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Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Meet the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard, a non-integrated graphics take on the new Intel Z68 chipset. While the Intel Z68 is reknown for combining the best the Intel P67 & H67 chipsets had to offer in one platform...
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Dec 30 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3

360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout

360-Degree Motherboard Gallery:

The Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard features three physical PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, but only the first slot supports videocards in x16 mode. Gamers will be happy to heat that this Z68 board also supports two-way nVidia SLI and ATI CrossfireX.

Keep in mind, if you install two videocards they'll split the bandwidth equally and run in x8/x8 mode. The third PCI Express x16 slot shares bandwidth with the two PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots, if both of those are empty it will run at x4 mode. If either PCIe x1 slots is populated the last videocard slot defaults to x1 mode.

From afar Gigagbyte's GA-Z68X-UD5-3H might look like it supports three-way videocard configurations, it doesn't. It's simply better to use full size expansion cards so card-edge connectors aren't left hanging in the open. The absence of a full allotment of gold connector pins is a dead giveaway (below).

Rounding out the expansion slots on the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard we find two legacy PCI brackets, a standard not natively supported by the Intel Z68 chipset. An ITEIT8728 controller fills in that role and also takes on legacy control of PS/2 keyboards and mice.

Bundled in along with the front panel IO headers are two 6Gb/s SATA III and four 3Gb/s SATA II jacks. RAID 0/1/5/10 can be configured across any of these ports, though it's best not to do that or performance may suffer the lowest common denominator.

Along the bottom edge of the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard are numerous fan, USB 2.0/3.0 and IEEE 1394 headers. The board supports a total of 10 USB 2.0 ports, 8 USB 3.0 ports (4 on the back panel, 4 from the included 3.5" front panel bay that's bundled in) and 3 IEEE 1394 ports (2 back panel, 1 via header). In short, there's a lot of connectivity here.

The -UD5 board gets a big old power switch that's very helpful when the motherboard is being tested outside a system chassis. Beside that button is the reset switch and CMOS reset button - a little too close together, don't you think!?


Six DDR3 memory slots are available for population on the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard.


Gigabyte's GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard supports DDR3-1066/1333/1600/1866/2133 memory in a dual channel configuration. The largest memory density for 64-bit operating systems is 32GB, for Windows 32-bit you're capped at 4GB max. The four 1.5v DIMMs support Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) too.

Like all Intel Z68 platforms, the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 accommodates Intel socket 1155 2nd Generation 'Sandy Bridge' Core i3/i5/i7 processors. It is not compatible with socket 1156 CPUs. The heatsink mounting holes are different than socket 775 and socket 1366 platforms, but mercifully are compatible with LGA 1156 thermal solutions. If in doubt, just look at Frostytech's Top 5 Heatsink chart.

But wait, is that an nVidia NF200 chipset just to the left of the CPU socket...?

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  The LucidLogix Virtu Question + Intel Z68 Chipset
 Pg 3.  Guide: Setting Up Intel SRT
 Pg 4.  Testing Intel SRT: PCMark Vantage HDD Suite
 Pg 5.  — 360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 6.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Connectivity
 Pg 7.  Introducing Gigabyte Touch BIOS
 Pg 8.  Overclocking on the Intel Z68 Chipset
 Pg 9.  Sysmark 2007 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 11.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 12.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 16.  FEAR Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 17.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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