Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 review
A solid board, but it fails to stand out thanks to a lack of unique, interesting features
The launch of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors has kicked off 2011 with a bang, and it’s now the turn of motherboard manufacturers to take the baton, with a flood of products bearing Intel’s new chipsets and sockets.
Gigabyte’s new ATX board, the GA-P67A-UD4, is its first with the required combination of P67 chipset and socket LGA 1155, and it sits firmly in the middle of the firm’s range of offerings. Its four DIMM sockets cater for up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM in a dual-channel arrangement.
There are two PCI Express x16 slots and, although one is limited to x8 speed, that should be enough to see significant gains from a dual-graphics setup. Meanwhile, a trio of PCI Express x1 slots and pair of PCI sockets provide plenty of room for other types of expansion board.
Storage is catered for with a pair of SATA 6Gbits/sec connectors, now handled natively by the Intel P67 chipset rather than by a third-party chip and four SATA 3Gbit/sec ports. A pair of eSATA connectors is sited on the motherboard’s backplane, next to two USB 3 ports, eight USB 2 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, optical and co-axial S/PDIF connectors, plus a PS/2 socket and the usual six audio jacks.
As befits this board’s mid-range standing, however, there’s a lack of enthusiast features. There’s no sign of on-board power or reset buttons, for instance, no LED POST display or CMOS button, and there’s also no sign of the mouse-driven EUFI software that’s beginning to replace the traditional BIOS – instead, you’ll have to navigate familiar blue option menus with your keyboard.
Still, a decent number of useful connectors are dotted around the board. The bottom edge provides three USB 2 headers alongside one for USB 3, and there are also connectors for S/PDIF out, Serial, and four fan connectors, including two with PWM.
The GA-P67A-UD4 isn’t a bad board, but it offers nothing truly outstanding and the price feels a touch over the odds. With a wave of P67 boards set to crash into the market in coming weeks, we’d wait and see what rivals have to offer before taking the plunge.
|Price ex VAT||£127|
|Price inc VAT||£152|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||4|
|Motherboard form factor||ATX|
|Motherboard integrated graphics||no|
|Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)||Intel|
|Processor socket||LGA 1155|
|Motherboard form factor||ATX|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel P67|
|Number of Ethernet adapters||1|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Audio chipset||Intel HD Audio|
|CPU power connector type||8-pin|
|Main power connector||ATX 24-pin|
|Memory sockets total||4|
|Internal SATA connectors||4|
|Internal PATA connectors||0|
|Internal floppy connectors||0|
|Conventional PCI slots total||2|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||2|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||3|
|USB ports (downstream)||8|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||1|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||6|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Extra port backplane bracket ports||N/A|
Diagnostics and tweaking
|Motherboard onboard power switch?||no|
|Motherboard onboard reset switch?||no|
|SATA cables supplied||2|
|Molex to SATA adaters supplied||1|
|IDE cables supplied||0|
|Floppy cables supplied||0|