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Old 3rd May 2012, 13:18   #1
stulid
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***Gigabyte GA-Z77-UD5H-WiFi review***

**Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB WiFi Review**

So Intel recently released the latest Z77 chipset (Codenamed Panther Point) for socket 1155 Sandybridge 2nd Gen Core and Ivybridge 3rd Gen Core based CPU's, this new chipset features,

• Native USB3.0 support
• The ability to run three independent displays from the IGP, the previous Z68 chipset could manage just two.
• Lucid MVP is another feature found.


Product Homepage - http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pro...px?pid=4167#ov


Outer box and packaging.









Ultra Durable 4

• 2X Copper PCB, gives better signaling and thermals on the PCB.
• Glass fabric PCB, provides humidity protection
• High temperature protection, solid capacitors and lowRDS MOSFETS.
• Electrostatic protection, a bunch of IC's protect against static electricity.
• Power failure protection, anti-surge IC's protect against say electrical storms.







Included accessories.

• Six SATA cables, three with angled heads.
• SLI bridge
• IO shield plate
• 3.5" drive bay device with two USB3.0 ports and an internal USB3.0 header cable.
• WiFi/Bluetooth expansion card.
• Two aerials.
• One USB cable to connect the card to the motherboard.
• Instruction/user guides
• Driver/Utility CD's for the motherboard and WiFi card.














The board.




When I first saw the pictures of this board I thought the Blue would spoil it, especially after using a GA-Z68XP-UD4 that is Black/Grey, but it does grow on you.



12 VRMs for the CPU, 2 for the IGP and 1 for the memory controller, for reference the GA-Z68XP-UD4 had 16 VRM's for the CPU and 2+1 for the IGP/memory controller but rated at a lower current handling ability.



8pin ATX/EPS power connector and system fan header.



The CPU fan header, theres also a power connector (small white thing) provides power to the LEDs on the chipset heatsink if want to install any.



Reset switch, ClearCMOS switch, Power button, Debug LED to check error codes, another system fan header and voltage measuring points if you have a digital multimeter.



24pin ATX connector, a USB3.0 19pin header, the SATA power connector is for supplying extra power to the expansion slots in multiple GFX card solutions.



4 Intel SATAII, 2 Intel SATAIII and 2 Marvel SATAIII connectors, note one of the SATAII ports will be disabled if the mSATA is used.





Another system fan header, 2 more USB3.0 19pin headers, another Marvel controlled SATAIII port, the little switch is to select between the two BIOS's...a nice touch



The front panel connection block to wire your case buttons to and yet another system fan header (bringing the total to 4).



2 USB2.0 headers (the Red one is 3X power for quick charging) a trusted port Modual connector and next to this a Firewire header.



Audio connector for a cases headphone/microphone port, also a digital audio connector for connection to a graphics card/sound card etc.



This is the mSATA , useful for adding a small SSD that can be used for SRT (smart response technology) caching or just a small OS drive located on the board itself.



• PCI Express x1
• PCI Express x16 (switches to 8X if a second card is added to the 2nd 16X slot)
• PCI Express x1
• PCI Express x1
• PCI Express x8 (physically 16X long. it drops to 4X if the bottom PCI-E slot is used)
• PCI if you still have an old add-in card
• PCI Express x4 (physically 16X long, only available with an Ivybridge CPU)

This motherboard supports Dual SLI+Crossfire at 8X/8X, it also supports Tri Crossfire at 8X/4X/4X (with a Ivybridge CPU)



This is the Realtek ALC898 onboard sound chip, it has X-fi emulation, has a very high 110dB S/N ratio, two amplifiers are also present to improve the sound quality. It's as good as, if not better than the solutions found on ASUS Republic Of Gamer boards.



Left to right,

• Dsub and DVI-D
• Optical S/PDIF, HDMI and Displayport
• Two USB2.0, Firewire and eSATA
• Gigabit LAN and two USB3.0
• Gigabit LAN and two USB3.0
• 7.1 Audio

The two LAN ports are provided by a Intel and Qualcomm Atheros chips, both very well regarded.

http://ark.intel.com/products/52963/...t-Ethernet-PHY
http://www.qca.qualcomm.com/technolo...=48&product=97


Heatsink fitment.

