Gigabyte X79-UD3 Motherboard
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 03-17-2012
Provided by: Gigabyte
First Look Cont.

Moving down the board on the right side we can see eight right-angle SATA connectors. The two white connectors are SATA 6Gb/s ports controlled by the X79 chipset. The four black ports are SATA 3Gb/s and are also managed by the X79 chipset. The two bottom grey ports are 6Gb/s and controlled by a Marvell 88SE9172 chip.

The UD3 includes four X16-sized slots allowing for up to four video cards to be used in SLI / CrossFire applications. There are also two PCIe X1 slots and a legacy PCI slot should you want to carry over an old sound card or the like from an existing build. In front of the expansion slots is a low-profile heatsink used to cool the X79 chipset.

Along the bottom of the board are a number of internal connectors including, from left to right: front panel audio, S/PDIF, COM, 3-pin fan, TPM, three USB headers, two additional SATA 6Gb/s ports using the Marvell 88SE9172 chip, front panel I/O headers and another 3-pin fan header. Noticeably missing are internal power / reset buttons, something we have come to enjoy on several other boards in recent years.

The rear I/O panel includes, from left to right: two USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard / mouse combo port, optical S/PDIF out, coaxial S/PDIF out, four more USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA 6Gb/s ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two more USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a six-port audio panel.

The back of the board is pretty plain as always. I still find it interesting that most heatsinks will now mount on the retention bracket. As you can see, there are still holes around the socket but they aren't really accessible from the other side. I also noticed that one of the screws used to hold the power system heatsink in place sits extremely close to one of the chips on the back of the board. It shouldn't be an issue, but it's a tight fit nevertheless.

Continue on as we check out the supporting hardware used to test this board.

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