When Gigabyte first asked me to review the X99P-SLI I thought to myself, “Isn’t this just like the X99-SLI”, but after reviewing the board there is a big difference between the two and they both have been designed for different types of users in mind. The big thing about the X99P-SLI is that it features the Intel USB 3.1 controller with USB Type-C. This controller utilizes four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes for up to 32 Gb/s of total bandwidth, which is double of what you typically see on board that offer USB 3.1. The new Type-C connector allows you to connect a multitude of different types of devices such as storage, mobile devices, and even displays. Gigabyte has designed this board with a DisplayPort-in port and includes the required cables to run your graphics card’s output into the board and then out through the Type-C port. This way you can use 4K displays that use a type-C connection.
Another great addition to this motherboard is the shielding on the PCI-Express slots. While this is overlooked by many people it is great to see some of the features from Z170 come over to X99. Gigabyte’s metal shielding is a one-piece design that not only protects the PCI-Express slot, but also provides extra strength for larger and heavier graphics cards.
When it comes to all of the other features on the board it is what you would expect from a Gigabyte X99 motherboard. You have an M.2 slot which is a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slot so you get that 32 Gb/s of bandwidth and NVMe support. Other storage includes a SATA Express port and 8 SATA 6GB/s ports. You get Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet and the cFosSpeed software to take full control of how the Ethernet controller handles traffic. The AMP-UP audio solution on the board gives you Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with a built-in Rear Audio Amplifier and has full PCB isolation with a LED trace that you can control with Gigabyte’s Ambient LED software. The board also has 4-way SLI and CrossFire support so you can load it up with graphics cards.
When it comes to performance the board performed as we expected, we were not disappointed by any of our benchmark results. While the board overclocked quite well, up to 4.3 GHz from 3.0 GHz that is 100 MHz lower than our highest X99 overclock that we’ve achieved. Gigabyte makes it very easy to overclock your system with their EasyTune software and CPU Upgrade section in the BIOS.
This board still has the 3-way BIOS that we’ve seen on previous Gigabyte X99 motherboards. It has an easy BIOS that allows you to make simple changes, then you have the HD BIOS which looks great, but not all of the options you want are there and it is sort of hard to navigate, then finally you have the classic BIOS, which I do prefer. This might actually be the last motherboard we see with this 3-BIOS design as Gigabyte did go back to their classic UEFI BIOS on their Z170 motherboards. I do prefer the classic BIOS to this 3-way BIOS.
I did find some things missing from this motherboard. First we have a jumper to clear the CMOS not a button, a button just makes things so much easier. Power and reset buttons are also missing as well as a POST code display, so this could make troubleshooting the board a little difficult.
At the end of the day Gigabyte brings us another great X99 motherboard packed with features and as I said it is nice to see some of the features from Z170 coming to X99. Right now this motherboard is selling for $269.99 at my favorite online retailer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte X99P-SLI Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– Intel USB 3.1 controller with Type-C (32 Gb/s)
– 32 Gb/s M.2 slot
– Solid performance and overclocking
– EasyTune software
– Metal shielding on PCI-Express slots
– 4-way graphics support
– No clear CMOS, power, or reset buttons
– Not a fan of the 3-way BIOS