The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

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.

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 3

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.

GIGABYTE's Dual CPU Power Technology

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.

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.

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

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 
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 ALC892 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  • Support for Dolby Home Theater
  • Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  • 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
  • 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 2 x PCI slots
Multi-Graphics Technology
  • Support for 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_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  • Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Marvell 88SE9128 chip:
  • 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices 
  • Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB Chipset:
  • Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 on the back panel, 6 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
2 x Renesas D720200 chips:
  • Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 on the back panel, 2 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
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
  • Support for @BIOS
  • Support for Q-Flash
  • Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
  • Support for Download Center
  • Support for Xpress Install
  • Support for Xpress Recovery2
  • Support for EasyTune
  • Support for Dynamic Energy Saver 2
  • Support for Smart 6
  • Support for Auto Green
  • Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
  • Support for ON/OFF Charge
  • Support for Cloud OC Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software
  • Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Form Factor
  • ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

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!

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Retail Packaging and Bundle

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Retail Packaging

First impressions of the retail packaging for the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 are not so great. I am not a fan of the green and black. Fortunately for GIGABYTE, the packaging is ultimately irrelevant! Features and performance are what is going to make or break the P67A-UD4. The front of the retail packaging has been left quite bare aside from chipset information and a label emphasizing the three year warranty in the U.S.A. and Canada.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Retail Packaging

The back of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 packaging is far from bare. In fact, I don't think that GIGABYTE could have fit much more on the back. While the information is plentiful, it is in a layout that is easy to follow and find what you are looking for. Whether you are looking for information on the USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, or Ultra Durable 3 it's easy to find on the packaging for the P67A-UD4.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Retail Packaging

Once we open up the packaging for the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 we can see that the bundle is kept securely off of the P67A-UD4 motherboard.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Retail Packaging

Breaking down the bundle we see the usual suspects. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 bundle includes Four SATA cables (two feature a right angle at one end), I/O Panel, user manuals, driver disc, SLI bridge, a Dolby case badge, a GIGABYTE case badge, and a warning sheet. The warning sheet emphasizes that the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is a socket 1155 board and not to use a socket 1156 chip.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Warning

Here is the English portion of the GIGABYTE warning for your viewing pleasure.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

GIGABYTE has made some serious changes to the colors that they use on their motherboards. Instead of looking like a conglomeration of random colors, they have gone to an all black theme with a couple of blue highlights on the heatsinks. The all black look may have been done in the past by others, but it's a look you just can't go wrong with.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

Starting out at the DIMM slots, we can see the typical four slots. The four DIMM slots will support DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules in dual channel. The black on black look makes it tough to see some of the smaller details, but halfway up the right edge of the P67A-UD4 we can see the 4pin CPU fan header, and halfway along the other edge is a 3pin power fan header. Along the right hand edge of the bottom DIMM slot is a series of Phase LED's which will indicate the number of power phases being used by the CPU.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

Swinging the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 around we can catch a glimpse of the six SATA ports integrated into the board design. Four of these ports are SATA2 while two of which are SATA3 (6Gbps). Working our way up the left edge of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 we start with the front panel header, followed by a header for front panel USB 3.0. Next to the USB 3.0 header you can see the first of the two USB 3.0 Renesas D720200 chips that we mentioned on the front page. Just beyond the pair of solid caps are three front panel USB 2.0 headers. The first USB 2.0 header (F_USB1) along the edge will support GIGABYTE's ON/OFF charge function when the system is in S4/S5 mode.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

Spinning the board around once again, we can see the system fan 2 header and the serial port header. Running our eyes up the left edge of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 we have the iTE IT 8728F super I/O controller. Just beyond the four solid caps is the Realtek ALC 892 HD audio codec, with the Realtek 8111E Gigabit Ethernet controller beyond that. The layout of the PCIe X16 slots allows some breathing room between the cards if you are running CrossfireX or SLI. Just behind the audio jacks is the front panel audio pin out as well as the second USB 3.0 Renesas D720200 chip.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

Swinging the board around we can get a good look at the LGA1155 socket and the surrounding components. Surrounding the LGA1155 socket is a handful of Japanese Solid Capacitors and Ferrite Core Chokes.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Layout

At the rear I/O panel we see the typical suspects for most boards these days. We have a single PS2 keyboard/mouse combination port with a pair of USB 2.0 ports above. Next to those we have optical and coaxial S/PDIF. There is a total of ten USB ports; the pair of blue ones in the center are the USB 3.0 ports controlled by the Renesas D720200 chip. We also have a pair of eSATA ports controlled by a Marvell 88SE9128 chip which provides data transfer up to 6Gbps and supports RAID 0 and RAID 1.

