When it comes to the Gigabyte X79-UD7 we are uncertain about the value of the board. This board is fairly expensive at a price of $370. However, compared to competing X79 boards, the board is not that expensive. Furthermore, the UD7 has a stellar Qualcomm-Atheros wireless and Bluetooth card which put it ahead of the competition. Even though this board is not cheap, when considering all of its features and the fact that its ability to overclock is mediocre, the conclusion is that it is a board of mediocre value (not good or bad). Gigabyte is famous for adding accessories, cables, add-in cards, and additional software. Ignoring all the peripheral stuff, and focusing on the differentiating factors on-board that would add value, this board ends up neutral. The board gains some value from the software utilities, 5 year warranty, and additional hardware accessories, but loses value from the fact that the CPU overclock is worse than our cheaper Intel DX79SI "Siler" board.
We contacted Gigabyte regarding our overclocking results and were told that the Gigabyte X79-UD7 was primarily intended for easy overclocking rather than high overclocking. We found this interesting considering that this board was designed as the successor to the X58-OC and even has the orange "OC" on the southbridge heatsink. Gigabyte claimed that the UD3 is their most effective overclocking board, which we found strange considering that the UD3 is considered more of a budget board, unlike the UD7 high-end board. Conclusion
The Gigabyte X79-UD7 board came to us with a pedigree of overclocking behind it. When we received this board we were expecting to reach new overclocks that had never been seen before. Perhaps we it was wrong to assume, but from our previous experiences with Gigabyte's flagship motherboards we expected a lot. The issue is that this board is a mediocre overclocker, which is problematic considering the board's primary purpose is to overclock like a high end motherboard.
Based on our memory overclocking findings, there is no doubt that this board can overclock memory well, but it is of limited value when the CPU cannot overclock past 4.6GHz. What really made us disappointed with this board was not the 4.6GHz overclock per se, but rather the fact that we were hoping to beat our own 4.86GHz overclock on the Intel reference DX79SI board and could not even come close. Using the same chip and same RAM we had a much harder time overclocking past 4.6GHz. It was so much more difficult that we scrapped all our attempts beyond 4.6GHz because the board simply would not run stably.
Our recommendation is that this is no doubt a much better board than the Intel X79 reference board in every single way except for CPU overclocking. If you don't intend to do an extreme overclock beyond 4.6GHz and only wish to use this board for high-speed memory and daily use then we without a doubt recommend this board. But the simple truth is that this board does not live up to its overclocking name or heritage and because of that we cannot give this board any high praise. This board is well designed, but clearly still need some work in the overclocking arena and we really hope they would make a revision of this board.
In addition, we have confirmed that the Gigabyte X79-UD7 would be a limited run board which Gigabyte does not intend to manufacture anymore. While we certainly can see why they would do such a thing, it also really concerns us regarding the future of Gigabyte. Without a high-end flagship motherboard for the Intel Sandy Bridge-E enthusiast platform, then how can Gigabyte compete in the enthusiast market?
Upon some conversation with Gigabyte, they claim that their UD7 board is not their X79 flagship board but rather their G1 Assassin 2 gaming board is. Considering that they had almost the exact same line up last time, we're a little hesitant to believe that the UD3, UD5 and UD7 naming scheme which Gigabyte has been using forever is suddenly incorrect. Afterall, it directly follows BMW's naming scheme for their low, mid and high end as well... We're just not sold on the fact that even though the Gigabyte X79-UD7 is gone that the G1 Assassin 2 is a competing board when you consider all of the enthusiast features on the UD7 vs the G1 Assassin 2.
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