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Gigabyte X79S-UP5-WIFI (with Intel Xeon E5 2660) Review

Rating: 9.0.

Today we are looking at the Gigabyte X79S-UP5-WIFI, an X79 motherboard based on the Intel C606 chipset. On paper this looks to be perfect as the foundation for a high end workstation system. Intel have also supplied an Xeon E5 2660 processor, an 8 core chip with hyperthreading support. How does this system handle a variety of tasks, including Studio Max 2011, Cinema 4D, video encoding and even some high definition gaming when paired up with a flagship 6GB discrete graphics card?

Building a system such as this, is not for the faint-hearted. This is a different sector to the mainstream enthusiast gaming systems we normally focus on. Xeon E5 prices are generally set between the £800-£2,000 mark and with a dual processor motherboard you could easily budget more than £5,000 for a high end workstation system.

The Gigabyte X79S-UP5-WIFI is a competitively priced single CPU motherboard which supports Core i7 processors such as the 3960 and 3630 which we normally use in our high end reviews. It also supports Xeon E5 processors such as the 2660 which we are using today.

Today we will build a luxury, yet (reasonably) affordable 16 thread processing powerhouse, then put it through its paces when editing images, working with high definition video and rendering 3D scenes. Is it any good when you have some downtime? Good enough for playing games at 5760×1080, across three monitors?

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  • Davis

    That is one insane motherboard. very impressive featureset. not that expensive either, I was factoring in £400 before I got to the conclusion.

  • Darth Digglers

    That GSKILL ares memory looks like it was made for the board.

    Good results, not for me, but I can appreciate the workstation desire for this. over £1,000 for the chip puts it firmly in the market for rendering and video work.

    Shame they cant be overclocked, but I see their more expensive Xeon’s cost quite a bit extra so wouldnt make much sense for them logistically.

  • Stevie

    These are great chips. they will always be locked out. the pro market doesn’t want unlocked chips, instability ALWAYS occurs with overclocking.

    Still I understand your point. would be nice to see performance at 4.5ghz. would be interested myself to see the headroom. 8 cores might heat up more than the 6 core 3960 and 3930. although im sure 4.5ghz would be possible with the H100.

  • Manucuna

    mega review Zardon – ive always loved Xeon processors. we adopted 6 of the new E5 2670 in our business for the network and serving clients.

    Our IT guys are always singing their praises for being 100% solid. personally im not into overclocking so id be happy with one of these, if I could justify the cost. 3930 is next on my list, but ill run it stock speeds.

  • Samuel

    Is the C606 chipset also suitable for a normal non-xeon build? I am planning on using this board for a future build since it is cheaper than most high-end X79 board, and I don’t really trust the first generation of X79 boards.

  • This board works with 2011 slot processors, including the 3930 and 3960, yes.