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!

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout and Features

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 has the same blacked out appearance that we saw first on the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4. Though the blacked out appearance has been done time and time again, it is still a classic look. GIGABYTE has accented the heat sink assemblies with gold trim, this breaks up the all black board and gives it a great look. Though performance always trumps looks!

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 will support up to 32 GB of memory and memory modules up to 2133MHz in dual channel. GIGABYTE placed the onboard power button in this corner of the board as well. Many of the boards that have come across my bench have the power button located along the same edge as the expansion slots. There is an issue with that location though, installing a graphics card in the last PCIe X16 slot will typically block buttons in that location. All I have to say; well played GIGABYTE.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

Swing the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 around we can see that this particular corner of the board is packed. Starting along the right edge we can take note of the eight SATA ports. Working our way from top to bottom of the SATA ports, the single set of Black SATA ports are SATA III 6Gb/s controlled by the Marvell 88SE9128 chip just behind the ports. The set of white SATA ports are the native SATA III 6 Gb/s ports from the Intel P67 chipset, following the native SATA III 6 Gb/s ports is four native SATA II 3Gb/s ports. Running our eyes just a bit further down the edge of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7 we come across the Debug LED. Working our way up from the corner along the left edge of the P67A-UD7-B3 we come across the front panel header, a pair of front panel USB 2.0 headers, 3 pin fan header, and a pair (that's right two seperate) USB 3.0 headers

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

Bringing the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 around once again, we can get a good look at the expansion slots. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 has a total of four PCIe X16 slots. Thanks to the NF200 chip, we have a total of 32 PCIe lanes divided among them. The PCIe lanes can be divided in one of two ways, if all of the PCIe X16 slots are populated they will run at X8. If only the first and third PCIe X16 slots are populated the will run at a full X16 each. Working our way around the edge of the board we have a pair of 3pin system fan headers along with a front panel header for IEEE1394a (Firewire). Following the edge of the P67A-UD7-B3 around the corner we have the Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 IEEE 1394a controller. We can also catch a glimpse of the Realtek ALC889 Audio Codec and the pair of Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet controllers. Immediatly to the right of the audio jacks is a series of three chips, the first two are a pair of Renesas D720200 Super Speed USB 3.0 controllers. The third is a VLI VL810, the VL810 essentially works like a hub for USB 3.0 allowing you to connect multiple USB 3.0 devices to a single controller.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

Spinning the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 motherboard around for the last time today we can see the Marvell 88SE9128 SATA III 6Gb/s controller between the heat sink and the back panel. We also have the 8pin CPU power plug here. Surrounding the Intel LGA1155 socket is the 24 wonderful little pieces of technology that supply us with 24 power phases.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 features a total of 10 USB ports on the back panel, six of them are Super Speed USB 3.0 while two are USB 2.0/1.1 and two of them are combination eSATA/USB 2.0/1.1. There is also a single PS/2 keyboar/mouse port, optical/coaxial S/PDIF out connectors, a pair of IEEE 1394a (firewire) ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports controlled by Realtek RTL8111E IC's, and the audio jacks.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard System BIOS

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

GIGABYTE is still using the traditional BIOS interface on the P67A-UD7-B3. The main page that we boot into will give us access to all of the pages we need to configure the P67A-UD7-B3.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The first sub-page in the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 BIOS is the Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.). The M.I.T. page gives us access to additional sub-pages for frequency, memory settings, Voltage settings, and Miscellaneous settings. Below the sub-pages we have a quick shot of the PC status including BIOS Version, Bclk, CPU Frequency, Memory frequency, total Memory, CPU Temperature, Vcore, and DRAM Voltage.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The M.I.T. Current status sub-page gives us further details on the CPU settings and memory settings.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The Advanced Frequency Settings page of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 will allow you to change the CPU frequency through either the multiplier or the Bclk frequency. We also have access to the memory frequency settings here. We can set the memory through the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.) or maually change the memory multiplier.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

Heading into the Advanced CPU Core features we can tweak the base CPU clock ratio or the Turbo ratio's per core. We also have the power limits, the CPU PLL Overvoltage, as well as several various power saving options.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The Advanced Memory Settings within the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 BIOS lets us change all things Memory related including Extreme Memory Profile, Memory Multiplier, and the Timing sub-pages.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

Should be more that enough Voltage on the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 to satisfy 99% of the overclockers out there!

