Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard Review

Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard Review

Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H is a high end motherboard loaded with tons of utilities and tools. Maximizing unmatched performance, the board is designed to be ideal part for a gaming pc as well as a data server. It wont be correct to say Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H is a budget motherboard because its price exceeds bit above of budget range. However from performance point of view it is a worth buying. Let’s find out why.Gigabyte is one of the largest manufacturers in the market with several motherboard models so far. With change in time and technology, more performance is demanded and on that basis it seems like Gigabyte has a clear eye on customer’s expectations. For example, designing the board on ultra durable 2x Copper PCB which is capable of tolerating high pressure, humidity, electrostatic and power failure. This technology can increase your hardware’s life. Power failure or electrostatic is one of the major cause that can destroy the tiny board capacitor quiet easily which leads to a costly investment on upgrade.  First when I saw the box, it looks Gigabyte has marked each and everything on the package itself. There can be two intentions behind. First either Gigabyte wants to provide a glimpse of each and every feature of this motherboard or second it is a kind of cheesy marketing strategy. But we are going to check whether this board is capable of giving what it really offers.

 

Released a year ago the board still looks sold effectively due to its rich features. Some additional stuff invented by Gigabyte itself is 3D Power (All Digital Engine) & 3D BIOS (Dual UEFI BIOS). Now many of you might be wondering what would be the importance of these two things for us. Depending on the usage, it is better to look out the features. While other common things like the latest connectivity slot, cpu, gp etc support are better enough to run anything.

 

 

Features:

  • Latest 3rd Generation Intel Core I Processor Support for unmatched performance
  • Digital Power System that boost the performance and reduce excess power usage
  • Harness the power of Auto Voltage Compensation via Gigabyte 3D Power
  • DualBios Technology to keep your settings saved under extreme condition
  • PCI Express Generation 3.0 boost allows you to harness maximum GPU power
  • Intel Rapid Start Technology Support to enhance system performance
  • OC Utilities to tweak your processor voltage and maximize the output
  • Durable Design guarantee exclusive performance for long run
  • Lucid Virtue to deliver best graphic on Virtualization
  • Get USB 3.0 data transfer speed via Gigabyte 333 Onboard Acceleration
  • Direct X 11 and LAN Optimizer manages better gaming support
  • Use multiple monitors easily on SLi and CrossFire

 

Specification:

  • 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: 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory. Dual channel memory architecture
  • Onboard Graphics : 1 x D-Sub port, 1 x HDMI Port and 1 x Display Port
  • Audio : VIA VT2021 codec, High Definition Audio, 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel & Support for S/PDIF Out
  • LAN : Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Expansion Slots : 5 x PCI
  • Graphics : Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI technology (PCIEX16 and PCIEX8)
  • USB : 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports &  6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • BIOS : DualBIOS

 

Package Content:

  • GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard
  • Motherboard driver disk
  • User’s Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Four SATA 6Gb/s cables
  • I/O Shield
  • One 2-Way SLI bridge connector

 

Design, Features & Package Content:

 

In this section we will check out the design and what all features Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H delivers along with package content. For a high performance the accessories does matters. For example, connecting multiple monitors or adding more than one storage devices. If you are limited with the accessories then you have to spend few bucks for buying required stuff. You can see the Package Content List above.

 

As per the accessories the board comes with a SLi Bridge Connector only. While on European edition of the same board I had seen the package also comes with GC-WB150, a Bluetooth 4.0 Wifi card for high speed internet access. I do not understand why Gigabyte removed this for the Indian Market. I am not really happy due to fewer accessories in the box. First of all it is necessary to have a nice Wifi support on the board or else Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H falls back on high end board list.

 

 

From design point of view, the board doesn’t looks high end performance board. It looks decent with relatively simple circuit and slots on it. While if we see other high end boards which are two times costlier than Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H, has a distinct look. Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H lies nicely between a costly and budget board. The size is quiet large. It would be difficult to connect the board on your old cpu case.

 

You will need to arrange a full size tower that has enough space to connect cables, additional drive bays, etc. properly. The layout of Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H is quiet simple. Everything is easily accessible. You can see a block diagram below that will give you a short glimpse of Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H layout.  I am only providing a short view of important features on the layout. While for back connectors you can check out the photo below connectivity section.

 

 

Connectivity:

 

Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard offers you all latest connectivity options. With 6 high speed SATA port you can manage upto 6 different storage devices on it. Also you can extend the internal storage by adding an mSATA drive. While on the backside you can see the following connectivity ports.

