GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Review

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GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Review

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

Earlier in the year we took a look at the middle of the road Intel P67 offering from GIGABYTE, the P67A-UD4. The P67A-UD4 proved to be a great board and we were extremely happy with it. Today though, we have the flagship P67 motherboard from GIGABYTE! The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is the flagship motherboard for GIGABYTE’s Intel P67 series of motherboards. Being a flagship product, it does come with a flagship price. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD-B3 can be found for $314.99 plus $9.48 shipping. Considering the list of features that accompany the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 that price doesn’t seem to far fetched.

One aspect of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 that helps separate the men from the boys, is the number of power phases for the CPU. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 uses a 12 phase power design. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 that we have in front of us today uses a 24 phase design.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 24 Phase Power Design

The 24 Phases of power being delivered to the CPU help to build a much more reliable power delivery system. The entire GIGABYTE 6 series of motherboards uses DUAL CPU Power Technology. This technology allows the CPU VRM power phases to split into a pair of power engines that work together. In the case of the P67A-UD7-B3 12 phases will be active while the other 12 are supplying power.

GIGABYTE Dual CPU Power Technology

If you are using your shiny new GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 for some light work like web browsing or any other task that isn’t very CPU intensive, the Dual CPU Power Technology will drop the number of phases that are active. Fire up an application like Folding at Home that will really use the CPU power that you have and the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 will increase the number of active phases up to the maximum 24 for the ultimate power delivery system.

Intersil PWM controller VRD12

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.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Driver Mosfets

Traditional power delivery consists of a pair pf discrete PowerMOS and a driver IC. GIGABYTE has incorporated these components into a single chip. Doing this gives us several advantages. One of these advantages is size. The area required to mount the Driver MOSFET’s is reduced by 50%. This will leave real estate available on the PCB for other integrated devices. Driver MOSFET’s can achieve increased efficiency and higher power transfer at higher switching frequencies. This will help satisfy the growing power needs of the current processors.

One aspect of the Intel P67 chipset that is an issue for some is the limited number of PCI express lanes. Being limited to a total of 16 lanes some companies have thrown in a third party chip to add some lanes. ASUS used the PLX PEX8608 chip to add a few extra lanes on the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe to bring the total number of PCIe lanes to 24. 20 of which are usable by the PCIe graphics. GIGABYTE went a different route, they added the NVIDIA NF200 chip to give a total of 32 PCIe lanes to the P67A-UD7-B3. This allows the P67A-UD7-B3 to operate a pair of cards at x16 each or four cards at x8 each.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 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 P67 Express Chipset
Memory
  • 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  • Support for non-ECC memory modules
  • Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Audio
  • Realtek ALC889 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Home Theater
  • Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  • 2 x Realtek RTL8111E chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Support for Teaming
  • Support for Smart Dual LAN
Expansion Slots
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
  • 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
  • 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
  • 2 x PCI slots
Multi-Graphics Technology
  • Support for 2-Way/3-Way ATI CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI technology
Storage Interface 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~SATA2_5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices 
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

2 x Marvell 88SE9128 chips:

  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices 
  • 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors (eSATA/USB Combo) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB Chipset:

  • Up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 on the back panel, including 2 eSATA/USB Combo, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)

2 x Renesas D720200 chips and 2 x VLI VL810 hubs:

  • Up to 10 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (6 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
IEEE 1394 T.I. TSB43AB23 chip:

  • Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  4. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  5. 1 x CPU fan header
  6. 3 x system fan headers
  7. 1 x power fan header
  8. 1 x Chipset fan header
  9. 1 x front panel header
  10. 1 x front panel audio header
  11. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  12. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  13. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  14. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  15. 1 x clearing CMOS button
  16. 1 x power button
  17. 1 x reset button
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  3. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  4. 2 x IEEE 1394a ports
  5. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  6. 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  7. 2 x eSATA/USB Combo connectors
  8. 2 x RJ-45 ports
  9. 6 x audio jacks
I/O Controller iTE IT8728 chip
H/W Monitoring
  • System voltage detection
  • CPU/System temperature detection
  • CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  • CPU overheating warning
  • CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  • CPU/System fan speed control
BIOS
  • 2 x 32 Mbit flash
  • Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  • Support for DualBIOS
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features
  1. Support for @BIOS
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  4. Support for Download Center
  5. Support for Xpress Install
  6. Support for Xpress Recovery2
  7. Support for EasyTune
  8. Support for Dynamic Energy Saver 2
  9. Support for Smart 6
  10. Support for Auto Green
  11. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
  12. Support for ON/OFF Charge
  13. Support for Cloud OC
  14. Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Form Factor ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

We have taken a look at some of the core features of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 motherboard, though we have more to cover as we move along. Join us on the next page as we take a look at the packaging for the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3!

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