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Thread: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review




  1. #1
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    Default Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    I just got one of these, figured I would give you guys a look.

    Let me begin by saying that this preview abides by the NDA of the new chipset, and thus I cannot divulge all the information currently available on this product other than its specifications and my physical analysis of the board. Benchmarks as well as extreme overclocking results and OC guide will be available at the soonest available time that NDA allows. This physical review is just to show people an in-depth looks at GIGABYTEís Z77X-UD5H offering.



    To begin here is the box, accessories, and board:


    GIGABYTE decided to include both blue and black SATA cables so you can pick whichever fits your needs best I guess. However the blue cables are SATA3GB/s while the black are SATA6GB/s. There is a USB 3.0 front panel bay included as well. Considering the board has a whopping 3 internal USB 3.0 headers I would think a front panel bay is appropriate.



    Now the color of the heatsinks doesnít seem to really want to come through correctly with my lens, it is a soft blue color, and the lighting in the light box makes it looks very bright.



    Here we have the backpanel filled with video outputs and USB 3.0 as well as 1394A and dual NIC!



    I wonít comment much on the heatsinks, but from what I am told these heatsinks cool much better than previous models because of a new one-piece design which means contact between the fins and the base of the heatsink is more solid and thus allows for better thermal contact. I have a lot of pictures of the heatsinks from many different angles for you to check out for yourself. We can see that GIGABYTE has changed up a few things, an mSATA port is present on most of their boards, and their VRM is using new chokes as well as the new digital PWM. These boards are totally different beasts than their Z68 counterparts, in a very good way.


    Here we have good spacing between the socket and the DIMMs, the less space between the two the better it is for OC, however the further away the easier it is to fit a larger cooler. It is a give and take scenario. What I like is that you can fully open the DIMM latches without having to remove the first long GPU. You can also see my favorite addition to the UD5; the OC area. :D We will take a closer look at all the OC features this board offers in a short while.


    We can see the extra PCI-E power connector in the form of an SATA power connector, as well as 9 SATA ports, 5 of which are SATA6GB/s and 4 of which are SATA3GB/s. If you install a mSATA device it is disable the SATA port #5 which is one of the SATA3GB/s ports. We can also see all 3 USB 3.0 internal headers right here, two are positioned to either be for the front or backpanel, and one is very well positioned for the front panel included. If you look closely you can find a BIOS switch in there among the internal headers!


    The 16X slots here all can be PCI-E 3.0, they are physically 16x, 8x, and 4x.


    The back of the board features some extra low-side MOSFETs.


    I like the screws holding down all of the heatsinks.
    However now we take those heatsinks off to reveal the good stuff:



    Doesnít it just look a bit nicer nude?(prob even nicer with a pot on it) First in depth thing I want to talk about and go over are the overclocking features, as this board is loaded!!! It is a OC board minus the OC colors and OC Touch(Buttons)! However This board will haul ass when it comes to OC ;)




    A powerful VRM has been provided, while the G1 Sniper 3 uses the same phase count, the UD5H features higher current capability chokes. These chokes are made by the same manufacturer that manufactured the custom chokes for the X58A-OC.




    This VRM uses an 8 phase PWM, in which 6 of those 8 phases are doubled by special doubler ICs. The MOSFETs used this time around have better characteristics than the giga X79 MOSFETs, and GIGABTYE is using 3 MOSFETs per phase instead of 2 to better balance the load.
    You also have a very good cooling solution this time around, GIGABYTE says that these new heatsinks are the same mass as the heatsinks used on the Z68/P67 UD5, but have more surface area and have a direct contact design.


    Now to move to the other chips:


    • #1. Intel WG82579V is a GBit Ethernet controller which many in this industry thing is a great performer.
    • #2. is a Atheros AR8151 is a very high quality advanced GBit Ethernet controller, and thus provides the second NIC on this board. Atheros states that its controller has the lowest power consumption in the world.
    • #3. is a VLI810 USB 3.0 hub, it is a 1 to 4 output USB 3.0 SuperSpeed certified hub, if you want a USB 3.0 IC you want to make sure its SuperSpeed certified, as when it is it should operate up to the USB 3.0 standards advertised. I saw this little controller at work at IDF, it is pretty cool. There are two of these employed on this board.
    • #4. Is a VIA VT6308P which is a PCI to 1394A controller, providing two outputs. One output is on the backpanel and the other is an internal header. The PCI bus is provided by the iTE PCI-E to PCI bridge chip on this board.
    • #5. iTE8728F is a SuperI/O that we commonly find on all GIGABYTE boards, on this board it provides all 5 fan headers and control over them. It also provides temperatures, voltage, and fan speed monitoring.
    • #6. Realtek ALC898 featuring 110dB SNR, but get this, GIGABYTE has added the Creative XF-I software emulation to this board, so just like the ASUS ROG boards with XF-I the UD5H has it too now! However this board is using the new ALC898 codec that was first introduced by board makers on their X79 boards.
    • #7. This is where the audio output gets even better than other XF-I packages, two of these TI DRV632 which each not only improve the sound output but also are amplifiers and provide head phone amps built into the board. NO LONGER ONLY ON G1!!!! The UD5H now has some cool decked out audio as well.
    • #8. Marvell SE9172, this board has 2 of them, which provide the eSATA on the backpanel and the internal grey SATA6GB/s headers.






