BUG NOTICE: Be aware there are problems getting LSI RAID SAS/SATA cards like the LSI SAS3041E-R to work with this motherboard. Read about PCSTATS issues with the GA-Z77X-UD4H model here.
There's nothing finer than a new chipset to kick the summer off, this year it's the
Intel Z77 Express. In this review PCSTATS will put the performance
oriented Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard, which is built on Intel's shiny new Z77
Express chipset, through its paces with the exceptionally popular 32nm 2nd Gen.
Intel Core i3/i5/i7 'Sandy Bridge' processor. The main difference
between the Intel Z77 chipset and the previous Intel
Z68 is the addition of native USB 3.0.
staggered the release of its Z77 chipset and upcoming 22nm 3rd Gen. Intel Core
i3/i5/i7 'Ivy Bridge'
socket LGA1155 processors to let each technology stand on its own
two feet, but in reality the two are so complimentary you can't
have one without the other. Furthermore, the chipset and CPU are backwards compatible
with previous LGA1155 CPUs/motherboards so actual upgrading is a possibility for Intel
While we can't say too much about the upcoming 'Ivy
Bridge' CPU in this article, we can tell you it brings DX11 integrated graphics to the table via the Intel HD2500/4000
IGP. In any event, either SNB or IVB CPU architecture is
well placed for mainstream and workstation PC systems in 2012/2013, so let's begin!
Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UD3H is an all-black ATX sized motherboard for
socket LGA1155 processors that features assorted integrated graphics outputs,
an mSATA SSD slot and supports two-way graphics card set ups. The board is equipped with four 1.5v
DDR-3 memory slots which accommodate up to 32GB of dual channel
DDR3-1600/1333/1066 memory, 4GB for 32-bit operating systems. DDR3-1600 memory is
only supported with 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) compliant enthusiast
memory is supported, of course.
videocard front you have a couple options with this board - integrated graphics
via the onboard HDMI/Display Port/DVI-D/Analog video outputs, or one or two
discrete graphics cards. In terms of videocards, the GA-Z77X-UD3H can handle a
single PCI Express Gen 3.0 x16 videocard
(x16 mode), a PCI Express 2.0 x16 videocard or a two-way pair of nVidia SLI /
AMD Crossfire cards (x8/x8 mode). Add LucidLogix VirtuMVP into the mix and
things get interesting, but more on that in a moment.
the graphics cards run on the PCIe 2.0 or 3.0 standard depends in part on the
CPU. If an Intel 'Sandy Bridge' CPU is installed it's the PCIe 2.0 standard, if
an 'Ivy Bridge' CPU is installed that changes to the PCIe 3.0 standard. The
Intel Z77 chipset supplies a further eight PCIe lanes for system devices.
Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard retails for $170CDN
/ $179USD at Canada Computers, NCIX or Newegg.
INCLUDES: User's Manual, Driver
DVD, (4) SATA cables, 2-way SLI bridge, I/O
Chipset: Intel Z77 Express
Support: Intel Socket 1155
Type: Dual Channel DDR3
Support: (2) PCI Express x16 2.0/3.0 (x16 or
Multi-Graphics: 2-way nVidia SLI
+ AMD CrossfireX
IGP Video Ports: HDMI, Display
Port, Analog VGA, DVI-D
Estimated Price: $170 USD/CDN
(Canada Computers, NCIX or Newegg)
Integrated graphics are underpowered for 3D gaming (see:
IGP-vs-IGP Benchmarks later in ths review) but well suited to regular
office-type desktop work with one or more monitors (see: IGP-PCMark Vantage
Benchmarks). The integrated graphics outputs on the Gigabyte
GA-Z77X-UD3H support HDMI at 1920x1200 pixels, DisplayPort
at resolutions up to 2560x1600, DVI-D at 1920x1200 and Analog VGA.
This board can handle dual
digital displays with Sandy Bridge CPUs or triple
displays for Ivy Bridge CPUs.
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H onboard video
outputs: DVI-D, Analog VGA, Display Port and HDMI. Dual and triple
monitors are supported depending on SNB or IVB