Fresh on the heels of the 3rd Generation of Intel's i series processor is the z77 chipset. The z77 chipset is compatible with both the Sandy Bridge line of processors and the Ivy Bridge series. The major features that this new chipset brings to the table is native USB 3.0, PCI Express 3.0 and official support for DDR3 1600MHz. Today we are taking a look at one of the z77 as well as one of their "Ultra Durable" offerings from Gigabyte: The Z77X-UD3H.
The following information was provided by the Gigabyte web site and used for general specifications.
GIGABYTE Z77 Series Motherboards
GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards combine a host of new and exciting technologies with the latest Intel Z77 Express Chipset, creating a unique range of motherboard designs that harness the outstanding performance of the new 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors. With an exclusive 'Digital' VRM design, GIGABYTE 3D Power and GIGABYTE 3D BIOS (Dual UEFI), GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards ensure exceptional power delivery and absolute control, with additional features that ensure an unrivalled experience on your next PC build.
GIGABYTE All Digital Power Engine
GIGABYTE Z77 series motherboards take advantage of an exclusive All Digital PWM controller array, to deliver power to the board's 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor. Using entirely digital controllers means that more precise power delivery to the motherboard's most power hungry and energy sensitive components is possible. These components include the CPU, VTT, processor graphics and memory, without doubt the most important components on your motherboard. This All Digital Power system, with Precise Auto Voltage Compensation, provides you with exceptional control over the component power delivery on your GIGABYTE 7 series motherboard. GIGABYTE 3D Power: Digital Voltage, Frequency and Phase Control Utilizing an exclusive All Digital controller array, GIGABYTE's 3D Power features precise Auto Voltage Compensation to deliver a steady flow of power to the system, no matter the loading. With digital controllers for the CPU (Vcore), VTT, processor graphics and memory (DDR), users can make real-time adjustments with the exclusive GIGABYTE 3D Power Utility, that include settings such as OVP (Over Voltage Protection), Load-line Calibration and on-the-fly PWM frequency adjustment.
GIGABYTE 3D Power (patent pending) Utility
Users can enjoy a fully interactive 3D utility that facilitates adjustment of the 3 dimensions that control the power delivery to your CPU and Memory: Voltage, Phase and Frequency. These parameters are crucial to how the digital PWM supplies power to critical areas of the motherboard and can help users quickly obtain the highest, most stable overclock.
3D Power: Voltage Control Voltage parameters can be modified within 3D Power, including load line calibration of the CPU. By adjusting load line calibration, Vdroop can be avoided, maintaining optimal voltages levels despite increasing current levels. OVP (over voltage protection) can also be adjusted to change default protection range of the CPU, IGP, VTT and system memory.
3D Power: Phase Control Users can calibrate OCP (Over Current Protection) for the CPU, integrated memory controller and system memory power levels. This allows the Phase control to deliver even more power to the system when needed.
3D Power: Frequency Control GIGABYTE's all digital PWM allows for adjustable frequency control via the International Rectifier PWM controller. 3D Power frequency control allows users to change the PWM controller frequency so that the CPU VRM can adjust power delivery speeds more quickly. Users can also adjust the PWM spectrum or maximum and minimum overall frequencies.
GIGABYTE 3D BIOS (patent pending)
The revolutionary GIGABYTE 3D BIOS application is based on GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ technology and is available to consumers in two exclusive modes of interaction, providing enthusiast and mainstream users with a choice of unique and powerful graphical interfaces.
UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology At the heart of this exciting 3D BIOS technology is a pair of physical BIOS ROMs containing GIGABYTE's exclusive in-house designed UEFI BIOS technology. With a superior graphical interface capable of 32-bit color imaging and fluid user-friendly mouse navigation, UEFI DualBIOS™ makes BIOS configuration a new and exciting experience for novice and experienced users alike. UEFI BIOS also brings native support for large hard drives on 64-bit operating systems.
3D Mode Designed to provide an extremely streamlined and user-friendly BIOS environment, GIGABYTE's exclusive 3D mode offers a fully interactive and illustrative GUI that allows users to easily and intuitively make key adjustments to the UEFI BIOS settings for optimum performance. 3D Mode allows novice or casual users to more clearly understand the areas of the motherboard that are being affected through the BIOS settings, gaining a clearer understanding of the BIOS functionality.
