The motherboard doesn’t look particularly large, but don’t be fooled, it’s quite the full ATX size with 30.5cm * 26.3cm and so just fits standard casing.
The back panel provides us with a ton of features, from which most notably the combo USB/e-SATA, e-SATA3 and two USB3.0 ports.
The most important difference between the 990FXA-UD7 and UD5 are the PCI-E slots. Whereas the UD5 sports up to three videocards in SLI / CFx, the UD7 allows up to quad SLI / CFx in PCI-E 2.0 8x mode. Another thing to note is that the cooling system used on the UD7 is connector with a heatpipe. This allows the heat from the Northbridge to the Southbridge, whereas the latter usually doesn’t heat up too much so the dissipated heat from Northbridge can be effectively transferred to a cooler area.
The UD7 has a wide range of internal connectors available, including four fan headers. If you take a close look at the left bottom of the picture you’ll find the TSL1 and TSR1 below the CMOS battery. These two show the codes which correspond to the progress of the system POST up to the Operating System BOOT. If anything hangs, for example due to overclocking, you can usually find the error code here and compare it in the manual to see at which part of the start-up progress the system hangs.
The black socket and its four DDR3 Dual Channel slots are typical for the upcoming AM3+ Zambezi CPU’s and their siblings. Right now the socket is backward compatible with typical AM3 Phenom II and Athlon II CPU’s, which makes AM3+ boards also a great pick if you want a future investment but can’t wait for the Zambezi to be released the coming months.
The MOSFET’s are cooled by a large aluminium block which is also connected to the cooling system of the board. The UD7 has a typical single 8-pin CPU connector for the CPU juice.
Buttons, the UD7 has them! Whilst neatly covering the CMOS reset button with a plastic cap, the power and reset buttons are directly available for anyone who doesn’t run his setup in a typical casing or just likes to put his dirty static hands in his rig; great for overclockers!