Gigabyte X99-UD3P Motherboard Review

Introduction

Intel’s release of the Haswell-E and the corresponding X99 chipset has created quite a buzz. The new design brought many of the features of the previously released Z97 to the Intel Extreme line up. With the new chipset release there has also been another important change, the introduction of DDR4 memory. Gigabyte has been kind enough to send us one of their recently released X99 chipset motherboards, the GA-X99-UD3P. The GA-X99-UD3P is part of their Ultra Durable line and is designed to be one of Gigabyte’s most affordable X99 solutions.

The GA-X99-UD3P supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel Core processors. There is up to 4-way AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI support. A precise digital CPU power design helps squeeze out those Mhz from your CPU. A SATA Express offer support for 10 Gb/s data transfers. On the networking side, Intel I218V Gigabit LAN does the duties Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in rear audio amplifier supplies your audio needs. Dual M.2 technology provides users PCI-Express connectivity for SSD devices and for WiFi and/or Bluetooth 4.0 cards.

Gigabyte has not been remiss on the software side either. They have revised their UEFI DualBIOS, which has exclusive GIGABYTE OC features. There is also an application center that allows quite a bit of control over the BIOS, overclocking, and other various features from inside the Windows environment. If that was not enough, Gigabyte has also added a new feature called Cloud Station, which allows that control from a smart phone as well.

Gigabyte’s take on the GA-X99-UD3P

Support for DDR4 XMP up to 3333MHz

DDR4 memory modules are available at a stock frequency of 2133MHz, but memory vendors encode XMP profiles which can automatically modify the frequency and timings of the supported memory modules to work in par with your CPU. With the X99 Champion Series, GIGABYTE is offering a tested and proven platform that ensures proper compatibility with profiles up to 3333MHz..

Genuine All Digital Power Design

GIGABYTE X99 series motherboards use an all digital CPU power design from International Rectifier® which includes both 4th Generation digital PWM Controllers and industry-leading 3rd Generation PowIRstage® controllers. These 100% digital controllers offer incredible precision in delivering power to the motherboard’s most power-hungry and energy-sensitive components, allowing enthusiasts to get the absolute maximum performance from their new Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme Edition CPUs.

IR Digital PWM & IR PowIRstage® ICs

This new generation of IR® digital power controllers and PowIRstage® ICs feature Isense technology, which provide more precise current sensing accuracy. This helps evenly distribute the thermal loading between the PowerIRstage® ICs, preventing the overheating of each individual PowerIRstage®, resulting in longer lifespan and better reliability.

Server Level Chokes

GIGABYTE X99 series motherboards feature Server Level Chokes.

• Server level reliability

• High current capacity

• New design reduces heat created by power loss and provides efficient power delivery to CPU VRM area.

Single Package Design

IR® has leveraged it’s world class packaging technology developed for the DirectFET®, improving the thermal capability and layout of the PowIRstage® significantly over that of other MCM packages.

Single Package Design* VS. Multi-Chip Design

Other MOSFET layout implementations use a multi-chip, side-by-side arrangement of the high and low side MOSFETs and driver ICs, taking up significant board real estate and creating more electrical leakage.

3-Way / 4-Way Graphics with Premium PCIe x16 Lane Up to *320Gb/s Bandwidth

GIGABYTE X99 motherboards feature a unique PCI Express design that utilizes 100% of all 40 lanes from the CPU when in a 4-Way or 3-Way graphics configuration. Standard designs limit all 4 main PCIe lanes to x8 (64Gb/s) bandwidth, but thanks to the onboard external clock generator combined with the direct connection of one of the x16 lanes to the CPU (switchless design), GIGABYTE X99 motherboards can unlock the full bandwidth available and provide the best graphics bandwidth possible to the user.

Next Generation SATA Express Connector

GIGABYTE X99 series motherboards feature an onboard SATA Express connector which provides performance far superior to that of current SATA technologies. SATA Express features data transfer rates of up to 10Gb/s, considerably higher than SATA Revision 3 (6Gb/s), which won’t bottleneck faster NAND flash technologies in cutting edge SSDs. SATA Express combines the benefits of PCI-Express and SATA to provide much higher bandwidth, allowing SATA Express based drives to perform at similar speeds as PCI-Express based drives.

Dual M.2 Technology for SSD Drive and WIFI Card

Fast Data Transfer and Advanced WIFI Networking

GIGABYTE X99 motherboards featuring Dual M.2 technology provides users PCI-Express connectivity for SSD devices and for 11AC WIFI + Bluetooth 4.0 card. Delivering up to 10 Gb/s data transfer speeds, M.2 offers considerably faster storage performance than current mSATA and even SATA Revision 3 (6Gb/s) storage devices. GIGABYTE’s stacked design optimizes the PCB real-estate usage, allowing more components to be efficiently added without compromising any space.

Next Generation SATA Express Connector

GIGABYTE X99 series motherboards feature an onboard SATA Express connector which provides performance far superior to that of current SATA technologies. SATA Express features data transfer rates of up to 10Gb/s, considerably higher than SATA Revision 3 (6Gb/s), which won’t bottleneck faster NAND flash technologies in cutting edge SSDs. SATA Express combines the benefits of PCI-Express and SATA to provide much higher bandwidth, allowing SATA Express based drives to perform at similar speeds as PCI-Express based drives.

Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in Rear Audio Amplifier

115dB SNR HD Audio

The Realtek ALC1150 is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec that delivers an exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.

The ALC1150 provides ten DAC channels that simultaneously support 7.1-channel sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs. Two stereo ADCs are integrated and can support a microphone array with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming (BF), and Noise Suppression (NS) technologies. The ALC1150 incorporates Realtek proprietary converter technology to achieve Front differential output 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality.

That is certainly a long list, but certainly not of the features. We will explore those later.  Let us take a look at the product specifications and packaging next.

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