The Gigabyte X99-UD4 is a smart motherboard that provides an appealing array of hardware for its entry-level price tag. Unrestricted support for 4-card SLI and CrossFire configurations is just one of the features that you wouldn’t expect from a sub-£170 X99 motherboard.
Performance is generally positive, although Asus’ similarly-priced X99-A does manage to outperform the Gigabyte part in a number of tests. The margins are not huge, but they are noticeable for some synthetic benchmarks. USB 3.0 transfer rates were also notably slower than competing vendors’ solutions.
Overclocking capacity for the X99-UD4 is strong – our 5820K was able to hit its 4.5GHz limit with ease. Voltage delivery was accurate and, as proven by the power consumption numbers, very efficient. The CPU overclocking pre-sets were excellent – Gigabyte offers some of the highest pre-tuned frequencies that we have seen on an X99 part.
Motherboard layout is a little hit or miss. The expansion slot configuration is excellent for two-card users and makes four-card configurations a possibility. But placing the USB 3.0 header along the bottom edge leaves it susceptible to blockage by a VGA card. And the distribution of fan headers is not good for cable management practicality.
Gigabyte equips the X99-UD4 with a solid set of features. There is enhanced audio, a dedicated (and non-intrusive) M.2 WiFi connector, an LED in the IO shield for convenience, and two 10Gbps storage interfaces. That latter point also turns into a criticism – 10Gbps is slow for an M.2 storage connector by X99’s standards. Let’s not forget about the positive set of bundled accessories, either.
And then we get to the UEFI BIOS. While the Full HD resolution and wealth of information may appeal to some users, the interface appears a little muddled and can be difficult to navigate. More importantly, there are still bugs (some that are significant) in the interface over two months after the motherboard’s launch. That’s worrying from a consumer perspective.
Priced at £167.99 from OverclockersUK, Gigabyte’s X99-UD4 is an attractive way of making the entry onto Intel’s HEDT platform a more affordable outing. And by that logic, the board has achieved what it set to – offer a value solution for HEDT buyers.
Gigabyte has got a large proportion of the process correct with its X99-UD4. There is a strong balance of features that leverage the benefits of Intel’s X99 chipset and LGA2011-3 CPUs, and they do not command a significant price premium. But there are also a number of issues that a buyer must be aware of when contemplating the purchase of the attractively-priced Gigabyte X99-UD4.
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- Very aggressive pricing.
- Good overclocking performance.
- Efficient (and high-spec) power delivery system.
- Support for high-bandwidth 4-card configurations, including SLI.
- Smart PCIe slot spacing.
- Excellent CPU overclocking pre-sets.
- Strong audio performance.
- Positive set of bundled items.
- Only 10Gbps M.2 connector.
- BIOS software still has bugs.
- USB 3.0 header blocked by large graphics cards in lower slots.
- USB 3.0 performance is slower than the competition’s.
KitGuru says: An aggressively-priced X99 motherboard with plenty of positives, but it exhibits some niggling issues.