Based on AMDís 790FX chipset, the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P is Gigabyteís flagship AM3 offering and it shows. The feature list for the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P is quite extensive, with Gigabyte stuffing the board with practically everything.
For starters, thereís Ultra Durable 3. Ultra Durable 3 consists of a number of features Gigabyte incorporates on their motherboards that are designed to increase the motherboardís longevity, improve energy efficiency and signal quality, while also reducing the boardís temperature.
The most talked about Ultra Durable 3 feature is without a doubt Gigabyteís use of two ounces of copper for both the power and ground layers on the PCB. Traditionally motherboard manufacturers have used one ounce of copper per layer. By doubling the amount of copper in these layers of the PCB, heat from the CPU and other components can be dispersed more effectively across the motherboard. This in turn should theoretically help reduce temps for the underlying system components installed in the PC.
Gigabyte also claims that the additional copper layers help to lower the PCB impedance by 50%, this helps to reduce the amount of energy wasted. Gigabyte also says the additional copper helps to improve signal quality and lower EMI.
The other Ultra Durable 3 features supported by the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P have been present on older Gigabyte motherboards, and frankly arenít unique to Gigabyte either, but theyíre important nonetheless. These features include the use of all-solid Japanese capacitors, lower RDS MOSFETs, and ferrite core chokes. The use of these high quality components ensures clean power for the CPU at the highest clock speeds.
Taken as a whole, the Ultra Durable 3 features should theoretically improve your chances when OCíing.
The other feature Gigabyte has begun incorporating on their latest boards is Dynamic Energy Saver (DES). The concept behind DES is pretty simple, your motherboard doesnít need to be churning at full speed when your CPU is idling. Rather than run all the motherboardís power phases at all times, even when the CPU isnít being taxed, with DES the motherboard can dynamically turn on or off its power phases depending on workload.
Gigabyte uses an Intersil PWM controller to automatically adjust the number of active power phases. While gaming or encoding a video for instance, all eight power phases on the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P can be enabled to ensure max power is given to the CPU. Once the PC is idling at the Windows desktop, the controller will then turn off the unneeded power phases, frequently running with just 2-phase power. The PWM controller can even undervolt your processor to further reduce power consumption.
In terms of networking and connectivity, the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P doesnít disappoint. Gigabyte outfits the board with 10 SATA ports, thatís more SATA ports than any AMD-based motherboard weíve seen. eSATA isnít natively provided, as Gigabyte prefers instead to equip their motherboards with a 2-port eSATA expansion bracket that you can mount to your motherboard. Included with the bracket is all the cabling youíll need and Gigabyte even outfits it with a Molex power connector for powering the drive.
Networking duties are handled by a Realtek 8111 controller. The chip not only supports Gigabit Ethernet, but also Teaming. With teaming you can pair both connections together to act as one for double the bandwidth.
Basically when it comes to features Gigabyte equips the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P with all the latest technologies youíd expect to find on a high-end AMD 790FX motherboard -- the only obvious feature we can see that Gigabyte has omitted is 4-Way CrossFireX support, but with all of ATIís latest GPUs adopting dual-slot coolers, the most powerful GPU you could run in a 4-Way configuration on this motherboard is the Radeon 4850 anyway, even ATIís recently announced Radeon 4770 GPU ships with dual-slot cooling.