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. |
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ||
Overclocking Report and BIOS Walkthrough
Sandy Bridge CPUs hit the streets overclocking has taken a bit of a strange
turn... If you were savvy enough to buy an unlocked Intel Core i5 2500K or 2600K
CPU from the get-go, you probably already know the unlocked CPU multiplier will
let you push these chips into the mid-4 GHz range with little effort. Owing to
the integrated graphics on Sandy Bridge processors however, overclocking via the
processor BCLK beyond about 105MHz isn't very practical.
Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard offers up a full
range of CPU and IGP overclocking controls in the BIOS and within Windows 7 via
TouchBIOS. Since BCLK overclocking is generally limited to 105MHz, PCSTATS left
memory settings alone and focused on the CPU multiplier.
Starting from the default x33, PCSTATS pushed the CPU
multiplier to x39, x42, x44 and x47 where the system crashed. The Core i5 2500K
chip PCSTATS tests with generally maxes out at x47, so that's where our overclocking adventure
Since the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard is equipped
with onboard video outputs PCSTATS had a go at overclocking the Intel HD 3000
IGP as well. From the stock IGP speed of 1100MHz, PCSTATS was able to overclock
the Intel HD 3000 graphics core to 1600MHz
without much difficulty.
Redundant BIOS chips prevent bad BIOS flashes from
taking down the board.
Gigabyte's Dual UEFI BIOS
'3D BIOS' user interface is intended to help novice PC users interact with
complicated BIOS settings on friendlier terms, when you mouse over different
bits of the board photograph, like the CPU area, memory or expansion slots, it
bring up the relevant UEFI BIOS option menu. Advanced BIOS options are available
at the bottom, which is where we'll be focusing our attention.
3D BIOS used
on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
Main Overclocking and Frequency control menu
for adjusting the CPU multiplier and BCLK frequency among other options are
found in the Advanced Frequency Settings menu.
Intel Rapid Start
Technology must be enabled in the BIOS if you want to use it.
The BIOS has extensive memory control
options, timings can be set down to the individual clocks cycle, per channel.
There are a lot of voltage control options in the
GA-Z77X-UD3H BIOS; for memory, chipset, CPU and motherboard VRM. There's also a
slew of really advanced voltage controls available via Gigabyte's '3DPower' menu
from the Windows desktop.
CPU Core Voltage
3D Power Voltage
Overclocking and onboard memory allocation
for the Intel HD 3000 graphics on the 'SandyBridge' Intel Core i5 2500K
Now let's look
at how the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard handles in the
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