Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
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- Supports newest AMD AM3+ FX/AM3 Phenom™ II series processors
- 4 PCI-E 2.0 interfaces for 2way AMD CrossFireX and SLI multi-graphics support
- AMD SB950 provides 6 native SATA3 ports with superfast 6Gbps link speed and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support
- Supports USB 3.0 with superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps
- Supports Dolby Home Theater audio
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Supports newest AMD AM3+ FX/AM3 Phenom™ II series processors Advanced 8+2 phase CPU VRM power design for AMD high-TDP CPU support 4 PCI-E 2.0 interfaces for 2way AMD CrossFireX and SLI multi-graphics support AMD SB950 provides 6 native SATA3 ports with superfast 6Gbps link speed and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support Supports USB 3.0 with superfast transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps GIGABYTE 3x USB Power with On/Off Charge USB ports Ultra Durable 3 Classic Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature Turbo XHD technology accelerating hard drive performance with ease Revolution energy saving design with Easy Energy Saver technology Hi-def 108dB Signal-to-noise ratio Blu-ray DVD audio playback Patented DualBIOS with Hybrid EFI technology for 3TB HDD support Supports Dolby Home Theater audio
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|Item Weight||1 kg||1 kg||0.8 kg||—||1 kg|
|Model Number||GA-990FXA-UD3||GA-970A-DS3P||GA-78LMT-USB3 R2||78LMT-S2 R2||990FX EXTREME3|
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First, in the BIOS settings, under the Peripherals tab, you must set "IOMMU Controller" option to "Enabled". Without this setting, USB will not work at all under Linux. My understanding is that the integrated NIC will not work either, but I had it set properly before I got that far (I used a GParted live CD for partitioning prior to installation). USB mice and keyboards still work fine in the BIOS settings, so no worries making this simple change.
Secondly, once Linux is installed USB 3.0 ports will not work (they don't fall back to 2.0 or anything, they are just dead) until you add GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="iommu=soft" to /etc/default/grub and then run update-grub (Debian) or grub2-mkconfig (Red Hat) to apply the change.
I have attached screenshots to illustrate these changes. If you are new to Linux and not sure how to complete these steps, I will cover the process below.
Once these changes have been made, everything seems to work just fine. All USB ports are active and the NIC card is recognized without problem.
I ran into these issues installing Linux Mint 17.1, but I imagine they will exist for any Debian-based distribution. I'm not sure if Red Hat derived distros need the same tweaks or not. Also, while researching this, it seemed that only 64-bit versions of Linux have this issue, though you should certainly be running a 64-bit OS to take full advantage of the CPU's this motherboard is designed to use.
One other idiosyncrasy I have noticed is that if I have my ext4 formatted 1TB USB drive plugged in on boot, the BIOS POST seems to take forever. I will stare at the BIOS splash screen for what seems like an eternity. This seems to happen whether or not the BIOS is set to boot from USB, and only with that large ext4 drive. A 32GB fat32 thumb drive causes no issues. I believe there is a BIOS setting to ignore specific drives in the boot process that can prevent this, but I haven't yet tried it.
I should mention that these issues exist as of May, 2015, and will probably be cleared up after one or two kernel releases and/or BIOS upgrades. Mine is a revision 4.0 board with BIOS version F2 (the most recent stable version available). My kernel version is 3.13.0-37-generic.
OK, so here are the step-by-step instructions if you need them:
*** Step 1: Updating the BIOS settings ***
- Reboot your computer, and press the "Delete" key (not to be confused with backspace) when the Gigabyte logo shows on your monitor to enter the BIOS settings. This can flash by pretty quickly, so sometimes it's easier to just repeatedly press delete while the computer restarts until the BIOS settings page shows (see attached screenshot).
- Use the right arrow key to move over to the "Peripherals" tab.
- Use the down arrow key to highlight "IOMMU Controller" near the bottom. Press enter, and a box will pop up allowing you to select "Enabled" or "Disabled". Use the up or down arrow keys to highlight "Enabled" and press enter. Your screen should now look exactly like the screenshot I have provided, the "IOMMU Controller" option showing that it is enabled.
