GIGABYTE's GA-X79-UD3 and GA-X79-UD7 (OC) LGA2011 ATX Sandy Bridge-E Motherboards Reviewed

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Moving on to 3D performance influenced by PCI express bandwidth, the Deluxe still holds the title. With a little more tuning, the UD3 and UD7 could get closer. Overclocked to 4.5 GHz using Easy Tune 6 produced a 9400 or more 3DMark11 scores on both boards overclocked. The potential is there for higher clocks and better performance as the CPU yields get better.

Batman Arkham City

Since this game title is heavily GPU dependent, it's not surprising to see very little performance difference. If any of these scores were lower, it would point to a troubled platform. Everything is running at optimal levels.

Metro 2033

Again, the platforms reveal they all make optimal use of the video cards separated by tenths. The UD7 made just slightly better use of the cards. I wouldn't call it a win unless it were at least a couple frames different.

RightMarkAudio Analyzer

After running separate audio tests, both the UD3 and UD7 had very close results revealing both motherboards share a similar quality of audio implementation. When listening and watching some media, audio was pretty decent right up to about 70% of volume. Any higher and the audio got a little noisy. GIGABYTE uses a basic audio driver and software. There aren't any extra features built in to the software so what we see here is what we get.

IO Performance and Quality Control

Since most of the boards are share similar data controllers, the results are often uneventful. Much like our results above. However, the P9X79 Deluxe offers an extra ASMedia SATA 6Gb/s controller which has been slightly favored for cost effectiveness and performance reasons. We show it's results here because they were available. But for the most part, the GIGABYTE's and the rest of the pack perform the same or similar.

Network Performance

A lot of folks wonder just how fast the networking is on different motherboards especially when it comes to extra features like Wi-Fi. We setup a network consisting of a Gigabit switch and a Linksys wireless router that is approximately 25 feet away behind two walls.

The pack all share similar file traffic performance because they share the same network processors. If you're wondering, the E2100 is tuned to prioritize regular file traffic lower than UDP game packets so bandwidth is less. The Wi-Fi cards don't do too shabby at all because they use ring nut attached dual antennae.

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As our Senior PC Hardware Editor, Eric has been working with tech since before serving in the military where he really got to play with some very cool hardware. As for his prowess on the virtual battlefield, don't let the teddy bear exterior fool you. He can frag and pwn with the best in just about any first person shooter. You may run in to him at LANs, tech shows, and gaming shows, so do say hello.

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