Gigabyte intros next-gen USB and SATA-equipped motherboards

By on October 28, 2009, 1:06 PM
Gigabyte has joined Asus in the race to build motherboards equipped with USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s connectivity, introducing an entire P55-based lineup sporting the next-generation I/O technology. The company has brought a host of new motherboards to the table, including the GA-P55A-UD6, GA-P55A-UD5, GA-P55A-UD4P, GA-P55A-UD4,GA-P55A-UD3P, GA-P55A-UD3R, GA-P55A-UD3.

This series of boards can be easily distinguished by the "P55A" branding, as opposed to the company's previous "P55" boards -- they also feature "Gigabyte 333 onboard acceleration." The "333" refers to the onboard third-gen SATA and USB parts, as well as USB 3.0's new voltage profile, which Gigabyte says offers triple the power to external devices.
With seven listed units, Gigabyte likely has most budgets and builds covered. All of the boards support Intel's recent Lynnfield (Core i5 and i7 8xx) LGA 1156 processors. The motherboards rely on NEC's uPD720200 chip for USB 3.0, and Marvell's 88SE9128 controller for 6Gbps SATA, and bring the expected features and in-house technologies.

User Comments: 36

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Deso said:

I thought usb 3 was postponed until 2011

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

See this news post for more information, Deso: [link]

Jibberish18 said:

I must say, I'm REALLY digging the new colors Gigabyte has chosen to use in some of it's motherboards. I'm not sure if these White/BabyBlue/Blue colors represent their HTPC type of motherboards and the usual colors represent overclocking? I'm more of an AMD fan so I lose track of all the Intel boards that come out.

I also forgot about USB 3.0 powering capabilities. At first I thought it would be pointless to have them on your new motherboard if nothing works with it but being able to power up all of your USB products would be awesome. What I'm wondering though, is if USB 2.0 compliant cables would deliver enough power? I just tossed out a handful of USB cables I had laying around because many of them would not power my 2.5" External Enclosure properly.

Cueto_99 said:

Just to clarify, that probably isn't a picture of the boards mentioned above... since it has 6 RAM Slots, it's obviously an X58 board... anyways I hope Sata 6Gp/s will make normal drives as fast as WD Velociraptors, that'll be sweet, and will be a good selling point for these new boards also.

thewoosterisroot thewoosterisroot said:

Sweet, I was beginning to wonder when someone would start using 3.0. I was actually waiting to upgrade my desktop until there were some real choices with 3.0. However, now I don't have any money to spend on such (heh). Oh well. I guess there will be far more variety out there by the time I have money again.

pravusnex said:

What is your definition of a normal drive? Increasing the Gbps won't do anything for a standard hard drive that isn't capable of even 3Gbps. The 6Gbps provides the necessary bandwidth for drives in a RAID configuration and perhaps future SSD drives.

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Just to clarify, that probably isn't a picture of the boards mentioned above... since it has 6 RAM Slots, it's obviously an X58 board...

The image I used in the article is of the GA-P55A-UD6, which has six DIMM slots according to the official spec page: " [link] "

tonylukac said:

I guess this is in direct competition to Intel's new fiber optic technology. Maybe that's why it was delayed.

Deso said:

Matthew said:

See this news post for more information, Deso: [link]

so gigabyte is using third party suppliers for usb 3.0 instead of intel?

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@Deso: The last sentence of TechSpot's article: "The motherboards rely on NEC's uPD720200 chip for USB 3.0, and Marvell's 88SE9128 controller for 6Gbps SATA, and bring the expected features and in-house technologies."

Deso said:

@Matthew, ahh I missed that, thanks for pointing it out

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

No problem, Deso.

ken777 said:

Thinking about building a new computer pretty soon. When are these boards actually going to be available at retail?

mailpup mailpup said:

I would also be interested in AMD versions of these motherboards. I suppose Gigabyte will be producing them eventually.

Timonius Timonius said:

When will these boards be available to the public?

Guest said:

I just have a feeling the reason why Intel is postponing USB3.0 could be because Apple and their new optic light peak....

Whiffen Whiffen said:

mailpup said:

I would also be interested in AMD versions of these motherboards. I suppose Gigabyte will be producing them eventually.

Seconded. Looking to upgrade to a phenom X4 and HD 5870 or 59XX soon and I think I might get rid of this M4N-E Pro. What was I thinking getting an Nvidia chipset @_@

I will wait and see what ASUS has to offer also but I know almost certainly I will get a newer board with USB 3.0.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's nice to see that Gigabyte is introducing this to mid-range models and not just high end. This means more people will buy them, and more add-ons will have a reason to implement USB 3 features (even just using it for power will be good). IMO it also means that AMD support is more likely (since AMD is definitely a mid-range solution).

