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::>Motherboards > 2014 > 11 > GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

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Republish review

16-11-2014


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Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4: review and testing

After learning the products of GIGABYTE Overclocking and GIGABYTE G1 GAMING on a new set of system logic for enthusiasts (Intel X99), we will discuss a more affordable model that is a good solution for the building top systems with multiple graphics cards. The key features of GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 include qualitative audio subsystem support of two interfaces M.2 (one for storage and one for the wireless interface module, which can be purchased separately), improved circuitry and implementation of a number of proprietary technologies. But first of all let’s start to consider the detailed technical specifications of new item.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The specs:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-X99-UD4 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel X99

CPU socket

Socket LGA2011-v3

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 Extreme of Intel Haswell-E family

Memory frequency

2133 / 2400* / 2666* / 2800* / 3000* MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

8 x DDR4 DIMM- slots with the support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (CPU)

 

40 lines

28 lines

х16

х16+х16

х16+х16+х8

х16+х8+х8+х8

х16

х16+х8

x16+х8+х4

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х M.2 (for module of wireless interfaces Wi-Fi and Bluetooth)

Disk subsystem

Intel X99 chipset supports:

1 х M.2 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

24-pin ATX main power connector

8-pin ATX12V power connector

Socket for additional power PCI Express

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset o connected by heat pipe with radiator on power elements 

External I/O

2 х PS/2 (for mouse and keyboard connection)

1 x LAN (RJ45)

6 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

5 x audio jacks

1 х optical S/PDIF Out

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express

1 x socket TPM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS reset

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 х module TB_HEADER

1 х groups for thermal sensors sockets

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 х 128 Мb

PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver and utility disc

4 x SATA cables

1 x bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 x bridge 2-Way AMD CrossFireX

2 x bridge 3-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 x bridge 4-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х splitter ATX12V

1 х interface panel plug

Form factor,

Dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Packaging and content

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The box of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 is made of thick and high-quality cardboard, decorated with printed labels in dark yellow colors. The front side has a logo of the brand concept of Ultra Durable.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

On the reverse side is a schematic diagram of the motherboard, its interface board, and a description of the key benefits of new product:

  • 4-Way Graphics Support – supports of up to four graphics cards with the distribution lines as follows: x16 / x16 + x16 / x16 + x16 + x8 / x16 + x8 + x8 + x8.
  • IR Digital PWM & IR PowIRstage ICs - power subsystem of processor and memory is based on digital PWM controllers of fourth generation and chips of third-generation manufactured by International Rectifier.
  • SATA Express - SATA Express interface supports data transfer rates up to 10 Gb/s.
  • Dual M.2 - novelty is equipped with two interfaces M.2. The first is used for the installation of drives (carrying capacity up to 10 Gb/s), while the second is designed for wireless interfaces (sold separately).
  • Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio - preinstalled audio codec Realtek ALC1150 which uses a special amplifier TI N5532 with support of studio headphones with an impedance of 600 Ohms offers eight-channel sound and provides playback of audio with S/N ratio at the level of 115 dB.
  • Audio Noise Guard with Trace Path Lightning - the area of the PCB with soldered sound system is shielded with a special metal strip with LED-backlit of red color.
  • Cooper Bussmann Server Level Chokes - all power circuits use chokes Cooper Bussmann with the server level of reliability and reduce heat dissipation.
  • Long Lifespan Solid Capacitors - all power circuits of the motherboard use exclusively Japanese solid capacitors of Series Durable Black.
  • Gold Plated CPU Socket – the CPU socket contacts are covered with a 30 micron layer of gold.
  • Gold Plated DDR4 & PCIe Slots - contacts of these connectors are covered with a 30 micron layer of gold.
  • Q-Flash Plus USB Port - one of the USB port on the interface panel is designed to update the BIOS firmware from the flash drive.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Package of GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 completely corresponds to high level motherboard and contains:

  • User's Guide;
  • guarantee brochure;
  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • four SATA braid cables;
  • bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI;
  • two bridges 3-Way NVIDIA SLI;
  • bridge 4-Way NVIDIA SLI;
  • bridge 2-Way AMD CrossFireX;
  • splitter ATX12V;
  • plug of interface panel with backlight.

