Gigabye GA-X79-UD5 Preview
Packaging and Accessories
The UD5 comes in a very crisp white box. The major new feature, besides the obvious X79 stuff, is the 3D BIOS and 3D Power, and so they take up a large proportion of the real estate on the front. On the reverse we have the normal Gigabyte clarity with all the important information clearly laid out.
One thing Gigabyte have always been excellent at is their documentation. With so many new features on both the X79 side, and on the UD5 itself, it's definitely something we enjoy seeing. Filling the hardware up with technology and then not explaining how to use them is a problem we find all too often.
The IO shield is both clearly labelled and colour-coded in the normal Gigabyte fashion, enabling easy recognition when you're fumbling round the back of your case.
As well as the all black bridges for Crossfire and SLI, we have a WiFi/Bluetooth expansion board. From our experience so far with the X79 motherboards it appears that wireless connectivity is high on the agenda. The UD5 gives the option to include it or not depending on your hardware arrangement so you're not stuck with a couple of aerials to hide if you use a LAN cable for your internet. The Bluetooth part of the card supports the very latest Bluetooth 4.0 which has a shorter effective range than the classic Bluetooth but greatly reduces both the latency and power consumption when paired with compatible devices such as the iPhone 4S.
As well as providing a USB 3.0 header on the board, the UD5 has a front-panel expansion allowing you to take advantage of the extra speed that is available with USB 3.0 without having to reach round the rear of your case. Useful for those of us who utilise USB sticks for transferring films and the like.