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Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
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...
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External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Dec 30 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3

Introducing Gigabyte Touch BIOS

While ASUS and MSI have focused a lot of marketing energy promoting the new UEFI BIOS interfaces - UEFI is the BIOS that works with a mouse and adds room for enhanced graphical interfaces - Gigabyte has gone in another direction. The Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard uses a traditional text-based BIOS but augments that with a Windows based hybrid-EFI BIOS called Touch BIOS. It looks like this from within Windows:

Gigabyte Touch BIOS runs in the Windows 7 environment.

Touch BIOS has big and friendly graphical buttons that novice users will like and is accessible only from within Windows. That puts it on more familiar ground for users who may have never opened up their computer BIOS. Best of all in our opinion, if you're not a fan of graphical BIOS interfaces you're not forced to use a sluggish UEFI BIOS interface! Whooo-hoo!

What's the deal with UEFI? Well to put things frankly, we've been really disappointed in every UEFI BIOS from ASUS and MSI tested so far. The graphical user interface is slow, each motherboard maker has their own non-standard graphical user interface and iconography which only complicates things further. When it comes to BIOS changes I don't like being forced to learn where all the options are stored in each UEFI BIOS format and what the different non-standarized icons represent.

Beyond the graphical user interface, the new UEFI BIOS' tend to have bugs - an almost unheard of issue in the 10 years PCSTATS has been testing motherboards. For example, in one ASUS P67 motherboard UEFI BIOS that we tested, hitting 'F10' to 'save and exit' didn't actually save any of the settings! Trying solving an overclocking issue when the damn ASUS UEFI BIOS isn't saving changes! It's beyond frustrating and a total waste of time. But hey, we're set in our ways and favour the text-based BIOS format.

Novice Users and the BIOS

While novice users may not know what the BIOS is or how to use it, and may find the traditional text-only BIOS intimidating, I think enthusiasts and computer geeks tend to like the quick responsiveness of the UI and its organized menu structure. A text-based BIOS (or text-based UEFI-BIOS for that matter) is the right way to go in our opinion. It's an interface that's been refined over nearly two decades and it works - at the end of the day that's all we want.

Gigabyte's Touch BIOS fills a new role without replacing the existing BIOS at POST, so it's a good mix in our book. We especially like launching @BIOS to run a BIOS update from within Windows and the way all the BIOS settings are largely presented in a drop-down format. There are some added features for taking BIOS screen shots, inserting bookmarks on certain BIOS pages and organizing the BIOS icons to suite a users individual needs.

Clicking past the opening icon screen reveals an organized list of BIOS options.

In Advanced CPU Core Features we can overclock the processors settings available to Gigabyte Touch BIOS from the comfort of a Windows 7 environment.

Inside the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 BIOS

As PCSTATS mentioned, Gigabyte left the traditional BIOS alone and so its still accessible at POST by pressing the 'Del' key. The main overclocking controls for adjusting the CPU multiplier (and BCLK frequency) are found in the Advanced Frequency Settings page.

The BIOS has extensive memory control options, timings can be set down to the individual clocks cycle, per channel.

Finally, you can also adjust pretty much every electrical setting you want in the BIOS, although this feature is only recommended for expert usage. You don't want to fry your flagship motherboard!

With the BIOS covered, let's move onto overclocking and the PCSTATS motherboard benchmark suite.

Next up, PCSTATS tries its hand overclocking a Core i5 2500K processor with the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 motherboard, will we achieve better OC'ing results with the Z68 then the P67?

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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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