    • #1 Two MXIC MX25L6406E are 64Mbit, 8MByte BIOS ROMs which provide a full UEFI. GIGABYTE calls these two chips Dual 3D UEFI BIOS. This time on the UD5H we have LEDs to tell us what BIOS is in use, as well as a switch to select which one to use!
    • #2 ASMedia ASM1442, there are two of these and they are level shifters which are a fancy word for Digital output to HDMI and DVI converters. D-SUB on the back panel is provided natively, and the PCh outputs to the display port natively as well, HDMI and DVI need level shifters. Same as we see on Z68 boards.
    • #3 iTE8892E is a PCI-E to PCI bridge chip which provides the internal PCI slot as well as the PCI to the VIA 1394A controller.
    • #4 ICS9DB403DGLF is a ICS clock generator that produces a 100mhz clock signal for PCI-E devices.
    • #5 Six NXP L04083B are PCI-E switches, and allow the lanes from the CPUís PCI-E controller to be distributed in 3 modes which are shown in the next picture.
    • #6 PI3PCIE is a Pericom made PCI-E 2.0 switch for the switching between the #5 SAT3GB/s and the mSATA port.





    If you didnít notice this board provides PCI-E 3.0 on the 4X(16X) slot, so you could run 3-way crossfire at 8x/4x/4x in PCI-E 3.0. Above in my picture you can see what modes and what speed each slot will go to.


    The Ultra Durable 4 was introduced recently, and so I decided to take a look at two new very interesting features, the Anti-Surge and the Anti-ESD ICs.

    The Anti-ESD are pictured above, they make sure nothing gets hurt when you shock your USB ports, as I do a lot of the time. The risk of hurting anything is small as is, however these types of technologies cut down on RMAs and lead to happier buyers, so it is nice to see them implemented even though they cost a slight bit more on the manufacturing side.

    Here is the Anti-Surge IC, so if your power lines are hit by lightning and you donít have a surge protector then your PSU dies and then takes your whole system? Well not here, this little IC will take the heat before your board or the rest of your components like your memory, CPU, and GPUs. So it could possibly save you money, PSUs can sometimes malfunction on their OCP, and thus this can be handy for then as well. It is like a fuse.


    One Piece Heatsinks:



    From the looks of it this UD5H seems to be really great hardware wise, the hardware used from the VRM to the connectivity is all great. GIGABYTE has learned from their mistakes with Z68 and is doing its best to listen to its problems for last year, and improve on them this year. The Z77X-UD5H is poised to do just that, and then some.



    Okay so I have tested this platform, but I am not going to be able to post up my findings until NDA lift, however I will say that this board is a huge improvement overall, hardware and bios support have come together on this new board better than almost all previous GIGABYTE boards I have tested. I will show this when I am able to post up some results :)

    In my honest opinion these boards are like later gigabyte x58 boards, with better hardware and bios, they are very solid BIOS wise compared to Z68 and X79 GIGABYTE boards, hopefully from here on in, the GIGABYTE boards will all be like this.


    Also for those of you who like my OC guides, one will be ready on launch date :D

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Thanks for the early look Sin! I like the color of the new heatsinks, I've always loved Blue and been missing it since they moved to black PCB's!

    And I do hope they continue using blue heatsinks from time to time, but hopefully they can come up with better design/look for them in the future. Those aren't bad looking or anything, they just look a bit plain is all I suppose.

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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Thanks very much for these looks and in-depth explanations!
    I had already pretty much decided to go with this board, and now I'm quite sure.

    One thing I'm not quite clear on, though, is the X-Fi components and what is it exactly that they do, as well as the capabilities of the new Realtek codec?
    Being a music buff I always welcome sound enhancements on the boards, and besides bitstreaming through video cards, never use a separate sound card anymore.
    Last edited by boondocks; 03-18-2012 at 07:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lsdmeasap View Post
    Thanks for the early look Sin! I like the color of the new heatsinks, I've always loved Blue and been missing it since they moved to black PCB's!