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The Standard CMOS features let's you see what drives you have plugged in where.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Advanced BIOS Features is where we find the boot settings and various hard drive settings such as HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The Integrated Peripherals page of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 system BIOS will let you enable or disable the various onboard devices such as the LAN or Audio if you are planning on running a dedicated card.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

A few more power options are available in the Power Management Setup of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 BIOS.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

The PC Health status is a page I always check the first time I boot into the system. We can check the voltages and temperatures to make sure we aren't overheating or overvolting the system. 

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 System BIOS

What enthusiast level board is complete with out a place to save your overclocking profile within the BIOS. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 gives you eight spots with in the BIOS to save your settings. You can name the setting however you would like to, I like to keep mine simple.

The Legit Reviews Test System

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 and the Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 graphics cards were running GeForce drivers 260.99. The Intel Core i5 2500K processor was running at the default clock of 3.3GHz with turbo enabled. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Pro was running the latest F4 BIOS.

Intel X58 Test Rig

 Processor  Intel Core i7 950
 Live Pricing
 Motherboard  Intel DX58S02
 
 Memory  6gb Corsair Dominator CMP6GX3M3A1600C8  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

Intel P67 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  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Test Bench

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard System Settings

SiSoft Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

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.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 fell right in line with our other Intel P67 motherboards. We have only seen a difference of ~.5 GB/s in any of the P67 systems. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is at the upper end of the spectrum with 20.862/20.956 GB/s (Float Buff'd/ Int Buff'd) while the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe it the board to beat with just over 21 GB/s on each test.

NVIDIA SLI Performance Scaling

Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb SLI Kit

Since the release of the Intel P67 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.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is right up at the top of the charts at both 1280x1024 and 1920x1080. At 1280x1024 the P67A-UD7-B3 had a single card performance of 36.3 frames per second, adding in the second Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1GB in SLI the performance jumped to 69.5 frames per second. That is a performance boost of 91.5%. AT 1920x1080 the P67A-UD7-B3 started with a single Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 at 26.5 frames per second and increased to 51.1 frames per second for a gain of 92.8%.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Metro 2033

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is near the top of the charts once again, at least at 1280x1024. At 1280x1024 the single card performance was 27.27 frames per second and adding in the second Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 brought the performance up to 48 frames per second. That is a gain of 76%. At 1920x1080 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7 had a single card performance of 19.29 frames per second, tossing in the second Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 brought the performance up to 28.33 frames per second. That is nearly 5 frames per second slower than the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 had a solid performance in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. At 1280x1024 the single Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 was able to cruise along with an average of 86.3 frames per second. Tossing in the second card the performance jumped to 146.8 frames per second for a gain of 70.1%. When we increase the resolution to 1920x1080 the single Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 pulled out an average of 58.3 frames per second while adding in a second card brought the average up to 106.7 frames per second. That is a gain of 83% in SLI.

AMD CrossFireX Performance 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.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard AMD CrossFireX Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 once again does a great job in Aliens Vs. Predator. At 1280x1024 the single XFX Radeon HD 6950 averaged 51.8 frames per second, Setting the system up in CrossFire we were able to increase the performance to an average of 102.1 frames per second. That's a boost of 97.1%! Cranking up the resolution of the Aliens Vs. Predator benchmark to 1920x1080 the single card performance averaged 38.7 frames per second, when running in CrossFire the performance jumped to 76 frames per second for a gain of 96.4%!

