With some of those new AMD 890FX mobos sporting outrageous numbers of PCI Express x16 slots, we were bound to see some retaliation from the Intel camp. Gigabyte has now introduced an X58 motherboard with nothing but PCIe x16 connectivity—not even a single 32-bit PCI or PCIe x1 slot graces the blue surface of its expansion area.
The GA-X58A-UD9 has seven physical PCIe x16 slots in total; Gigabyte has used not just one, but two of Nvidia's NF200 PCIe bridge chips, enabling support for both four-way AMD CrossFire or four-way Nvidia SLI multi-GPU configurations. Other ports, connectors, and slots include 12 Serial ATA ports in total (two of which have 6Gbps connectivity), six DIMM slots (not that you'd want any less to feed a quad- or six-core Core i7), two USB 3.0 ports, and FireWire.
That's not all. The X58A-UD9 features a 24-phase power design with "mutual back-up to each 12 phase," which results in not just a preposterous number of chokes around the CPU socket, but also purportedly better longevity and higher maximum power delivery to the CPU. Gigabyte has things covered on the cooling front, too, with an already-massive Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 cooling system that supports an even more massive heatsink attachment so wide it pokes out of the I/O area.
See the image gallery below for some glamor shots of this behemoth. Gigabyte's product page has more details.