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Gigabyte X99 UD4 Motherboard Review

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Gigabyte X99 UD4 Motherboard Review



We are really impressed with the Intel’s new X99 platform; it got some serious power with introduction of latest DDR4 quad channel memory support. All power comes at a price and it’s not a low one. But ones platform is up and running, you will realize that it’s a powerful system that is capable of handling all your heavy resource hungry applications fast and smoothly.

When it comes to building a new X99 based PC, one of the toughest decision is which motherboard to buy. There are many fantastic options available in market from big manufactures like Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI. However, today is all about our first X99 motherboard review from Gigabyte, the Gigabyte X99 UD4 is part of the popular Ultra Durable Series from Gigabyte and one the more affordable models.

The Gigabyte X99 UD4 is based on the Intel X99 Express chipset with socket LGA2011-v3 processors support which currently includes Core i7 5xxx series CPUs and Xeon E5 1xxx-v3 and E5 2xxx-v3 CPUs. Gigabyte X99 UD4 utilizes 6-phase digital power design with IR digital PWM & IR PowIRstage® ICs from International Rectifier with Cooper Bussmann’s filter chokes. Gigabyte X99 UD4 comes with all black metallic solid electrolytic 10K capacitors rated for 10,000 hours.

Now let?s see what this Intel X99 chipset based board have for us.

Package - Inside the box




Looking at the front of the box, we see gigabyte logo with Ultra durable graphics and motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that Gigabyte goes into great detail on the specifications of the X99-UD4 motherboard. Opening the box gives a glimpse of the actual product.




Moving into the bundle, we've actually got a fair bit included. Since the Gigabyte X99-UD4 is capable of 4 way SLI, Gigabyte has provided nearly all the options available for SLI but only 1 Crossfire bridge alongside usual cables, rear I/O, SATA cables, drive disk and manual.



Rather using standard SATA cables and rear I/O plate, Gigabyte has gone outside the box here and includes 4 sets of black sleeve SATA cables and designed an LED back lit I/O Shield that lights up, with all EMI shielding in mind also. You will notice a wire plug going into the MB to power LED. Also all LED’s can be turned ON/OFF using Ambient LED software package. Great job Gigabyte for focusing on such small details which modders and enthusiasts love to see.








LOOKS
Board is in a black and yellow colour theme.



Layout
Detailed layout of the board



1. Intel LGA2011-3 CPU Socket


2. 8 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory


3. 4. 24-pin ATX and 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors.


5. Back I/O Ports. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port, 1 x PS/2 mouse port, 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports, 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 1 x RJ-45 port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In), 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connector holes .


6, 7, 17, 20. 2 x CPU Fan headers, 3 x System Fan headers


8. Back I/O and Chipset LED Connector.


9, 10. M.2 Socket 3 Wifi and SSD Card connector


11. Intel x99 Chipset cooled with Solid aluminum and copper heat-pipe heatsink with LED and Gigabyte logo


12, 13. 1 x SATA Express connector, 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors


14 to 21. front panel header, USB 3.0/2.0 header, 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header,PCIe power connector, front panel audio header


22. Thunderbolt add-in card connector


23. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIE_1, PCIE_2) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIE_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIE_1 and PCIE_2 slots. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIE_3, PCIE_4)* The PCIE_4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIE_1 slot. When the PCIE_4 slot is populated, the PCIE_1 slot will operate at up to x8 mode. * When an i7-5820K CPU is installed, the PCIE_2 slot operates at up to x8 mode and the PCIE_3 operates at up to x4 mode. (All PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.) 3 x PCI Express x1 slots (The PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)


Removing Heat sinks
Solid aluminum and copper heat-pipe type heatsink with thermal pad installed, giving great passive cooling to VRM MOSFETs and x99 chipset.




Perfectly designed heatsinks and board layout results in given a great socket room to install some big after market Air cooling solutions.



Components Layout
Let’s now see what all components Gigabyte have planned for this board.


1. 6-phase digital power, server level Cooper Bussmann chokes coils and Durable Black solid capacitors. IR3580 is IR (International Rectifier) 8-phase single output PWM Controller IC. IR3556M (Integrated PowIRstage) is a synchronous buck gate driver co-packed with a control MOSFET and a synchronous MOSFET with integrated Schottky diode with output current capability of 50A DC each.



2. 2-Phase digital memory power supply section. IR 3570A is IR (International Rectifier) Dual output 4+1 and 3+2 phase PWM Controllers. IR 3553M is a synchronous buck gate driver co-packed with a control MOSFET and a synchronous MOSFET with integrated Schottky diode with output current capability of 40A DC each and AS393m Dual precision voltage comparators IC


3. Renesas Electronics YET-D720210-0004 Usb 3.0 4-Port Hub Chip.


4. Intel i218v one Gigabit Ethernet controller chip.


5. Gigabyte AMP-UP Audio is powered by Realtek ALC1150 (under the EMI shield) 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.
A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. Audio section is having premium Nichicon Gold Capacitors 100uf/6.3v for audio filtration. In addition Gigabyte used one N5532 Op-amp for rear audio amplification. So licensing under Stereo mode produces high audio quality with excellent dynamic range.






RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing Gigabyte x99 AMP-UP High Definition audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by AMP-UP Audio.
RMAA Asus Xonar DX


RMAA AMP-UP Audio


6. ITE's IT8951e is the motherboard built-in Q-Flash Plus controller, which allows a BIOS flash to take place even if no RAM or CPU is installed.


7. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UFIE BIOS


8. Intel X99 Express Chipset


9. ITE IT8620e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.


10. Fan control and monitoring is performed via ITE IT8792E the system controller.


11. NXP L04083B . NXP Semiconductors a 4 differential channel, 2-to-1 multiplexer / demultiplexer switch for PCI Express Generation 3


12. IDT 6V49322NLG clock generator IC for SATA Express interface.



Testing
Test system configuration - Intel i7-5820K, 4 x 4 Corsair Vengeance LPX 2800MHz DDR4 RAM, Corsair H100i cooler, Samsung 830 SSD 256GB, Corsair TX750 750 Watts PSU, Asus HD-7750, Asus Xonar DX Sond Card, WD 1TB Green, HP DVD RW Drive.





BIOS







Bundled Software













Overclocking
Overclocking on Gigabyte x99 UD4 was very easy. Auto tuning feature of Gigabyte’s EasyTune application took Intel i7-5820K from stock 3.3GHz to 4.3Ghz easy.
Further under advanced CPU OC feature we were able to overclock upto 4.8GHz stable with Vcore at 1.398v and VRIN at 1.826v.

Stock CPUz


OC CPUz



Benchmark
HyperPi 0.99 32M (Lower is better)


W Prime v2.10



Power Consumption
Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.


Pros
  • Affordable X99 board
  • Very Stable
  • Good and easy OC with Easy Tune
  • I/O LED with ON/OFF capabilities
  • Black sleeve SATA cables
  • Built-in M.2 and SATA Express support


Cons
  • Wifi card not bundled
  • Idle power consumption a bit high


Conclusion
Gigabyte X99 UD4 is a great x99 chipset base board having a good value for money. While it lacks few features which are available in other boards, it still offer great features and looks awesome too. Paired with the i7 5820K, 16GB of DDR4, and a nice single video card solution, you would have yourself a system that would offer tons of performance with great price value. When it comes to overclocking, Easy Tune software took i7 5820k up to 4.3 GHz easy and with manual tuning this board overclocked the CPU further upto 4.8 Ghz stable. GIGABYTE also included the M.2 WiFi standard port rather than mini-PCIe which is interesting to see.

At the conclusion, for users going budget, the Gigabyte X99 UD4 is worth a look.

Manufacturers Info
Site Link

Thanks.
Rakesh Sharma
Edited by rakesh_sharma23 - 1/11/15 at 9:45pm
post #2 of 4
Nicely done review thumb.gif
Going to be chaep
(16 items)
 
Wife's Rig
(12 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-3770k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH MSI GTX460 G.Skill TridentX 2400 2 x 4GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Plextor M5p 128GB 2 x WD 500GB Blues LG Prolimatech Megahalems Rev C 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Arctic F12 CO PWM x 2 Push/Pull Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate LG IPS235V Corsair AX850 
Case
Coolermaster HAF 912 advanced (Asia version) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5-3570K Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Inno3D Ichill GTX660 8GB G.Skill RipjawsX 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 830 128GB WD black 500GB Liteon Coolermaster Hyper 212+ EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 7 ultimate Samsung Syncmaster 932gwe+ OCZ ZT series 550W Coolermaster 410 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
1.67Ghz Atom stock 1GB DDR2 2 x 500GB Western Digital Cavier Blacks [RAID 1] 
CoolingOSPowerCase
stock DSM3.2 [built on linux] stock stock 
OtherOther
Synology DX510 Expansion unit 5 x 1TB WD Cavier Blacks in a RAID 6 
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Going to be chaep
(16 items)
 
Wife's Rig
(12 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-3770k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH MSI GTX460 G.Skill TridentX 2400 2 x 4GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Plextor M5p 128GB 2 x WD 500GB Blues LG Prolimatech Megahalems Rev C 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Arctic F12 CO PWM x 2 Push/Pull Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate LG IPS235V Corsair AX850 
Case
Coolermaster HAF 912 advanced (Asia version) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5-3570K Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Inno3D Ichill GTX660 8GB G.Skill RipjawsX 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 830 128GB WD black 500GB Liteon Coolermaster Hyper 212+ EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Win 7 ultimate Samsung Syncmaster 932gwe+ OCZ ZT series 550W Coolermaster 410 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
1.67Ghz Atom stock 1GB DDR2 2 x 500GB Western Digital Cavier Blacks [RAID 1] 
CoolingOSPowerCase
stock DSM3.2 [built on linux] stock stock 
OtherOther
Synology DX510 Expansion unit 5 x 1TB WD Cavier Blacks in a RAID 6 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 4
Great review - moved to correct section - Intel / Motherboards. thumb.gif
     
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks.
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