Ok, I don't have a large air cooler anymore, instead using a closed loop water cooler, but if you remember back to my review of the GA-Z68XP-UD4 then you will see that using a Titan Fenrir cooler caused issues with the mounting plate interfering with the first RAM slot, and the fan itself overhanging even the 2nd RAM slot, meaning I could only fit the cooler with the fan on the left hand side as I have tall Dominator RAM , not ideal.

It looks like this issue has been amended on this board and the extra space has been achieved by removing the gap between the RAM slots, an extra 5mm increase will make the world of difference

GA-Z68XP-UD4,


GA-Z77-UD5H,



BIOS.

So Gigabyte have now got a UEFI whereas previous Z68 boards had a EFI with the old style White on Blue background style layout, this BIOS is packed full of options, great fan control, also the mouse response selecting options is quick and smooth.











3D BIOS.

This is interesting, a 3D model of the board, hovering the mouse pointer over different parts gives you a description and control of those features, a quick explanation of these features appears underneath.

Switching between this 3D mode and the previous is quick and painless.









• Memory multipliers of 10.66x, 13.33x, 14.00x, 16.00x, 18.00x, 18.66x, 20.00x, 21.33x, 22.00x, 24.00x, 26.00x, 26.66x, 28.00x, 29.33x, 30.00, and 32.00x.
• 8 nameable profile slots that can be imported/exported via USB/SSD or HDD disk.


Bundled software/utilities/drivers.

• Splashtop Connect
Quote:
Splashtop Connect is the smart start page for browser that combines your most visited web sites, your history, your Facebook friends and your real-time news feed into an enhanced view for a more personal Internet experience.
• Intel(R) Management Engine Software(1.5M)
• INF Update Utility
• Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 Driver
• Creative SB X-Fi MB2
Quote:
This is an SB X-Fi MB 2 package, comprising:
1.THX TruStudio Pro
2.SB Console
3.SB Jukebox
4.Music Server
5.Alchemy
6.EAX Gadget
7.Software Autoupdate
• Intel 825XX Series LAN Driver
• Atheros AR81Family PCI-E Gigabit/Fast Ethernet Controller Driver
• Marvell GSATA AHCI Driver
• Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver
• Intel USB 3.0 Driver
• ON/OFF Charge

• EasyTune 6
Quote:
An easy-to-use Windows-based system enhancement utility allowing quick access to a variety of performance features.
• @BIOS
Quote:
@BIOS provides utility for updating BIOS through internet or download BIOS file
•Smart Recovery 2
Quote:
Smart Recovery 2 allows you to quickly back up and restore your system data in the Windows Vista/Windows 7 operating system.
• DMI Viewer
Quote:
DMI Viewer provides a management tool for viewing motherboard hardware information.
• Face-Wizard
Quote:
Face Wizard provides utility for customizing BIOS boot up screen.
• Q-Share
Quote:
Q-Share is an easy and convenient data sharing tool for computers on a network.
• Update Manager
Quote:
Gigabyte Update Manager can update Gigabyte utilities by internet
• Auto Green
Quote:
Automatic system energy saving via Bluetooth phone.
• Acrobat Reader
• Lucid Virtu GPU Virtualization Software
Quote:
LucidLogix Virtu GPU Virtualization technology allows users to dynamically switch between their built-in graphics and their high-end, 3D discrete graphics cards.
• Atheros LanOptimizer
• Win ZIP
• AIWI Game 64 bit
Quote:
AIWI is a unique software that connects your PC to your iPhone/iPod touch. Once they are connected, you can use your iPhone/iPod touch as a wireless keyboard or touchpad,
• Intel Rapid Start Technology
• Intel Smart Connect Technology
• Splashtop Streamer
Quote:
A computer with the Splashtop Streamer can receive connections from any device running Splashtop Remote Desktop
• Firefox browser

• GIGABYTE 3D Power Utility
Quote:
Users can now 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.
• 3TB+Unlock
• EZ setup
• Cloud Station


Bluetooth/WiFi.


Bluetooth 4.0 and IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n support from this little card, a spare USB port so you dont lose the bandwidth of the PCI Epress slot its in.




Bluetooth works perfectly, the WiFi was able to pick up alot of signals from neighbours houses that are a distance away, impressed a lot.


Creative software.


There are more sections, but the ones above are the more interesting sections.


Gigabyte 3D Power Utility.



Easy tune 6.


