These days, we're accustomed to pretty consistent performance across motherboards sharing the same chipset. Gigabyte's X79-UD3 is no exception.
OK, MSI's pointedly pricier X79A-GD65 8D edges it in most tests, but the gap is thoroughly inconsequential and UD3 was comfortably the fastest in Photoshop.
What's more, we used the X79-UD3 as a basis for our overclocking tests with the Intel Core i7 3960X. By achieving 4.5GHz with ease, it only adds further weight to the notion that you needn't spend more.
The only slight snag is that you'll have to do it manually; there's no auto-overclocking option.
CPU rendering performance
Video encoding performance
Real-world productivity performance