Razerblade said:

I must say that board looks pretty cool! I cannot wait until USB 3.0 is released as the speeds you can get are a huge difference compared to USB 2.0!

freedomthinker said:

Sweet , finally someone is starting the process of rolling the USB 3.0 into action and normal use Thumbs up for Gigabyte

limpangel limpangel said:

@ET3D: Gigabyte always puts some new features here and there in mid-range models. Can't say the same fos Asus.

Too bad they did not introduce any AMD cards.

Anyway, I see no point in upgrading now as there are no SATA3 HDDs and no usb3 periferals on the market yet.

Rig said:

I don't think I will be upgrading any time soon. I think there's going to be a 'war' with USB 3.0 vs. light peak.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

My last two motherboards have been Gigabyte boards and they've worked great. When I finally build my i5 system, one of these boards will be the foundation. I use eSATA right now for external hard drives but I am looking forward to USB 3.0

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My board is Gigabyte, too. @limpangel, I see no reason to upgrade now, but buying new, I think it's worth going for the USB3 version, even if there's almost nothing now.

fref said:

If Intel is indeed trying to push forward its own light peak technology by ignoring USB 3.0 until 2011, I have a feeling it won't work. Manufacturers will just use another chip to support USB 3.0 on their boards. Even if it adds 15-20$ to the boards' price, I'm sure lots of people will be willing to buy them anyway for the added performance.

buttus said:

Is there any word on AMD AM3 boards with USB 3.0 support? I just had to swap out my AM2+ board for a new one but I was dissapointed that there wasn't any USB 3.0 boards yet. Intel boards were also the first with USB 2.0 ports as well.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Glad to see Gigabyte getting in on the USB 3 & new SATA. Both my computers I have right now I built with Gigabyte boards and love them.

Hmmm wonder how affordable this all will be come tax return time next year might have to upgrade my system .

devit said:

That is nice. Maybe we'll not see the pricing get to high. Especially from Gigabyte. Intel is delaying the supporting chipset anyway but it would have been nice if we had USB 3.0 and Sata 3 until Christmas

PUTALE said:

it's funny how that many of these boards with usb 3.0 and SATA are actually P55 and not X58. I would expect X58 to be more high end to include more of these new technologies. I guess for manufacturers, they make more money or sell more of the p55 chipset based boards.

Puiu Puiu said:

with intel postponing usb 3.0 the adoption rate will be really slow. It's best to wait until intel supports usb 3.0 because right now it's only an expensive accessory. It might take a few good years until usb 2.0 devices will be replaced by 3.0 ones (4-5 years?). It's best to buy a cheaper one with only 2.0 support and buy a new motherboard in 2 years 9the prices will also drop a lot). Also it's best to wait until they sort out the bugs that might appear.

But all i said above depends on how fast(or slow) new usb 3.0 devices appear.

PS: The new sata is going to be needed soon because SSD's are starting to become really fast and sata 2 isn't going to be enough anymore.

bigpygme said:

great info and opinions. i'm another one who is very interested in when AMD willl be part of this picture. is it likely that Gigabyte will follow up with AMD boards with these features sometime fairly soon? Do they have a history of doing things that way?

JieMan JieMan said:

I wonder how this board deals with the bandwidth , did they add a PLX PEX8613 chip into the mix like Asus did? allowing for a better throughput.

On a side note about the tech Asus has just released an extension card supporting PCI-E x4 that has two sata 6gbps and 2 usb 3.0 suspected at 30 bux

gruesomeA said:

I think i will wait for Light Peak. USB 3.0 may become the Beta to Light Peak's VHS.

Guest said:

When will we be able to purchase a USB card in the States, to add to our current AMD motherboards, and a eSata/USB 3 hard drive toaster/adapter?

The add in cards are good for the Desktop system, but what is happening in the Laptop/Notebook arena, all the holiday pipelines are full of USB 2.0 units, are they going to linger in shops while gift-givers and recipients wait for the USB 3 units...

Feel that USB 3.0 is going to turn the Device market upside down... A printer that will finally cancel a print job immediately could be a good change, think that will be possible with the USC 3.0 communications speeds?


ellulbrian ellulbrian said:

Does anyone know if there will be a PCI/PCI-E option for such USBs?

Such power will eliminate the need for external power supplies for USB devices. I like it!


ununpentium said:

Wow, this "333 onboard acc." idea is fantastic! If I should buy a motherboard, I'd take one of these!

Core i7, Sata 6Gb/s technology, eight SATA ports, two eSATA, 6xDDR3, USB 3 !!!! Scalable without bottlenecks!

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