CPU: Intel i7-3930K
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3
Comparison Motherboard: ASUS P9X79
OS HDD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB MaxIOPS
Secondary HDD: Patriot Pyro SE 60GB
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1050W
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit
We will be comparing a variety of performance characteristics to a similarly-priced motherboard, the ASUS P9X79. We will test the PCH and additional Marvell SATA ports, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 transfer speeds, overall performance via PCMark7, as well as CPU-specific performance. We're currently having some compatibility issues with one of our DIMMS on the ASUS P9X79, and as a result have not been able to complete proper overclocking results. Additionally, our Seagate USB 3.0 drive we use for testing doesn't have a driver compatible with the host controller for the ASUS board, so we weren't able to get any USB 3.0 data from the ASUS board. Each benchmark or test was run three times to minimize variation in the independent test runs, and the average of the three runs are reported.
The overclocked tests were performed by first setting the "Optimized Defaults," in the BIOS, then simply setting the multiplier at x42 and leaving the voltage AUTO. Since the X79-UD3 is a more mainstream-targeted board, we want to test it in a no-hassle setting that nearly anyone could quickly have running out of the box. We avoided the software as different software may make a number of behind-the-scenes changes, and manual settings ensure we best control the test environment to make accurate comparisons.
Overclocking on the GA-X79-UD3 has overall been a great experience with the latest F9 BIOS. Both manually with "AUTO" voltage settings and using the QuickBoost software, 4.2GHz was a breeze, with temps hitting a ceiling at ~70 degrees Celsius, and a relatively low voltage of 1.236V, which is certainly low enough for an everyday overclock. We also bumped it up to 4.4GHz, but we did not stress test that setting for long, as our Arctic Cooling Freezer i30, a fairly basic single-fan air cooler, was being pushed to around 80 degrees Celsuis, which we weren't particularly comfortable with. However, we did not see any instability out of the motherboard, and to be able to literally click a button, hit "Reboot Now," and 30 seconds later have 4.2GHz with tolerable thermal loads and a low enough voltage for an everyday overclock, it was hard not to be happy with it.
We found that the "AUTO" voltage setting, when made in the BIOS and bumping the Multiplier up to 42x and leaving the bclck at 100MHz, that the load voltage was at a slightly lower 1.224V, which is actually very good for the normally overzealous AUTO voltage settings. We didn't run into any troubles Saving or Loading OC profiles, and as we just discussed, the software works as advertised as well.