Is Gigabyte's monumental new X58A-UD9 motherboard the most expensive in recorded history?

We certainly can't remember the last time a desktop mobo breached the £400 barrier. One thing is for sure: the Gigabyte X58A-UD9 had better be good. Damn good.

There are already a number of big-ticket boards based on Intel's flagship X58 chipset, of course. However, the likes of Asus' Rampage III Extreme and MSI's Big Bang Xpower are over £100 cheaper. That said, there's one board that comes a little closer, both in terms of specification and price.

Like the Gigabyte X58A-UD9, the EVGA Classified 4-Way SLI packs four 16-lane PCI Express graphics slots for ultimate graphics power. But even that board is around £50 lighter. The X58A-UD9 really is in a class of its own.

Immense expandability aside – the UD9 has a further trio of eight-lane PCIe slots – the UD9's main claim to fame is overclockability.

Gigabyte has loaded it with high-quality components, including extensive cooling kit and top-drawer power regulation.

On paper, it certainly looks like the ultimate board for enthusiasts planning to maximise both their CPU and graphics performance. What it's not, however, is perfect. In fact, this preposterously pricey motherboard is out-pointed in a few areas by much cheaper models.