Advanced Mode Advanced mode provides a more comprehensive UEFI BIOS environment that is designed specifically for overclockers and power users who want maximum control over their PC's hardware. GIGABTYE's signature M.I.T. tuning technology can be found alongside fully configurable parameters for GIGABTE's all new digital 3D Power engine. In short, advanced mode combines the signature GIGABYTE BIOS expertise you've come to expect, wrapped a slick, new and optimized graphical UEFI interface.
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ processors
New 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors are based on the new 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor architecture, manufactured using the latest 22nm process to create a visually optimized processor platform. Based on the mature LGA 1155 socket, 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors feature up to four high-performance 64-bit processor cores and 8MB of L3 cache Smart Cache, and overall performance when you need it most.
Designed for PCI Express Gen.3 Support
GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards take advantage of the latest connectivity and expansion bus technologies available on the Intel platform. The 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor platform debuts the new PCI Express gen. 3.0 expansion bus, allowing users to take advantage of the next generation, high-bandwidth discrete graphics card solutions. * PCIE Gen.3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Rapid Start Technology™ gets your device up and running faster from even the deepest sleep. This means users will be able to experience almost zero power draw from their PC, but be able to resume Windows® 7 is a few seconds without having the PC go through a full system boot. With Intel® Rapid Start Technology the previous session resumes to the exact as it was, so that applications are still in the same state and no application data is lost.
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology means that your email, favorite apps, and social networks are continually and automatically updated even when the system is asleep. No more waiting for the latest world news or friends' updates to be delivered—just press the 'on' button and you're up-to-date and ready to go.
Auto Sync with Cloud No manual interaction required to synchronize with cloud services.
Data Ready Email, social media, and cloud apps always updated and available at power on.
Onboard OC Features
Onboard OC Features GIGABYTE Z77 motherboards add special onboard features that assist DIY builders and overclockers in getting the absolute maximum control from their new 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors.
Onboard Power and Reset buttons are accompanied by a LED Debug Display that puts users in the driving seat when experimenting with different hardware configurations.
Overclockers will appreciate having Onboard Voltage Read Points, which have been added to allow for accurate real-time voltage reading when pushing your processor and memory to absolute extremes. OC-PEG provides two onboard SATA power connectors for more stable PCIe power when using 3-way and 4-way graphics configurations.
An exclusive Onboard BIOS Switcher is also included which allows users to easily switch between the motherboard's Dual UEFI BIOS ROMs. This makes it easier to switch between overclocking and regular BIOS settings and also to try a new BIOS revision without losing your original settings. An Onboard Clear CMOS buttons makes it easier than ever to reset your BIOS to its factory defaults.
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 4 – Insist on an Ultra Durable Motherboard
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 4 motherboards embrace a range of exclusive technologies that guarantee DIY PC builders the absolute best protection for their PC, with built-in features that prevent common malfunction threats...more
This board fully supports all the features of Ultra Durable™ 4. A PCB printing error occurred and it was labeled incorrectly as Ultra Durable™ 3.
Lucid Universal MVP Support
GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards support Lucid Virtu GPU virtualization technologies - optimized virtualization software that improves your PC's visuals, with faster response times, improved video processing and smoother media playback, all within a low power environment. Lucid Universal MVP also features Hyperformance, which eliminates redundant rendering tasks and predicts potential synchronization issues in the graphics delivery pipeline, producing faster frame rates, sharper visuals and reduced tearing.
Free Upgrade for your Graphics
Test equip : 3rd generation Intel Core processor 3.2G/GA-Z77X-UD3H/DDR3 1333/Win7 64Bit. Prices are for reference only. Individual prices may vary by region.
Allows users to dynamically switch between built-in graphics and high-end, 3D discrete graphics cards.
GIGABYTE EZ Smart Response
The GIGABYTE EZ Smart Response utility is a simple application that allows users to quickly and easily configure their system for Intel® Smart Response Technology. In the past, enabling Intel® Smart Response meant users needed to enter the BIOS in order to configure their system for RAID mode, which then required a complete reinstall of the operating system. Once that processes was complete, users then needed to install the Intel® Rapid Storage Utility as well as configure Intel's Smart Response Technology. GIGABYTE EZ Smart Response does all of this automatically, without users having to perform a complicated install process. This allows them to quickly and effortlessly enjoy a significant boost in system performance.
GIGABYTE EZ Setup
GIGABYTE EZ Setup is an exclusive application that allows GIGABYTE 7 series users to more easily configure and setup three important Intel Technologies on their new system; Intel® Smart Response, Intel® Rapid Start and Intel® Smart Connect. GIGABYTE EZ Setup makes it far easier to enjoy these technologies by greatly reducing the number of steps involved to install setup and configure your system.
GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards feature an onboard mSATA slot allowing users to easily take advantage of advanced SSD-based technologies like Intel® Smart Response and Intel® Rapid Start. Mounting an affordable, low capacity mSATA SSD directly onto your motherboard can enhance your PC's performance with better overall desktop responsiveness, faster boot times and faster system resume from 'Suspend to Disk' and 'Standby' modes.
GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards feature GIGABYTE 333 Onboard Acceleration , a range of the latest technologies that are designed help speed up data transfer, including SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology, SATA Revision 3.0 (6Gbps) technology and an unprecedented 3x USB power boost on all USB ports for more power hungry USB devices.
GIGABYTE On/Off Charge
GIGABYTE 7 series motherboards feature ON/OFF Charge, a unique GIGAYTE technology which allows you not only to charge your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, but also allows you to Quick Charge it. As an added bonus, it can even be charged when your PC is turned off, so even if you forget to plug it into your charger after you've synced up your music, it will be fully charged when you need it. * Due to certain mobile phone limitations, users may need to connect the mobile phone to their PC before the PC enters S4/S5 mode to enable a quick charge from non ON/OFF Charge USB ports. Charging results may vary by model.
Enhanced Built-in Visuals
With updated and improved processor graphics and multimedia, 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors offer you the best possible media and entertainment experience. Native support for multiple digital displays, plus DirectX 11 capable graphics, Intel® Quick Sync Video 2.0 and Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500 ensure you can enjoy new levels of 3D gaming and HD content manipulation.
Intel® Quick Sync 2.0
Faster media encoding performance Saves your valuable time when create and edit video, synchronize it with other devices, and share it–at home and on the internet. Intel Quick Sync Video uses hardware on the processor, instead of software, to accelerate video encoding.
DirectX 11 Support
Better Visual Experience Microsoft DirectX 11 provides eye-popping 3D visuals found for today's latest PC games and is designed to be more efficient, leverage the power of today's multi-core processors, and provide support for sophisticated shading and texturing techniques such as tessellation.
LAN Optimizer - Intelligent optimization network management tool
GIGABYTE LAN Optimizer is designed to allow the user to manage different types of network traffic so that data streams such as HD media, web browsing or online gaming can be prioritized, taking precedence over large data downloads that tend to strangle overall network bandwidth.
Multi-display support with CrossFireX and SLI™
Flexible graphics capabilities supported for either CrossFireX™ or SLI™ action, delivering the ultimate in graphics performance for gaming enthusiasts who demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.
* The entire materials provided herein are for reference only. GIGABYTE reserves the right to modify or revise the content at anytime without prior notice. * Advertised performance is based on maximum theoretical interface values from respective Chipset vendors or organization who defined the interface specification. Actual performance may vary by system configuration. * All trademarks and logos are the properties of their respective holders. * Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.
Ultra Durable 4
Ultra Durable™ 4 - Insist on an Ultra Durable Motherboard
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 4 motherboards embrace a range of exclusive technologies that guarantee DIY PC builders the absolute best protection for their PC, with built-in features that prevent common malfunction threats.
2X Copper PCB
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 4 design features 2X the amount of copper of a traditional motherboard for both the Power and Ground layers which dramatically lowers system temperature by delivering a more efficient spreading of heat from critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU power zone throughout the entire PCB. GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable™ 4 also lowers the PCB impedance by 50%, which helps to reduce electrical waste and further lowers component temperatures. A 2X Copper layer design also provides improved signal quality and lower EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), providing better system stability and allowing for greater margins for overclocking.
PCB (Printed Circuit Board) 2x copper PCB = 2 oz copper PCB = weight of copper layer 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm (1 square foot) PCB is 56.7 g (2 oz)
0.070mm (70 µm)
0.035mm (35 µm)
Benefits of 2x Copper PCB • Cooler than traditional motherboards • Enhanced durability • Improved energy efficiency • Greater margins for overclocking
Better Power Effciency
2x Lower Impedance
Better ESD Protection
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 4 motherboards also feature special anti-surge ICs that protect your motherboard, and your PC, from any surge in power delivery that may occur, helping to ensure that your PC is equipped to deal with any kind of irregular and inconsistent power delivery.
Without Anti-Surge IC
* Anti-Surge ICs may vary by model
Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Some Intel® Core™ processors require a graphic card, please refer "CPU support List" for more information.)
