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Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 Intel P67 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 Intel P67 Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: In this review PCSTATS is testing the Intel P67-based Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard. This is a mainstream ATX motherboard with a great set of workstation features and connectivity, all on a sleek matt-black PCB that looks fantastic in black computer chassis.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Aug 16 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4

The upside to a recall brought about by an obscure and statistically probable SATA II controller bug are the great deals that inevitably come from it. Consumers are fickle, look carefully and you may find Intel P67 boards that offer 90% of the features of a new Intel Z68 platform that are going for next to nothing. Have a B2-stepping P67 board already? Easy fix - swap it out with the manufacturer for one built on a B3-stepping P67 chipset or move your storage devices to the SATA III ports. At the very worst, plunk down $25 on a HighPoint Rocket 620 two-port SATA III PCIex1 card.

In this review PCSTATS is testing the Intel P67-based Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard. This is a mainstream ATX motherboard with a great set of workstation features and connectivity, all on a sleek matt-black PCB that looks fantastic in black computer chassis. The board supports 32nm socket LGA1155 2nd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series 'SandyBridge' processors, such as the Core i5 2500K, and can handle dual graphics cards.

The Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard is equipped with four 1.5v DDR-3 memory slots that accommodate up to 32GB of dual channel DDR3-1066/1333/1600/1866/2133 memory (4GB for 32-bit operating systems). Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) RAM is supported, such as Crucial's Ballistix memory modules.

On the graphics card front, the P67A-UD4 will run a single PCI Express 2.0 videocard on 16 full lanes of PCIe bandwidth. Need more pixel cracking speed? Slap in a pair of nVidia Geforce or ATI Radeon videocards and configure two-way SLI/Crossfire in x8/x8 mode. Three PCI Express x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots round out the expansion options available from this Intel P67 motherboard.

Moving on to storage; the GA-P67A-UD4 board dishes out four 3Gb/s SATA II ports and two 6Gb/s SATA III ports via the Intel P67 chipset for hard drives (RAID 0/1/5/10) or optical drives. An extra pair of 6Gb/s eSATA III ports are positioned at the rear I/O for external hard drives. These support RAID 0/1 and come care of a Marvell SE9128 SATA III controller. For all this, expect to pay about $160 bucks for the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard at online shops like Canada Computers, NCIX and Newegg.

Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 Motherboard


INCLUDES: User's Manual, Driver DVD, (4) SATA cables, 2-way SLI bridge, I/O Shield.

Chipsets: Intel P67 Express
CPU Support: Intel Socket LGA1155
Memory Type: Dual Channel DDR3
Videocard Support: (2) PCI Express x16 2.0 (x16 or x8/x8)

Average Price at time of review: $160

The Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 is not short on USB ports by any stretch of the imagination - it has four USB3.0 ports (two at the rear I/O, two via header) from a pair of NEC D720200's and no less than eight USB 2.0 ports at the rear I/O!

Other random features include; 3x USB power boost, dual BIOS's, On/Off Charge for recharging devices like the iPhone and a whack of board level components to ensure the stability and longevity of this motherboard. Well, not the 'b2' stepping Intel P67 chipset... but the solid state capacitors, low RDS MOSFETS and so forth.

At the back of the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard you'll find (2) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet jack, an optical and coaxial S/PDIF out, (2) eSATA III ports and the 7.1-channel audio-out headphone jacks. The audio system is based off a Realtek ACL892 codec and is Dolby Home Theatre compliant.

As with most Intel P67 platforms, there is no support for legacy IDE hard drives or FDD devices whatsoever. The box contents are pretty slim too; you get four SATA cables, an I/O shield, SLI bridge connector and a paper cut if you're lucky. The board's warranty is three years from the date of manufacture for US/Canadian consumers.


Gigabyte backs the GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard with a three year warranty in the US and Canada.

LGA1155 Heat Sink / Thermal Solutions

While Intel has created several different heatsink sizes in recent years, the socket LGA1155 'SandyBridge' CPU cooler is thankfully interchangeable with previous socket LGA1156 heatsinks.