Now that we have concluded the tour around the blacked out GIGABYTE P67A-UD4, it's time that we throw some parts on this beast and stick our heads into the BIOS and see what we have!

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

In the current time, I'll admit that I was hoping for some UEFI BIOS action on the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4. That doesn't happen to be the case. Here we have the trusty blue BIOS. Nothing wrong with these BIOS, but many companies are switching to UEFI and I would have liked to have seen GIGABYTE follow suit. For our testing we are using BIOS revision F7b from the GIGABYTE website. The main page of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is where we will access all of the pages that we will look at today. We can also access the GIGABYTE Q-Flash utility as well as the BIOS profiles.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker section of the BIOS is where we will set all of our frequencies for the processor and memory.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The first page within the Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker is the M.I.T Current Status. We can check the current frequencies of the CPU and Memory modules.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The Advanced Frequency Settings page gives us access to the CPU Multiplier and BCLK control for the CPU. We can also set the X.M.P. and memory multiplier.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The Advanced CPU Core Features gives us access to another spot to adjust the CPU Ratio and lets us set the turbo ratios per core. We also have the Internal CPU PLL Overvoltage on this page. We can set the Internal CPU PLL Overvoltage to Auto, Disable or Enable. This feature has greatly improved on the already great overclocking on the second generation Intel Core chips.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The Advanced Memory Settings page gives us a repeat of options that we have already seen: Memory Multiplier and X.M.P. We can also set the desired memory timings here.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

Within the M.I.T. is the Motherboard Voltage Control. On this page we can set all of our voltages. All of the Voltages shown here have been set to the maximum allowed within the BIOS.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

We have a couple of miscellaneous settings on this page.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

We can see what drives we have plugged into each of the eight SATA ports (two eSATA, six SATA). We can also set the system date and time within the Standard CMOS Features.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

Advanced BIOS Features gives us access to the boot device order and several other options that you can see above.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The Integrated Peripherals page lets us set the various settings, such as the SATA control modes and RAID modes. We can also enable and disable the onboard peripherals such as the LAN controller and onboard audio.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The PC Health status page of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is perhaps the most important page within the BIOS. Here we can verify that our voltages are all golden, the fans are all running at the desired speeds, and that we aren't overheating the CPU from a misaligned CPU cooler or bad (forgotten to plug in) CPU fan.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard System BIOS

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 comes with eight BIOS profile slots, great for overclockers that want to play with different settings to get every last MHz out of the CPU. It is also handy if you want different overclock settings for gaming, web surfing or just are feeling the need for speed.

Legit Reviews Test Bench

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with all the latest updates installed. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Corsair Vengeance memory modules were run in Dual-channel mode at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24-2t timings. The XFX Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards were run with 10.12A CATALYST suite drivers. The Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb Graphics cards were running driver version 260.99. The Intel Core i5 2500K processor was running at the default clock of 3.3GHz with turbo enabled. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was running BIOS revision F7b.

Intel Test Rig

 Processor  Intel Core i5 2500K  Live Pricing
 Motherboard  See Above  
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDnow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Thermalright Venomous X  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Test Bench

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 System Settings

SiSoftware Sandra 2011c

SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GPGPU Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU performance.

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth Results

Benchmark Results: There isn't a whole lot of difference in the memory performance between our boards today, at least nothing that would be noticeable in daily use. Unfortunately the performance of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was a bit below what we had hoped for. There was nearly a 2.5% difference between the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 and our best performing boards.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 NVIDIA SLI Scaling

Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb SLI Kit

Since the Intel P67 is a brand new chipset, we decided to change a few things up in our testing. The next two pages are all about the scaling of multiple GPU's in our systems. First off, we are going to test how well the P67 chipset scales multiple NVIDIA cards. In order to do this we contacted our friends over at GALAXY and they were kind enough to send over a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1Gb graphics cards that are available in a two card SLI kit.

ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 put its game face on in Aliens Vs. Predator. At both resolutions that we test, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 outperformed all of our other boards. At 1280x1024 the P67A-UD4 was able to hit 69.9FPS which is 1.7% faster than the ECS P55H-AK system and 2.9% faster than the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe. Cranking the resolution up to 1920x1080 we see very similar results. As far as the SLI scaling goes, at 1280x1024 we saw a gain of 92% and at 1920x1080 we saw a gain of 93.6%.

ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Metro 2033

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is putting on a solid show in Metro 2033, though it did slip slightly and was edged out for the top spot in overall performance by the MSI P67A-GD65. The MSI P67A-GD65 saw a gain of 78% compared to the 74.2% gain of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4. The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe fell between the two boards with a gain of 75.8% at 1280x1024. At 1920x1080 the MSI P67A-GD65 saw a gain of 72%, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 improved by 70.7% while the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe is sitting at 70%.

ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme NVIDIA SLI Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Our final test for NVIDIA SLI scaling is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 dropped down another spot in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. When running the benchmark at 1280x1024 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 improved by 67.7% while the MSI P67A-GD65 gained 71.6% and the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe improved by 74.2%. Increasing the resolution of the benchmark to 1920x1080 yields similar results. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 saw an improvement of 76.2% while the MSI P67A-GD65 improved by 84.4% and the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe jumped up by 84.1%.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 AMD CrossFireX Scaling

XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB Graphics Card

As with the previous page where we tested the NVIDIA SLI scaling between the chipsets, we want to do the same for the AMD CrossfireX. When we decided to run this series of tests, we were able to get in touch with our friends over at XFX and they kindly sent over a pair of XFX Radeon HD 6950's.

ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme AMD CrossFireX Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 seems to have an affinity for Aliens Vs. Predator. In both our NVIDIA SLI scaling and CrossfireX testing the P67A-UD4 performed great. At 1280x1024 the overall performance was 3% faster than the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe when running CrossfireX. 1920x1080 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was 1.2% faster than the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe. When we look at the scaling capabilities of the boards, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was 99% faster at 1280x1024 and 94.9% faster when using both XFX Radeon HD 6950's compared to a single 6950. The ASUS P8P67 Deluxe was 96.7% faster at 1280x1024 and 98.7% faster at 1920x1080. The CrossfireX scaling of the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe is slightly misleading; the 98.7% increase is accurate, but the single card and Crossfire performance were both lower than the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4. There just happens to be a larger margin between the numbers.

ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme AMD CrossFireX Scaling Metro 2033

Metro 2033 doesn't scale quite as well as one would hope, at least not in CrossfireX. At the resolution of 1280x1024 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 saw an increase of 30.9% and at 1920x1080 we saw a gain of 48.8%. Both of these gains are quite comparable to what we have seen on our other P67 systems.

ECS P67H2-A Black Extreme AMD CrossFireX Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 wasn't quite up to the same performance as our other Intel P67 systems that we have looked at. At 1280x1024 our top board saw a gain of 53.3% and 66.6% at 1920x1080. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 saw a gain of 47.3% at 1280x1024 and 60.7% at 1920x1080. That's a drop of 6% at both resolutions.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Synthetic Benchmark

3DMark 11 Screenshot

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

3DMark 11 Settings

Since Futuremark is releasing 3DMark11 today we decided to run the benchmark at both performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

3DMark 11 Benchamrk Results

Benchmark results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 has successfully come out as king of the hill in Futuremark's new DirectX 11 benchmark, 3DMark 11. The performance preset shows the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 having a 2.1% higher score than the MSI P67A-GD65 which was the previous best at this preset. At the Extreme preset in 3DMark 11 the difference between our top four boards is barely worth mentioning. I did say barely, though; the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 scored 1609 3DMarks while the next board, the ASUS P8P67, scored 1606 3DMarks. That is a difference of only ~.2%. If we look at the performance of all of our Intel P67 in 3DMark 11 we see that the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 has a 4% lead over the lowest performing board which happens to be the ECS P67H2-A.

RightmarkAudio Analyzer

RightMark Audio Analyzer

The RightMark Audio Analyzer suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio devices, be it a sound card, an MP3 player, a consumer CD/DVD player or an acoustic set. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. The latest version of RightMark Audio Analyzer can be found here.

RightMark Audio Analyzer Results

Rightmark Audio Analyzer Comparison Chart

(click for larger image)

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Audio Performance

There is very little performance difference between any of the boards we have tested. Stereo Crosstalk is the only area where we are seeing much of a variance. Stereo Crosstalk happens when one channel leaks to the other; this happens at a certain number of decibels. The higher the decibel rating the louder the audio will be before the Stereo Crosstalk will begin to happen. We are also seeing some variances in the Noise Level, dB and the Dynamic Range, dB. Overall though, I haven't heard any discernible differences when working with any of the boards. My gaming experience has been a pleasure on all of the boards to date!

