GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Motherboard Review 31

Introduction & Closer Look

Model: X99-Ultra Gaming
Price: £249.95 @ (At time of review)
Price: $270.00 @ (At time of review)

Here we have it, the GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming motherboard. It has more LEDs on its PCB estate than a small city put together, and it brings us some of that much loved white, red, and black (plus LED colours of choice) goodness that we have seen in the past with examples such as the Z170X-Gaming 7 that was reviewed previously by Play3r. When I first saw the product and was asked to review it by our GIGABYTE fella, I thought to myself ‘LEDs, LEDs everywhere‘ (a BvV original) … and you’ll see later on why that is the case as well. Is there ever such a thing as too many LEDs on a motherboard when it is aimed at gamers or enthusiasts? I’ll let you be the judge of that once you’ve seen the board in better detail.

What does the X99-Ultra Gaming offer that may sway you away from other manufacturers, and perhaps more importantly: is it the one to buy? Well, let’s run over the specs very quickly and see if we can decipher just what it is trying to be. It sports the ever popular Realtek ALC1150 sound processor (as do many other motherboards out there), dual gigabit Ethernet which are powered by the Intel and the Killer E2400 chipsets, and plenty of the native X99 features that you’d expect to find such as the M.2 port, combined with much more that will be covered in greater depth as we go through the relevant parts of our review. As times are obviously changing and new standards are constantly being introduced, it is nice to see that GIGABYTE is keeping up and is offering the latest technologies, as well as the aforementioned ports, such as USB 3.1 Type-C.

The GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Up Close

First impressions are almost as important as any other factor when considering modern day products. A lot of us enthusiasts have cases with a window on them in order to show off our rigs. The GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming has a black PCB, along with a silvery sheen that comes off of the various slots. It is said to add protection to the slots, and to stop EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) from affecting those signals as they are passed into the other connecting components. The rest of the board is complimented with a stylish and rather attractive looking white and red design, which can be found on the heatsinks and the IO cover. It may be a little difficult to hide it in a system where you aren’t wanting such a colour scheme, but if you are really going for that all important look factor, then you wouldn’t be choosing such a product anyway.

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Overview

Feeding your CPU and its various components with the power it requires comes from an eight phase power design. While this is less than some other products on the market in this price range, it is sure to be enough for pretty much all of you gamers and/or enthusiasts that will be using this motherboard. Remember, more is not always better. It is best to have quality components over lots of poorly constructed ones.

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming VRM

As you know if you have read any of my previous reviews, this is where I like to undress (oh, yeah, I went there!) the motherboard and show off its heatsinks and/or various other shielding components on their own. As you can see, the ICH and VRM is connected by one single heatpipe, which helps to distribute the heat between both heatsinks for better thermals.

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Heatsinks

As the X99-Ultra Gaming is an ATX board rather than E-ATX, everything is just that little bit closer to the CPU socket in terms of its DIMM positioning. It’s actually a good thing as it often allows for higher overclocks and for higher overclocks to remain stable due to the shorter traces between the CPU and RAM module(s). As we can see, the X99-Ultra Gaming comes with four DIMM slots on each side of the CPU, giving us a maximum of 128GB of memory support, with frequencies that can run up to DDR4-3600MHz and beyond. Whilst this is almost certainly not going to happen due to various constraints, it’s nice to see the option there for the ever hopeful ones amongst us.

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming DIMM

If you haven’t viewed the X99-Ultra Gaming on GIGABYTE’s website yet, you might be in for a pleasant surprise when you find out just how many LEDs are present on this board. I have taken an extremely short video and turned it into a .GIF (cool, huh?) for endless colourful enjoyment. My wall is typically white, but as you can see, it has changed it into a red wall from the glow which is illuminating from the underside of the board near the audio processor. Yes, it’s bright!

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Ten SATA 6 Gbps ports are of course available on pretty much any X99 motherboard on the market as it is a standard X99 feature. There is only a single SATA express port available as well as the U.2 form factor for connectivity. I really don’t think U.2 is going to be around for long, but it still gets implemented regardless as it is a current-gen port. There are two USB 3.0 headers visible within the shot, one above the SATA ports and one below them.