    And I do hope they continue using blue heatsinks from time to time, but hopefully they can come up with better design/look for them in the future. Those aren't bad looking or anything, they just look a bit plain is all I suppose.
    Sure. lol. Everyone has a different opinion, I actually think if they did the G1 style where most of the heatsinks was black and only some parts were blue. Of course the G1 has the same style heatsinks just they are black so the styling isn't so apparent. I am at least glad there is a purpose behind the design, to maximize SA to V.
    Quote Originally Posted by boondocks View Post
    Thanks very much for these looks and in-depth explanations!
    I had already pretty much decided to go with this board, and now I'm quite sure.

    One thing I'm not quite clear on, though, is the X-Fi components and what is it exactly that they do, as well as the capabilities of the new Realtek codec?
    Being a music buff I always welcome sound enhancements on the boards, and besides bitstreaming through video cards, never use a separate sound card anymore.
    Thanks man, yes it is a great board. I really wish I could post up some results.

    Okay so you know how the ROG series advertises XF-I, especially on the Maximus and ramapge Genes, and also the MSI bigbang advertise XF-I? Well they don't actually have any Creative hardware, they just use a realtek Codec, in the past it was the ALC889 and it supports the creative XF-I software emulation. They buy the license for the XF-I and it really just is software. However GIGABYTE is doing the same here, but GIGABYTE is also using the newest ALC889 with 112dB SNR and two very nice line drivers (number 7 on my chart of the ICs) which are audio amplifiers. This is something we don't see used on the other implementations of XF-I for motherboards.

    Here is the datasheet for the line-driver and there are two of them used, one for back panel output and one for the headphone output for the front panel. Line Driver / Receiver - 2V/3Vrms Line Driver - DRV632 - TI.com you can se it is made for audio outputs, and it has good SNR and good THD. It also states how much load it can drive. Line Drivers take a small output and increase it to a bigger one, and thus amplify the output.
    Last edited by sin0822; 03-19-2012 at 07:16 AM.

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    Thumbs up Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Nice preview!!
    I'm curious to see how Ivy Bridge performance compares with comparable Sandy Bridge setups.

    Many/most Z68 setups have a convoluted set of restrictions if you want to enable the newest technologies, such as USB 3.0 along with Sata 6gb/s and a multi video card setup.

    I think that your Ivy Bridge overclocking guide will be an instant best seller.
    Last edited by profJim; 03-19-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Blue and black heatsinks would look nice, I like blue so I'd prefer mainly blue with hints of black. But ya, I was more talking about the overall design or look being plain looking, the color looks good to me!

    Function should always be more important than looks though, so I understand their thoughts there, hopefully they can improve this look eventually while still keeping the same cooling abilities.

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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Quote Originally Posted by sin0822 View Post
    Okay so you know how the ROG series advertises XF-I, especially on the Maximus and ramapge Genes, and also the MSI bigbang advertise XF-I? Well they don't actually have any Creative hardware, they just use a realtek Codec, in the past it was the ALC889 and it supports the creative XF-I software emulation. They buy the license for the XF-I and it really just is software. However GIGABYTE is doing the same here, but GIGABYTE is also using the newest ALC889 with 112dB SNR and two very nice line drivers (number 7 on my chart of the ICs) which are audio amplifiers. This is something we don't see used on the other implementations of XF-I for motherboards.

    Here is the datasheet for the line-driver and there are two of them used, one for back panel output and one for the headphone output for the front panel. Line Driver / Receiver - 2V/3Vrms Line Driver - DRV632 - TI.com you can se it is made for audio outputs, and it has good SNR and good THD. It also states how much load it can drive. Line Drivers take a small output and increase it to a bigger one, and thus amplify the output.
    Thanks for the link! I will get into it in more depth as time allows. I've been very happy with the 889 codec, and the physical enhancements I hope will impress me even more. As for the Creative software, well, we'll see.
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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    yea i mean the only boards which have actually used a non-realtek IC for audio and say creative are the G1 Sniper and Assassin series. With one exception in the X58 board lineup for ROG, the R3EBE.

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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Ivy Bridge preview with GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H (Intel Z77) and Core i7 3770K with some benchmarks:

    Ivy Bridge preview with GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H (Intel Z77) and Core i7 3770K :: TweakTown USA Edition

    G.Skill PC3-20800 2666MHz RipjawsZ (on Z77X-UD5H ):

    http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4620/ivy...awsz/index.html

    Last edited by stasio; 03-21-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Z77X-UD5H Preview/Physical Review

    Here's a link to some of Sin's real overclocking results on this board, I'm sure he'll be including these in his upcoming article though, just wanted to link now for anyone interested
    1M and 32M SuperPI High Score Anyones? - hwbot.org

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