Network Throughput

NTttcp Tool

The Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers vary on each board, so it will be interesting to see what the performance is on all the boards. Each of the boards uses a different Gigabit Controller. Let's take a look at what controller is on each of the boards.

To test the Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers we used the NTttcp tool to test Ethernet Throughput and the CPU utilization of the various Ethernet controllers used on the AMD Motherboards. To do this properly we set up one machine as the server: in this test an Intel Core I7 970 system with an MSI Big Bang XPower motherboard acted as our Gigabit LAN server.

On the server side, we used the following Command Line for Gigabit PCIe Ethernet Testing:

Ntttcpr -m 4,0,<Client IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

On the client side (the motherboard being tested), we used the following Command Line:

Ntttcps -m 4,0,<Server IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

At the conclusion of each test we recorded the throughput and CPU utilization figures from the client screen as that is the system being tested.

P67 Network Throughput

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 utilizes the same Ethernet controller as all of our boards except for the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe. Variances in network throughput for these four boards is nearly identical. Though we do see a difference in the CPU usage. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 uses less of the CPU than all of the boards using the Realtek 8111E Gigabit Ethernet controller. The only board that used less of the CPU is the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe which is utilizing the Intel 82579 Gigabit LAN Controller.

SATA6 Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

The SATA6 Testing was done using Crucial RealSSD C300 256Gb SATA6 SSD drive.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 HD Tach SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was able to edge out all of the other boards for the average read rates. Across three runs we hit an average of 311.7MB/s. Although, unfortunately the average write speeds weren't up to par. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was able to hit only 199.23MB/s which is 8.5% behind the ECS P67H2-A.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 HD Tune SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: In HD Tune the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 had an average read speed of 291.93MB/s which is 1.75% behind the leader. The Average Write for the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was the top dog with an Average Write speed of 220.8MB/s.

USB 3.0 Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Now that we have eliminated the hard drive inside the enclosure as a limiting factor, we start to see a performance difference between our boards. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 took the top spots in HD Tach USB 3.0 testing. The Average Read is sitting pretty at 118.77MB/s; that is 2.6% faster than the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe. The Average Write speed was faster than the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe, though only by .03MB/s.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Our testing of the USB 3.0 performance was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 USB3 HD Tune Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: Once again the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 was able to excel in the USB 3.0 testing. HD Tune shows the P67A-UD4 having an Average Read speed of 113.33MB/s, that is 4.5% faster than the next board. The Average Write speed is 111.6MB/s which is .33MB/s faster. 

System Power Consumption

CPU Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fans, video cards and hard drives. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95's in-place large FFT's were run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. Curious about real world scenarios, we decided to drop Furmark and ran 3DMark 11 on the performance preset and took the maximum power consumption during the first GPU test.

System Power Consumption

When it comes to power consumption numbers, the Intel P67 platforms are significantly lower than our Intel P55 system. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 idles at 78 Watts at the wall. We have seen a couple boards with a lower idle, and we have seen them with the same or higher idle power consumption. This shows that the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is sitting comfortably in the middle of the pack. Firing up Prime 95 large FFT's our system power consumption increases to 143 Watts. That is the lowest that we have come across to date by nearly 3.4%. Running the first GPU test in 3DMark 11 gives us an idea of how the power consumption would be under a gaming situation. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 runs 1 Watt lower than the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe and the MSI P67A-GD65 and 33 Watts lower than the Intel P55 system with the ECS P55H-AK motherboard!

Overclocking the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

Overclocking with the new Sandy Bridge processors has been simplified, at least in part. Adjustments to the Bclck have been almost done away with and overclocking is almost completely done through increasing the multiplier. When overclocking we used to run out of room on the Bclck or cooling. Now we are going to be limited by the Multi-wall. The Sandy Bridge processor just isn't capable of going any faster; it's all dependent on the piece of silicone that you get when you purchase your processor.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 2500K CPUz

The Intel Core i5 2500K utilizes a bus speed of 100MHz, though the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is picking it up at 99.8MHz. Under full load the Intel Core i5 2500K uses a multiplier of x33 to achieve the final clock speed of 3.3GHz. Since we are using a K series processor which has an unlocked multiplier we will be able to increase the default x33 multiplier to achieve our overclock today.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 2500K CPUz

