GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Performance ReviewWed, Mar 02, 2011 - 12:00 AM
The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4
If you have been into computers very long, you know that three of the big names in motherboards are ASUS, MSI, and GIGABYTE. We started our trek in the Intel P67 series chipset motherboards with the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe, and it was a great board. We followed that board with the MSI P67A-GD65; this is a great offering from MSI. Today, we are going to look at a board from the third company I mentioned above. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 falls in the center of the GIGABYTE P67 offerings. The flagship GIGABYTE P67 board is the P67A-UD7, while the entry level offering is the P67A-UD3. The entire line up of GIGABYTE P67 boards covers mild, wild, and everything in between.
Just because the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 isn’t the flagship board doesn’t mean that it is lacking in features. In fact, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 shares many of the features of the flagship P67A-UD7. We’ll start out with the basic similarities between most (if not all) Intel P67 motherboards. SATA6 is supported via the Intel P67 chipset. I haven’t come across any P67 boards that aren’t taking advantage of USB 3.0. In the case of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 there is a pair of Renesas D720200 chips which supplies us with two USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O panel, as well as a header that will run a pair of front panel USB 3.0 ports. We will take a peek at the Renesas chips as well as others when we look at the layout of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4.
The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is part of the Ultra Durable 3 series of motherboards. This series of motherboards features double the copper on both the power and ground layers of the PCB (Printed Circuit Board). This aids in the cooling the hot spots on the P67A-UD4 motherboard by wicking the heat away to cooler areas. GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable 3 cuts the PCB impedance by as much as 50%; this reduces electrical leakage which also lowers temperatures. The signal quality is improved by the 2x copper design and the EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) is also lower; this helps provide better overall system stability and better overclocking.
The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 takes advantage of GIGABYTE’s Dual CPU Power Technology. During light to normal loading the CPU will operate on 6 of the 12 available power phases. Fire up a CPU intensive task like Folding at Home, BOINC or any number of other applications and the P67A-UD4 will increase the power phases from 6 to the maximum 12 available on the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4.
Speaking of power phases, all of the GIGABYTE 6 series motherboards use an Intersil PWM controller. The Intersil PWM controller has been approved by Intel and is VRD 12 compliant. The Intel approved PWM controller offers SerialVID (SVID); this transfers power management information from the processor to the voltage regulator controller. This allows a more efficient signaling control between the CPU and PWM controller. What does this mean for the end user? Ideally, a more energy efficient system.
These aren’t the only features that are going to make the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 the quality (hopefully) product we have come to expect from GIGABYTE. The P67A-UD4 also offers DualBIOS. If you have ever bricked a board with a bad flash, then you know how frustrating it is! If you haven’t done that yet, count your lucky stars! Fortunately that shouldn’t happen with GIGABYTE’s DualBIOS. There are two physical BIOS ROMs integrated into the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4; this will facilitate a quick and easy recovery from a number of causes of corrupted BIOS! Also supported in the new BIOS is the ability to boot from 3TB+ hard drives without the need for partitioning!
GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Specifications
Marvell 88SE9128 chip:
2 x Renesas D720200 chips:
Quite obviously there is a lot of information and features to cover on the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4. We have taken a look at some of the bigger pieces of the puzzle that make up the P67A-UD4, though as we go through our tour of the motherboard and packaging we will cover even more. So without further ado, let’s move on to the next page where we will look at the retail packaging and accompanying bundle!