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard AMD CrossFireX Scaling Metro 2033

In Metro 2033 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was once again competing for the top spot. At 1280x1024 the P67A-UD7-B3 came out swinging with 37.79 frames per second with a single XFX Radeon HD 6850. Throwing in the second XFX Radeon HD 6950 into the mix we saw the performance increase to 50.27 frames per second. That is a performance increase of 33% which is slightly better than the P67A-UD4's increase of 30.8%. Cranking up the Resolution to 1920x1080 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 started out with 29.33 frames per second and jumped to 43.75 frames per second in CrossFire for an increase of 49.2%.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard 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-UD7-B3 had a single card performance of 107.2 frames per second and jumped to 162.7 frames per second in CrossFire. That is an improvement of 51.8% at 1280x1024. Cranking up the resolution to 1920x1080 the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 started out with 74.9 frames per second with a single XFX Radeon HD 6950 and jumped to 123.5 frames per second in CrossFire. That's a gain of 64.9%.

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.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard 3DMark 11 Benchamrk Results

Benchmark results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 didn't have the greatest performance in 3DMark 11. During the performance preset it had an overall score of 4633 which is 225 3DMarks behind the leading GIGABYTE P67A-UD4. The Extreme preset in 3DMark 11 gave the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 a score of 1605 which is only 4 3DMarks behind the P67A-UD4.

Rightmark Audio 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

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Audio Performance

The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 motherboard uses the Realtek ALC889 High Definition Audio Codec. When it comes down to it, the audio performance according to Rightmark Audio Analyzer is quite comparable to just about all of our boards except for the Intel DX58S02 which has a general performance of "Very Good" while the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is rated at "Good".

Network Throughput Testing

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.

Intel DX58S02 Network Throughput

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 took the honors of the top spot for network throughput with a total throughput of 945.705MB/s. CPU usage of the Realtek 8111E Gigabit Ethernet controller on the P67A-UD7-B3 is right in-line with the others that we have seen at 4.13%.

SATA III 6Gbps 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-UD7-B3 HD Tach SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was able to dominate both the average read and write speeds of HD Tach. The Average Read of the P67A-UD7-B3 hit 335.83MB/s while the next closest performer was the BIOSTAR TP67XE with an average of 328.87MB/s. The Average Write of the P67A-UD7-B3 came to the game at 236.17MB/s while the previous best was the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe with 227.77MB/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

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 HD Tune SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: Like in HD Tach above, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was able to steal the crown from the BIOSTAR TP67XE for the top average read. The Averag Write speed of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was near the top with an Average write of 220.27MB/s, though not quite enough to edge out the leading GIGABYTE G1 Assassin X58 motherboard's average write speed of 221.43MB/s.

SuperSpeed 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-UD7-B3 USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was just behind our other GIGABYTE boards with an average read speed of 118.53MB/s while the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin lead the field with 119.87MB/s. The average write speed of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 came in at 115.37MB/s which places it in the fourth spot, though the leader, once again the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin was only 1.6MB/s ahead.

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-UD7-B3 USB3 HD Tune Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was once again in the third spot behind only our other GIGABYTE motherboards with an average read speed of 112.8MB/s. The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7 averaged 97.87MB/s in the average write tests which is a bit lower than we would have liked to see. Looking at the G1 Assassin which took the top spot with an average write speed of 112.17MB/s we see a difference of 14.3MB/s or 12.75%.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 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

Benchmark Results: Pulling 218 Watts at the wall, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 has the highest power consumption under full load as any of the Intel P67 boards that we have tested. At idle the power consumption was pulling 86 Watts at the wall which is higher than most of the P67 boards. While it may draw more power than most of the P67 boards it is still significantly lower than the X58 systems and even the Intel P55 system.