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming SATA

Nothing ever really changes on an X99 motherboard with regards to the PCIe lanes, unless a PLX chip (or even two!) is involved. I won’t go into extravagant detail on what the lanes will do when a certain CPU is installed as the specs (next page) do that for us perfectly. It’s the general consensus that we will get x16/x8 from a 28 lane CPU and x16/x16 from the 40 lane CPUs. There are of course many variants in between, so feel free to check them out if you aren’t yet familiar with the way in which the lane division works on X99 platforms. Within the PCIe lanes, we can see a few ports hiding away. There’s the M.2 port for ultra-fast NVMe storage and there’s also another M.2 for Wi-Fi connectivity. The back of the X99-Ultra motherboard already has a location and bracket for the Wi-Fi antennas to connect into. There are two USB 2.0 headers for those of you whom still use them (I know I do!) and there is also an external power source for your graphics cards, in the form of a Molex connection. The TPM (Trusted Platform Module) header is on the bottom of the board as well as an LED header if you wanted to add even more brightness into your rig, you know, in case the LEDs on the board weren’t bright enough already. I jest, of course… adding LEDs into a system makes the system pop and takes it to a whole new level when done correctly.

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming PCIe

Last but not least, we have the IO panel. It has plenty of connectivity options for all of the most enthusiastic gamers out there. The all important PS/2 port is still kicking and alive as ever, but that’s the eldest port you’ll find here. The other connectivity options consist of the two LAN ports, each are powered by a separate controller – Intel & Killer – and cannot be teamed together. The rest of the ports consist of a single USB 3.1 Type-C connector, a USB 3.1 Type-A connector, the Optical S/PDIF out and audio jacks, and six more USB 3.0 connectors to finish up the job. The Wi-Fi antenna connector holes are also there, which I mentioned previously. It should make installing a Wi-Fi card a little easier as the holes are pre-installed, but you may opt to use a PCIe card instead; the choice is yours!

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming IO

Final pit stop, ladies and gentlemen – the accessories department! The X99-Ultra is not overflowing with parts in abundance, but it has a good selection to get you started at the very least. Here’s a list of bits and bobs that you can expect to find with your X99-Ultra Gaming;

1x G1 Gaming door hanger
1x User manual
1x Quick Start Guide
1x Driver disk
1x IO shield
2x Velcro cable management ties
1x EPS power booster cable (3x 8pin > 1x 8pin)
1x LED extension cable
1x SATA cable labelling pack
1x G1 Gaming case badge
1x Q connector
6x (4 pictured) SATA cables (silver)
1x 2-way SLI bridge (flexible)
1x 3-way SLI bridge (rigid)

GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Accessories


  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors in the LGA2011-3 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU

(Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)

  1. Intel® X99 Express Chipset
  1. 8 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 128 GB of system memory
    * Support for up to 256 GB of system memory when using Registered DIMMs.
    * 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 DDR4 3600(OC) / 3400(OC) / 3333(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules
  5. Support for Registered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx4/2Rx4 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
  6. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

(Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)

  1. Realtek® ALC1150 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 Killer™ E2400 LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
    * Teaming is not supported.
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.
    * When an i7-5820K or i7-6800K CPU is installed, the PCIEX16_2 slot operates at up to x8 mode.
  2. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
    * The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_2 slot. When the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 slot is populated, the PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot operates at up to x8 mode.
    * When an i7-5820K or i7-6800K CPU is installed, the PCIEX8_2 slot becomes unavailable.
    (All of the PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
  3. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
    (The PCI Express x1 slot conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  4. 1 x M.2 Socket 1 connector for the wireless communication module (M2_WIFI)
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 3-Way/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies
  2. Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ and 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies
Storage Interface Chipset:

  1. 1 x SATA Express connector
  2. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5), supporting RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
  3. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (sSATA3 0~3), supporting IDE and AHCI modes only
    (An operating system installed on the SATA3 0~5 ports cannot be used on the sSATA 0~3 ports.)
  4. 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 PCIe x4/x2 SSD support)
  5. 1 x U.2 connector
    * When an i7-5820K or i7-6800K CPU is installed, the U.2 connector becomes unavailable.
USB Chipset+Intel® USB 3.1 controller:

  1. 1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.1 support
  2. 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port (red) on the back panel

Chipset+2 Renesas® USB 3.0 Hubs:

  1. 8 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)


