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Gigabyte X99-UD3P Motherboard Review – X99 On a Budget?

In our recent review of the of the  Z97X-UD3H-BK from Gigabyte, we found it to be solidly built, reliable, and a fantastic overclocking ability. So, naturally when Gigabyte approached us to do a review of their X99-UD3P, which is the entry-level member of their newly launched X99 Champion Series of motherboards, we jumped at the opportunity!

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The Gigabyte X99-UD3P, is not only a member of the X99 Champion Series, but also Gigabyte’s longstanding Ultra Durable series, which promises top-notch build quality and reliability. With all that said let’s get into the review!

UNBOXING AND PACKAGING

Given the lower cost of this motherboard, we’d expect Gigabyte to cut cost whenever possible, especially in the packaging. That being said, it doesn’t really show here as we still get a fully-colored package with beautiful graphics on the front and back. The box while made of cardboard, has a sort of plastic finish to it that makes it feel a little more premium.

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Opening the box, we’ll find the motherboard wrapped in the standard anti-static bag. Underneath the cardboard tray holding the motherboard, we’ll find the included accessories. Those include: 2x two-way SLI/CrossFireX bridges, 4x SATA cables (two straight, and two 90 degree). We also have the motherboard’s I/O shield, which features some-sort of padded insulation, a very nice Gigabyte case badge, a couple of installation and user guides and the driver installation disc.

SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICING

The X99-UD3P is relatively feature-packed, it is really quite impressive how much Gigabyte has managed to provide here considering its entry-level pricing. Speaking of pricing, a quick search on Amazon we’ll bring us a current price of $199 at the time of writing, which makes this one of the most affordable options for the X99 platform.

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The motherboard features a full ATX layout, with an all matte black PCB, and a fully black design throughout with the very tasteful gold accents on the heatsinks. We really appreciate Gigabyte’s choice to go for an all black color-scheme on areas such as the PCIe and Memory slots. They could have easily made them black and gray or even black and yellow to match the heatsink accent color, but we’re glad they showed restraint as the final product is very clean-looking.

The motherboard’s cooling consists of two newly designed heatsinks, each cooling the motherboard’s VRM and Southbridge, respectively and connected by a small nickel-plated copper heat-pipe.

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This motherboard also features Gigabyte’s ‘2x Copper PCB’ which means it has twice the amount of copper with thicker traces that allow for lower temperatures and more stability when overclocking. If that’s not enough, Gigabyte has also added gold-plating to the CPU socket, RAM slots, and PCIe connectors, which should provide better connectivity and reliability over a long period of time, and makes the board less prone to corrosion or shorted contacts.

The UD3p also features an all-digital 6-phase CPU power design made by International Rectifier, with  IR digital PWM controllers and PowIRstage ICs , which feature Isense technology to provide more precise current sensing. This helps to evenly distribute thermal loads between ICs to prevent overheating. It also comes equipped with Gigabyte’s Durable Black solid Japanese capacitors made by Nichicon, which are rated for 10,000 hours of use, and server grade Cooper Bussmann chokes, which Gigabyte claims will reduce heat created by power loss and provides efficient power delivery to the CPU VRM area.

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We also have a dedicated ‘CPU MODE‘ switch, which is for switching between ‘Normal‘ and ‘Overclocking‘ modes.  In this shot we also get a look at the second of three dedicated case fan headers, the first one which is located at the back of the motherboard near the rear I/O, the second pictured above is located at the bottom right next to the front I/O front I/O connectors, and the final one is located toward the middle of the board on the right side behind the USB 3.0 header.

There’s two PWM CPU fan headers, the primary (CPU_FAN) is white and is located to the bottom right of the CPU socket, the other (CPU_OPT) is black, and meant for use with water cooler pumps and is located at the top left of the motherboard.

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