Re: Z77X-UD3H Review and OC Testing (Circuit Analysis, LN2 runs, Efficiency Comparison)
Some PI (NOT Tweaked yet ;) ):
Some wPrime (NOT Tweaked yet ;) ):
The board works pretty well under LN2, this CPU has no CB, and has a CBB if you don’t start up after shutting down quick enough. So if you have to shutdown or the system crashes, then you need to hurry and start up really quick and you might not trigger the CBB. However i did trigger the CBB often, but it isn't a big deal because you go into Windows and increase with the GTL software and all is good.
Don't worry guys, this LN2 section is to be continued in the Xtreme OC Section ;)
Test Setup and Benchmarks:
Audio and USB 3.0 Testing:
That is the VIA audio control panel.
Seems like it performs well. It is only slightly worse than ALC898, however still is very good, much better than ALC889 and especially ALC892.
USB 3.0 tests are TBC, I just bought a USB 3.0 SSD enclosure, so I have to test that in the next day or two and post back. :)
Here is some of the included software:
For my benching I used GTL: GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher:
I :party: :party2: :party3: GIGABYTE Tweak Launcha!
EasyTune6 is also present and working!!!
There is also a LAN optimizer.
And of course this board is fully licensed for Virtu MVP:
The GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H really is one of the best values out there for the Z77 chipset. GIGABYTE has always prided themselves in having the best signal quality and build quality, and with Z77 we see this come through even on their mid-range enthusiast boards. An easy way to measure motherboard signal quality is to simply push the bus speeds (apart from being limited by Intel) and the amount of effort the engineers put into tuning the signals will shine through. When I drop down to -80C I can just type in 110.00 BCLK and increase the VCore a slight bit and the system will boot right up.
It is so simple to hit more BCLK than you will need for even the highest overclocks it isn’t funny. I maxed out at 115MHz and it only took me one try to go at it. The amount of effort that has gone into making sure the Z77X-UD3H is ready for extreme overclocking is nothing short of exciting! Not only has GIGABYTE got you covered on the basics, but they also took it a bit further with the GTL and BIOS. They have made sure that their UEFI this time around is prepared for Ivy Bridge extreme overclocking, there are no silly issues such as with the X79 and Z68 boards when it comes to extreme OC. One huge thing with Ivy Bridge is being able to tune the clocks up in Windows when doing extreme overclocking, and GTL is a perfect application for that. You can change the BCLK, the Multiplier, all the voltages, and memory timings from GIGABYTE’s own software! No need to try and grab some 3rd party software which you aren’t sure is fully compatible and no need for some bulky software. If you need to read your CPU Core temperature and do in-window’s tuning at the same time, then EasyTune6 is still there and functional as well. Their UEFI has come a long way since X79, not only in terms of overclocking, but also in terms of the features and settings the user can change. The SMART fan controls are easy to use, and we finally have the ability to name profiles, and we can even save the BIOS profile to a USB drive!
Now I read a “preview” in where the reviewer went and said that he thought 6 phases wasn’t enough for extreme OC, well he should take a look at HWBot and see the UD3H holding its own against the competition. Now of course everyone has their doubts about a 6-phase VRM, but then again why the hell would GIGABYTE ever add voltage read points, on-board buttons, dual BIOS with switch, extra PCI-E power for only 2-way GPU setups, and a POST code display to a board that couldn’t do over 6.5GHz? The answer is GIGABYTE would never add those features to a board that isn’t capable of extreme LN2 OC, as it would backfire. While this board is great for a long life in a case, it can also call a bench table home sweet home. Each one of the phases on the Z77X-UD3H can provide almost twice the current to the CPU as the phases on the Z77X-UD5H, and the Z77X-UD5H provides more than you would ever need on any platform. We are talking about an easy 180+A from the Z77X-UD3H under air, and over 300A under LN2 as the limit MOSFET is rated 58.8A at 25C (you would have a lower temperature under LN2). The limiting factor isn’t the phase count, more so the CPU. The CPUs in existence today cannot pull that much power; 180A is insane and 300A is outrageous. GIGABYTE is finally putting the cork in the bottle with the phase wars, so guys, get ready to see some extremely high quality VRMs with lower phase counts! I just hope other manufacturers follow suite so that I can stop answering questions about the viability of 6 and 8 phase motherboards from Tier 1 companies, and so that more people are educated about phase quality over quantity. I guess this must be a first for a 6-phase board :D :
Great Air and Memory Overclocking
Top notch VRM quality
Great to see OC features on sub $200 board
UEFI is much better than X79
Fully functional OC software (GTL and ET6)
Extreme OC behavior is very good
Strong SuperPI efficiency
All Video outputs for Virtu
Reset and ClearCMOS buttons are a bit too close
Intel’s USB 3.0 in Windows XP requires xHCI changed from “smart auto” to “auto”
I would like full cover VRM heatsinks for aesthetics purposes
Bottom Line: This board will serve everyone from the average Joe up to the extreme LN2 overclocker with everything they could want in a Z77 board at a very reasonable price, unless you want more connectivity, in that case go with the UD5H.
Last edited by sin0822; 05-04-2012 at 05:52 AM.
GA-X58A-UD5 rev. 2.0
XMS3 2gb x 2 1600
Custom Lian-Li PC 70