Accessories and Packaging
The Gigabyte X79-UD7 is certainly not short on accessories when it comes down to having the right things included. With this board, the standard I/O backplate is included, as well as a quick start guide, full length manual, and obligatory driver CDs (one for the board and one for the QA network card). This leads us into the most impressive accessory, which is the Qualcomm Atheros wireless network card included on this board.
The wireless network card is a dual-purpose card because it enables both high-speed wireless N, and also enables Bluetooth connectivity. The box claims Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, but we don't have an iPhone to test it with, so we cannot say much about that. However, we do have a Bluetooth 3.0 device and tested it out with the UD7.
The Bluetooth/WiFi Module is easy to set up and very feature rich. It enables high-speed bluetooth connections between devices with flawless syncing. In our testing we were able to send an audio file from the host PC to our cell phone and then play that file off of the cell phone on the host computer's speakers.
In regards to the Wi-Fi performance, the ping we got when testing our internet speeds remained the same, so the ability to game on this board over Wi-Fi should be just as good as gaming over wired internet assuming the user has an N capable router. We also tested our up stream and down stream speeds and found that using the WiFi we lost about 5Mbit/s down and nothing up when compared to the integrated Intel Gigabit LAN. With wired testing we were getting about 20 Mbit/s while with wireless we got about 15 Mbit/s noting that we had full signal strength and were but only a few feet from the Linksys E2000 Router.
The Wi-Fi sharing feature of the wireless card for the Gigabyte X79-UD7 is extremely feature rich and enables users to easily convert their wired or wireless desktop into a signal repeater for other devices. The ideal situation for use of this feature would be when the user has wired ports in their walls, but either has no Wi-Fi or their router’s wireless signal does not quite reach the area around the computer and the user has another device they want connected to Wi-Fi. This device is able to broadcast its own wireless network and would enable the user to get a decent wireless signal in the same room and even in the adjacent room. The maximum range of this wireless card's WiFi sharing appeared to be around 30ft including walls, etc.
The Gigabyte X79-UD7 also comes with a front panel two port USB 3.0 accessory in the event that the user’s chassis does not have built-in USB 3.0 ports. This is a great accessory to include since to purchase one that would fit on a back panel would cost $25 or so, and we have not seen any for sale quite like this. This is meant to fit in what used to be called the (2.5") floppy bay. Gigabyte also included a back panel (where PCI slots are located) mounted eSATA bracket for connecting and powering external hard drives. They also included 6 SATA cables to allow the user to populate every native SATA port on the board.
Since this board is capable of SLI, CrossFire and Quad SLI/CrossFire, Gigabyte has provided 4 different bridges. One is a simple ribbon SLI bridge for two-way SLI. Another is a ribbon CrossFire bridge for two-way CrossFire. And the other two support three-way and Quad-SLI. Interestingly enough, Gigabyte did not provide any AMD compatible bridges beyond the single CrossFire bridge. This leaves us to assume that this board is primarily geared towards users with NVIDIA GPUs.
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