Design and features  

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

New product is made in PCB black of size ATX (305 x 244 mm). It looks very strictly due to a very good combination of dark and orange-yellow colors in the design of the radiator.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Do note the care of GIGABYTE about modding fans. So, the interface panel plug, radiator for cooling the chipset and the strip that separates the region of the printed circuit board with a sound system has yellow LED-backlit.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Use the supplied utility GIGABYTE Ambient LED, the user can select the mode of audio codec illumination and disable lighting of interface panel.

The layout of on-board components is generally quite competent: DIMM-slots are equipped with latches on one side only, while the SATA ports are arranged parallel to the surface of the board. Other ports and connectors also have comfortable access. 

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Looking at the reverse side of the PCB, it is possible to pay attention to the standard of the socket base plate, and the fact that both radiators are securely fastened by screws.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, S/PDIF Out, TPM port, two of three sockets for system fans, front panel module (with color separation), CMOS, as well as socket of additional power PCIe. Note three modules for activation of USB ports: two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four are internal and four on the interface panel. Here are two internal and two external USB 3.0 ports. As for additional four USB 3.0 ports on the interface panel, they are operated due to controller Renesas D720210.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The possibilities of organize a disk subsystem are presented by socket M.2 with carrying capacity up to 10 Gb/s (support of SSD-drives of format M.2 2242, 2260 and 2280), eight eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports and one SSTA Express which is compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s. There is a support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. Due to the lack of free chipset lines the simultaneous use of SATA Express and M.2 is impossible. Also note the additional interface M.2, which is intended for the optional wireless interfaces Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The system board GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 has eight DIMM-slots for memory modules of DDR4 standard which are equipped with clamps only on one side. RAM can operate in four-channel mode. To implement the multi channel modes the plates should be installed according one of the following schemes.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Modules operating at frequencies from 2133 MHz in the nominal mode and up to 3000 MHz in overclocking mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity can reach 64 GB, which is sufficient for almost all tasks.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Cooling system of the product includes two aluminum radiators, connected by heat pipe. The first is installed directly on chipset Intel X99, while the second covers the power elements. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 36.2°C;
  • radiator for cooling of processor elements power – 40.6°C.

The installed cooling system copes with its immediate tasks, ensuring adequate supply to critical values.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Processor power supply is performed via 6-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller IR3580. The circuitry is made by high quality components such as: black solid capacitors Durable Black, chips of Company International Rectifier with design Single Package as well as energy efficient chokes Cooper Bussmann. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding. Also here you can find additional PCI Express socket. It will be useful for building of strong graphics subsystem made of several graphics cards.

Special attention is given the previously mentioned complete splitter ATX12V, which is connected to the 8-pin power connector and allows you to power the three additional 8-pin power cables ATX12V. According to official recommendations, its use is desirable to provide sufficient power during extreme overclocking.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

To extend the functionality of GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 user has seven slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х16 or х8);
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х8);
  4. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  5. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х16);
  6. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  7. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х8).

As you can see, the new product offers excellent opportunities for the organization of the graphics subsystem as you can install up to 4 graphics cards in mode AMD CrossFireX or NVIDIA SLI. In this case, the line will be distributed by one of the schemes: х16 / х16 + х16 / х16 + х16 + х8 / х16 + х8 + х8 + х8. If you have processor Intel Core i7-5820K, the number of lines PCI Express 3.0 is limited to 28, and they are distributed as follows: x16 / x16 + x8 / x16 + x8 + x4.

Separately note that the layout of the connectors will allow you to easily install 4 double-slot or 2 three-slot graphics adapters. In the second case you will have another free slot PCI Express 2.0 x1.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Operation of four USB 3.0 ports on the interface panel is provided with two hubs Renesas D720210.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Proprietary function GIGABYTE Q-Flash Plus, which allows you to update the BIOS firmware from the flash drive, is functioned thanks to the controller ITE IT8951E.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Multi I/O capabilities are based on ITE IT8620E chip which controls the operation of the system fans, COM and PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

To support network connections there is GB LAN-controller Intel WGI218V. And for optimal distribution of network resources you can use the utility cFosSpeed, which is available in the package.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The audio subsystem is based on the HDA-codec 8-channel codec Realtek ALC1150 that provides the playing the sound in the ratio SNR at a level 115 dB and operates together with separate amplifier TI N5532 to support the operation of headphones with impedance of 600 Ohm. Additionally, we recall that the entire audio path is shielded from interference of other components of the motherboard with a protective strip with LED-backlit. Moreover, right and left audio channels are on separate layers of the PCB, which also contributes to improve the overall sound quality. 

