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Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77 Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: There's nothing finer than a new chipset to kick the summer off and 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.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Apr 19 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H

Overclocking Tools and Tweaks

Overclocker Tools

Along with a Port 80 card by the front panel I/O, enthusiast overclockers are provided with a set of voltage read points on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard (points: Vcore, CPUVtt, VSA, CPUPll, VDimm, DDRVtt and PCIIO) for monitoring power draw with a multimeter.

Out of the box tweaking is a breeze with the handy red power switch by the memory slots. It's big and chunky and illuminated so it's easy to find in the dark.

Less then handy are the small Reset and CMOS Reset buttons located right beside each other... hard core overclockers who blow the BIOS out on a regular basis might find this convenient, but mere mortals are likely to reset their CMOS in error more often than not.


Reading voltage points with multimeter leads.

The board makes judicious use of low profile passive extruded aluminum heatsinks to cool the VRM and chipset. Furthermore, Gigabyte's 2oz copper PCB acts like a giant heatspreder for surface mount electrical component. The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H has (5) 4-pin PWM fan headers, which is pretty fantastic. PCSTATS is a fan of fan headers, ASUS boards never seem to have enough of them! :)

Dual UEFI BIOS's come standard of course, Gigabyte have also tacked on a switch so users can toggle rapidly between the two BIOS' when overclocking (marked SW4).

Rear I/O Ports o'plenty

As PCSTATS mentioned, the Intel Z77 is the first chipset with four native USB 3.0 ports alongside six USB 2.0 ports. The GA-Z77X-UD3H has an additional four USB3.0 ports via a VIA VL800 controller. Now there's a bit of weirdness to the back panel USB ports - the first pair of USB 3.0 ports come from the VIA controller which isn't supported by the default Windows 7 driver set, so these ports don't work until the VIA drivers are installed. To install the PC, you'll need to plug your USB mouse/keyboard into the USB 3.0 ports under the LAN jack. Gigabyte add a sticker to stop confused users from going crazy, but still...

At the back of the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard you'll find four IGP video outputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, Analog VGA), a gigabit Ethernet LAN jack, (6) SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA II ports, an optical S/PDIF out and a full collection of Intel high definition audio 7.1-channel headphone jacks. The audio system is based off a VIA V2021 codec, the Ethernet off an Atheros GbE (10/100/1000) LAN chip and Intel PHY. PS/2 still clings to life in a hybrid keyboard/mouse kind of way.

Rounding out the GA-Z77X-UD3H's list of features are the following acronyms and marketing department fluff; 3D Power, 3D BIOS, Ultra Durable 4, 2X Copper PCB & New Glass Fabric PCB, Dual UEFI BIOS, On/Off Charge, 333 onboard acceleration (USB3, USB power 3x, SATA3), +3TB hard drive support, @BIOS, Q-Flash and Xpress Recovery2. Bundled software includes Intel Rapid Start Tech., Smart Connect Tech., Smart Response Tech. and burried in the driver DVD, LucidLogix Virtu MVP.

In addition to the standard benchmark set, for this review PCSTATS has gone the extra step of comparing Intel's HD 3000 IGP graphics core against six different integrated graphics solutions, including AMD's socket FM1 APU-based Radeon HD 6550D. First though, let's take a quick look at Intel Z77 Express chipset before moving to the 360-degree motherboard photos.

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Overclocking Tools and Tweaks
 Pg 3.  Introducing the Intel Z77 Express Chipset
 Pg 4.  Testing Lucidlogix VirtuMVP
 Pg 5.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 6.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 7.  Overclocking Report and BIOS Walkthrough
 Pg 8.  Test System Hardware and Specs
 Pg 9.  Sysmark 2012 - Workstation Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 11.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 12.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 13.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark06, FEAR, Juarez
 Pg 16.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 17.  Transcoding and Power Draw

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