Board layout is one of the key issues that can plague many IGP motherboards. Layout issues can range from sockets that don’t provide enough clearance for large CPU coolers, to SATA ports that can interfere with long graphics cards like the Radeon 5870 because they’re rotated perpendicular to the plane of the motherboard instead of parallel to it.
Fortunately though the GA-890GPA-UD3H doesn’t suffer from these problems as Gigabyte has placed everything well, with no interference issues with any of the board’s core components. You’ll find plenty of room in the AM3 socket area for the largest CPU coolers from Scythe and Thermalright, and there’s also more than enough room between the DIMM slots and the primary PCI Express Graphics slot (PEG), so you won’t have to install your system memory before the graphics card.
Speaking of the graphics slot, Gigabyte equips the board with two of them in order to provide proper CrossFire support. Two x1 PCIe slots separate the PEG slots, so there’s plenty of room for dual-slot graphics cards like ATI’s latest Radeons. A third x1 PCIe slot is located right next to the 890GX North Bridge.
Like all of Gigabyte’s motherboards made in the last 15 months, the GA-890GPA-UD3H features a 2-ounce copper PCB. Gigabyte’s patented dual BIOS is also included on the board.
We do wish the board had built-in power/reset and clear CMOS buttons though. This is a feature that’s traditionally reserved for high-end motherboards. Apparently Gigabyte feels the GA-890GPA-UD3H doesn’t qualify.
Gigabyte didn’t skimp on the GA-890GPA-UD3H’s BIOS. Everything an enthusiast would need for OC’ing can be found in here. HyperTransport speeds up to 500MHz are available in 1MHz increments, and if you find the Radeon 4290 IGP a little sluggish in your favorite game, clock speeds ranging from 200-2000MHz are also available in 1MHz increments.
It doesn’t stop there however. As we mentioned earlier, Gigabyte also offers adjustable Sideport memory speeds. Inside BIOS you’ll find options all the way up to 2GHz.
Settings for adjusting PCIe speeds (up to 150MHz), memory ratios (speeds up to 1800MHz), North Bridge frequency (4000MHz), and HT link (up to 2600MHz) are also configurable.
For voltage adjustment, Gigabyte provides a ridiculous array of options thanks to their precision OV IC controller. Voltages as fine as 0.015V are offered for the RAM, which goes up to 2.445V. CPU voltages are offered in increments of 0.025V with voltages up to 1.975V. You can even adjust the Sideport memory voltage!
Everything’s color coded so you’ll know instantly if you’re pushing the voltages too far. Gigabyte also shows you the current values for important settings like bus speeds and voltages, so you’ll know exactly what your settings are before and after each BIOS setting change.
Any enthusiast is going to enjoy this board’s BIOS.