Intel® Z77 Express Chipset
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory * Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2666(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)
1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 * The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600
VIA VT2021 codec
High Definition Audio
Support for S/PDIF Out
Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.) * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode. * PCIE Gen.3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4) * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with all PCI Express x1 slots. All PCI Express x1 slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed.
3 x PCI Express x1 slots (The PCIEX4 and PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI slot
Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology (PCIEX16 and PCIEX8)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/SATA3 1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2~5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
1 x mSATA connector * The SATA2 5 connector will become unavailable when the mSATA connector is installed with a solid state drive.
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.
Marvell 88SE9172 chip:
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header) * In Windows XP, the Intel USB 3.0 ports can support up to USB 2.0 transfer speed.
Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
VIA VL800 chip:
Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel * Due to a Windows 7 limitation, please connect your USB device(s) to the Intel controlled USB port(s) (located below the RJ-45 LAN port) before the VIA USB 3.0 controller driver is installed.
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1 x mSATA connector
1 x CPU fan header
4 x fan headers
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x Voltage Measurement Points
1 x BIOS Switch
Back Panel Connectors
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1 x HDMI port
1 x DisplayPort
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
1 x RJ-45 port
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out)
iTE I/O Controller Chip
System voltage detection
CPU/System temperature detection
CPU/System fan speed detection
CPU overheating warning
CPU/System fan fail warning
CPU/System fan speed control * Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.
2 x 64 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for Xpress Recovery2
Support for EasyTune * Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
Support for Auto Green
Support for ON/OFF Charge
Support for Q-Share
Support for 3D Power
Support for LAN Optimizer (Intelligent optimization network management tool)
Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology
LucidLogix Virtu MVP * Make sure the monitor cable has been connected to the integrated graphics port on the back panel.
Support for Microsoft® Windows 7/XP
ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP SP1/SP2. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.
Now that we got basic information out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H.
BIOS and Overclocking Expectations
Although Gigabyte was slow to adapt to the UEFI BIOS their implementation is quite good. A 3D BIOS eliminates the old style blue/black screen and is a graphical representation of the BIOS settings. The 3D BIOS features all the same overclocking and tweaking options of the BIOS of yesteryear. The changes made sync up between the 3D BIOS and the UEFI and are applied once the changes have been saved.
The information provided in the 3D BIOS could cover an entire review alone, so I've decided to give a high level over view of each of the screens. There are two ways to do most things in the BIOS. The first is to click the graphical representation of the item that you want to work with, for example, if you want to tweak the processor, you would click on the CPU socket and the options for that item would pop up in a separate overlaid window. The same is said for memory, hard drives, I/O panel, etc.
The second way is to click on the advanced icon at the bottom. This takes you to a little more traditional looking BIOS. The first screen that you are presented with is M.I.T. or motherboard intelligent tweaker. Here's where a lot of adjustments can be made to the CPU, memory, voltage as well as the temperature and fan controls. The second tab is the system tab. This is basically an information tab. You can set the system language as well as the date and time. The information you can gather is the model of the motherboard and the BIOS information.
The next tab sets the BIOS Features, such as boot order, Bootup NumLock state, full screen logo, etc. You can also set the administrator and user password if you so desire. The peripherals tab contains the optional onboard features, such as RAID, USB 2.0 and Audio controllers. The final tab that we will be discussing is power management, there isn't a whole lot to explain here as it is exactly that, power management for the motherboard and processor, if you'd like to wake your computer up by a key press, you would set it here.
Overclocking / Expectations
GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel z77 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory
InWin 1200 Watts Modular Power Supply
Overclocking the Z77X-UD3H was extremely easy. To test out how easy it was on the first BIOS screen I clicked ont he CPU and bumped the CPU up to 4.5GHz and gave the core a little bump to 2.48v. The board booted into Windows without issue and I started throwing heat at it. I did not use Gigabyte's Easy Tune 6 to overclock the processor. I'm still of the old(er) school of thinking where you use the BIOS to overclock and not an application that runs within the system. Both options are fine, however I chose to use the BIOS.
I booted into Windows and start to do a burn in with OCCT. Initially I set up a 1 hour test and once the CPU and motherboard passed the test I set it for a 24 hour run. During the 24 hour test the processor temperature never exceeded 62°C.
Visual Inspection and Details
The packaging for the Z77x-UD3H leaves nothing to be desired. The box details all the features and specifications for the potential consumer. Gigabyte has made the ultra durable and the 3D power and 3D BIOS features stand out. On the rear of the box we find more details about the board and more information on the ultra durable features of this board. Overall Gigabyte nailed the information that needs to be presented on the box.
