P55A-UD6 is the top-shelf motherboard from Gigabyte for Intel socket LGA1156 processors (Core i5 and Core i7). Let’s take a look at this motherboard, which comes with the latest and greatest features like SATA-600, USB 3.0, six memory sockets, support to SLI and CrossFireX, 24-phase voltage regulator and more.

The box from P55A-UD6 resembles the one from P55-UD6 (which we wrote about recently). It is two times taller than standard motherboard boxes and the upper side is actually a door that, once opened, allows you to see the motherboard. Inside the box there is a plastic box that holds the motherboard, and a cardpaper box with manuals, accessories and cables, which justify the double-height box.

P55A-UD6Figure 1: P55A-UD6 box.

P55A-UD6Figure 2: P55A-UD6 box.

P55A-UD6Figure 3: Plastic box.

P55A-UD6 has a feature Gigabyte calls "333 Onboard Acceleration", which consists in three characteristics with the number three: USB 3.0 ports, USB ports with 3x current capacity and SATA 3.0 ports (SATA-600). It overthrones its competitor ASUS P5P55D Premium in these characteristics, because this motherboard from ASUS has SATA-600 but not USB 3.0 ports.

Another feature available is the "Smart 6" application suite that comes with the board, including  "Smart QuickBoot", "Smart DualBIOS", "SmartQuickBoost", "Smart Recorder", "Smart Recovery" e "Smart TimeLock".

Looking at the motherboard we immediately see the cooling system, with heatpipes connecting the heatsinks from the voltage regulator transistors,  chipset and another heaksink that seems to be the southbridge cooling solution. But P55 chipset does not have a southbridge! In the next few pages we will see what exactly that heatsink cools down.

P55A-UD6Figure 4: Gigabyte P55A-UD6.


Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.