The Gigabyte X79-UD3 on the surface looks to be a very solid choice for anyone looking to pair it with the Intel i7-3930 socket 2011 processor. At the time of this writing this motherboard and processor was one of the cheapest around without taking into account rebates and special orders. But besides price, Gigabyte did do a good job of building a very motherboard with a lot of high qualities.
Just a couple of exterior ways we saw Gigabyte cut cost was to first eliminate four of the eight DIMM slots. This here will limit the user when it comes to the max amount of memory supported. But honestly most enthusiasts as well as gamers are truly satisfied with 2x4GB kits. But the price of 16GB kits is dropping to a more subtle price point so there is an option as well. Cooling was another area we saw very little of. Some of the higher end motherboards have large heat sinks along with active cooing to take care of the heat produced by the PCH especially doing overclocking sessions. The UD3 does lack the number of SATA ports compared to several of the motherboards out there. But the chance of many of us needing to occupy more than ten storage devices is slim.
Enough about what the UD3 doesn’t have and more about what it does have. First, would be the fact it does support multi-GPU setups up to 4-way configurations. This is definitely a way to increase your gaming performance as time goes by. The 8 phase power configuration is first allow for very good stable and reliable power to the CPU, memory slots as well as other areas of the motherboard. Second, it allows for some decent 24/7 overclocks.
And for those that are external storage freaks or have a lot of peripherals that need to be connected to USB ports, you will be glad to know this motherboard has several. A total of ten are present and throwing in the USB headers on the motherboard a whole lot more can be added. And if you plan to add (or have) some form of front panel USB 3.0 device there is even a header on the motherboard to support that.
Even with the overclocking slightly different from the Sandy Bridge processor, the X79-UD3 did a good job on our retail 3930K Sandy Bridge E processor. Our limit with the modest voltage increase to 1.4v resulted in a 4.6GHz very stable overclock.
We feel that the Gigabyte X79-UD3 is worth every penny it cost which is about $230. This is the lowest price range of the X79 lineup from any manufacturer. Matched with the new Intel Core i7 3820 is a match well worth looking into.