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Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 Socket 2011 Motherboard

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Closer Look

To begin the X79-UD3 is one of just four motherboards by Gigabyte to support the Intel socket 2011 processor. And at any rate I am sure you will see quite a few more to be released. The series consist of G1.Assassin2, UD7, UD and other test board today, the UD3. Granted the UD3 is the lowest of the four models but it does pack several features that will be looked for in a motherboard of this type. Support for overclocking, big time gaming and the all important stability. And because Gigabyte is so proud of their new offering they are backing the series with a five year warranty.

Strange to many of us is the location of the DIMM slots. No longer are all the slots located on the right corner of the motherboard which traditional has come to show us. Even number of slots are now located on each side of the CPU socket. In this case there are two on each side. Many of the mid to high-end motherboards will be equipped with three or four on each side. Due to a possible 25GB/s bus potential the X79 chipset now supports quad-channel memory addressing.

This particular motherboard supports a total of 32GB of DDR3 memory including 1066/1333/1600/1866 and 2133MHz modules. But one has to remember that the new processors have an integrated memory controller that is native to 1600MHz. So, anything above comes from the overclocking process.

The X79 chipset is only intended for socket 2011 processors like the 3960X and the 3930K. And with this being said new cooling hardware will need to be used. We have received several press releases of companies like Thermaltake and Noctua offering new mounting systems for some of their already made coolers.

With the CPU socket surrounded by DIMM slots and other components that may cause concern for those that want to use bigger coolers. We will take a more in depth look at this later. The UD3 uses an 8 phase power system to deliver reliable power to the CPU. And being part of the Ultra Durable 3 line-up the board uses all Japanese capacitors, lower RDS MOSFETS and ferrite core chokes. All benefiting you in various areas like lower overall operating temp of the motherboard, less wasted power and stability.

For a lesser end motherboard the UD3 has quite a few PCIe slots. There are two x16 and two x8 bandwidth slots which are all PCIe 3.0. Below the first and second longer slots are two x1 slot. And for legacy purposes there is a single PCI slot. For those wanting multi-GPU configurations the UD3 does support SLI and Crossfire up to 4-way.

In need of storage support look on further. The UD3 has a total of ten SATA ports. Starting from the right the two white ports is SATA III (Intel X79), four black ports are SATA II (Intel X79) and four gray ports are SATA III and controlled via a Marvel 88SE9172 controller. The Intel based ports support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 while the Marvel units support RAID 0 and 1.

The UD3 also gives you all the small comforts of the more expensive motherboards. There is a total of five fan header to control more than the minimum amounts to keep a system cool and air properly circulating. The AUX CPU power connector is located where behind the VRM and phase heat sink.

And speaking of heat sinks the UD3 has a total of two; the above mentioned one as well as one for the PCH. We have seen before launch that a number of motherboards are using active cooling on the PCH. But not in this case we assume the reason is overall overclocking that can be done on this board.

  • PS/2 (mouse/KB)
  • 10x USB ports (8x USB 2.0 & 2x USB3.0)
  • 2x eSATA (Marvell 88SE9172)
  • 1x LAN port (Intel)
  • 7.1 channel audio (Realtek ALC898)