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Pros: The GA-X99-UD3P motherboard is quite the looker. It’s standard ATX size and is black with black connectors and black and gold heatsinks. The Amp-Up Audio is covered with a chrome shield and the gold capacitors look good against the black PC board. Looks-wises this is definitely a handsome board.
But now you must face the fact this is a bargain motherboard and there must be compromises and items left off. First off this board only sports 4 DDR4 slots. You might think this is a deal breaker but you can find 32 Gig memory kits that only use 4 Dimms and if you need more memory then that you’re probably going to spring for a more expensive board anyway. There are also no onboard power or reset switches and no debug LED but those aren’t the end of the world for the audience for a low end board like this. Also conspicuous by its absence is the heatsink usually seen next to the I/O panel although the 2 other heatsinks are joined by a long, narrow heatpipe.
The good is the board supports 3 way or 4 way SLI depending on the processor chosen and it has both an M.2 SSD slot and also a M.2 network slot although both can’t be used at the same time. There are also 1 SATA express port not that it’ll do you any good since there are no SATA Express drives out there anywhere. There are a total of 10 SATA 3 ports, all right angle which includes the 2 SATA Express ports. The I/O ports include 2 PS2 ports, 4 USB2, 6 USB3 including a Q-Flash port, an Intel GBE Ethernet port and the Realtek 1150 7.1 audio jacks. There is also an empty bracket for mounting 2 wireless antennas but they don’t come with the motherboard.
Outside of the USB 3 issue in cons my Windows 7 install went fine. The board seemed stable with my 5820K processor and 16 gigs of Crucial memory. Windows ran fast and smooth and all my software was installed with no problems. I installed the Gigabyte App Center utility and used it to update the BIOS and do some overclocking using Easy Tune. The extreme OC setting was 4.2 gigs and it worked easily. I’m using a big Corsair H110 dual 140 fan water cooler and it never even blew hot air. I played GTA 5 at 4K using my GTX 970 and although FRAPS reported a steady 23 FPS the game ran smooth as silk and not at all slowly at ultra settings. I am a little worried about pushing the overclock any higher considering this board is missing a heatsink but it was stable at a moderate overclock.
Other than that I didn’t really use the App Center much although I did play around with the fan controls. They are adequate but don’t offer nearly the customability of their ASUS counterpart. But they did work even if they weren’t terribly elegant. The UEFI BIOS is the same way; it’s functional if not good looking. All I can say is it does the job and that’s about all.
I let the system upgrade itself to Windows 10 and it went quite smoothly. Everything worked although there was a real problem with the App Center. See cons below.
Cons: OK, so I install the motherboard and it boots up OK and loads Windows 7 X64 OK. I’m cruising and thinking this is OK until I put the driver DVD in and install the recommended drivers. Everything proceeds fine and then the computer reboots and when it comes back I have no USB ports, either USB 2 or 3. Now I know my USB mouse was working before and during the driver install so the logical assumption is that a driver killed the ports. I check the Internet to see if anyone else had this problem but didn’t find anything. So I started installing drivers and of course the Intel USB 3 driver was the logical culprit and sure enough when I uninstalled that the USB ports were working again. Just to make sure I tried installing the driver from the Gigabyte driver DVD again and the ports stopped working. I tried the USB 3 driver from the Intel site but it said the computer didn’t meet the minimum requirements so in despair I tried the driver from Gigabyte and it worked. Problem solved and with only perhaps a half hour of hair pulling.
The problem is that someone not so familiar with computers might not be able to troubleshoot this problem and wind up in the hands of tech support. You’re supposed to be able to trust the driver DVD that comes with the motherboard. This is a real problem and I’m not sure if I just got a bum DVD or if the problem is more widespread. Whatever the reason it shouldn’t have happened and will effect my rating of the X99-UD3P.
The only real problem with the Windows 10 upgrade was the App Center which kept throwing up errors. Right now there are no Windows 10 utilities if you visit the X99-UD3P page on Gigabyte’s site but if you Google ‘App Center Windows 10’ it takes you to a Gigabyte site where you can download Windows 10 utilities. You have to download them all individually and I am having some trouble getting them to install correctly so it’s all a work in progress. Hopefully this will change as time goes by.
Other Thoughts: Of course the question is whether or not this is a worthy board. It’s definitely low cost in a market segment that seems to demand a premium on every component. I didn’t really miss anything that was omitted to keep the price down on this board. One might think that only having 4 memory sockets would hurt but there are plenty of 32 gig DDR 4 kits out there that only use 4 dimms and I doubt anybody needing more memory would buy a low end board like this. I have a much more expensive system using an Asrock X-99 Workstation board and the performance turned in by the X99-UD3P is virtually identical using the same processor and memory.
I’m not a real fan of the Gigabyte App Center but it did just what it was supposed to even if it wasn’t particularly pretty. I’m sure the App Center Windows 10 problem will sort itself out but right now it seems a bit broken. The USB 3 problem was a real mess but I’m not sure if this is the result of a single bad driver disk because I wasn’t able to find mention of it on the Internet or even on Gigabyte’s site.
So a somewhat tepid thumbs up to the X99-UD3P. It’s a budget board but most people won’t miss the items that have been removed. This is a handsome entry level enthusiast board and perfectly fits the bill. Hard core tweakers will probably choose a more expensive offering. But this is the perfect base for a 5820K build with 16 gigs of memory and a single video card.
This review is from: MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ AMD 970 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Pros: This motherboard does everything it claims. It's not bad looking and I didn't have any problems with it either in assembly or operation. The BIOS is up to date and easy to use.
Cons: I'm an Intel guy and I bought this for a customer build. The guy tried to give me a bad check so I was stuck with it for a month until I could sell it. To me personally this is old technology that has nothing going for it but a low price. I used an FX6350 6 core with this board and it couldn't even keep up with an Intel i3. Like I said, this is outdated tech even though it functions well and is inexpensive.
Other Thoughts: For an inexpensive build for someone that surfs the net and listens to music this is great. But for gaming stick with Intel; you'll be happier.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: See below
Cons: I wrote another review of this monitor and all of what I said in that review stands. But there is a small problem. Always make sure you turn this monitor on before you turn on your computer and don't turn it off while your computer is running. It has an annoying habit of not finding my display port connection once the video has been fed to the monitor. Turn on the computer and forget to turn on the monitor and you get nothing and are forced to reboot. Turn the monitor off after you put the computer to sleep and forget to turn it on first and you get no video. Turn the monitor off while the computer is running and the same thing happens. This isn't a deal breaker but it is annoying. Also the touch controls are flaky although simply turning on the monitor is easy enough.
Other Thoughts: Still a darn good monitor but be aware of these small but annoying problems.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Patrick H.
Date Joined: 07/18/03
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