glam3 GIGABYTE X79 UD7 Overclocking Review

Let’s take a look at GIGABYTE's latest top dog overclocking LGA2011 motherboard, the X79-UD7. It is equipped with slot configuration for quad SLI, a new IR digital PWM with a 16 phase VRM, tons of cool overclocking features all in an XL-ATX form factor. Follow us as we go over every single feature, test out GIGABYTE's new UEFI BIOS, and overclock this bad boy. We will do a comparison of stock VS a typical high end overclock for 24/7and see how much performance we gain. So let’s take a look at what GIGABYTE has dished out as their new OC board!

Introduction:

IMG 8573 GIGABYTE X79 UD7 Overclocking Review

Today we venture into the world of GIGABYTE's LGA2011 top overclocking board, the X79-UD7. With all the dazzle of their X58A-OC GIGABYTE has produced a quite similar beast in terms of features and specs. The X58A-OC was a board targeted towards overclockers and only overclockers, since then we heard that GIGABYTE sales decided that a board with the -OC moniker wouldn't sell well. So now it looks like GIGABYTE has replaced their traditional UD7 with a sort of hybrid. The X79-UD7 doesn't carry many more features than the other boards when it comes to connectivity, but it is unique in its own right. Equipped with only 4-DIMMs compared to the UD5's 8, and with the ability to run quad GPU configurations in an XL-ATX (1 expansion slot more than regular ATX) package, the UD7 is an overclocker's dream or so it seems. If you owned or saw the original X58A-OC you've witnessed GIGABYTE's finest OC board with the exception of the X58A-UD9. When you look at the X79-UD7 you see an uncanny resemblance to the X58A-OC. It might be because of the orange/black color scheme, or the frequency buttons and read points, or maybe the hefty VRM and dual 8-pin power connectors that give it away but the X79-UD7 is an X79-OC in disguise. 

 GIGABYTE X79 UD7 Overclocking Review

The X79 chipset has all the goodies one could ever imagine, except for a few things. First off it is missing USB 3.0, something we hope to see with Intel's Z77 chipset. Second it is missing all of those SAS/SATA6GB/s ports we saw at IDF! That was a lot of SATA/SAS and now we have none of it, we basically have a redo of the Z68 chipset just without SSD Caching and iGPU support. What is more interesting about the LGA2011 platform is what is the CPU has in store for us. Even though the current LGA2011 CPU's lack virtualization and PCI-E 3.0 certification, they still have many features. Quad channel memory controller with supreme overclocking abilities is a plus as is PCI-E 3.0 which can't be claimed until the second stepping gets PCI-SIG certification. We seem to take for granted the 40 PCI-E lanes and native Quad SLI/CF support. With LGA2011 we have Intel moving back to satisfy the overclocker, of course not how we would like, but BLCK straps are nothing to push to the side. Today we will take a look at GIGABYTE’s top LGA2011 board for overclockers, let’s see how it does. 

Specifications

 

CPU Support

  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors in the LGA2011 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU

Chipset

Intel® X79 Express Chipset

Memory

  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
    * Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
  2. 4 channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Multi-GPU Support

Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology

Expansion Slots

  1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
    * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
  2. 2 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
    * The PCIEX8_2 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_2 slot. When the PCIEX8_2 slot is populated, the PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
    (All PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
  3. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

Storage

Chipset:

  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2/3/4/5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
    * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.

2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:

  1. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/7/8/9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1

LAN

1 x Intel GbE LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Audio

  1. Realtek ALC898 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby® Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF Out

USB

Chipset:

  1. Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)

2 x Fresco FL1009 chips:

  1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

FireWire

-

GIGABYTE Unique Features

  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune
    * Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
  8. Support for Smart 6™
  9. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
  10. Support for ON/OFF Charge
  11. Support for Cloud OC
  12. Support for 3TB+ Unlock
  13. Support for TouchBIOS
  14. Support for Q-Share

Back Panel I/O Ports

  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x CPU overclocking button
  3. 1 x BIOS switch button
  4. 1 x Clear CMOS button
  5. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  6. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  7. 1 x RJ-45 port
  8. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  9. 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In, Mic In, Line Out)

Internal I/O Connectors

  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
  3. 2 x PCIe power connectors
  4. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  5. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 6 x system fan headers
  8. 1 x front panel header
  9. 1 x front panel audio header
  10. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  11. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  12. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  13. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  14. 1 x power button
  15. 1 x reset button
  16. 1 x onboard voltage measurement module
  17. 1 x Gear button
  18. 1 x CPU BCLK Down button
  19. 1 x CPU BCLK Up button
  20. 1 x CPU Ratio Down button
  21. 1 x CPU Ratio Up button
  22. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) heade

BIOS

  1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a

Support Disc

Drivers
GIGABYTE Utilities 

Norton Anti-Virus

Form Factor

XL-ATX Form Factor; 32.4cm x 25.3cm