If you saw the ASUS Rampage III Extreme board yesterday and thought that was a high-end board, then today's offering from GIGABYTE trumps it - on practically every level. While they're both based around Intel's high-end X58 chipset, the GIGABYTE X58A-UD9 (or UD7 as pictured on our engineering sample) boasts not one but two additional NF200 chips from NVIDIA.
These NF200 chips take the 36 PCIe lanes available from the X58 chipset, doubling them to an effective total of 72 PCIe lanes. These are all piped to the four full-length 16x PCIe slots on the UD9, using up 64 lanes in the process, while the remaining three 16x slots (only 8x electrically) are fed by the leftover lanes from both the X58 Northbridge and some from the ICH10 Southbridge.
Also sharing these PCIe lanes are an onboard USB3 chip from NEC, a SATA3 chip from Marvell, and the usual features like Gigabit Ethernet. There's a phenomenal amount of bandwidth going on here, and to top it all off, the LGA1366 socket has complete support for Intel's six-cored Gulftown chips and a power delivery system good for immense power draws.
While we can't share performance numbers at this early stage, a bunch of pro overclockers got their hands on an early revision of the board and put it through its paces under LN2 - and promptly broke a couple of world records. We've even caught wind of the voltages they used with that gulftown chip: a whopping two volts, drawing a total of 42 amps through the 12v rail for an effective usage of 504W of power!
The board's physical layout is pretty close to final, with only the cooling array intended for a facelift before retail release (in its current form it can't handle the huge combined stress from all the chipsets very well), but when it does come out we can be pretty confident in calling it one of the most feature-filled motherboards ever to hit the enthusiast computing world.
Jump into the gallery of pics to see more of GIGABYTE's X58A-UD9 board, and ogle a board that makes excessive look ordinary.