Gigabyte X79-UD3 Motherboard Review

Motherboards/Intel S2011 by leeghoofd @ 2012-05-01

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. Luckily for us Gigabyte and ASRock have got 'let's call them a more" budget friendly motherboard in their X79 lineup. Gigabyte's type numbering has always been kept pretty simple. Today's UD3 board is the entry board for their limited socket 2011 series. Limited, because Gigabyte only has got 3 boards left in the X79 range : the UD3, UD5 and a gamer orientated G1 Assasin 2 board. The X79-UD7 board has been EOL'ed. And till now there's still no sign of the X79-UD5 S(erver) version. But does a "cheap" board mean that the quality or performance is inferior ? Time to find out what this X79-UD3 has got in store for us.

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More Details

The Intel X79 chipset was a bit dissapointing in the storage department. Early promises weren't adhered too and we have to settle with 2 x SATA 600 and four SATA 300 ports. Normally this would suit most users, but most vendors add at least one or more Marvell chips for added storage support via more SATA or eSATA ports.

 

 

Besides the 14 X79 chip supported USB2.0/1.1 ports, the extra USB 3.0/2.0 ports are powered by two Fresco FL1009 chips. The LAN chip is supplied by Intel, with 10/100/1000 Mbit speeds.

 

 

The backpanel still houses a PS2 for either a keyboard or a mouse. The Intel GbE LAN, optical and coaxial S/PDIF OUT connectors and finally 6 audio jacks powered by a Realtek ALC898 Codec. The Realtek AUDIO chip on this board supports up 2/4/5.1/7.1 channel and Dolby Home Theater sound. Dual AMI EFI biosses on this board, so there's always a working version available in case of a bad flash or a corrupt bios.

 

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