Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 LGA 2011 EATX Motherboard Review
Specifications, Motherboard Layout, Included Accessories
Technical Specifications (from Gigabyte's website)
(Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.)
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)
3 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
2 x Fresco FL1009 chips:
|IEEE 1394||VIA VT6308 chip:
|Internal I/O Connectors||
|Back Panel Connectors||
The new LGA 2011 motherboards give users four more DIMMs to work with, but as you can see on the extended ATX X79-UD5 motherboard, it doesn't leave a lot of room around the CPU socket for third party CPU coolers. Liquid cooling solutions should be more forgiving so users can take advantage of every DIMM on the board, but I think we are going to have issues using eight sticks of memory with our Zalman CNPS12X CPU cooler. Other than that major change to the top portion of the board, the rest of the X79-UD5 is well organized and includes a low-profile heatsink over the chipset and splits the available SATA ports by the Marvell or X79 chipset controller that manages them.
The back of the black PCB doesn't have any extra features other than some power components that had to be moved to make room for the extra DIMMs.
The back I/O panel is pretty versatile and includes a PS/2 keyboard and mouse port, CPU overclocking button, BIOS switch button, clear CMOS button, firewire, seven USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA/USB connector, eSATA 6GB/s connector, optical S/PDIF out, and five audio jacks.
One of the key aspects about this motherboard that should attract gamers and high-end enthusiasts are the 40 PCI Express lanes that are capable of PCIe 3.0 speeds. Gigabyte helps users take advantage of the expanded bandwidth through three PCI Express slots running at x16, x16, and x8 speeds respectively. Users will get x16 speeds with dual CrossfireX/SLI graphics configurations or x8 speeds with three video cards. There are also two PCI Express x1 slots and one legacy PCI slot.
The audio and firewire headers are clearly marked and organized on the bottom panel of the X79-UD5.
Gigabyte also included three USB 2.0 headers that can manage up to six USB 2.0 devices courtesy of the X79 Express chipset on the X79-UD5.
Gigabyte does a great job of making small improvements to their motherboards that have a noticable impact on users like creating color-coded front panel headers to make connecting the power button, reset button, speaker, and hard drive/power LEDs quick and easy. They also clearly mark which pins are negative and positive to go a step further in helping users expedite the motherboard installation process.
The bottom right-hand corner of the X79-UD5 includes a small blue reset button, three-pin fan connector, and four SATA 6GB/s ports that are managed by the Marvell 88SE9172 controller. This Marvell chip also supports RAID 0 and 1 arrays.
The second set of two SATA 6GB/s and four SATA 3GB/s ports are managed by the X79 chipset and can be configured in 0, 1, 5, and 10 RAID arrays.
The power button has been moved to the top right-hand corner of the motherboard, which may be an inconvenient location for people who route cables to the back of the motherboard tray over this area. The button looks red when the PC is off, but glows orange during operation.
The X79-UD5 has eight DIMMs and supports up to 64GBs of DDR3-2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 quad-channel memory.This board also supports Intel's Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules.
Gigabyte went above and beyond in the accessories department on the X79-UD5 by including a Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi card providing 150MB/s transfer rates and 802.11n support. The addition of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities to desktop systems has really been catching on with OEMs and now motherboard vendors are trying to bundle these types of add-on accessories with their products.
They also included four SATA 6GB/s data cables with right-angle pin connector heads.
Gigabyte didn't skimp on the black brush aluminum front panel bracket that houses two extra USB 3.0 ports. Who can't use a couple more USB 3.0 ports on the front panel of their desktop PCs?
CrossfireX and SLI gamers will also need these three bridges to get their dual and triple graphics card setups configured properly for high definition gaming on the X79-UD5 motherboard.
Some of the documentation Gigabyte added to the accessories bundle includes a multilingual installation guide book and user manual.
Lastly, they added a black I/O backplate and two driver DVDs that includes chipset, LAN, audio, Wi-Fi drivers and other bundled software utilities.