GIGABYTE 880GMA-UD2H Motherboard Review

GIGABYTE's 880GMA-UD2H board joins the company's ever growing AMD lineup, with full support for the latest six core processors, chipset based SATA 6G support, and USB 3.0 support. Don't let its small form factor fool you though, this board packs a punch.

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Subsystem Testing

NOTE: For all Subsystem Testing, an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T CPU with the CPU FSB running at 200 and 2 x 2GB Patriot VIPER PVV34G2000LLK memory modules running at 1600MHz were used in testing.

Audio - Subjective Listening

One of the easiest ways to determine the quality of the audio subsystem is via a subjective sound test. Ideally, a sound test requires audio covering the entire spectrum, from subtle to intense. For this test, I chose to listen to the newly release Rise Against album Appeal to Reason.

Audio playback of the selected album was without issue, with no detectable distortion of any kind witnessed.

Audio - Microphone Port Testing

The MIC-IN input was tested using our standard Labtec Desk Mic 524 testing microphone. Spoken words were recorded and played back using Microsoft Sound Recorder, with the Microphone Boost option disabled and enabled. The Microphone Boost option is found within the Advanced menu under the Microphone section within the Volume Control menu.

While no distortion was detected during playback of the recorded audio during either test, overall pickup and audibility was much better with Microphone Boost enabled. Note that the 880GMA-UD2H's audio subsystem appears to be extremely sensitive to input volume when using the microphone input port in the rear panel.

Drive Performance

To adequately test the capabilities of the on board USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 connections, we chose to use an ACOMDATA HD060U2FE-72-USB 2.0/FireWire HDD connected to both ports. SATA drive tests were performed using Western Digital 1TB SATA III hard drives on the SATA headers. The SATA drives were used for testing in RAID 0 and in standalone mode on the AMD SB850 6G controller. All drive benchmarks were done using the freely available CrystalDiskMark 3.0 program, run with both 50MB and 100MB sized test sets.

50MB Test Set

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As expected, the AMD SB850 6G SATA controller performed best in a RAID 0 configuration, with the performance scaling as expected for both the read and write tests performed. While the RAID 0 array was not quite twice as fast, it came close to doubling the standalone drive performance. The external drives performed as expected, with the USB 2.0 based device almost doubling the performance of the IEEE 1394 based device in both the read and write tests.

100MB Test Set

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The performance of the AMD SB850 controller when using the 100MB test set mimicked that of the results from the 50MB test set runs, with one exception. The difference between the RAID 0 array and standalone drive performance was much more pronounced in the read tests, with the RAID 0 array tripling the performance of the standalone drive. For the external drive tests, the USB 2.0 device again performed better than the IEEE 1394 device, but the write performance seen by both devices remained neck in neck.

Network Utilization Tests

SoftPerfect Research's NetWorx Speed Meter application was used in conjunction with Windows Task Manager to measure the performance of the onboard Realtek GigE NIC. Speed Meter was used to measure bandwidth, with Windows Task Manager to monitor the CPU utilization on the test system. For the test itself, a 750MB archive file containing various sized .WMA audio files for the large file transfer test and a 750MB worth of various sized .WMA audio files for the small files transfer test were used in conjunction with an integrated Gigabit NIC on the host system and a crossover cable to connect the host system to the test system. A crossover cable was used to rule out any possible bandwidth losses due to hub or switch passage.

Realtek GigE controller

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The large file transfer tests fell as expected, with the average upload speed besting the download speed by 10MB/s, coming in at a hefty 75 MB/s. While the CPU utilization for the upload remained under 10%, the download utilization spiked upwards of 15% during its test run.

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The small file transfer results came in slightly slower than the large file results, with both upload and download rates neck in neck. The average download speed came in at a mere 2 MB/s faster than that of upload, at a rate of just under 57 MB/s. While CPU utilization was a bit higher during the download test, the measured utilization during both tests remained under 10%.

Synthetic Performance Testing

Test Systems

The following system configurations were used for the system benchmark graphs, as well as all graphs listed under the Application and Gaming Benchmarks sections:

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Graphs are labeled as follows: Motherboard - CPU Type & Clock Speed - Memory Speed


Sisoft Sandra 2009

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Note that all results above were obtained running the installed memory in Dual Channel mode for all systems with the exception of the Intel X58 based boards, which ran in Triple Channel mode.

The 880GMA-UD2H matched the performance of the other AMD based board, but only matching performance with the stock P55 based board on the Intel side.

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Again, the 880GMA-UD2H's performance remained in line with the other AMD based board as expected which shows that the CPU is functioning correctly in the board itself.

Hiper Pi

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Here we see the 880GMA-UD2H fall slightly behind the other AMD board, taking the cleanup spot.

wPrime

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The 880GMA-UD2H finished off the synthetic benchmarks strongly, taking a pole position spot.