Opening up the box there are two layers. The first layer contains the SLI Bridge, SATA Cables I/O shield and the manual. Under there sits the motherboard all wrapped up in an anti-static bag. One thing to be wary of is electrostatic shock kills components. Now this motherboard claims to have a higher resistance to static shock, but I wouldn't want to risk destroying a board to test that theory. The motherboard features a fairly standard layout with lots of room between the upper two PCIE Slots.
Taking a quick look around the CPU socket you can see the solid caps as well as the heatsinks on the VRMs. One thing to note, as will most if not all motherboards of this class, if you use tall memory modules and a large CPU cooler they will hit. Just south of the CPU socket there is an mSATA port. Basically mSATA is a smaller form factor SSD that interfaces directly with the mother board. However it's a good thing to note that if a mSATA drive is installed it will disable a SATA II port 5.
LED Panel and Dual BIOS Switch
If you will be running a multi-GPU set up with this board the spacing of the PCIE x16 slots should accommodate the set up. However, you will lose access to the PCIE x1 slots. This board is capable of running SLI or Crossfire X. On the opposite corner we have a diagnostic LED panel. This can come in handy when an overclock goes bad or memory timings aren't exactly right and the board refuses to boot. Another handy tool is the BIOS switch. If you happen to hose the BIOS and can't post, just flip the switch and move on.
The rear I/O panel has a plethora of connections. For video there is DVI, VGA, HDMI and display port. There are also 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 2 eSATA ports, 1 PS/2 port, 1 optical SPDIF port, 6 Audio ports and sadly only 1 RJ-45 port. I would have liked to have had an additional NIC on the back panel but one will suffice. Moving to the SATA connectors we have 4 SATA 3Gbs connections and 2 SATA 6Gbs connections.
I've shown what the board looks like, but how does it perform. Let's take a look at some benchmarks and we'll see. I've ran a few benchmarks so let's see how it did.
I used the OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G for this system build. Being a solid state drive I expected nothing but pure speed and the board and the drive together pretty well delivered.
Performance Test 7.0 Summary
Performance Test 7.0 CPU Mark
Performance Test 7.0 2D Graphics Mark
Performance Test 7.0 3D Graphics Mark
Performance Test 7.0 Memory Mark
Performance Test 7.0 Disk Mark
I decided that I would use PassMark's performance test 7.0. I have used this test battery in the past and I think it give a decent indication of system performance. As well you can upload your results and compare with others that may have a similar system. The scores should be close to one another, however if not, then something can be way off. I didn't run into any issues here. After comparing online to other users with a similar setup I am satisfied with the results.
Haven Dx 9c
Haven Dx 11
Here I thought I'd test out the Intel HD 4000 Graphics. On board graphics have never been good for gaming and that still stands true today. Average frames per second for DirectX 9 was 11.8 and marginally faster for DirectX 11 at 13.0. For non-gaming systems the Intel HD 4000 would perform well.
Network Speed Test
The final two tests that I ran were PassMarks network test that was included in the Performance Test 7.0 suite and PCMark Vantage. For the networking test I set up a second i7 system connected to a Cisco 2960 8 port gigabit desktop switch with both systems using CAT 6 patch cables. The secondary system was set up as the server. Average data transfer rate was 642248.9 KBps or 642.2 MBps with the initial burst rate touching the 740 MBps range. All in all not too bad. Granted this isn't an in-depth networking test but it gives a good indication of expected performance. We scored 18252 PCMarks in the PCMark Vantage test. Looking online this puts this system right in the middle of similarly configured systems.
The Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H performed admirably in our testing. For a mid level board you get some advance features. This board is extremely easy to achieve a stable overclock, within minutes I had the 3770K to 4.5GHz and completely stable. The performance of the board puts it right on par with other Z77 boards with negligible performance differences between them, this of course is based on the online results of Performance Test 7.0 and PCMark Vantage. The feature set on the Z77-UD3H is pretty lavish considering the board comes in at around the $169.00 range. Multiple USB 3.0 ports and native SATA 6g come to mind. mSATA is another nice feature for quick boot times and super fast caching. This board does support SLI and Crossfire X configurations as well as the ability to switch from discrete GPUs to the build in Intel HD 4000. All in all this board performed as expected. I feel this motherboard is priced perfectly for this market segment and am looking forward to seeing what's next from the z77 chipsets. The only complaint that I have is the lack of a second NIC.
Some pros we found: Easy Overclocking Multiple Video out options DDR3 1600 support
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