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Old 02-05-2012, 04:07 AM   #1
dkm777
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Default GA-990FXA-UD5 or Sabertooth 990FX?

So I'm slowly piecing together an AMD rig in the hopes that Piledriver will actually be good. Right now I have a Phenom II 980 and 8GB RAM, but can't decide on a mainboard. Which is better - the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 or Asus Sabertooth 990FX? The price difference is a couple of doughnuts and a cup of coffee. From reading reviews I found that they both are pretty similar, but Gigabyte has better audio and Asus has a better BIOS. I'm mostly concerned about long term reliability while overclocked and automatic fan control. In this regard Asus should be better but I never used Gigabyte boards for a long time so I have no idea how their Ultra Durable stuff holds up. I do like the BIOS of my GA-X58A-UD5 though.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:40 AM   #2
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If the only merit to the Gigabyte board is the sound then get the Asus. Onboard sound can never come close to the sound quality of a good dedicated sound card. The BIOS that the X58 board you're using is based upon the older look. The current ones should be UEFI and tons of eye candy so if you like your old motherboard BIOS, you may or may not like the new one.

My money goes to the Sabertooth because it looks awesome even without the armor.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:21 AM   #3
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I haven't been that impressed with my 990FXA-UD5. Hardware wise it's great, plenty of ports, robust VRMs, good sized heatsinks on the VRM to help keep things cool, etc. The rev 1.0 boards didn't have load-line calibration, which makes overclocking a huge pain, but the newer rev 1.1 (and 1.2?) boards now support this I believe. BIOS options still don't seem to be nearly as extensive as the ASUS 990FX boards, though, and there are some bugs that have yet to be fixed. For example, to prevent Bulldozer chips from throttling when overclocked, you need an option in the BIOS to disable APM (advanced power management). The latest F7h beta BIOS for the UD5 has this, but it's bugged, it will work fine at first but after resuming from sleep APM will no longer be disabled and the CPU will start throttling again. F7h BIOS is dated 12/9/2011, don't know if Gigabyte even plans to fix this and release a new BIOS, they're certainly taking their sweet time if they do.

The ASUS 990FX boards just seem to have far more tweaking options and are more polished.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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If it's between Audio and BIOS, I'd pick Audio everytime. Then again, I'll go into BIOS once a year, if I'm busy anyway.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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Another thing that I forgot to mention - I really like Asus' fan control feature for case fans. Now that Frostedflakes mentioned bugs in UD5 BIOS, I think I'll go for the Asus. This is for a backup rig and good audio is nice to have, but not crucial. Power management and quiet operation while on low loads, however, is.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
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Well my gripes with the UD5 have been more related to overclocking/tweaking options, if you plan to push the CPU very hard, UD5 would be a very solid board. Fan control is definitely more sophisticated on ASUS boards than Gigabyte, though, and the ASUS also has quite a few more fan headers (looks like 5 five PWM capable headers vs only 2 on the Gigabyte). The UD5 will have no problem slowing down your CPU fan at idle and keeping things quiet (even with a dual fan cooler like the NH-D14, I just have to use a Y splitter to connect both fans to the single CPU fan header), but if you like to hook case fans up to the motherboard and let it slow those down at idle as well, can't really do that as easily with the UD5. Sabertooth also has a 5 year warranty vs 3 years on the UD5. If I was buying again I would probably get the Sabertooth instead of the 990FX-UD5. Like I said UD5 definitely isn't a bad board, but just doesn't seem to be as polished as ASUS 990FX boards.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:25 PM   #7
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I do like hooking up my case fans to the mobo headers. When I had an Asus Rampage Extreme with the X48 chipset it had great fan control options and I really miss that.
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