Gigabyte X79S-UP5 Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Gigabyte X79S-UP5 Review  


When the LGA2011 socket was first unleashed upon the world there were only a handful of motherboards around, as is often the case with any major upgrade in technology. Adapting current Z68 motherboards to Z77s is a lot easier than going from X58 to X79. 

One of the first models we got our hands on was the Gigabyte UD5, and it was clear from our preliminary testing that it most definitely wasn't ready for public exposure. Gigabyte agreed and the UD5 quietly disappeared.

Now, nearly a year later, we finally have our hands upon the X79S-UP5. Although the change in designation might fool others, it's obviously a UD5 v2. A revised version if you will. Regular readers will remember the P55-UD3 had a similar upgrade to cure a few issues. So, are the power problems solved with the new UP5?

Technical Specifications

But wait, I hear you cry, this is based on the Intel C606 chipset, not the X79. This isn't anything like the UD5 at all. Ahah knowledgeable readers one and all, the C606 is the workstation variant of the X79. Otherwise this would be the C606-UP5 wouldn't it. Consider it the middle child of the Intel C60x range of chipsets. For the vast majority of users this motherboard works exactly like any other LGA2011 motherboard would. If you happen to have a bunch of SAS drives laying about (anyone? didn't think so), or could afford to splash out on a Xeon (again, a very niché product) and Gigabyte has been shouting very loud about Xeon support with the C606, but its worth pointing out Xeons work perfectly fine on X79 anyways. The only thing the C600 chipset's bring to the table is support for dual sockets which this obviously does not have. It'll support your ECC RAM too, if you happen to have any.

But we know that almost nobody has SAS drives or Xeon CPUs, so to all intents and purposes this is a X79 motherboard and will be reviewed as such. We do have Xeons on hand, so we'll be running our tests on the E2687W for those of you who care about such things plus mixing it up with the good old 3960X with a hefty overclock.

  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors in the LGA2011 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU
  1. Intel® C606 Express Chipset
  1. 8 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
    * Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
  2. 4 channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)
  1. Realtek ALC898 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for S/PDIF Out
  1. 1 x Intel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
  2. 1 x Realtek GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
Expansion Slots
    1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
      * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
      * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_2 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.

    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
      (The PCIEX16, PCIEX8, and PCIEX4 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

    1. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
      (The PCIEX1 slot conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

  1. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology
Storage InterfaceChipset:
  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2~5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
    * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.
  4. 8 x SAS 3Gb/s connectors (SAS2 0~7) supporting up to 8 SAS 3Gb/s devices
    * The SAS connectors do not support optical drives.
  5. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10
Marvell 88SE9172 chip:
  1. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors (including 1 eSATA/USB Combo) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
  1. Up to 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 ports on the back panel, including 1 eSATA/USB Combo, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)
VIA VL800 chip:
  1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
    * Due to a Windows 7 limitation, please connect your USB device(s) to the USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) before the VIA USB 3.0 controller driver is installed.
Fresco FL1009 chip:
  1. Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)
IEEE 1394VIA VT6308 chip:
  1. Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  4. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  5. 8 x SAS 3Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 4 x system fan headers
  8. 1 x front panel header
  9. 1 x front panel audio header
  10. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  11. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  12. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  13. 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  14. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  15. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
  16. 1 x power button
  17. 1 x reset button
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x CPU overclocking button
  3. 1 x BIOS switch button
  4. 1 x Clear CMOS button
  5. 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  6. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  7. 5 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  8. 1 x eSATA/USB Combo connector
  9. 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
  10. 2 x RJ-45 ports
  11. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  12. 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control
    * Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.
  1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress Install
  4. Support for EasyTune
    * Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
  5. Support for ON/OFF Charge
  6. Support for 3TB+ Unlock
  7. Support for Q-Share
  8. Support for 3D Power
Bundle Software
  1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System
  1. Support for Microsoft® Windows 8/7/Vista
Form Factor
  1. E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm
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Most Recent Comments

21-09-2012, 10:55:17

very VERY nice mobo

at last: they fixed the niggles from its predecessor

if only i could get my hands on one of these, for next to nothing, i would be very happy NOT!Quote

21-09-2012, 10:56:14

Originally Posted by dugdiamond View Post
very VERY nice mobo

at last: they fixed the niggles from its predecessor

if only i could get my hands on one of these, for next to nothing, i would be very happy

I think you must be reading the wrong thing mate. Its GASH.Quote

21-09-2012, 12:03:32

it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek - lolQuote

21-09-2012, 12:06:05

It does look lovely though Quote

21-09-2012, 15:09:01

when I saw the video for the first look I thought I want 1, I'm glad i'm not the impulsive buying type
I'm surprised gigabyte sent you 1 considering you already mentioned the bad v droop, they must of known you'd check that outQuote

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