  1. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
  2. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports available through the internal USB headers
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x PCIe power connector
  4. 1 x CPU fan header
  5. 1 x water cooling fan/water cooling pump header (CPU_OPT_PUMP)
  6. 2 x system fan headers
  7. 1 x system fan/water cooling pump header (SYS_FAN3_PUMP)
  8. 1 x RGB LED strip extension cable header
  9. 1 x SATA Express connector
  10. 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  11. 1 x M.2 Socket 3 connector
  12. 1 x U.2 connector
  13. 1 x front panel header
  14. 1 x front panel audio header
  15. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  16. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  17. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  18. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
  19. 1 x Thunderbolt™ add-in card connector
  20. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connector holes
  3. 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 support
  4. 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port (red)
  5. 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  6. 2 x RJ-45 ports
  7. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  8. 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/Chipset temperature detection
  3. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan (pump) speed detection
  4. CPU/System/Chipset overheating warning
  5. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan (pump) fail warning
  6. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan (pump) speed control
    * Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.
  1. 2 x 128 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. Support for Q-Flash Plus
    * The USB flash drive used must be a USB 2.0 flash drive.
  5. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Unique Features
  1. Support for APP Center
    * Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.
    3D OSD
    Ambient LED
    BIOS Setup
    Color Temperature
    Cloud Station
    Easy RAID
    Fast Boot
    ON/OFF Charge
    Platform Power Management
    Smart TimeLock
    Smart Keyboard
    Smart Backup
    System Information Viewer
    USB Blocker
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Smart Switch
  4. Support for Xpress Install
Bundle Software
  1. Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
  2. Intel® Smart Response Technology
  3. cFosSpeed
Operating System
  1. Support for Windows 10/8.1 64-bit
  2. Support for Windows 7 32-bit/64-bit
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors’ website or 3rd party website.
  2. Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.


Testing Setup

Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming
CPU: Intel Core i7-6950X @ 4.0/3.5 GHz core/cache
CPU Cooling: Corsair H100i V2
GPU: GALAX GTX 980 SOC @ Stock
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 4x8GB C15
PSU: Corsair AX1200i 80+ Platinum
OS: Windows 10 Professional x64 (built on February 13th 2016)


All benchmarks are done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Professional 64-bit that is fully up-to-date with Windows Updates when the .ISO was created to ensure that the performance reflects a real-world scenario and not that of a tweaked benchmarking system. We do not update the operating system or our benchmarking software as it would skew our data further down the line, which could be a positive or negative change. Our .ISO was built by Microsoft on the 13th of February, 2016; and as such will not be updated due to the reasoning above.

2D Benchmarks:

AIDA64 – CPU Queen/CPU Photoworxx/CPU AES & Memory Read/Write/Copy/Latency
Cinebench 11.5 – CPU & OpenGL
Cinebench R15 – CPU & OpenGL
Geekbench 3 – Single & Multicore
SiSandra – CPU Arithmetic/CPU Multi-Core Efficiency/Cache & Memory Bandwidth

3D Benchmarks:

3DMark 11 – Performance & Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike – Normal & Extreme

Gaming Benchmarks:

Company of Heroes 2 – Maximum Settings @ 1080P & 1440P
F1 2015 – Ultra Preset @ 1080P & 1440P
Total War: ROME II – Extreme Preset @ 1080P & 1440P


This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard. At the same clock speed theoretically the processor with the shorter pipeline and smaller misprediction penalties will attain higher benchmark scores. For example — with HyperThreading disabled — the Intel Northwood core processors get higher scores than the Intel Prescott core based ones due to the 20-step vs 31-step long pipeline. CPU Queen Test uses integer MMX, SSE2 and SSSE3 optimizations.






Cinebench 11.5

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.


Cinebench R15

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.


Geekbench 3

Geekbench 3 is Primate Labs’ cross-platform processor benchmark, with a new scoring system that separates single-core and multi-core performance, and new workloads that simulate real-world scenarios. Geekbench 3 makes it easier than ever to find out if your computer is up to speed.


SiS Sandra

SiS SANDRA, in our opinion, is a pretty stringent benchmark, capable of testing your systems limit. It is a pretty extensive suite of benchmarks, but I have narrowed down the more relevant ones to compare the performance.








3DMark 11

3DMark 11 is a DirectX 11 video card benchmark test for measuring your PC’s gaming performance. 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 consistently and reliably tests your PC’s DirectX 11 performance under game-like loads.



3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation (formerly and initially Futuremark) to determine the performance of a computer’s 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. Running 3DMark produces a 3DMark score, with higher numbers indicating better performance. The 3DMark measurement unit is intended to give a normalized mean for comparing different PC hardware configurations (mostly graphics processing units and central processing units), which proponents such as gamers and overclocking enthusiasts assert is indicative of end-user performance capabilities.