The stock 'SandyBridge' heatsink is decent, but better aftermarket CPU coolers are easy enough to find so there's no good reason not to upgrade. PCSTATS likes the low noise Noctua coolers and tower-style Xigmatek's, but really just about anything from Zalman to Scythe will cool quieter than a stock Intel HSF.

Clearance around the GA-P67A-UD4's CPU socket is average, some low overhanging thermal solutions may interfere with the VRM heatsinks or memory modules if fins extend much beyond the Intel heatsink retention holes.


LGA1155 CPU socket for 32nm SandyBridge Processors. Principles of installing an LGA processor are covered in this Beginners Guide.

In case you want to install additional fans for dual videocard set ups, the P67A-UD4 board has two PWM and two 3-pin fan headers ready for use.

Intel P67 Express Chipset

With graphics and memory now handled by the CPU, the Intel P67 chipset doesn't need a very fast link to the processor. Thus, instead of complex and expensive-to-produce QPI link, Intel uses a 20Gb/s DMI link between the Intel P67 chipset and LGA1155 processors. The roles of the Northbridge and Southbridge chipsets have been merged into what Intel calls a PCH, or Platform Controller Hub.

Intel's P67 PCH supplies eight PCI Express lanes to the computer system for devices like the SATA ports, LAN, USB and PCIex1 slots. The 16 PCIe lanes for graphics cards are drawn directly from the 'SandyBridge' CPU, this has a nice side benefit of helping to cut down on system latency.


The Intel P67 Express Chipset block diagram

Enthusiasts familiar with the storage and media capabilities of Intel's ICH10R southbridge will find a lot in common with the P67 chipset. It provides 14 USB 2.0 ports, four SATA 3Gb/s and two SATA 6Gb/s ports with support for RAID 0/1/5/10 modes, audio and gigabit Ethernet.

Intel Chipset Feature Comparison
Intel Z68 Express Intel P67 Express Intel H67 Express Intel X58 Express
CPU LGA 1155
Core i5/i7 2nd Gen.
LGA 1155
Core i5/i7 2nd Gen.
LGA 1155
Core i5/i7 2nd Gen.
LGA 1366
Core i7
Chipset Code Name Couger Point (65nm) Couger Point (65nm) Couger Point (65nm) Tylersburg (65nm)
Bus Interface / Speed DMI 20Gb/s DMI 20Gb/s DMI 20Gb/s QPI 25.6Gb/s
Memory Support DDR3-1333, dual channel DDR3-1333, dual channel DDR3-1333, dual channel DDR3 1066, triple channel
Maximum Memory Capacity 32GB (64-bit) 32GB (64-bit) 32GB (64-bit) 24GB (64-bit)
Integrated Graphics Yes. via CPU - Yes. via CPU -
Integrated Graphics Ports HDMI, DVI, DP, VGA - HDMI, DVI, DP, VGA -
PCI Express 2.0 Lanes 8 8 8 36
PCI Express x1 Lanes 0 0 0 6
Intel Rapid Storage Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel Smart Response Technology Yes - - -
SATA 6Gb/s | SATA 3Gb/s | IDE Ports 2/4/0 2/4/0 2/4/0 0/6/0
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 0, 1, 5, 10 0, 1, 5, 10 0, 1, 5, 10 (via ICH10R)
Intelgrated LAN 10/100/1000 MAC 10/100/1000 MAC 10/100/1000 MAC -
USB 3.0 Ports 0 0 0 0
USB 2.0 Ports 14 14 14 12
PCI Masters 0 0 0 6
Intel High Definition Audio Yes Yes Yes Yes

In the above Chipset Feature Comparison chart you can see how all three of 6-series Intel chipsets compare to one another a little easier. The major difference between the Intel P67 Express and H67 chipsets is that the former lacks the H67's capabilities to output integrated graphics from the processor. Moving forward, the newer Intel Z68 Express chipset is essentially a combination of the feature sets of the Intel P67 and H67, with a couple bonus extras.

Next up, a close up look at all the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard has to offer.

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4
 Pg 1.  — Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 Intel P67 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 3.  Overclocking, BIOS and Test Hardware
 Pg 4.  Sysmark 2007 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 6.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 7.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 8.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 11.  FEAR Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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