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GIGABYTE X58A-OC (Intel X58 Express) Motherboard Review

By: Sean Kalinich | Socket LGA 1366 in Motherboards | Posted: Jun 20, 2011 5:07 am
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

The Motherboard




The X58A-OC is a seriously nice looking board. The combination of orange and black does give it a halloween look, but it is still good looking. As with most X58 boards, it follows the ATX layout.




Kicking our walk-around off at the upper right hand corner, we find the controls. We have the Power Button, a Blue Reset button and a few other controls that relate to overclocking. You have controls to move the ratio (the multiplier) up and down right next to controls for the frequency.


Behind these there is a button labelled 4G and one labelled Gear. The 4G button lets you get right to 4GHz with one touch while the Gear button switches between 1MHz and .5MHz BCLK adjustments. You can also see the plug-ins for those voltage read cables we showed you earlier.




Looking closely at the CPU socket, we see that GIGABYTE has changed the type of capacitor that they are using (at least for this board). There are a couple of reasons for this. One is the new CAPs are more efficient and the other is that the height makes it easier to fill with insulating putty. GIGABYTE also changed up the Ferrite Chokes and added in some nice 50A ones.




Right behind the cooling for this beefed up power regulation setup we find a pair of 8-pin Aux power ports. These are there to keep power flowing to the CPU and to the rest of the board.






The cooling on the power regulation extends over to the X58 chipset. This is right on top of the primary x16 PCIe slot. There is still enough room so there is no chance of contact. I would be a little concerned about the combined heat build-up between the primary GPU and the X58 chipset.




The peripherals are stripped down; you get two x16 PCIe slots (slot one and three) and two PCIe x8 slots (slots two and four). In between two and four there is a single PCI 2.1 port for those legacy items you might need for overclocking.




Looking at the lower right hand side of the board, we find the cooling for the ICH10R. GIGABYTE has thrown in a light (which adds to the style of the board). There are eight SATA ports; six are SATA 2.0 and two are SATA 3.0. You will also notice that there are two ports that look like SATA power ports. These are there to provide extra power to the PCIe ports if you are using three or more GPUs.






The I/O ports are also stripped down. You get two PS/2 ports, two powered USB 2.0 ports, a GBe LAN port, two USB 3.0 ports and then some simple audio ports; Line-In, Line-Out and Mic.


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