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Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: Socket 1155 motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 which are built around it offer up a mainstream suite of capabilities and a kitchen sink full o'features. The board supports 2nd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series socket LGA1155 processors - these CPUs are based on the Intel 'SandyBridge' architecture which includes an integrated graphics core on the CPU die.
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Aug 16 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3

With the impending release of AMD's 'Bulldozer' processor a lot of people will be holding back on their PC upgrades until that 8-core chip officially drops. The 'carrot on the stick' approach is the cornerstone of the computer industry, though savvy PC users will realize you often miss out on pretty fantastic technology that's available today in the pursuit of what's not available.

Today, the newest chipset for Intel processors is the Z68 Express and motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 which are built around it offer up a mainstream suite of capabilities and a kitchen sink full o'features. The board supports 2nd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series socket LGA1155 processors - these CPUs are based on the Intel 'SandyBridge' architecture which includes an integrated graphics core on the CPU die.

The GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard has four 1.5v DDR-3 memory slots which will accommodate up to 32GB of dual channel DDR3-1066/1333/1600/1866/2133 memory, 4GB for 32-bit operating systems. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) compliant enthusiast memory is supported.

On the all important videocard front there are two options - integrated graphics via the board's HDMI/Display Port/DVI-D/Analog video outputs, or PCI Express based discrete graphics cards. In terms of videocards, the GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard will handle one PCI Express 2.0 x16 videocard in x16 mode or a pair of nVidia Geforce / ATI Radeon videocards in SLI or Crossfire, in x8/x8 mode. Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU supplies x16 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 bandwidth for the graphics cards, the Intel Z68 chipset a further eight PCIe lanes for system devices.

Care of the Intel Z68 Express chipset, the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 serves up the full compliment of integrated graphics options; HDMI (1920x1200), DisplayPort (2560x1600), DVI-D (1920x1200) and Analog VGA. Intel IGP graphics are okay for everyday work and this board can handle dual digital displays which is especially nice.

IGP graphics are key if you plan to leverage Intel's QuickSync for media transcoding, so it's good that Lucid's VIRTU driver ships with this motherboard. With VIRTU there's no penalty if you go the discrete graphics card route, and with support for Crossfire/SLI you really ought to, as VIRTU enables seamless switching between the two. Further peripheral expansion comes via three PCI Express x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots. Gigabyte's GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard retails for around $165 at Canada Computers , NCIX and Newegg.

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard


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

Chipsets: Intel Z68 Express
CPU Support: Intel Socket 1155
Memory Type: Dual Channel DDR3
Videocard Support: (2) PCI Express x16 2.0 (x16 or x8/x8)
Integrated Graphics Video Port: HDMI, Display Port, VGA, DVI

Average Price at time of review: $164

On the storage front you get three 3Gb/s SATA II and two 6Gb/s SATA III devices via the Intel Z68 chipset (RAID 0/1/5/10), with one eSATA II port at the rear I/O. This is hardly enough SATA III ports though, so Gigabyte tacks on a Marvell controller for two more 6Gb/s SATA III ports (RAID 0/1).

In addition to the main features PCSTATS has already run through, the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 aslo gives you four USB3.0 ports, 3x USB power boost, +3TB hard drive support, Precision OverVolting control, Dual BIOS's Hybrid-EFI TouchBIOS, On/Off Charge for recharging devices like the iPhone and access to Intel Smart Response Technology .

Motherboard Rear I/O Ports

At the back of the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard you'll find four IGP video outputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, Analog VGA), a gigabit Ethernet jack, (2) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, (4) USB 2.0 ports, an IEEE1394 Firewire port, an optical S/PDIF out, one eSATA II port and full assortment of Intel high definition 7.1-channel headphone jacks. The audio system is based off a Realtek ACL889 codec and is Dolby Home Theatre compliant. PS/2 still clings to life in a hybrid keyboard/mouse kind of way.

Box contents are pretty slim, just a couple pairs of SATA cables, the I/O shield and a SLI bridge connector. A USB 3.0 bracket would have been a nice addition to make use of the USB 3.0 header, but one isn't included.

Let's take a quick look at Intel Z68 Express chipset before moving on to the 360-degree motherboard photos.

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
 Pg 1.  — Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Intel Z68 Express Chipset
 Pg 3.  Lucid VIRTU
 Pg 4.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 5.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 6.  BIOS and Hybrid-EFI Touch BIOS
 Pg 7.  Overclocking on the Intel Z68 Chipset
 Pg 8.  Sysmark 2007 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 10.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 11.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  FEAR Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 16.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, FEAR, Juarez, Crysis
 Pg 17.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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