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GIGABYTE X99-UD3P (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Jun 12, 2015 2:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and the Board

 

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The box is simple and the packaging is well done. The board is in an anti-static bag in its own mini-box.

 

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Accessories include 4x braided SATA6G cables, IO shield, 2-Way SLI bridge, 2-way CrossFireX bridge, driver DVD, manuals, and GIGABYTE sticker.

 

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I have circled the five fan headers in red and blue. The single CPU fan header circled in red is for PWM fans, and the rest of the four headers are voltage mode fan headers. There are light gold accents on the board, but they aren't very strong or widespread, so a CPU cooler and some GPUs will probably cover them up if you don't like the gold color scheme. The big thing to notice on this board is that there are only 4 DIMMs. The board still supports quad-channel, but you should plan how much DDR4 you need and purchase it now. The upside to only 4 DIMMs is that overclocking memory might be better. GIGABYTE has darkened the color of the PCB markings, so that they are no longer white, but rather gray. The back of the PCB is bare except for a few LEDs for the audio PCB divide.

 

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The IO Panel features 6x USB 3.0 (white port is for USB BIOS recovery), 4x USB 2.0 (with power control), PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse ports, RJ-45 1GBit LAN, a TOSLINK with S/PDIF, and a bracket in case you want to install an M.2 WIFI card.

 

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The PCI-E layout on this motherboard is optimized for multi-GPU configurations. All the PCI-E bandwidth from the CPU reaches the slots, and does so almost without delay. The third and fourth slots are hardwired at 16x (third slot) and 8x (fourth slot). The first slot has its first 8x hard wired to the CPU and the second 8x can be shared with the second PCI-E slot if needed. A MOLEX receptacle for extra PCI-E power is provided at the bottom of the motherboard and both M.2 slots are between the second and third PCI-E 16x slots. The M.2 slot shares its bandwidth with the SATA Express port and its two SATA ports. All the PCI-E 1x slots are directly routed to the PCH.

 

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GIGABYTE equipped the X99-UD3P with 10 SATA ports, two of which are shared with the SATA Express and M.2 ports. The four ports labeled sSATA cannot do RAID, while the other six can. A USB 3.0 internal header is positioned below the 24-pin connector.

 

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The audio on the X99-UD3P is powered by a Realtek controller under an EMI shield. The PCB is physically divided to isolate the audio's analog domain from the rest of the motherboard. There is also a single amplifier for the backpanel port and some Nichicon audio capacitors.

 

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The CPU mode switch allows for users to enable the extra pins in the socket.

 

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The CPU socket has extra pins compared to the standard LGA2011-V3 socket. These extra pins allow for a higher cache ratio overclock (uncore) and for a lower IMC voltage, which can lead to higher memory overclocks.

 

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The VRM is made up of 6 phases, and it's the same as the VRM found on the X99-Gaming 5P and other 6-phase GIGABYTE X99 motherboards. While it might not seem like much, it is more than enough.

 

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The heat sink is one solid piece. The heat sink uses screws and makes good contact with components.

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