As I talked about in the introduction of this review building an X99 system is not exactly the cheapest thing to do. Typically your biggest costs will be your processor and motherboard. Gigabyte wanted to bring you a solid X99 motherboard that would not break the bank. Were they able to accomplish that? I think so, and it just shows that if you take away some of the extras that most users won’t even notice and spend the money where it counts you can still come away with a really awesome motherboard.
Gigabyte went with an all digital power design on the X99-SLI that makes use of server quality chokes, International Rectifier PowlRstage MOSFETs and 4th generation Digital PWM controllers. There is an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller on this board, which many people prefer over say a Realtek one. Like most Gigabyte X99 boards you also have the ability to install 4 graphics cards and have the fastest possible bandwidth for each card available. Finally you have Gigabyte’s AMP-UP audio solution, which provides great audio. On top of that you have two M.2 slots (one for a SSD and another for a WiFi+Bluetooth module), two USB 3.0 headers, four more USB 3.0 ports, and a SATA Express port.
Gigabyte’s weird 3-way BIOS is something I’m not the biggest fan of and I typically stay in the Classic Mode, but the BIOS is very functional and easy to use. Gigabyte has also really done some great work with their motherboard companion software. It allows you to change many settings without even going into the BIOS, easily update software and your BIOS, set backups and more. The software is extremely easy to use which many beginner users will appreciate.
When it comes to performance this board is solid across the board. None of our testing results were out of the ordinary. I was a little surprised that I was not able to get the board up to 4.4 GHz as the Gigabyte X99-UD4 and every other X99 board we have tested was able to reach this overclock. I’m not sure if it had to do with Windows 10 as this is the first X99 board we have tested with Windows 10.
Now this is not a perfect board. There are some things that are obviously missing. First off there are no power and reset buttons, which is not a major thing to most people. There is not a post code display either, which could be an issue if you are troubleshooting the board. Finally there is not a clear CMOS button, but rather a jumper you need to activate. While this is an easy task for us, beginners could be totally lost trying to do this.
At $250 at our favorite online retailer this for sure is a solid X99 motherboard that will not break that bank. If you are thinking about getting into the X99 chipset and money is a concern think about the features you absolutely need to have, this board probably has all of them and even some extras. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte X99-SLI motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– Solid performance
– Great companion software
– Made with quality components
– Ability to run 4 graphics cards with the most bandwidth possible
– No power or reset buttons
– No Post Code display
– No clear CMOS button