Overclocking the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 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-UD7-B3 CPUz

The Intel Core i5 2500K utilizes a bus speed of 100MHz, though the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is picking it up at 100.3MHz. 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-UD7-B3 CPUz

Leaving all of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 BIOS settings on auto we wanted to see just how far we would be able to push the Intel Core i5 2500K. We were able to boot into our Windows 7 at 4.7GHz but we would get the notorious B.S.O.D. when we tried to do anything. 4.6GHz was slightly more stable, but not near enough to call it a day. Once we backed the Multiplier to x45 we were golden. 1.2GHz improvement on auto settings is nothing to shake a stick at. Of course we weren't going to leave it at that. We wanted to push the Intel Core i5 2500K as far as we could.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 CPUz

We were able to push the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 and our Intel Core i5 2500K further than we have before. Our previous best is 5050MHz on the MSI P67A-GD65. Today though, we stand with a new champion! The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 was able to bring our Intel Core i5 2500K to 5141.7MHz! We were able to increase the multiplier to x51 and the Bclk to 100.8MHz (101 in the BIOS). We had to tweak a few settings in the P67A-UD7-B3 BIOS and you can find our settings here and here.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Layout

One of the deterring factors for the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is the price tag. While it does carry a price of $314.99 plus $9.48 shipping, it has a number of features that warrant this price. For starters the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is one of only a handful of motherboards that offer up to 10 USB 3.0 ports, plus an additional 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports! That means you can have up to 16 USB ports for all of your gaming gear and just about anything else you can think of!

USB Ports aren't the only feature that make the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 stand out from the crowd. Todays CPU's thirst for good clean power. GIGABYTE has us covered with the CPU power technologies that they have employed in the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3. When we took a look at the GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 a few months back we saw that it had a 12 phase power design. The Flagship model P67A-UD7-B3 doubles that with a full 24 phases of power being delivered to the CPU. When the CPU is under a light load, the number of phases is cut back to save on power consumption.

It pains me to say this, when it comes to gaming the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 wasn't the best performing board we have come across. Though it's fair to say that is was surely capable of holding it's own. The margins that we saw while enough to mention, aren't enough that will be noticeable in day to day gaming. One area that the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 did take the top spot in was the SATA III 6Gbps testing. In both HD Tune and HD Tach the P67A-UD7-B3 was able to take the lead with the highest average read that we have seen to date with our Crucial C300 SSD. The average write speeds of the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 SATA III were nearly 10MB/s faster than our other boards in HD Tach!

One of the areas that many of us (myself included) want to know about when purchasing a shiny new motherboard, is the overclocking potential. Well I'm here to tell you, the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 has plenty! I was able to bring the Intel Core i5 2500K to a new high with the P67A-UD7-B3. Enabling the Internal PLL Voltage and Level 10 Load-Line calibration to reduce the V-Droop we were able to bring our Intel Core i5 2500K to 5141MHz. That is nearly 100MHz better than we have been able to achieve previously! Every chip is different, every board is different, but this is a good indication of what the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is capable of in terms of overclocking.

GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 CPUz

One of the big changes we saw come along with the Intel P67 chipset was the implementation of UEFI BIOS by many of the motherboard manufacturers. In all honesty I'm still a little bit shocked that GIGABYTE didn't switch their BIOS to UEFI like many of their competitors have. Though I do have to say, I'm undecided about the UEFI BIOS. There are things I like about it, and there is things I don't. Perhaps it's because I am much more comfortable with the traditional style BIOS that GIGABYTE is using on the P67A-UD7-B3. Perhaps it's because each company is going for a distinct look and features that were in one place on one board are in different place on another.

The various technologies that GIGABYTE uses in their motherboards makes them nice and reliable. Though if you should happen to have an issue, GIGABYTE backs their motherboards with a three year warranty from the date of manufacture. For further details on GIGABYTE's warranty policy you can head over to there website www.gigabyte.com/ or directly to the warranty page.

Legit Bottom Line: The GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 has a long list of features that make it the flagship P67 motherboard from GIGABYTE! The performance simply backs up the title and will make it worth every cent!