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Gigabyte X79-UD3 review

High-performance Sandy Bridge E hero

Our Verdict

Proof you don't need a top-dollar motherboard to achieve a great high performance PC

For

  • Aggressively priced
  • Great performance
  • All the features you need

Against

  • Power hungry

Plotting a performance PC? Snag a high end motherboard. That's the conventional wisdom challenged by the new Gigabyte X79-UD3.

Of course, any board based on Intel's X79 chipset hardly rates as poverty item.

At £175, the Gigabyte X79-UD3 ain't exactly cheap, but it is within a fiver of the cheapest X79 motherboards on the market. Everything, therefore, is relative.

Consequently, the Gigabyte X79-UD3 is flagrantly frills-free.

But with so many features now finding their way onto the the CPU die itself, including the memory controller and PCI Express bus, you could argue motherboards in general are less critical.

Gigabyte X79 UD3

So Gigabyte's task is to deliver quality and performance where it matters while not going overboard on the corner cutting compared with more expensive X79 models such as the Asus P9X79 Pro and MSI X79A-GD65 8D.

If Gigabyte can pull that off, we can certainly live without trinkets such as hardware power switches and LED displays.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelX79 Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Onboard VideoNo
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots4
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket R LGA-2011
Brand NameGigabyte
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedCore i7
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots1
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces10
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
eSATAYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports10
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports8
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports6
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 3.0, PCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots6
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports2
Processor TechnologyEnhanced SpeedStep Technology, Turbo Boost Technology, Hyper-Threading Technology
Width305 mm
Depth244 mm
ManufacturerGIGABYTE Technology, Inc
Product ModelGA-X79-UD3
Product NameUltra Durable 3 GA-X79-UD3 Desktop Motherboard
Product LineUltra Durable 3
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300, Serial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberGA-X79-UD3
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.giga-byte.com
Marketing Information

GIGABYTE X79 series motherboards are designed to unite unrivaled desktop PC performance with a new level of flexibility and hardware control. Based on the latest Intel X79 Express Chipset, supporting the new LGA 2011 Intel Core i7 processors, GIGABYTE X79 series motherboards bring DIY builders to a new area of performance-oriented computing.

Package Contents
  • Ultra Durable 3 GA-X79-UD3 Desktop Motherboard
  • Motherboard Driver Disk
  • User's Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • 4 x SATA Cables
  • I/O Shield
  • 1 x 2-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 3-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector
  • 1 x 2-Way CrossFireX Bridge Connector