Gigabyte, too, has USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA mobos

Although we caught a peek at two Asus motherboards with USB 3.0 and 6Gbps Serial ATA connectivity earlier this week, the firm certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on support for new, state-of-the-art I/O technologies. Gigabyte has followed suit with an entire lineup of P55 motherboards that claim similar features.

The lineup actually includes eight boards: the GA-P55A-UD6, GA-P55A-UD5, GA-P55A-UD4P, GA-P55A-UD4, GA-P55A-UD3P, GA-P55A-UD3R, GA-P55A-UD3, and GA-P55MA-UD4. Overkill, perhaps, but a look at the names and spec sheets suggests these mobos span a few different price points, not to mention form factors. (The "M" in the P55MA-UD4’s model name makes it sound like a MicroATX model similar to the GA-P55M-UD4 we reviewed recently.)

All eight boards are based on the P55 chipset, so they’ll accommodate Intel’s latest Core i5 and i7-800 processors. Gigabyte had to use auxiliary controllers for the new I/O, naturally: it picked an NEC uPD720200 chip to bring in USB 3.0 connectivity and a Marvell 88SE9128 controller for 6Gbps Serial ATA. Also, Gigabyte says it increased power delivery three-fold to all USB ports. That should help feed those "power hungry USB devices," whatever they might be.

Comments closed
    • stdRaichu
    • 11 years ago

    As I feared – Anand has done some benching with the Marvell controller and it’s significantly slower then the 3Gbps Intel controller.

    §[<http://anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3668<]§ Waiting for an Intel controller before I'll consider upgrading.

    • p645n
    • 11 years ago

    When will these boards ship?
    I’m about to build two i7 860’s for someone that intends to keep them for 2 to 3 years so the USB \ SATA features would be nice to have — if not for today then for the future.

    • crazybus
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder when Microsoft is going to offer a generic USB 3.0 xHCI driver.

    The higher powered USB ports are nice to see. A few of the USB ports on my current Gigabyte mobo have trouble running some external HDDs off a single ended cable.

    • Sebastacat
    • 11 years ago

    I noticed this in the spec sheet for the GA-P55A-UD4:

    Expansion Slots:
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
    2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (The PCIEX16 and
    PCIEX8 slots conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
    3. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
    4. 2 x PCI slots
    * When set Turbo SATA3 / USB3.0 (Marvell 9128 /NEC USB 3.0 Controller) to enable in BIOS setup, 1st PCIex16 slot will run at x8 bandwidth and 2nd PCIex16 slot will be disabled.

    From the manual, Turbo means it sets the PCIe speed of the controller to PCIe 2.0, which is what you need to actually use the full capability of SATA3/USB3. Non-turbo mode sets it to PCIe 1.0 speed, which limits it to SATA2 speeds.

    That means you can’t have true SATA3/USB3 and Crossfire at the same time.

      • edh
      • 11 years ago

      I figure that USB3.0 and Sata-3 are essentially useless for another 3-6 months anyway. Hopefully, before new devices using the faster connections hit the market, USB3.0 and Sata-3 will be incorporated into X58 boards where the processor (with its incorporated northbridge) and the external southbridge have the extra bandwidth to handle the increased data throughput effectively.

      • Swollen_Goat
      • 11 years ago

      Thanks for the informative post. I don’t have any intentions of running Crossfire or SLI. I only upgrade my PC every 18 to 24 months, so I think I’ll hold out for USB 3.0 as I’m sure it will become practical in 2010.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      Sadly it means you can’t even have full PCIe 2.0 16x lane assignment to the i[

      • crazybus
      • 11 years ago

      I see that in the manual as well but it makes no sense. Surely the graphics card slots run off the PCIe lanes from the CPU (x16 2.0) while the rest of the devices use the 8 lanes off the PCH (which are 2.0 but only run at 2.5GT/s, ie. 1.0 speed). One would think that the limited bandwidth of the DMI interface would preclude PCIe resource sharing.

      Take a look at the block diagram of the GA-P55A-UD6:

      §[<http://tinypic.com/r/vrr76a/4<]§ Unless it's wrong, it shows that all non graphics card peripherals are connected to the P55 chipset. It also looks like you would run out of PCIe lanes before you could fully populate the board.

      • wira020
      • 11 years ago

      This is absolutely why i kept wondering why many company are doing the upgrade to USB3 and SATA3 on P55… its starved of bandwidth on its own and the Sata3 needs aplenty…

      But then theres nf200… i dont really understand it but i heard nf200 doesnt really work what its meant…

      there are about 2 more chipset for 1156 rite?.. when will those be out?.. and will it be starved off bandwidth too?.. as i remember they also haf the same spec for Pcie…

      btw.. its nice to know we’re moving faster… even tho its not that practical yet… usb3.0 is what i really haf interest…

    • edh
    • 11 years ago

    NOTE: All of the Gigabyte P55A boards feature Lotes LGA-1156 sockets instead of the Foxconn sockets used on the previous versions.

      • JokerCPoC
      • 11 years ago

      Sounds good, Foxconn needs to fix this asap.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Motherboard on-board peripheral performance results may start getting interesting again… at least until this all gets subsumed into the chipset (whenever Intel gets around to that).

      • pedro
      • 11 years ago

      This is true. Especially the USB solutions that are Epic Fail with major ironing out to be done on them until they’re usable.

      Early adopters beware!

    • Swollen_Goat
    • 11 years ago

    When will USB3.0 MoBo be available for purchase? I was on the verge of an i5 upgrade but I think I’ll wait for a USB3.0 MoBo.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 11 years ago

      I’d like to see some add-in cards, too. I assume USB 3.0 would need at least an x4 PCIe card.

    • liquidsquid
    • 11 years ago

    Yay! My USB lava lamp will work now!

      • Welch
      • 11 years ago

      Too hell with a lava lamp, im going to run a USB cable from inside the house out to my Truck for my Pan Heater! NO MORE COLD STARTS, Thanks USB 3.0!

    • dpaus
    • 11 years ago

    See that big open area just below the CPU socket? It should be labelled “This space available for /[

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 11 years ago

      I’m seeing a marketing opportunity: NOS…

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