Author: Bob Buskirk
This being Gigabyte’s lowest priced socket 2011 offering we are very impressed. Being low-cost in the socket 2011 segment is not like its socket 1155 counterpart where the low-cost boards start at around $60. This board comes in at $249, which is still towards the lower-end in terms of cost compared to other fully-featured Intel X79 motherboards. Team it with the low-cost Intel Core i7-3820, a 16GB kit of memory, and a higher-end video card and you have most of your system together for under $1000.
Again this being Gigabyte’s lowest priced board we did not expect a ton of features, but there sure are a lot. The most obvious is the ability to run 4-way graphics card setups out of the box. Many Intel X79 motherboards around the same price only offer 3-way graphics. Also when the fourth video card is installed you only lose connectivity to two SATA ports and a few of the internal USB connectors. Talking about SATA ports you do have six SATA 6GB/s ports and 4 SATA 3GB/s allowing for different RAID setups. You also have two SATA 6GB/s eSATA ports. You also get two USB 3.0 ports on the back of the board as well as the internal USB 3.0 connector, which has been moved up by the 24pin ATX power connector.
One thing that I definitely want to point out about this board is Gigabyte’s new 3D BIOS. This BIOS is available on all of their socket 2011 motherboards. Unlike many graphical BIOS’s this one is very simple to navigate with the actual board layout right there so you can pick what part of the board you want to make changes to. If you don’t want to use this layout you can easily go into the normal menus. We covered the BIOS extensively and even made a video showing you all of the features. For being Gigabyte’s first graphical BIOS I am very impressed and it can only get better from here.
Gigabyte has always made it easy to overlcock their motherboards with their EasyTune6 software. It has 3 predefined overclocks depending on the CPU that you are using. You can also manually overclock using the EasyTune6 software. If you prefer to use the BIOS to overclock everything is right at your fingertips and easy to find. We were able to achieve a stable overclock of 4.75GHz using the Intel Core i7-3820 processor. That is a 1.15GHz overclock done with relative ease. The ease and stability of overclocking with this board is made possible by the 8+2+1 power phase design that provides stable power to the CPU, memory and other areas of the motherboard. If you are not sure about overclocking on this board late in December known overclocker HiCookie set a world overclocking record using this board and the Core i7-3930K.
With the recent release of the Intel Core i7-3820 and it having a price-tag of just over $300 and the low cost of this board ($249) the Sandy Bridge-E platform is definitely becoming more affordable. The Gigabyte X79-UD3 is a very solid motherboard that offers some great features, an easy to use BIOS and great overclocking ability. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte X79-UD3 Intel X79 Motherboard a 10 out of 10 score and our Good Value Award!
- Price compared to other Intel X79 motherboards
- Four PCI-Express x16 slots
- Six SATA 6GB/s ports and USB 3.0
- 3D BIOS
- Easy and stable overclocking
- None that I found