Company of Heroes 2

You are a commander of the Soviet Red Army, entrenched in brutal frontline warfare to free Mother Russia from the Nazi invaders. It is 1941 and the beginning of what will become the bloodiest conflict of World War II resulting in more than 14 million casualties. Witness the struggles of the Red Army from near defeat through their incredible triumph over Germany in the most challenging and costly theatre of the war, the Eastern Front. Your military tactics hold the power to tip the very balance of this conflict. Engage in tactical combat that will define you as a military leader and wield the might of the Soviet Empire as you smash your way to Berlin.




F1 2015

Race like a champion in F1 2015 – get closer than ever before to the experience of racing in the world’s most glamorous, exciting and prestigious motorsport. F1 2015 puts you in the heart of the action with a stunning new game engine that recreates the blisteringly fast and highly responsive racing cars of FORMULA ONE™ and features all-new ‘broadcast presentation’ that immerses you in the unique race day atmosphere.




Total War: ROME II

Total War: Rome II is a strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It was released on 3 September 2013 for Microsoft Windows and is the eighth standalone game in the Total War series of video games. Rome II is a successor to the 2004 game Rome: Total War. The game suffered from significant technical problems upon release (some of which were fixed by the Emperor Edition), but proved a commercial success, surpassing all other games in the Total War series in both sales and number of concurrent players on its release day.




I’m going to jump straight in and say that I was happily surprised that the overclocking experience with the Gigabyte X99-Ultra was nowhere near as painful as my GIGABYTE X99 SOC Champion since its new UEFI got deployed. On the Champ, it feels slow and it really is not a friendly experience. However, the board in question is of course the X99-Ultra Gaming, which is a completely different story. Flicking through the menus was effortless, and didn’t take long at all. There are a few things that weren’t quite where I was expecting them to be, but that is largely due to me being unfamiliar with this particular layout. Once you see it, you’ll feel that light bulb come alive in your noggin. The overall UEFI experience you get with the X99-Ultra is pleasant, but if there is one thing that I’d change with immediate effect, that would be the fan controls. I much prefer typing in a percentage over trying to draw a graph that moves uncontrollably when other parts of it are touched. If I set stage 1 (idle to me) to 40°c with a 20% fan speed, and stage 2 to 55°c with a 50% fan speed, I don’t want either of those to change when I set stage 3 to 65°c and 75%. The issue is that they were jumping around rather than staying where I was setting them. It’s not just the X99-Ultra though, it’s the same on my Champion.

I suspect that this is largely due to my inexperience with this new UEFI, but I was struggling to get it to set the RAM timings manually without a lot of faffing around. In the end, I figured out that it was easiest to get it to automatically set them with XMP, which I do anyway, and then to go into the separate channels to set the timings manually. When they are set to auto on the X99-Ultra it typically copies them from the first channel and then spreads it across all four, which it did, but only after I messed around with some settings. It took a little bit of tinkering, but I was able to get the timings to sync across all four channels in the end, which should have been easier than it was, but I suspect it will be updated in a future UEFI release.

Overclocking the CPU is as simple as it gets with the Gigabyte X99-Ultra. You bang in a few numbers, change the voltages to within acceptable limits that you know your cooling can handle (if you don’t know, do some research first) and you’re away. I was able to get the board to match any overclock that any other product had put out so far, which is a good thing to know. Unfortunately, I am severely limited with the cooling by using a H100i, but that’s the best that we currently have laying around for the test benches. Maybe I should poke Gavin (big boss) in the ear hole and tell him that we need a custom loop…

The performance scaled with the MHz as you’d expect, so unfortunately there isn’t any sort of miracle performance fairy living inside the board. There were no notable performance changes in either direction when pushed past our testing frequencies of 4.0 GHz on the core and 3.5 GHz on the cache. Either way, let’s analyse where this leaves us at the end of the day and find out whether this is the one for you or if it is best left alone.


Here we are, once again, with the conclusion of a motherboard that has been put under pressure. Does its performance match its highly colourful and illuminating LEDs, or is it something that is not worth your cash? Let’s round up the three main areas which we look for in a product, and make a final decision from there.

