GIGABYTE Z790 UD AC Motherboard Review

Spencer_E

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Introduction On the bench today is the GIGABYTE Z790 UD AC, one of GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable line for the Intel Z790 chipset lineup. This is more of a budget-oriented motherboard, coming in at $180 on NewEgg at the time of writing. We will be loading this motherboard up with the i7 14700k that we recently […]

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I became a fan of the UD series with the UD3 X79 board I had. The only reason that was retired was due to the age of the tech but it performed exceptionally well for my needs over the span of almost a decade with a no-frills approach but also a multitude of component features. I didn't necessarily get the highest CPU overclocks but it just worked and was fast and reliable. This looks very much to be in the same vein and at a pretty awesome price point for the Z790 chipset. Thanks for the great review and if I was in the market for a new build this would definitely be in my consideration of parts.
 
Gigabyte to me is still one of my go to boards most of the time. The UD series has shown to be a reliable work horse for them.
 
I find it interesting that Gigabyte was able to drop the price while keeping the board relatively fully-featured. Realtek 2.5Gb LAN, which is common on entry-level boards, but also using 802.11 ac, as noted in the board's name, limits the board to WiFi 5 - also Realtek for this radio. Better than no WiFi of course!

Also the inclusion of the PS/2 port is peculiar, and points to the board being targeted at markets where the use of PS/2 keyboards is still common. I will note that PS/2 ports can also be found on enthusiast overclocking motherboards that sell for many times the ~US$200 MSRP of this board, but those are for a different purpose - overclocking with Windows XP, using benchmarks that lack support for any later version of Windows! In this case, it's surprising that a board with PS/2 lacks a VGA port, but it does expose a serial 'COM' port along the bottom edge.

Of course, as an audiophile, or perhaps a recovering one, I lament the omission of an SP/DIF optical output. This output has one specific purpose, which is to electrically decouple the audio stage between the PC and the audio system, at the digital interconnect level. This helps prevent ground noise and any other interference present in the PC from affecting audio output and can be useful in environments with power and RF noise pollution issues.

Last thing - unlike many boards in the past that would come short in terms of power delivery, I was happy to see that the full 300W dual 8-pin EPS12V power interface is provided. Along with the ATX power connector, this is as much as any CPU that can be installed in an LG1700 socket can use in standard operating conditions.
 
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