexibility in mind. It does not appear to be built to knock your socks off, but to give you the widest range of build options. Now let's see how it performs.
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