Home / Component / CPU / Intel i7 3960X EE / Gigabyte GA X79 UD3 / 16GB GSkill Ripjaws Z (2133mhz) Review

Intel i7 3960X EE / Gigabyte GA X79 UD3 / 16GB GSkill Ripjaws Z (2133mhz) Review

The Gigabyte X79-UD3 motherboard ships in a white box with a logo of transparent cube on the front. This product features the new 3D Bios which has been heavily promoted by Gigabyte within the last week.

Inside is a driver/software disc, a user manual, quick installation guide, four sata cables, I/O shield, a 2 way, 3 way and 4 way SLI connector and a 2 way CrossfireX connector.

The motherboard is finished in a lovely matt black with black/dark grey heatsinks. It complies to the ATX standard measuring 30.5cm x 24.4 cm.

The Gigabyte motherboard is passively cooled with several heatsinks, designed to improve stability under heavy load, and when overclocking.

Unlike the more expensive ASUS motherboards on test today in other reviews, this Gigabyte board only has 4 memory slots for support up to 32GB. The only downside with this is that you will need to buy 8GB sticks to achieve a full 32GB, and they are very expensive. There is support for 2133/1866/1333 and 1066mhz DDR3 memory. As with all X79 boards the P9X79 Deluxe supports a Quad Channel memory architecture.

The board has four PCI Express x16 slots, two of which run at x16 (PCIEx16_1 and PCIEx16_2) and two at x8 (PCIEx8_1 and PCIEx8_2). All PCI Express x16 slots conform to the PCI Express 3.0 standard. The GA X79 UD3 has full support for 2 way, 3 way and 4 way CrossfireX and SLI. The PCIEx16 slots operate up to x8 mode when 3 way/4 way CrossfireX/SLI is enabled.

There are also 2x PCI Express x 1 slots and a single PCI slot.

The Gigabyte GA X79 UD3 board has 10 SATA slots. The two grey ports on the far left are controlled by the Marvell 88SE9172 chip and are SATA 3 (6GB/s) rated (supporting Raid 0 and Raid 1). The four black ports in the middle are controlled by the Intel X79 chipset and are SATA 2 (3 GB/s) rated. They support Raid 0, 1, 5 and 10. The two white ports on the far right are also controlled by the Intel X79 chipset and are SATA 3 (6GB/s) rated.

The final two SATA ports are along the bottom of the board, vertically mounted for front panel connection. These are controlled by the Marvell 88SE9172 processor and are SATA 3 (6 GB/s) rated. Next to these are audio headers, and multiple USB headers with a front panel section on the far right.

The back panel has connectors for 1x PS/2 keyboard/mouse, 1x optical S/PDIF out, 1x coaxial S/PDIF out, 8 x USB 2.0/1.1, 2 x USB 3.0/2.0, 2 x eSATA 6 GB/s connector, 1 x RJ-45 port and 6 audio jacks for surround sound.

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