Same as before, three selectable OC presets (Green/Yellow/Red) control of the frequencies/voltages/ratios but if you click on the Autotune button (circled) it takes you to another feature,



These needles on the dials sweep around a few times while checking the CPU ratio stability, BCLK stability etc, then after a few restarts and Bluescreens, it finally presents you with its idea of an Overclock, I found this final overclock to not be stable for me, I do actually wonder if I just have a bad overclocking CPU as my manual overclock isnt spectacular either.



It can also save this profile for loading into the BIOS and storing.


Lucid MVP.


This is improved on the Lucid Virtu found on the Z68 boards, it has two more features,

• HyperFormance.
• Virtual Vsync.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomshardware
Screen tearing is a phenomenon where more than one frame is displayed within a single draw on the screen. Traditional v-sync addresses this by aligning each frame’s output to a single draw cycle, reducing the maximum frames per second to the refresh rate of the monitor (typically 60 Hz). All frames are first completed by the GPU, and those that aren’t synchronous to the display refresh are removed from the output after completion. A frame must be displayed multiple times whenever the GPU’s output capability drops below 60 FPS, resulting in stuttering.


Virtual Vsync attempts to accomplish a similar task without the 60 FPS cap by analyzing rendering time, then instructing the GPU not to start the process on frames that might be later dropped. Preemptive frame elimination reassigns the rendering time that would have been spent on a dropped frame to the next frame, theoretically reducing stuttering. Yet, because this isn’t actual v-sync, it’s still possible to send two frames in a single refresh cycle, and the monitor only displays the first, resulting in an image that appears synced at 60 FPS, even though an app like Fraps will report performance greater than 60 FPS. In fact, this is the test scenario Lucidlogix prefers, reminding us that games that run slower than 60 FPS won't see any benefit from Virtual Vsync.


HyperFormance goes a little further than Virtual Vsync by attempting to preemptively remove any frames that wouldn’t be finished before the next frame is scheduled, again reassigning that rendering time to the next frame. Ideally, average FPS should be increased since partial frames don't tie up rendering resources. The only potential problem with this technology is game compatibility.

Testing.

Test setup,

i5 3570K
GA-Z77-UD5H-WiFi
GA-Z68XP-UD4
Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (2X2Gb) DDR3
Corsair Force GT 120GB
GTX570
Antec Kuhler 920
Corsair TX750M


SSD performance,



Lucid VirtuMVP with CPU at 4.5Ghz,



AIDA64 at 3.4Ghz (Turboboost/Speedstep disabled),



Overclocking,

Using a i5 3570K as mentioned, getting to 4Ghz was easy, all I had to do was set the CPU ratio to 40X, disable Turboboost (or leave the CPU ratio alone and set all four Turbo ratios to 45X if you want the power saving feature) and save+exit the BIOS.

Next up was 4.5Ghz, using these settings,

Quote:
CPU ratio of 45X
Turboboost disabled
LLC set to Turbo
Vcore set at 1.325v
Then 4.6Ghz with,

Quote:
CPU ratio of 46X
Turbo disabled
LLC set to Extreme
Vcore set at 1.35v


4.7Ghz with more Vcore,



Wprime,


SuperPI,



Conclusion.


The UD5H is a stunning board, the new UEFI BIOS is easy to use and the mouse cursor is smooth within it, the board is built like a rock, lots of features to aid overclocking within the BIOS and found on the PCB itself, a great amount of connectivity (SATA ports/USB ports) having four display connectors means you can run three monitors using the onboard GFX. The audio quality from the Realtek ALC898 chip is so much better than previous sound solutions on motherboards I have used before.

I have had my GA-Z68XP-UD4 for nearly 9 months and in that time its been an absolute beast compared to the Asrock that came before it, I can see this UD5H continuing in the same fashion.



Pros.
Build quality.
Connectivity.
UEFI is fast and smooth, 3D mode is simple to use.
Brilliant sound quality, makes me miss my X-Fi sound card less.

Cons.
Wish it still had the Black/Grey theme of the previous Z68 boards.

