Just because you're moving to a more budget orientated setup doesn't mean you have to have an ugly and / or feature-lacking motherboard. The first thing we notice about the $130 motherboard is just how great it looks thanks to that matte black PCB that GIGABYTE has opted for here.
Looking above you can see the setup is fairly standard. We've got three PCIe x16 slots, three PCIe x1 slots and an older legacy PCI slot. Across the bottom we've got the standard line up of headers and a SATA III connector is also present. Turning the corner and heading north you can see we've got the LED DEBUG reader and six more SATA III ports.
Continuing up we've got a USB 3.0 header, main 24-pin ATX power connector, a built-in power button and four DDR3 RAM slots supporting up to 64GB of memory at 1866MHz DDR.
Looking at the CPU area the FM2 socket is extremely similar to the FM1 with just a slight change in the pin layout as we mentioned earlier. This means that you can't install an FM1 CPU into a FM2 board and vice versa. So, don't try it.
Finally we finish with the I/O side of things. Here we've got a combo PS2 port, four USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, eSATA, Gigabit LAN, VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort for video connectivity along with an optical port and six auxiliary ports.
Looking at the 990FX based 990FXA-UD3 we can see at first glance it's very similar to the F2A85X-UP4 with that matte black design that impressed me. Of course there are some key differences throughout the board when it comes to the overall layout. Expansion slots come in the form of four PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x1 and a single PCI legacy slot.
Across the bottom of the board we've got the typical line up of headers which sees a USB 3.0 one present towards the right hand side. Turning the corner we've got six SATA III connectors and as we move towards the top of the board you can see the main 24-pin ATX power connector.
On the RAM side of things we've got four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR3 at speeds up to 2000MHz DDR. The main thing we're missing here would be the onboard power button that was present on the F2A85X-UP4.
The socket area doesn't hold any surprises at all since it's of course based on the AM3+ socket that we saw launch last year. Like we mentioned earlier, the fact we're dealing with the same socket means that people using Zambezi based FX CPUs can make the jump for cheap to a Vishera based platform. Check first, but you'll probably only need a BIOS upgrade.
Quickly finishing off with the I/O side we've got a combo PS/2 port, eight USB 2.0 connectors, Firewire, eSATA, two USB 3.0, Gigabit networking, along with optical and six auxiliary ports to round off the audio side.