Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming Storage Benchmarks
Though the controllers used are the same, improvements in manufacturing quality can equal slightly higher throughput. But that isn’t always the case, and it’s even possible to see a regression in performance. But let’s take a look. Here we’re going to test the SATA controller, U.2 controller, M.2 controller and the external USB and Thunderbolt interfaces.
The differences are largely due to different samples, but consistent results show higher transfer times with the new X99-Ultra Gaming. This is an average of three tests, mind, so results will vary each time though generally be consistent. Faster, though only slightly. That’s good news.
Though all other factors remain the same, we see consistently higher performance, not necessarily unheard of. But when things are built better, they tend to also work better. As a rule, though there are always exceptions. M.2 being a newly adopted standard for consumers, it’s nice to see a progression, even if small, towards efficiency with later generation motherboards and their improvements. We had some trouble with booting off of various other drives that aren’t on the compatibility list. That list is certainly very important to pay attention to, because it’s a more strict list in terms of M.2 compatibility. We initially wanted to use an OCZ RD400, but it wouldn’t recognize it at all.
Externally we see what can be considered normal transfer rates, those within the bounds of what the platforms are capable of. Unfortunately, we can’t quite saturate Thunderbolt 3 all the way. Though we certainly tried to do as much using an PCIe interface that uses as many lanes as Thunderbolt can give it. In the future, it’ll be interesting to test RAID 0 PCIe SSDs to see how they perform, and if there’s an increase while over Thunderbolt 3. Overall, it performs very well, and consistently as well.
What can we conclude about the GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming?
The Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming is a sturdy, attractive board that actually presents us with a lot of value. There’s a lot to like, though the color-scheme may not necessarily be for everyone. But if it is, you have a wealth of connectivity options internally allowing you to have any large number of drives connected at any time. You also have have a very robust design with massive heatsinks that prove to keep everything nice and cool during normal and extended operations. While running the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark the PCH itself maintained a nice 47-degrees Celsius while the VRM’s got as hot as 50-degrees Celsius, but no warmer then that in our experience. More then that, the value is a bit interesting here. It offers a lot, and certainly the price isn’t exactly inexpensive. But is it worth the $279.99 asking price? Depending on precisely what you’re looking for, this might be well worth it. The main selling points are the lighting control and OC control. OC’ing is as easy as pushing a button that can automatically adjust clockspeed and take into account voltage and other factors to bring you the best, and easiest result. All without you having to do very much. It’s great, modern and very useful. It also supports a plethora of OC variety of RAM modules. Also, simply reading the compatibility list helps prevent any issues, such as the problem with booting from the RD400 that we encountered. That can all be added in BIOS updates anyhow.
Though those LEDs are the largest selling point, the good choice of components makes it a stable board, and one that’ll last a lifetime if you want. Among competing boards, the ASUS X99-A II, MSI Gaming X99A and perhaps the ASRock X99 Extreme4 are all very similar, though they are certainly not the same. GIGABYTE has packed a lot of features, great features, into their X99-Ultra Gaming and that makes it a great board to choose from. Thus far it’s been a snap to OC the i7-6900K and there’s been no outstanding issues. The software that GIGABYTE uses and includes is actually far more stable than it used to be, and very intuitive. The end result is a recommended motherboard for those that are looking to upgrade into the X99 realm for the first time. Those already there, this is nice if you don’t already have the features you need, but not a necessary upgrade at all. It’s a good product, and though the LEDs might seem a bit gaudy, they’re actually highly entertaining, useful and great looking too. We’re giving it our Editor’s Choice award for the plethora of awesome features and easy overclockability.
- Interface Options
- OC's Easily
- M.2 Support Lacking