GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H WiFi & GA-Z77X-UD3H Motherboard Reviews

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Intel Z77 Express Chipset Heads into the Wild

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H WiFi Motherboard Layout

Well it’s official, the Intel Z77 chipset is now out in the wild. Though we have been seeing leaks and previews for some time now, so there really isn’t anything left to reveal. The biggest news with the Intel Z77 chipset is the addition of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to the chipset. On the previous iterations of the Intel LGA1155 socket motherboard manufacturers had to rely on third party controllers. It seemed that everybody opted to use a different SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller which gave us a significant amount of performance variation between the boards, at least in terms of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 performance. It’s going to be interesting to see how well the Intel SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller stacks up against some of the other controllers that we have looked at in the past.

Today we will be looking at two of the Intel Z77 offerings from a little company that you may have heard of, GIGABYTE has sent us the Z77X-UD5H WiFi and the Z77X-UD3H. Each of these boards is part of a very deep Intel Z77 product. The two GIGABYTE motherboards have a few differences that separates them from each other, though the primary difference is the addition of the Bluetooth 4.0 + WiFi card with the GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi.

Intel Z77 Express Chipset Block Diagram
Click image for Intel Z68 block Diagram

Looking at the block diagrams for Intel Z77 chipset and the Intel Z68 chipset, there are definitely a few differences worth mentioning. First off, is the support of PCI Express 3.0. PCIe Gen 3 became supported by some motherboard manufacturers late in the game, but it wasn’t officially supported by the earlier chipsets like Intel Z68 or Intel P67. If you are planning on running a tri-GPU set up, the Intel Z77 express chipset will be limited to a configuration of x8/x4/x4. The good news about that configuration is that having a PCIe x4 Gen 3 is the equivalent to a PCIe x8 Gen 2, just make sure that the graphics card that you plan to use is PCIe Gen 3.0 capable. Natively the Intel Z68 and Intel P67 chipset only supported memory up to 1333MHz, the new Intel Ivy Bridge platform will now support DDR3 1600MHz. Granted, we have never had an issue running our test bench with our Corsair vengeance 1600MHz memory since all of the motherboard manufacturers have supplied their boards with additional memory dividers. Potentially the biggest addition to the chipset is the addition of SuperSpeed USB 3.0. We can see in the above block diagram that Intel is still supporting up to 14 USB ports, though now four of them are SuperSpeed USB 3.0!

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H Bluetooth 4.0 + WiFi Module

As mentioned above one of the defining features of the GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi is the inclusion of the Bluetooth 4.0 + WiFi module. The GC-WB300D features the latest standards in wireless connectivity including Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 A/B/G/N WiFi connectivity. If you have a device like the Apple iPhone 4S that will take advantage of Smart Ready technology the GC-WB300D will happily use that technology with it.

GIGABYTE 3D Power Technology

The GIGABYTE 3D Power utilizes a brand new digital PWM controller that features precise auto voltage compensation. The auto voltage compensation will deliver steady power flow to the memory and CPU, no matter what kind of load is placed on the hardware.With the new 3D Power technology comes a few new features! The digital memory control lets the user monitor power and current in real time while playing your favorite game, sitting idly by, or pushing the limits of your system while overclocking! We also have the ability to protect our memory with OVP (Over Voltage Protection), adjust memory LLC (load-line calibration), and adjust the memory PWM frequency on the fly.

Image Description

GIGABYTE 3D Power isn’t only available through the GIGABYTE 3D BIOS. GIGABYTE also has a handy little piece of software that can be run right in Windows. Above you can see the main screen from the utility, through it you can access the voltage, frequency and phase control. Don’t confuse these with the settings for the system voltages and frequencies. Those can be access through the GIGABYTE Easy tune software. These settings are strictly for the 3D Power settings.

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H 3D BIOS

We first saw the GIGABYTE 3D BIOS when we looked at the GIGABYTE X79-UD7. When we first used the 3D BIOS with the X79-UD7, we weren’t to horribly impressed. We had some issues with the Razor Copperhead mouse that we use on the test bench, at first it didn’t work at all, once we updated to a later BIOS, the cursor didn’t track in the right direction. If we moved the mouse up, it went down, left and it went right. It was a bit of a nightmare, so we pretty much used the keyboard to navigate the BIOS. This time around let’s hope that we don’t have the same issues, though GIGABYTE is pretty good about getting fixes for little things like that.

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 4 Glass Fabric PCB

GIGABYTE has employed a new manufacturing process in to their motherboards. Glass Fabric PCB technology produces a tighter weave of the material used to make the PCB, this aids in preventing moisture from absorbing into the motherboard during damp and humid conditions. This will help prevent short circuits and other problems caused by moisture. This is part of the GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 4 technology.

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi & Z77X-UD3H Motherboard Specifications

CPU 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
Chipset Intel Z77 Express Chipset
Memory GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2400(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H
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

Onboard Graphics 1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200
* The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600p
Audio GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

Realtek ALC898 codec
Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

VIA VT2021 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

1 x Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
1 x Intel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Expansion Slots GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

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.
* The PCI Express x16 slot supports up to PCI Express 2.0 standard when an Intel 32nm (Sandy Bridge) CPU is installed.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* 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.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX4 slot is available only when an Intel 22nm CPU is installed.
* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX8 and PCIEX16 slots. When the PCIEX4 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode and the PCIEX8 will operate at up to x4 mode.
(The PCIEX16, PCIEX8 and PCIEX4 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI slot

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

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.
* The PCI Express x16 slots support up to PCI Express 2.0 standard when an Intel 32nm (Sandy Bridge) CPU is installed.
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

Multi-Graphics Technology Support for AMD CrossFireX / NVIDIA SLI technology
Storage Interface GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

Chipset:

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.

2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:

3 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/7/8) supporting up to 3 SATA 6Gb/s devices
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 6Gb/s device
Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

Chipset:

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

USB GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

Chipset:

Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

Chipset + 2 VIA VL810 Hubs:

Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
* In Windows XP, the Intel USB 3.0 ports and VIA VL810 HUB can support up to USB 2.0 transfer speed.
* Due to a Windows 7 limitation, please connect your USB device(s) to the USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) before the Intel USB 3.0 controller driver is installed.

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

Chipset:

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.

IEEE 1394 GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

VIA VT6308 chip:

Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal IEEE 1394a header)

Internal I/O Connectors GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
5 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1 x mSATA connector
1 x CPU fan header
4 x system fan headers
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
3 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
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 heatsink LED power connector
1 x BIOS Switch
Voltage Measurement Points

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

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 GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H WiFi

1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1 x HDMI port
1 x DisplayPort
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.0 ports
1 x IEEE 1394a port
2 x RJ-45 ports
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out)

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H

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)

I/O Controller iTE I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring 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
BIOS 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
Unique Features Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for Xpress Recovery2
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)
Bundle Software Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel Rapid Start Technology
Intel Smart Connect Technology
Intel Smart Response Technology
LucidLogix Virtu MVP
Form Factor ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

 

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