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.
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard is a fully featured mainstream-gaming platform
based around the Intel Z77 chipset and bundled with a
Wireless 802.11bgn + Bluetooth 4.0 PCI Express x1 card, not to
mention all the bells and whistles of a highly expandable workstation platform and a good set of overclocking
tools. Retail price for Gigabyte's
GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard is around $200CDN/USD.
board supports socket LGA1155 22nm 3rd Gen. Intel Core
(IVB) and 32nm 2nd Gen. Intel Core i3/i5/i7 'SandyBridge' (SNB) processors. In this review PCSTATS
will benchmark the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB with both processor families - just so you can see
what kind of performance difference really exists. With Intel's socket LGA1150 'Haswell' dropping shortly, it's a good time to reflect on the "latest and greatest treadmill" before adopting yet another new CPU socket form factor.
In any event, IvyBridge does brings with it basic
DX11 integrated graphics gaming capabilities via the Intel HD4000 IGP while SandyBridge
is similarly anaemic, but limited to DX10.1 graphics. On the graphics card front, the
all black ATX-sized Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard offers up three
PCI Express x16 slots. Two of
these videocard slots support two-way graphics cards in x8/x8 mode, if all three
are populated three-way SLI/CrossfireX will run in X4/X4/x8 mode. A single graphics card run at x16 mode with PCI Express Gen 3.0 or PCI Express
Gen 2.0 depending on the CPU architecture and videocard - the platform is PCI-E 3.0 compliant.
Further peripheral expansion slots include (3) PCI Express x1 and
a legacy PCI slot.
As IVB and SNB processors feature integrated graphics cores, the board
supports dual monitors via the onboard HDMI/Display Port/DVI-D/Analog video outputs, or one or two discrete videocards
in SLI/CrossfireX, or a mix of discrete and integrated graphics care of LucidLogix VirtuMVP.
INCLUDES: User's Manual, Driver
DVD, (4) SATA cables, 2-way SLI bridge, I/O Shield,
802.11bgn Wifi card, USB jumper cable, (2) dipole
Chipset: Intel Z77 Express
Support: Intel Socket 1155
Type: Dual Channel DDR3
Support: (3) PCI Express x16 2.0/3.0 (x16, x8/x8 or
Multi-Graphics: nVidia SLI
/ AMD CrossfireX
IGP Video Ports: HDMI, Display
Port, Analog VGA, DVI-D
Estimated Price: $200
The GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB is equipped with four 1.5v DDR-3 memory slots which accommodate up to 32GB of dual channel DDR3-1600/1333/1066 memory and Extreme Memory Profiles.
At the rear I/O of the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB we find HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D and
Analog VGA integrated graphics video outputs, a pair of gigabit Ethernet LAN jacks, (4)
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, (2) USB 2.0 ports, (1) eSATA II port,
(1) Firewire port, an optical S/PDIF out and 7.1-channel audio headphone jacks. The
audio system is based off a Realtek ALC898C controller. The mouse/keyboard PS/2 jacks
have been dropped entirely from this board in favour of an extra Ethernet and
USB 3.0 ports.
Connectivity, Storage and Ports
PCSTATS mentioned, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard offers up no
fewer than (10) USB 3.0 ports and (6) USB 2.0 ports care of the Intel Z77 chipset and a set of VIA VL810 hubs. Six of the USB 3.0 ports come off headers, but as only one USB 3.0 bracket is included, the
remaining will need to be connected to chassis front panel ports. Oh well, at
least there is no shortage of USB 3.0 on this board!
Internally, you'll find USB 2.0 headers,
an IEEE1394 Firewire header, a TPM module port, dual BIOS', a PORT 80 card
for troubleshooting overclocking errors and seven voltage read points. Motherboard reviews
don't usually require a look at the board level block diagram, but in this case there's so much
going on with the 'UD5H-WB you might want a quick look.
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB block
On the storage front the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard
is extremely well equipped. The board offers up
ten SATA devices across an assortment of SATAIII, SATAII, mSATA and
eSATA jacks. Starting with the (2) 6Gb/s SATA III and (4) 3Gb/s SATA II
ports that support RAID 0/1/5/10 from the Intel Z77 chipset, users also
get one SATAII port split between a regular connector and the mSATA socket.
The idea is, if you aren't using the mSATA slot for an SSD
the port remains available for regular hard drives.
Lastly, a pair of Marvell 88SE9172 controllers add four extra
6Gb/s SATA III ports with RAID 0/1 support
- these are split into three internal jacks and one eSATA port
at the rear I/O.
this is an Intel Z77 board, Intel SRT can be configured via a dedicated mSATA
SSD if you wish. PCSTATS has already tested Intel SRT at length, see
this test report on Intel SRT
here and here.
mSATA port for SSD drives used
with Intel Smart Response Technology
Integrated Graphics / LucidLogic
aware, despite what Intel likes to say about it's HD 3000/4000 integrated
graphics cores the truth is these IGPs are woefully
underpowered for the majority of 3D games. The benchmark section includes a
full set of Intel HD3000/HD4000 benchmarks against competing AMD IGPs, so you
can see just how anemic the Intel IGP cores really are.
Integrated graphics are however,
very well suited to regular office-type desktop work with one or two monitors
(see: IGP-PCMark Vantage Benchmarks). The integrated graphics outputs on
the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB support HDMI resolutions of 1920x1200 pixels, DisplayPort
at 2560x1600, DVI-D at 1920x1200 and Analog VGA. This board supports
dual monitors off the IGP (one analog, one digital), which is very useful
for improving productivity without the expense of a discrete graphics card. Intel
claims triple monitor support, but this is technically only possible via nested
DisplayPort monitors and the result is iffy at best.
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB onboard video
outputs: DVI-D, Analog VGA, Display Port and HDMI. Dual and triple
monitors are supported depending on SNB or IVB
Most users prefer discrete videocards
over integrated graphics, but there are times when the IGP's ability to accelerate transcoding tasks via Intel
QuickSync comes in handy. To that end, the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB incorporates a
software tool called LucidLogix VirtuMVP which permits dynamic switching between discrete
videocards and IGP-based graphics.
VirtuMVP serves up the
best of a discrete graphics card for 3D games and the power saving and hardware transcoding benefits
of the IGP for desktop work. Lucid's VirtuMVP incorporates HyperFormance which
increases frame rates by eliminating redundant rendering tasks and Virtual Vsync
which reduces screen tearing.
The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB also comes with a nice wireless card that
supports 802.11bgn Wi-fi and Bluetooth Smart 4.0 connectivity.
PCSTATS takes a look at this device and the boards' overclocking options, next.