- Press the F10 key to save and exit.
Your computer will now reboot. If you have not yet been able to install Linux (and you probably haven't, if you have a USB mouse and keyboard) do so now. Don't plug your mouse or keyboard into any blue USB ports, as these are USB 3.0 ports and will not yet work. Once Linux has installed (or if it was already installed) boot your computer into Linux and proceed to Step 2.
*** Step 2: Editing /etc/default/grub ***
- Once you see your Linux desktop, open a command prompt from the start menu. This is usually prominently featured on the start menu, looking like a little black monitor screen. It may be under "Accessories" and will probably be labeled "Terminal".
- At the command prompt, enter the following exactly:
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
- You will be prompted to enter your password. Please do so. A simple-to-use text editor (nano) will open, and you should see a fair amount of text inside. If the file is empty, press ctrl-x to exit and Google search for instructions for your particular distro.
- There is probably already a line that says GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="", and you will just need to add "iommu=soft" between the quotes. Use the arrow keys to position the cursor between the quotes and add the appropriate text until the line looks exactly like the following:
If there is no similar line already there, you may add it anywhere in the file. If there is a pound sign (#) at the beginning of the line, it will need to be deleted.
- Once the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line has been edited, press ctrl-o to save it, and then ctrl-x to exit nano.
- You need to enter one more command to finalize the new configuration, but it varies by distribution.
If you are on a Debian-based distribution (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint...), enter this command in the terminal window:
If you are on a Red Hat based distribution (RHEL, Fedora, CentOS, Mandriva...), enter this command in the terminal window:
sudo grub2-mkconfig --output=/boot/grub2/grub.cfg
Some information will print in the terminal window. If it says there were errors, go back to the beginning of Step 2 and try to figure out what you did wrong.
*** Step 3: Reboot your computer ***
- There should be a prominent option on your start menu to shutdown or reboot your computer. You should usually use this, however, if you want to be fancy. you can enter "sudo shutdown -r now" in the terminal window to reboot.
Once you are rebooted, Linux should now be able to access the USB 3.0 ports and will boot much faster as well.
Good things worth noting are pretty decent on-board audio for the price, it even has digital out via toslink. It also has more than enough USB 2.0 headers as well as a Fire-wire header, which isn't used as much anymore but some cases have it built in and I think it's a shame to have a dead port on your build. It does also have eSata ports, which I have no use of, but someone might. It might be better to try and add a second USB 3.0 chip-set for additional USB 3.0 headers if possible instead of the eSata chipset, but it's no big deal really.
Out of the box you'll have to use an XMP profile to get full RAM speed so don't panic if your RAM is under-performing, most likely you won't need to tweak anything. Also in regards to CPU throttling, just disable all the power saving nonsense in the Core Clock settings and don't bother with Catalyst Control Center and you'll be good to go, although you may need to do a little tweaking for overclocking, though this might be fixed with the new revision with digital power.
Tiny things I might fix are moving the USB 3.0 header near the SATA headers because the bottom cutout on my case is absolutely crowded with cables already and moving the header to another less populated position makes much more sense. More fan headers and better fan control options in the BIOS would be welcome as well. Also the Etron USB 3.0 chip-set is not the stablest on the market, but it functions perfectly fine almost all the time, and any issue had can be solved by unplugging and plugging the device back in. Lastly I've noticed the actual socket temp being much higher than the CPU temp, which actually warms the back of my case, it's not hurting anything because the heat is being disbursed and is probably resolved with the latest revision where power delivery is improved.
Too sum it up though it's a great motherboard that gets the job done and is very reliable over all, I haven't had any problem with the board that's warranted a return and I'm sure it's even better following the newest revision. I couldn't recommend it any more highly who's looking for something that simply works.
EDIT: I still think, it's a great board, but the VRM design really does screw over FX 8350 owners in the REV 3, however REV 4 should be out and from what I hear that solves the problem pretty good. I otherwise still think it's a great board and am a fan of Gigabyte still. I will however knock off a star for the bad REV 3, customers should not get "second best" the first time around.