Value & Conclusion
- The Gigabyte X79S-UP5 WiFi is available right now, at the price of $329.99.
- Great price for an Workstation-oriented product, very close to normal Intel X79 Express boards.
- Decent performance efficiency, both at stock, and when overclocked.
- Very respectable power consumption figures.
- Good audio rendering, thanks to a great CODEC.
- Included SAS RAID controller, bringing SATA drive support up to 14 devices!
- Support for Tri-SLI and Tri-CrossfireX.
- Fully functional AMI UEFI BIOS, including mouse support and support for 3 TB+ drives.
- Overclock ability is a bit restricted by VRM design.
- Not enough cables in the box for all internal SATA ports.
- Limited software package.
The Gigabyte X79S-UP5 WiFi is really a great product. I really had a hard time coming up with things that it did poorly. If you want to overclock your CPU until it fries to a crisp, this board is not for you. But if you value stability, and a lot of drive ports at a reasonable price, you don't need to look any further.
The addition of SAS support and a PCI slot, things that are specific to the Intel C606 chipset, are quite obviously focused on Workstation users, but given today's HD media, managing large amounts of storage is something that many users are familiar with. Adding support for as many drives as the Gigabyte X79S-UP5 WiFi offers would normally cost an arm and a leg, simply to cover the cost of a RAID card to add all those ports. Here, that functionality is provided nearly for free.
I was completely blown away when Gigabyte informed me of the price. There are a couple of other Workstation-centered products for SKT 2011 on the market already, and the Gigabyts X79S-UP5 WiFi really outstrips them in both functionality, and cost. And if it doesn't beat the competition in one category, it certainly does in all others. I think Gigabyte has a winner here, and I just might have to swap to a blue and black rig.:p