Last edited by stulid; 7th May 2012 at 14:16.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 14:20   #2
Fire_fly
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Thanks Stulid, an excellent review. I have a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H arriving tomorrow so hopefully it will be as good as its big brother.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 14:34   #3
Idleman
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Really good review. Looking to upgrade later in the year, but can`t make up my mind whether to go with the Sabretooth Z77 or this. Read this Sabretooth review yesterday. As you can see from my sig, i do like the Sabretooth.

http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/motherboards/18247

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Old 3rd May 2012, 14:37   #4
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Thank you for taking the time to post this mate. I enjoyed the read, excellent work as always

"There is so much more and it beckons me
to look through to these
infinite possibilities"
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:04   #5
stulid
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Glad you like it guys.

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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:21   #6
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Absolutely superb review. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

PS4 :/
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:23   #7
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I'm actually thinking of buying the Z77X UD3H. If the UD5H is a good board, I assume the UD3H is good too? I haven't compared specs, so is there any great benefit of the UD5H that makes it a must buy over the UD3H?

Samsung Galaxy S6 64GB Platinum Gold
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
I'm actually thinking of buying the Z77X UD3H. If the UD5H is a good board, I assume the UD3H is good too? I haven't compared specs, so is there any great benefit of the UD5H that makes it a must buy over the UD3H?
The sound chip is a step above on the UD5H, dual gigabit LAN and a slight increase in the number of phases VRM's and a few other differences such as USB/SATA port count

Side by side comparison - http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/comp...pids=4153,4139

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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:46   #9
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That's a nice board, first one I've seen with mSATA which I really like the idea of


I love it - Z.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stulid View Post
The sound chip is a step above on the UD5H, dual gigabit LAN and a slight increase in the number of phases VRM's and a few other differences such as USB/SATA port count

Side by side comparison - http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/comp...pids=4153,4139
Thanks for the link. Blimey, even my current cheapo gigabyte board has realtek, that's what I use now, yet it's now only on the more expensive Z77 board. Weird.

So is 1 VIA VT2021 codec/High Definition Audio not going to sound very good?
I have no idea what dual gigabit LAN does and if it would be beneficial to me? Does the increased phases VRM's help with overclocking and keeping the board cooler?

Samsung Galaxy S6 64GB Platinum Gold
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Old 3rd May 2012, 16:26   #11
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Appreciate you taking the time to do the review Stulid.

My UD5H will be here tomorrow. I have read the review a load of times just to soak it all in and build up excitement for the install tomorrow. Kudos good sir!


3770k - 16gb Samsung Green - 780ti - FT-02W - 1920x1200
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Old 3rd May 2012, 16:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
Thanks for the link. Blimey, even my current cheapo gigabyte board has realtek, that's what I use now, yet it's now only on the more expensive Z77 board. Weird.

So is 1 VIA VT2021 codec/High Definition Audio not going to sound very good?
I have no idea what dual gigabit LAN does and if it would be beneficial to me? Does the increased phases VRM's help with overclocking and keeping the board cooler?
The more VRM's = high overclocking while remaining cooler.

The Realtek soundchip on this board is I believe their top end version, they do a range to suit different costs/market segments.

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Old 3rd May 2012, 17:08   #13
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The UD5H is a damn good board, be it WiFi or no WiFi version!

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Old 3rd May 2012, 19:22   #14
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Excellent review, thanks Stulid. Board looks great, think I will go with Gigabyte for my next build.

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Old 4th May 2012, 05:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathWraith View Post
The UD5H is a damn good board, be it WiFi or no WiFi version!
Indeed, its packed full of features, the buildquality and weight of it screams quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike306 View Post
Excellent review, thanks Stulid. Board looks great, think I will go with Gigabyte for my next build.
My second one in a row, before these I had a Asrock Z68 Extreme4 which wasnt in the same league.

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Old 4th May 2012, 21:30   #16
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Looks like a solid board and had my eye on this for a few weeks.

Many thanks for putting up this in depth review with excellent images.

Noticed that the UK shipped boards do not have spacing between the memory slots. Overclock3d had a sample board which shows the same (UK based site), however Gigabytes website and US reviews of this board show spacing between the memory slots.

Is there two versions of this board knocking about? Excluding the wireless and non wireless versions.

Edit: Missed the part where you mentioned the comparison to the older Gigabyte board and the issue with fitting CPU coolers.

It would seem Gigabyte have made last minute amendments to this board and closed the gap on the memory slots, giving 5mm extra space for CPU coolers. If you look at the reference images of this board it still shows the gap.
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Old 4th May 2012, 21:33   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcode View Post
Looks like a solid board and had my eye on this for a few weeks.