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Interface panel of the model contains the following ports:

  • 2 х PS/2 (for mouse and keyboard connection);
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 6 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 5 x audio jacks;
  • 1 х opticalS/PDIF Out.

Interface Panel has ten USB ports and a convenient connection of multichannel speakers. Additionally we note the function of the BIOS firmware update from a flash drive, as well as connectors for mounting antennas Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The possibility of organizing the cooling system inside the case GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4 is very good. There are five 4-pin fan connectors, two of which are used for the cooling system of CPU, while the other five are for system fans.

UEFI BIOS

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

The motherboard is equipped with modern UEFI firmware based on microcode AMI with the capability to operate in four modes: “Smart Tweak HD” (resolution 1280), “Smart Tweak” (resolution 1024 without the display of CPU state, memory and system sensors), “Classic” (classical BIOS) and “StartUp” (mode of initial settings of BIOS).

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

As you may have noticed, during operation in the mode “Smart Tweak HD” there is no a separate section responsible for the monitoring of voltages and temperatures on the main components, as all the required data is displayed directly on the side panels. Here you can monitor the temperature of the processor and the fan speed; monitor the voltage on the modules of RAM, processor and on the lines of +12 V, +5 V and +3.3 V, as well as a number of other important parameters. Also note that not all items available in the mode “Classic” are in “Smart Tweak HD”. An interesting feature is the fact that if you do a screenshot in mode «Classic», it is automatically assigned a name that matches the name of the section where it was made.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

All settings related to key elements of the system are grouped in the respective tabs.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Using “Frequency” tab you can choose one of nine types of automatic optimization of system parameters (three per each of three presented Intel Haswell-E processors).

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-3200 MHz.

GIGABYTE GA-X99-UD4

If necessary, the section “Voltage” can provide the access the voltage on all the key components of the system.

Adjustments required to optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu name

Range

Pitch

CPU multiplier

CPU Clock Ratio

8 – MAX

 

 

CPU Base Clock

80,00 – 266,66

0,01

RAM frequency

System Memory Multiplier

800 – 3200

 

CPU voltage

CPU Vcore

0,500 – 1,700

0,001

Profiles of automatic overclocking

CPU Upgrade

Auto; 3,8; 4,0; 4,3 MHz

 

RAM voltage

DRAM Voltage (CH A/B)

1,000 – 2,000

0,010

DRAM Voltage (CH C/D)

1,000 – 2,000

0,010

 

DDRVPP Voltage (CH A/B)

2,0000 – 3,0000

0,0125

DDRVPP Voltage (CH C/D)

2,0000 – 3,0000

0,0125

 

DRAM Termination (CH A/B)

0,375 – 1,666

0,007

DRAM Termination (CH C/D)

0,375 – 1,666

0,007

Chipset voltage

PCH Core

0,650 – 1,300

 

0,005

 

Turbo Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

Core Current Limit

10 – 1000

1

 

CPU VRIN Protection

150,0 – 400,0

50

 

DDR CH(A/B) Voltage Protection

150,0 -325,0

50

 

DDR CH(C/D) Voltage Protection

150,0 -325,0

50

 

CPU VRIN PWM Switch Rate

400,0 – 600,0

50

 

DDR CH(A/B) PWM Switch Rate

300,0 - 500,0

50

 

DDR CH(C/D) PWM Switch Rate

300,0 - 500,0

50

 

CPU VRIN External Override

1,000 – 2,700

0,010

 

CPU RING Voltage

0,800 – 1,600

0,001

System agent voltage

CPU System Agent Voltage

-0,300 - +0,500

0,001

 

PCH I/O

1,050 – 1,900

0,005

RAM timing

Timing Control

CAS, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tRRD, tWTR, tWR, tWTP, tWL, tRFC, tRTP, tFAW

 


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