GIGABYTE GA-990X Gaming SLI Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅12-06-16
Conclusion

GIGABYTEs 990X Gaming SLI gives gamers a real choice to consider the AM3+ platform, because it is a feature rich motherboard and costs a meagre 79-85, add that to a FX-8350 and you will have fantastic bang for buck performance at a little over 200. if you choose the FX-8370 instead, you can get the impressive Wraith cooler along with a better binned CPU for some potential performance gains.



There is no illusion about the AM3+ platform and it is certainly showing its age, especially when you consider that they are still tied to PCIe 2.0. As with other limitations, including the unfriendly power use, these are inherent flaws of the platform itself and it isn't really one to penalise the motherboard for. As far as AM3+ motherboards go, GIGABYTE have done a fantastic job of bringing new standards to the old platform, specifically USB 3.1 and a super fast M.2 port for high speed built-in storage.

Some of the features that may seem superfluous, such as the metal reinforced PCIe slots, however, it is arguably an incredibly good idea considering the weight of many contemporary graphics cards. There is also the DAC UP USB ports, which many may not take advantage of, preferring to use the reasonable onboard solution. However, those that do prefer to use their own external audio equipment may rejoice at the idea of having guaranteed clean, low-noise power delivered to their DAC for perfect audio playback.

There are a few minor considerations to list, for example, only 1x CPU fan header, the position of the internal USB 3.0 header as well as layout of the BIOS, which made overclocking a bit more inconvenient than it needed to be. Though it isn't to be judged too harshly for these things, because it delivers a solid, all round package that gamers are sure to enjoy. I would like to see a more unified GIGABYTE APP Center, as many of the features seem useful and would be so much more convenient to not have to install everything individually, but it's latest incarnation is an improvement upon the previous version and is a step in the right direction.

If you are looking at the AM3+ platform, or simply want to upgrade your existing AM3+ motherboard, the GA-990X Gaming SLI provides solid performance, a great feature set and top value, so will come highly recommended.

The GIGABYTE 990X Gaming SLI offers an all-round powerhouse of the latest features for a great price.

Pros
+ High-quality components
+ Solid performance
+ Reinforced PCIe brackets
+ 2x USB 3.1 ports
+ High performance M.2 slot
+ Supports CrossFireX and SLI
+ Audio features (ALC 1150 + DAC UP USB)
+ Price

Cons
- Not quite optimal for overclockers
- Platform is showing its age

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