If you are looking at it purely from a performance aspect, the Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming definitely doesn’t set the world ablaze. It does however seem to be in the upper half of a lot of our test results that we’ve gathered thus far with Intel’s Broadwell-E i7 6950X on the X99 platform. The X99-Ultra was able to handle any overclock that I threw at it, and it had no trouble in maintaining solid operation throughout my testing. It was able to keep close to the MSI motherboards that I had tested in the past in terms of its RAM performance, which is a great thing to see. The Gigabyte motherboard definitely performed better in some tests than others, but as with all reviews (I feel like a broken record) and tests, it is often within a margin of error. What I mean by that is basically that it could be a different story on another X99-Ultra motherboard (yes the same models but different ones perform differently) which would tip it over the edge and put it into better territory. The performance figures are only gathered for comparative reasons, but the truth is that all products are usually so close to one another, that it ultimately depends on the products design and/or price. So let’s discuss that, shall we?

The design of the GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming is certainly one of the more striking designs. You can tell that it is aimed at gamers purely from the way that it looks, at least that’s the vibe that it puts off to me. Everything is aesthetically pleasing, and surprisingly, the LEDs don’t actually overwhelm your senses when you’re looking at the board. Yes, they are bright and colourful, but they aren’t so in your face that you want to turn them off or purchase an expensive pair of Ray Bans to go with your shiny new rig. I looked through mine, and the rig is still pretty bright anyway. As for the rest of the motherboard, it is well laid out and covers everything that you could want from a currently on the market X99 motherboard. The X99-Ultra has all of the essential and expected features, and a good layout to go with it to ensure that your graphics cards (if they’re on air at least) are sufficiently cooled in 2-way SLI/CrossFire X. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is an LED debugger, because those things are so incredibly useful when you’re trying to figure out why your system won’t POST. Yes, sure, it is often down to this clown being too ambitious with his settings, but I like I know where the limits lay. I would suspect that a number of you out there would also like to see where your system is failing on POST as well.

It is currently very difficult for me to judge the value on the X99-Ultra Gaming. There is a reason behind it, so please allow me to explain. When I first looked at the pricing for this particular board, ignoring other alternatives on the market, you were able to buy the product for almost the identical amount in Pounds (GBP) as you were in Dollars (USD). That has since changed, and the pricing of the two are more or less in line once you add tax (state dependent) on to the current price on Amazon. When it was at ~$250 USD, it was an absolute steal. It is currently sitting at $320, which is a huge difference. Now, that is not the fault of GIGABYTE necessarily, so I am not going to judge them too harshly there. It is most likely Amazon playing happy clicker with the price adjustment (fluctuation) buttons. There are a few products on the market from ASUS and MSI that match up against the GIGABYTE board strikingly well in terms of the similarities in components. It’s honestly a very hard choice, and if it were purely down to what board to pick, I don’t know if I could do it based on value alone. You get a lot of hardware for the money, which at approximately £250 GBP ($320 USD), would make for an attractive proposition.

All in all, I’d have to say that if the flashy LEDs and the colour scheme are something that you’re after (ASUS also have a white/black board but without all of the LEDs) in a motherboard, then the X99-Ultra would most likely be the one to go for. I know there’s the MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon (reviewed here) for an extra £30, which would honestly be my choice out of the two as it is more to my personal preference. However, if you are stuck to a budget of £250, you cannot go wrong with the GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming. It’s a solid product with a plethora of the latest and greatest to offer, and it saves you on electric bills too as you can turn off your room lighting. Bonus!? Who games in a fully lit room anyway…?

I am going to award the GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming with both the Design and Value awards. It does not seal the deal in the performance arena at the end of the day, and it gets knocked on its rear by a couple of other products, but it certainly is no slouch. Remember, it is within a margin of error, guys (and gals).

Design Award – I have awarded the GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming with the design award because of its very attractive aesthetics. I was very skeptical about the amount of LEDs that were on the motherboard when I first looked at it, but it is exactly what I’d want inside my gaming rig if I were trying to be all flashy and as a showoff machine.


Value Award – The GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming offers pretty much what the other vendors offer on their products, with the exception of a couple of hundred (exaggeration) more LEDs planted around the product.

The Play3r Value Award

Last of all, I’d like to thank GIGABYTE for sending over the X99-Ultra Gaming for us to look at for this review.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value


+ Striking white design
+ Offers all you could want at this price point
+ Options for expansion for a Wi-Fi card
+ LEDs, Buzz, LEDs everywhere!

– Not all will like the LEDs
– Performance is in the middle of the ballpark
– No LED debugger (minor)

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