Gigabyte intros cheaper X58 motherboard

CES — With AMD launching its Phenom II processor a CES, Gigabyte was eager to show off a fresh motherboard based the 790GX chipset. This new board, dubbed the GA-MA790GP-UD4H, features a two-ounce copper layer that supposedly aids memory clocking, allowing it to support DDR2 speeds up to 1200MHz. The UD4H also features a couple of PCIe x16 slots for CrossFire and 128MB of DDR3-1333 memory to back up its integrated Radeon HD 3300 graphics processor.

The GA-MA-790GP-UD4H

On the Intel side of the fence, Gigabyte is migrating the X58 chipset to more affordable territory. The GA-EX58-UD4P is already available at Newegg for around $200, and an even cheaper UD3R model is expected to sell for $160-180. So what does the UD3R leave on the cutting room floor? Surprisingly, not much. You only get two PCI Express x16 slots, limiting CrossFire and SLI to two-way configurations. The number of DIMM slots has also been cut to four, although the board still taps all three of the Core i7's memory channels (two slots are tied to the first channel with one slot per channel for the other two). Stay tuned for a TR review.

X58 on the cheap with the UD3R

In a surprising move, Gigabyte is also updating its mid-range P45 motherboard lineup with a whole rash of new models designed for DDR3 memory. Given current memory prices, though, these latest offerings aren't nearly as appealing as existing P45 flavors with DDR2 DIMM slots.

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