Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3P Review – Haswell-E has been obliterating everything in its path for months on end. When there’s real, CPU-intensive work to be done, we can’t think of a chip we’d rather have on our side than one of Intel’s three current Core i7-59XX processors. In order to keep our build’s Core i7-5930K humming along without issue, we had to have a motherboard from a company with a track record in reliability that’s been unblemished in recent memory. Some overclocking chops wouldn’t hurt, either. GIGABYTE’s GA-X99-UD3P, with its ATX form factor to match our Fractal Design Define S case, is a perfect match.
Allow us to chronicle a few of the reasons the GA-X99-UD3P is as rugged as our system build’s namesake. GIGABYTE populates the PCB from top to bottom with components engineered to handle heavy loads. The board’s solid capacitors have a rated life span of 10,000 hours, well beyond standard solid caps. Server-grade chokes are littered across the GA-X99-UD3P; they’re more than capable of handling high currents, and a new design minimizes heat due to power loss and efficiently feeds power to the board’s VRM. The GA-X99-UD3P is built on a foundation of 2 ounces of copper—two 70μm-thick layers—for trace paths that can take on greater than normal power loads and for pulling heat away from the CPU power delivery area, both of which are vital for overclocking.
Despite not being part of GIGABYTE’s G1 GAMING line, the GA-X99-UD3P will let you install one hell of a graphics subsystem. With a Core i7-5960X or i7- 5930K, 4-way SLI or CrossFire is yours if you desire, and each of the mobo’s four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots will operate at x8/x8/x16/x8. In a two- or three-card setup, the top two graphics cards can run at x16.
This board is an almost surefire way to future proof your storage subsystem. Both M.2 and SATA Express are present and accounted for (although the two share PCIe bandwidth, so only one interface can be active at a time), giving you access to throughput up to 10Gbps. Garden-variety 6Gbps SATA (10 connectors) is available as well, naturally.
But wait, there’s more! In fact, there are so many cool features on the GAX99- UD3P that a single page barely does them justice. (But we’ll try.) EasyTune makes overclocking a fun, rather than intimidating, pursuit for beginners. Cloud Station Server can put your PC in the palm of your hand, via smartphone; share and back up files from your mobile device, remotely control and monitor your system, and even power it down remotely. The GA-X99-UD3P’s integrated audio is no slouch, and the integrated Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller uses cFos Speed, a network traffic management app that gives network priority to the programs (like games) you choose. Updated heatsinks and a customizable LED light path give the GA-X99-UD3P a nice look.
As X99 motherboards go, there’s little the GA-X99-UD3P can’t do. High-end hardware is welcome here; Sasquatch couldn’t be the beast it is without this motherboard.
Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3P Specifications
- Max memory: 64GB (DDR4-2133, DDR4-3333 max OC)
- Slots: 4 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 M.2 (for optional Wi-Fi module)
- Storage: 10 6Gbps SATA, 1 SATA Express, 1 M.2 (supports type 2242/2260/2280)
- Rear I/O: 2 PS/2, 6 USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 optical S/PDIF, audio I/O