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Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 LGA 2011 EATX Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Power Consumption and Conclusion

Power Consumption

Power management is becoming an increasingly critical feature for many home and business users who want to save a few bucks on their energy bills but keep their system performance as high as possible. These X79-based motherboards gave us steady power performance under idle and load conditions over a 24-hour period, which is very encouraging for users looking to upgrade to the LGA 2011 platform. The X79-UD5 posted higher wattage ratings under load conditions during testing, but were well within acceptable limits for a mid-range PC like the one we have configured for our test bench.

 

Performance

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Gigabyte's X79-UD5 recorded strong results in a variety of our synthetic and real-world benchmarks like SiSandra 2011 and 3DMark11. The board also shined when we manually overclocked our i7-3820 past 4.5GHz, and seemed to have plenty of overhead to take the CPU past 5GHz with better CPU cooling solutions. The Easy Tune 6 application worked as advertised and gave us three simple options for automatically overclocking the core over 4GHz without any manual adjustments to the BIOS.

 

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The motherboard as a whole has unique features and options that are typically reserved for higher-end motherboards in the $400 range. The ability to use dual and triple PCI Express 3.0 graphics cards in CrossfireX or SLI is an important option for PC gamers looking to create high-definition gaming systems with multi-monitor, 3D setups. The option of using multiple SATA 6GB/s solid state drives in RAID 0 also seems to be a popular upgrade that is possible with the X79-UD5 motherboard.

 

Pricing

As of Mar. 25, the Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $299.99 with free shipping. Consumers can also purchase this product at Amazon.com for $289.99 with free shipping as well.

 

Conclusion

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I'd like to thank our friends at Gigabyte for providing the GA-X79-UD5 motherboard for our review today. This is the second X79-based motherboard I've evaluated, and this platform continues to impress me with solid gaming and overall performance results. The upgraded 3D BIOS was a pleasure to use after I played with the UEFI a bit to find out where all the overclocking options were located. I also had to learn to use the roll-over functions on the main 3D BIOS screen because I didn't notice how they worked when I initially entered the BIOS.

The $300 price tag may make consumers be a bit more cautious about picking up the X79-UD5 for their next upgrade, but Gigabyte made a smart move by beefing up the accessory bundle to include a Bluetooth 4.0 and wireless N card. Their bundled software package for updating the BIOS, motherboard drivers, and automatic overclocking worked seamlessly and I would definitely recommend it to users new to building PCs from scratch.

Overall, PC Perspective gives the Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 its Gold Award for its rock-solid stability during overclocking, its extensive software and accessory package, and versatility to manage multiple graphics cards and SSD storage options.

 

Strengths

  • Triple PCI Express 3.0 slots (16x16x8) with SLI, CrossfireX support
  • Powerhouse overclocker
  • 3D UEFI BIOS was intuitive and flexible to my needs

 

Weaknesses

  • Somewhat expensive for mid-range LGA 2011 board
  • Power consumption slightly high under load conditions
April 29, 2012 | 01:26 PM - Posted by Ron (not verified)

I'm going crazy with this setup and hope somebody can help me. I7-3960X with 8 sticks of 8GB Crucial memory CT102464BA1339 stuffed into an X79-UD5 Everything is supposedly compatable, according to the HCL lists, and all the techs I've talked to from all three companies agree that it should work. Plenty of power, 1000W Cooler Master power supply, all the plugs ring out active with a volt meter. I've played with memory timings until I'm blue in the face. I'm on my third motherboard because GB thought there might be a problem with it, I'm on my second set of RAM, and on my second processor, still with the same results. Not matter what I do, if I populate more than DRAM-1 and DRAM-2 it goes into a rapid beep and won't even load the bios. Populating only 1 and 2 allows me to get into the bios and try to tweak the voltage and timing settings, but they always seem to cause an issue when it boots even if I'm adjusting the timings to a slower rate than what it was from stock. I've been building computers for 25 years now, and have never had this much trouble.

May 22, 2012 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Sterling (not verified)

Ron, did you ever resolve this? I too have a maxed-out kit, but I've not even been able to get to the bios - as soon as the power is on, I'm just getting a string of beeps, which lasts about 20-30 seconds before ceasing. I've tried different RAM combos, and even thought it might be the graphics card, but have three to try with, yet no success. Driving me crazy.

June 15, 2012 | 06:14 PM - Posted by gbakmars (not verified)

I have a brand new Gigabyte X79 UD5 sitting in the box next to me. In front is an Intel 3930K and to my right are two 16GB quad kits from Corsair-2133 C9 1.5V. And on the box on the table behind me are two Evga 670 FTW's. I have a new Corsair 1200 W Pro Gold, an Asus Essence, an Areca Raid Card-1882 ix-12 4GB Memory. I have A Direct Connect via an 8088 SAS cable to a CineRaid 4Bay 6GB/sec self powered and cooled with a backplane to take the 8088 cable from the Areca. I have 3 SAS mini 8087 Breakout Sata 3 cable with each supplies four hard drives. I have 4 Seagate highend 300GB 15.7 K Cheetahs ready to be dropped into the CineRaid running 1.2TB in a Raid 0 thought a 6gb/sec raid card with an intel dual core processor and 4 gigs of memory and sitting in a X8 3.0 PCIe slot. The numbers coming out of that box will melt an SSD. I have 4 Vertex 4 128GB ready to be placed into a Raid 0 for the operating system. And to top it off I have 8 WD 1TB Blacks to fill out my Corsair 800D case. I am cooling the processor with a brand new and "rare" Coolitsystems Freezone Elite, and have 5 PWM fans to be integrated into the Bios cooling, with another 6 fans being run off of a Kaze Master Pro A. I am dropping in two Optical Drives- Plextor3d BluRay Burner, Plextor DVD Burner. I will install one USB 3.0 Pro37 U for high speed compact flash reading from a Nikon D800E.

My question is, should I be having second thoughts about the capability of the Gigabyte X79 UD5? I have come to the conclusion that there isn't an X79 board on the market yet that is a 5 star board hands down. I already know that Intel isn't showing the board makers their whole hand forcing the X79 folks to get creative with Bios Hacks, and Registry mods to give us 40 lanes. Nothing Native about any of these boards. I don't need a Rampage three with 30 PCIe X 16 3.0 slots and I run as fast as I can from all of these falsely advertised 16 lane bombs known as Z77's. The Asus Deluxe for $280 had a whopping 4 PCIE X1 slots- yes I have four sound cards!! and it provide 3 PCIe x16 3.0 slots but they never talked about these board's mamouth limitations in any of the reviews in that if you put a new 680 in the first slot you have X16, but drop anything into slot 2 and slot one is now back to a X8 which is nothing more than what we already had in the X16 2.0 boards! And if you make the mistake of dropping in anything into slot 3, you just toasted slot 2 and made it a X4 along with slot 3. WOW-- what a great motherboard you can have tri sli with a x8/x4/x4 with your new $1500 of 3.0 video cards.

So how long do I wait with all of these great build parts? Gigabyte says they have an amazing X79 refresh, will it be the improvement that is deserving of all these great components? I run from the Z77 as it is an EOL long before it was put on the market. No upgrades coming except a plug called Thunderbolt that has nothing that I own to plug into!

Any suggestions?

November 17, 2012 | 11:39 PM - Posted by Jono (not verified)

Ron

I had the same trouble. But I managed to get mine going after having discovered that this board does not like you using XMP at all. Had to turn down to 1333 mhz and have not touched my voltage settings. This is with all 8 channels full. Hope this helps.

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