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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: Connectivity

What looks like a chipset heatsink for an nVidia NF200 is actually nothing. A pad of thermal interface material connects the heatsink to the motherboard PCB but there is no IC below it.

The Intel Z68 Express chipset is located off to the side of the SATA jacks under a low profile aluminum heatsink.

As you can see, nothing is under the heatsink between the CPU socket and PCI Express slots, though a heatpipe does run through it to the motherboard VRM.


The Intel Z68 Express chipset is hiding under this low profile passive aluminum heatsink. A flattened copper heatpipe connects this thermal solution with the VRM heatsinks that surround the LGA1155 CPU socket. Gigabyte's trademark dual-BIOS' can be seen just to the right of the Z68 heatsink, the small chips with the yellow dots.

Spacing between the two videocard PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots is good. A single dual-slot wide videocard will only block the second PCIEx1 slot. If you opt for SLI or CrossFireX, it will cost you the second PCI slot. With either videocard scenario there is lots of space to go around.

The PCI Express slots are clearly marked with bandwidth values, so ensure the videocard goes into the PCIEx16 slot which is the second from the CPU.


Renesas D720200 USB 3.0 controller.

A Renesas D720200 controller and a pair of VLI VL810 hubs provide all the USB 3.0 goodness on this board. Makes us wonder what kind of bottleneck might occur if all eight USB 3.0 ports are populated, everything is piped through a single PCI Express lane.

While USB 2.0's 480Mb/s maximum bandwidth was enough for smaller flash-memory based devices in the past, USB 3.0 expands that bandwidth to 4.8Gb/s - much better appropriate for moving 8GB movie files around! USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices.

Looking at the IO panel, here's what caught PCSTATS attention; the hybrid eSATA/USB 3.0-looking connectors are actually eSATA III/USB 2.0 ports care of the Marvell 88SE9128 controller. This pair of eSATAIII ports handles RAID 0/1 separate from the native Intel Z68 SATA ports - good if you want to RAID 1 external hard drives, for example.

There are four USB 3.0 jacks to the right, along with one 10/100/1000 GbE Ethernet port and the requisite 7.1 channel audio jack collection. Firewire comes in both IEEE1394 and IEE1394a (mini) formats. Digital audio can be output via optical S/PDIF and coaxial S/PDIF.

Let's see if all of these extra features have affected the GA-Z68X-UD5-B3's overclocking potential, but first have you ever wished you could access the BIOS option from within Windows? Well, now you can.

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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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