|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Gigabyte X79-UD3 Motherboard|
|Posted by Dexter K.|
|Tuesday, 07 February 2012 23:00|
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The Box, The Accessories, The BoardThe box is a nice contrast from the board itself. Being white it helps bring out the features of the board when you open the box and take a look inside. The box is covered with many different features the X79-UD3 offers. Opening up the box you get a few standard accessories such as a manual, installation DVD, SATA cables, and I/O shield aside from the board itself. Aside from the basics you get a two-way SLI cable, three-way SLI connector, four-way SLI connector and an extended length Crossfire connector for those of you who want to use the 16x pcie slots together.
Moving onto the board you get the black on black look that gigabyte has taken up recently. When pairing it with different colored ram and video cards I must say it looks great. The layout of the board itself is not bad, but it could be better. If you are using a waterblock you will have no issues, but using a large air heatsink I ran into tons of problems. Ram could be spaced a little bit farther from the cpu socket in order to allow for large heatsinks and with a large air heatsink I was unable to use the first pcie connector so keep that in mind if you are looking at using a large air cooler.
When installing a video card in the top pcie 16x slot keep in mind that the networking chip is near the edge of the board so it is very easy to cause damage to your NIC if you are not careful. The same can be said for the second full length slot right below it, the sound chip is there so be careful if you are using a case and installing any expansion cards.
Full length Pcie slot spacing on the Gigabyte X79-UD3 is great if you intend to run 3-way or 4-way sli/crossfire. There is sufficient space to allow for three-way video cards in addition to keeping the bottom slot open in case you want to install a wireless card or better sound card.
Gigabyte has added a feature many companies are overlooking these days, a legacy PCI slot. This is a good move for most people out there. Not everyone wants to upgrade all of their expansion cards to PCIe so this allows the use of an older sound card or whatever else you just cannot bear to upgrade.
One thing I was extremely disapointed with was Gigabyte choosing to not include an LED indication that power is applied to the board. All of the boards I have owned over the last seven-years or so have had one so why Gigabyte chose to not include one on an (almost) $300 motherboard is beyond me.
Sadly the CPU socket area is not very clean so for all of you guys doing extreme cooling you will have your work cut out for you. The socket is even close enough to the first PCIe slot that it can cause issues with the top slot depending on how big of a heatsink you are using.
The ram slots are a little too close to the socket for my liking, there appears to be space on both sides where the ram slots could be a little bit farther away which is something Gigabyte could keep in mind for future boards so guys with taller ram could be able to use large heatsinks without problems.