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***Gigabyte GA-Z77-UD5H-WiFi review***

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by stulid, May 3, 2012.

  1. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    **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/product-page.aspx?pid=4167#ov


    Outer box and packaging.

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    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.

    [​IMG]
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    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.

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    The board.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.



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    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:)

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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    • 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)

    [​IMG]

    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.

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    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/Intel-82579V-Gigabit-Ethernet-PHY
    http://www.qca.qualcomm.com/technology/technology.php?nav1=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,
    [​IMG]

    GA-Z77-UD5H,
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    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.

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    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.

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    • 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
    • Intel(R) Management Engine Software(1.5M)
    • INF Update Utility
    • Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 Driver
    • Creative SB X-Fi MB2
    • 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
    • @BIOS
    •Smart Recovery 2
    • DMI Viewer
    • Face-Wizard
    • Q-Share
    • Update Manager
    • Auto Green
    • Acrobat Reader
    • Lucid Virtu GPU Virtualization Software
    • Atheros LanOptimizer
    • Win ZIP
    • AIWI Game 64 bit
    • Intel Rapid Start Technology
    • Intel Smart Connect Technology
    • Splashtop Streamer
    • Firefox browser

    • GIGABYTE 3D Power Utility
    • 3TB+Unlock
    • EZ setup
    • Cloud Station


    Bluetooth/WiFi.
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    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.

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


    Gigabyte 3D Power Utility.
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    Easy tune 6.
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    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,

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    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.

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


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

    • HyperFormance.
    • Virtual Vsync.

    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,
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    Lucid VirtuMVP with CPU at 4.5Ghz,
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    AIDA64 at 3.4Ghz (Turboboost/Speedstep disabled),
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    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,

    Then 4.6Ghz with,

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    4.7Ghz with more Vcore,

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    Wprime,
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    SuperPI,
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    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: May 7, 2012
  2. Fire_fly

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 18, 2012

    Posts: 3,343

    Location: Derbyshire

    Thanks Stulid, an excellent review. I have a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H arriving tomorrow so hopefully it will be as good as its big brother.
     
  3. Idleman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 14, 2011

    Posts: 12,340

    Location: Newark

    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
     
  4. honosuseri

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 22, 2010

    Posts: 6,468

    Location: Kent

    Thank you for taking the time to post this mate. I enjoyed the read, excellent work as always :)
     
  5. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    Glad you like it guys.
     
  6. Rusty0611

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 3, 2012

    Posts: 14,446

    Location: Peterborough

    Absolutely superb review. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
     
  7. Merlin5

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 17, 2009

    Posts: 11,688

    Location: Finchley Central, London

    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?
     
  8. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    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/comparison/list.aspx?ck=2&pids=4153,4139
     
  9. J.B

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 16, 2006

    Posts: 5,890

    Location: High Wycombe

    That's a nice board, first one I've seen with mSATA which I really like the idea of
     
  10. Merlin5

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 17, 2009

    Posts: 11,688

    Location: Finchley Central, London

    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?
     
  11. atheos

    Hitman

    Joined: Dec 30, 2008

    Posts: 757

    Location: A Pale Blue Dot

    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!
     
  12. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    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.
     
  13. NathWraith

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 11, 2005

    Posts: 10,765

    Location: Cheshire

    The UD5H is a damn good board, be it WiFi or no WiFi version!
     
  14. ~Mike~

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 17, 2011

    Posts: 8,709

    Location: the King's city

    Excellent review, thanks Stulid. Board looks great, think I will go with Gigabyte for my next build.
     
  15. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    Indeed, its packed full of features, the buildquality and weight of it screams quality.

    My second one in a row, before these I had a Asrock Z68 Extreme4 which wasnt in the same league.
     
  16. Dcode

    Gangster

    Joined: Nov 8, 2005

    Posts: 132

    Location: Sheffield, UK

    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.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  17. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    The one with the gap between the slots doesn't support memory overclocking, it was an early version.
     
  18. sparky05084

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 4, 2011

    Posts: 596

    Stulid, this review is fantastic and probably the only review that may tempt me to sway away from purchasing an MSI mobo :)
     
  19. Buchanan0204

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 10, 2010

    Posts: 5,171

    Location: Scotland

    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?
     
  20. stulid

    Don

    Joined: Jan 17, 2010

    Posts: 66,235

    Location: weston-super-mare

    There are some large user threads here,
    http://www.overclock.net/t/1239993/...support-thread-and-club-ud5h-ud3h-d3h-and-all

    3770K on UD5H here,
    http://www.overclock.net/t/1252659/...z77x-ud5h-with-h100-need-stable-bios-settings

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


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