Despite my hopes and dreams I wasn't able to get any more out of this chip today than what you see above. I was really hoping to be able to achieve stability over 5GHz, but it wasn't meant to be today. I was able to boot into Windows with a multiplier of x51; I just wasn't able to achieve any kind of stability at x51 or x50. Our system temperatures were reading well below the limits of the chip, I just wasn't comfortable pushing much beyond the 1.525V I was already at on air cooling. When it comes down to it though, our 4963 MHz overclock was rock solid! The 1.7GHz overclock was easy to achieve with very few changes in the BIOS. We had the Internal CPU PLL Overvoltage set to enable, Load-Line Calibration set to enable, and the CPU Vcore set to 1.5V. The multiplier was set to x49 and the BCLK was increased to 101.3.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Performance Review

When looking at the GIGABYTE P67 "Sandy Bridge" line up we see that there is a decent price difference between a board like the Flagship P67A-UD7 and the P67A-UD4 that we have been looking at today. One has to ask, what makes the P67A-UD7 worth that much more than our P67A-UD4? I know that when I am building a system, I am concerned about getting the most bang for my buck. With that being said, let's take a look at some of the differences between the flagship P67A-UD7 and the mainstream P67A-UD4.

One of the first differences we come across between the Flagship P67A-UD7 and the P67A-UD4 that we are taking a look at today is the audio codec that is used. The UD7 uses a Realtek ALC 889, while our P67A-UD4 uses a Realtek ALC892 HD Codec. Another notable difference is the LAN capabilities. The P67A-UD7 and the P67A-UD4 use the Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit LAN controller. The difference between the boards is the UD7 has a pair of the Realtek RTL8111E chips and supports teaming and Smart Dual LAN. Another significant difference is the number of PCIe X16 slots. Our GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 has a pair that run x8 if both slots are populated and x16 on the first slot if running a single card. The UD7 features four PCIe x16 slots, two of which run at x16 and two that run at x8. For most of us we will see minimal, if any, benefits from the increased bandwidth on the P67A-UD7. Both boards support NVIDIA SLI technology and AMD CrossFireX, though the UD7 will support 3 way as well. Another defining difference between the two boards is the storage capabilities. Both boards feature SATA 6Gbps from the Intel P67 chipset and a Marvell 88SE9128 for eSATA. The P67A-UD7 has a second Marvell chip which provides a second pair of SATA 6Gbps ports. All of the above differences drive up the price of the P67A-UD7, leaving them out gives us a board that has the features most mainstream users will need at a price that won't drain the wallet.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Performance Review

When it comes down to it, the overall performance of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 has been spot on with the other Intel P67 systems that we have toyed with. In fact, performance in areas such as USB 3.0 and SATA6 performance were at or near the top spot. When it comes down to it, factors other than performance can and do affect purchasing decisions. One of these factors is price. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 comes to us with a suggested retail price of $189.00. Once these boards are re-released with the new B3 stepping chipsets which will correct the Cougar Point SATA Bug, I don't doubt that we will be able to find the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 with a lower street price. Though that remains to be seen. Another factor is the warranty that accompanies your purchase. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 is backed by a three year warranty from the date of manufacturing. The idea of using the date of manufacture is both good and bad in my eyes. On one hand, you don't have to worry about registering the product since the date won't change. On the other hand, once the Intel P67 systems have been around for a while, it is possible that you may get a board that has been sitting on the shelves for a time. This reduces the warranty period for the end user. If you happen to go through systems like I do that won't be an issue since you want the latest and greatest!

As much as I am pleased with the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4, I will admit to one aspect that I'm not wild about. The fact that GIGABYTE is one of the big three enthusiast boards out there today, I was quite surprised the first time I fired up the P67A-UD4. I can honestly say that I expected to find UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS. ASUS uses UEFI on the P8P67 series and MSI uses it on the MSI P67A-GD65; it's a bit of a let down that GIGABYTE hasn't implemented UEFI on this board. Is it a deal breaker for me? Not at all, I was able to navigate the BIOS on the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 easily and get everything done that I needed to. It would have been nice to see, though. 

Legit Bottom Line: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 proved to be another great motherboard from GIGABYTE! We saw performance numbers throughout our testing that impressed us! Given the overall performance of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 I would easily recommend it. If you are going to be in the market for an Intel P67 "Sandy Bridge" platform, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 should be on your short list of motherboards to choose from!