Excerpt: For the gamer there is the great G1.Assassin2, for the bencher there is the X79-UD7 and for the enthusiast there is the X79-UD5. But for those that are a little bit more budget minded there is the X79-U3. At about $260, the UD3 has quite a bit of wanted features like SLI/X-Fire support, high quality components and decent overclocking abilities. Just what one would want without having to broke the bank.
Excerpt: Intel’s new X79 Express Chipset has been out for a while and every enthusiast has probably already bought the latest motherboards for their new builds or are planning to in the near future. We have review a few of the high-end motherboards from Gigabyte, ASUS, and Intel. However, now its time for the lower-end motherboards that is more for the consumer level.
Summary: Even though main focus is lately on Ivy Bridge, let's not forget about Intel's High End range based on the X79 chipset. One of the main drawbacks of Socket 2011 is the total platform cost. Besides the quad core i7-3820, the hexacores versions cost a pretty penny. On top of that, most of the X79 mainstream boards are far from cheap. Prices of 250 euros and more are pretty common.
Summary: This is a junior model in the line-up, but with a full feature set and unique peculiarities. Moreover, in some aspects it is even superior to some of the higher-end models, and its functionality is extended with a number of additional onboard controllers.
Summary: What's great about the UD3 is that it offers four PCIE 3.0 slots making it the cheapest 4-way
/AMD friendly motherboard on the market. It's a solid performer and offers a full range of IO features similar across all the other platforms. While the audio quality isn't as nice as we expect from a new platform, its cost leaves room for adding a good quality audio card. The UD3 would be an even greater value if it included the Wi-Fi card.
Pros: Great quality, solid performer, 4-Way NVIDIA SLI/AMD CrossFireX, Overclocks relatively well, Dual BIOS redundancy, Excellent value for the features, Excellent solid, performance, 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX support, Includes a Wi-Fi PCIE dual band card, Extreme overclocking design and potential, On-board BCLK and frequency buttons, Instant OC (overclock) button works, Dual BIOS redundancy, Great contrasting orange/black theme
Cons: UEFI BIOS feels incomplete and frustrating at times, Audio could use improvement, UEFI BIOS feels incomplete and frustrating at times, Problematic BIOS response when removing storage or USB, Audio could use improvement
Summary: I've come away pretty impressed with Gigabyte's budget X79 motherboard. There were a few quirks along the way but overall this is a pretty solid offering at a good price (in X79 terms, at least).
It all starts with aesthetics where Gigabyte took a simple approach with an all-black PCB and connectors with the occasional white highlight. It's not over-the-top like some other offerings which means it will "fit" into any number of themes without clashing.
Conclusion: Let’s start off with a few downsides of the UD3. I would have liked to see onboard power, reset, and CMOS switches for when the board is out of a case. More so, a POST code debug LED would have been nice since they make debugging any issues much easier, especially for the inexperienced builder. Better load line calibration wouldn’t hurt for those people wanting to push their CPUs to the limit of stability.
Conclusion: In terms of pure price, the Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 sits in-between the seriously cheap mATX and ATX boards at sub $250, but below the more established price range for 'regular' X79 boards around $300-$325. As a result, the question becomes whether the GA-X79-UD3 is a cheaper regular board, or a more expensive budget board (whatever 'budget' means on X79).
Intel i7 3960X EE / Gigabyte GA X79 UD3 / 16GB GSkill Ripjaws Z (2133mhz) Review
14 November 2011
Excerpt: 48 Flares 48 Flares × Today we have multiple reviews focusing on the new Intel X79 launch, featuring two high end motherboards from Asus … the £280 P9X79 Deluxe and flagship £335 Rampage IV Extreme … for those with deeper pockets. That said, we know that many people won’t want to spend £300 (or more) on a new motherboard so our third article today focuses on the Gigabyte GA X79 UD3, which retails at a modest £199.