Many thanks for putting up this in depth review with excellent images.

Noticed that the UK shipped boards do not have spacing between the memory slots. Overclock3d had a sample board which shows the same (UK based site), however Gigabytes website and US reviews of this board show spacing between the memory slots.

Is there two versions of this board knocking about? Excluding the wireless and non wireless versions.
The one with the gap between the slots doesn't support memory overclocking, it was an early version.

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Old 4th May 2012, 22:19   #18
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Stulid, this review is fantastic and probably the only review that may tempt me to sway away from purchasing an MSI mobo
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Old 5th May 2012, 04:34   #19
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After doing a bit of research, will be ordering this board instead of the Asus Z77-pro.

Any reported overclocks with it using the 3770K?
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Old 5th May 2012, 14:07   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buchanan0204 View Post
After doing a bit of research, will be ordering this board instead of the Asus Z77-pro.

Any reported overclocks with it using the 3770K?
There are some large user threads here,
http://www.overclock.net/t/1239993/o...3h-d3h-and-all

3770K on UD5H here,
http://www.overclock.net/t/1252659/o...-bios-settings

And OCUK's own Ivyridge thread,
http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=18398598

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Old 12th May 2012, 20:14   #21
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Very useful thread, thankyou.
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Old 13th May 2012, 10:27   #22
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Stulid, do you think Id be able to fit the wifi card + TV tuner and a graphics card in this? I know it has the physical slots to do so but would the graphics card cover some of them?

Corsair 760T
ASUS Z97 MAXIMUS VII HERO --- 16GB RAM @ 1866mhz
i7 4770k @ 4.1Ghz @ 1.165V --- Corsair H110i GT
GTX 780 @ 1000/1600 --- Corsair AX760
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Old 13th May 2012, 10:29   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keod2 View Post
Stulid, do you think Id be able to fit the wifi card + TV tuner and a graphics card in this? I know it has the physical slots to do so but would the graphics card cover some of them?
What GFX card do you have?

Are you using a IB cpu?

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Old 13th May 2012, 10:45   #24
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Would be a http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...odid=GX-148-MS with an ivy CPU.

Corsair 760T
ASUS Z97 MAXIMUS VII HERO --- 16GB RAM @ 1866mhz
i7 4770k @ 4.1Ghz @ 1.165V --- Corsair H110i GT
GTX 780 @ 1000/1600 --- Corsair AX760
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Old 13th May 2012, 11:04   #25
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Excellent review. Well done
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Old 13th May 2012, 11:37   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keod2 View Post
WiFi card at the top.

GFX card next.

TV tuner in the 3rd PCi-E 1X slot


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Old 13th May 2012, 11:43   #27
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Thanks, has put my mind at ease

Corsair 760T
ASUS Z97 MAXIMUS VII HERO --- 16GB RAM @ 1866mhz
i7 4770k @ 4.1Ghz @ 1.165V --- Corsair H110i GT
GTX 780 @ 1000/1600 --- Corsair AX760
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Old 13th May 2012, 11:56   #28
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With 4 (PWM?) system fan headers is there any benefit to purchasing a fan controller? I'm about to purchase one of these boards (Non WiFi version) for my new (P280) build and was thinking of replacing the 2 top (exhaust) fans with some quieter ones and fitting 2 front fans (intake) then using one of these to control them all. Do I need to do that or could I use the 4 system fan headers and software (Speedfan?) and save the cost of the controller....build is currently 300 over budget so I need to start saving if I can
Last edited by 4thAttempt; 13th May 2012 at 12:51.
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Old 13th May 2012, 12:44   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4thAttempt View Post
With 4 (PWM?) system fan headers is there any benefit to purchasing a fan controller? I'm about to purchase one of these board for my new (P280) build and was thinking of replacing the 2 top (exhaust) fans with some quieter ones and fitting 2 front fans (intake) then using one of these to control them all. Do I need to do that or could I use the 4 system fan headers and software (Speedfan?) and save the cost of the controller....build is currently 300 over budget so I need to start saving if I can
You can use PWM fans for that, let the BIOS ramp them up when needed.

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Old 13th May 2012, 14:40   #30
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Cheers Stulid, saves me almost 43
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