Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming LGA2011-3 Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Since the release of Intel’s latest Broadwell-E architecture, motherboard vendors have compiled a number of intriguing designs which cater towards the HEDT user. Unlike the majority of Haswell-E creations which opted for an understated theme, Broadwell-E motherboards tend to employ a more aggressive styling. This is probably due to the popularity of RGB lighting and prosumers willing to pay a premium to go beyond the typical 4-core/8-thread solution. Judging by the early Kaby Lake details, it seems the X99 platform is the only option for content creators and professionals who work with heavy multi-threaded workloads.

One suitable product which comes to mind is the Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming featuring a rather fetching red and white colour scheme. Not only that, the motherboard has a 2X copper PCB, 10K black capacitors, dual BIOS functionality, anti-sulfur resistor design and all digital power delivery. Also, the Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming includes two RJ45 ports and allows the end-user to select either the Killer E2400 or Intel I219V NIC. On another note, the motherboard supports extremely fast NVMe storage devices and USB 3.1 as well as a spectacular lighting system. More specifically, the RGB illumination emanates around the I/O cover, audio section PCH, DIMM slots, power circuitry and PCI-E connectors. Given Gigabyte’s previously strong showing compared to the competition in X99 testing, I’m expecting the motherboard to excel and easily justify its current £249.99 asking price.


Packaging and Accessories

The motherboard’s box sports a really distinctive print which provides an insight into the stunning RGB lighting effects. Additionally, the glossy finish which reflects light in an attractive manner captures your attention and creates an air of excitement during the unboxing process. The packaging contains details about the hybrid fan headers, RGB lighting, USB 3.1 connectivity and Dual Armor shielding. As you can see, the information is easy to read thanks to the high-quality images.

On the opposite side, the end-user is presented with a huge array of information regarding the motherboard’s standout features. This includes a closer look at the ambient lighting, hybrid fan headers which are optimised for water cooling, NVMe storage options, 115dB SNR audio and a host of other intriguing additions. Once again, the stylish layout and bold, clear text encourage you to learn more about the motherboard’s capabilities.

In terms of accessories, the motherboard is bundled with a comprehensive user’s guide, driver/software disk, cable labels, case badges, attractive silver SATA cables, two velcro ties, G-Connector, RGB LED extension strip, rear I/O shield, door hanger, 3-way SLI bridge, 2-way SLI bridge and an 8-pin CPU power connector cable.

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John Williamson

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