 

 

There is a hybrid PS2 port that works for PS2 mouse and keyboard both. Next to that lies the common VGA port and DVI-D Dual connector for better resolution. You can use the SPDIF to add more audio devices with HDMI and Display port on the lower side. The board features around 4 USB 3.0 ports on the backside while on the body there is a single USB 3.0 connector which can be used for front usb as well. You can see two pink color ports on the backside. They are USB eSata ports. There is only single high speed LAN port available with 7.1 audio channel. Apart from this, there is nothing unique provided in the connectivity. The only thing missing is onboard wifi support which is one of the most common features of high end motherboards.

 

Performance:

 

From performance point of view it would be better to say you will need much better hardware to get a high end system. Talking about overclocking and virtualization stuff Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H is equipped with nice option that makes your work easier. For example, Gigabyte has changed the way BIOS use to look. With 3D bios you can get better visual representation of your system hardware. You can do a number of things from the bios itself; it is not so complicated. Settings are properly categorize so that you can easily find what you are looking for. LGA Socket 1155 allows you to use the latest 3rd generation Intel Core I series processor. With 4 high speed ram slot you can use upto 8GB or higher ram on the board.  For virtualization the board takes benefit from Intel Virtualization Technology.

 

 

a). Chipset :

 

Under performance a major credit goes to Intel. GA-Z77X-UD3H features Intel Z77 Chipset which supports 3rd Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor. You can run a DDR3 RAM upto 1600Mhz. With 8 2.0 PCI Express you can still run some old hardware on it. PCI 2.0 interface does not mean the output would be limited. Those are still capable of giving you maximum 5 GB/s output. As far as data transfer is concerned, it has around 8 (6 Gb/s ) Sata Ports. Three important features that Z77 chipset gives are Rapdi Stroage, Smart Response, Rapid Start, Smart Connect and Extreme Tunneling. With this you can work more on many things improvising your productivity. There is no doubt on the performance if we talk about Intel Chipset. Ample of motherboard manufacturer relies mostly on Intel Chipset to deliver maximum output and best compatible features.

 

 

b). BIOS:

 

With Dual UEFI BIOS your settings are saved at safe place in case of failure. I mean we know many times appropriate RAID configurations are wiped out due to power fluctuation. Dual UEFI BIOS allows you to keep the setting saved on two places which can be retrieved back again. Dual BIOS is a common feature with only high end boards while the regular mobos lacks the same. The configuration is simpler here. You can simple modify the boot configuration or manage power settings through a nice UI. The board bios have a column called as M.I.T. This section is a kind of onboard overclocking utility through which you can tweak your processor and gain more output. But it is recommended that you do this under a supervision or only if you are having good experience in the same. To use M.I.T you need a manual that can guide you for all the settings. You can check out the motherboard manual on using it. You can modify the CPU base clock, graphics clock, CPU clock ration, CPU frequency, etc. While Advance CPU Core Feature allows you to manage more stuffs.

 

Comparison:

 

Now leaving Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H aside there are two more models available with similar features. The price can be a bit higher compared to Z77X-UD3H. Those are MSI Z77A-GD65 – 14 and Intel DZ77GA-70K. If we talk about special features, I found all of them similar. MSI would give you some more additional utilities to make it response better. All of them use Intel’s chipset. We found some more additional utilities in MSI, while Intel is one of the most stable and reliable manufacturer. It totally depends on your choice what you want to buy. Because it is not really easy to compare the performance. There use to number of flaws in any model which is not easy to determine so quickly. But as per the output we had seen Gigabyte gives you a optimized performance with easy connectivity feature. It is capable of working under pressure and maximizes your productivity.

 

Conclusion:

 

Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard falls under the budget list of high end boards. Not much costly or much cheaper, it offers a balanced feature between performance and output that I was looking for. Also it gives a decent advantage of overclocking.  But as per my experience I would recommend Gigabyte to improve it more for overclocking stuff. That is a secondary part. If you are not the guy to increase cpu clock rate purposely then this can be a ideal board of performance with maximum connectivity and a user friendly bios interface. If you are not willing to go for manual overcooking settings then you can use Easy Tune 6 to manage that. It automatically oveclocks the processor based on the performance and gives a decent output. For gaming this can be a handy solution.

 

Pros:

  • Budget High End Motherboard
  • Ample of connectivity features
  • User Friendly UEFI BIOS
  • Gigabyte Utilities

 

Cons:

  • Low on Overclocking

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