Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - In The Box

Over the past several motherboard generations, I have not been that impressed with Gigabyte's offering in terms of extras - this is because in order to hit a price point, sometimes the extras in the box are not the focus of the product.  With the Z77X-UD3H, we are hoping for at least some good stuff here.

Driver CD
User Manual
IO Shield
Four SATA Cables
One long SLI bridge

 

Voltage Readings

 

Using OCCT we monitor the voltage change of the motherboard under load.  This represents the direct correlation between the Load Line Calibration and how the processor/motherboard deals with voltage requests while under load.  This is not to be confused with the quality of power delivery, but more an indication of how aggressive the default LLC settings are on a motherboard.

The response of the Gigabyte board under load is fantastic.  No ripple at all and a lower average voltage than the ASUS P8P77-V Pro.

Overclocking

Note: Ivy Bridge does not overclock like Sandy Bridge.  For a detailed report on the effect of voltage on Ivy Bridge (and thus temperatures and power draw), please read Undervolting and Overclocking on Ivy Bridge.

The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H has a variety of overclocking tools at the disposal of the user.  Automatic overclocks are through EasyTune6, where we experienced a rather good result with our chip with Gigabyte's auto tuning software, and manual overclocks are either performed through the BIOS (with a series of menu jumps which should have been more carefully laid out), or using a new Gigabyte tool called TweakLauncher.  I have not previewed TweakLauncher here, as it is primarily for sub-zero overclockers wanting real-time access to changes in performance while under extreme temperatures.  It forgoes the usual GUI interface and sliders with something more amenable to the competitive overclocker - it is not suitable for the majority of users.

Auto Overclock: Using the Auto Tuning option in EasyTune6, the software pulled up a large screen and offered a confirmation of a stress-tested overclock.  When clicked yes, the system would stability test a range of BCLK and Multipliers until the board resets or the system finds it unstable.  When this had finished, the board offered me a 46x104.5 overclock (4810 MHz).  I discovered that turbo modes still applied, so this speed was the single thread speed, and the CPU would reduce the multiplier by two for multithreaded loads, giving 4589 MHz).  This gave 1.236 volts at load, which could be a little high, but due to the lower speed under multithreaded load, the CPU only reached 84ºC under PovRay and was completely stable.  I enjoyed this result a lot from an automatic overclock!

Manual Overclock: Due to the way Ivy Bridge behaves with increased voltage, for a manual overclock, I am testing the peak overclock at a variety of voltages as well as the temperatures at that voltage.  On the Gigabyte board, the CPU load line calibration was set to Extreme and Intel Speed Step was disabled.  One interesting thing to note was that Gigabyte set this board to 100.9 MHz default on the BCLK, rather than 100.0 MHz.  When the multiplier is pushed above 44x, this is reduced to 100.0 MHz.

At 1.100 volts, the highest multiplier that was stable was 45x, giving 4.5 GHz.  This gave 70ºC at load with PovRay, and showed a load voltage of 1.116 volts.

At 1.150 volts, the highest multiplier that was stable was 46x, giving 4.6 GHz.  This gave 75ºC at load with PovRay, and showed a load voltage of 1.164 volts.

At 1.200 volts, the highest multiplier that was stable was 47x, giving 4.7 GHz.  This gave 82ºC with PovRay, 86ºC with OCCT, and a load voltage of 1.212 volts.

At 1.250 volts, the board successfully booted at 4.8 GHz, with 1.272 volts under load and 89ºC with PovRay - but this was not stable due to the memory errors in PovRay, suggesting more voltage is required.  Given the current load temperature, I was unwilling to push the voltage further.

In terms of memory, when attempting to overclock a G.Skill 2x4 DDR3-2666 kit, which performed 2950 MHz on the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro, it would not boot at the DDR3-2800 strap despite all the correct timings being entered.

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - BIOS and Software MSI Z77A-GD65 - Overview, Visual Inspection and Board Features
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  • bojaka - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Hi,

    On Gigabyte's homepage it says:

    4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory

    regarding supported/recommended memory for this mainboard...

    How come 1.65V memory is used and what are the (possible) consequences?

    Should 1.5 or 1.65V memory be used?

    Best regards // BoJaKa
    Reply
  • Neoprimal - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    Builders with more than a keyboard and mouse may have some issues with the UD3H. I recently got one because of some good reviews I read and the price/value of the board and I was on the cusp of exchanging it for something else because the board was just so unfriendly re: the VIA USB 3 ports.

    You need to populate the Intel ones before the VIA ones - not an issue. But the second you start populating the VIA ones you stand to get pretty frustrated. Each BIOS revision seems to fix the problem little by little (the saving grace thus far).

    The board also doesn't seem to like Sandforce. I am hearing Everest 2 is giving some folks problems as well. After the long term, I had a Solid 3 that kept causing issues. Granted, most folks would say that this is because the Solid 3 is simply a 'crappy SSD', but it did work on other systems so crappy or not there's something to be said about the pairing of it and the UD3H.

    The VIA audio didn't play well with my G930 headset. It would literally keep dropping out whenever I reboot and what this in turn did was set the G930 as default...that got annoying fast as I'd have to set the VIA back to default every, single, time. My fix was to unplug the USB key for the G930, a less than elegant response.

    Before unscrewing and repackaging the board for return to Newegg since everyone was telling me it was defective, I decided to try one more thing (based on how well things seemed to work when my G19 was on the front USB 2 port); I purchased a USB 2 bracket (4 port) and attached it to the 2 USB headers I had left. I then plugged my 2 hubs (housing my printer, gamepad, flash drives, etc) on the USB 2 ports, put my G19 keyboard on a VIA USB 3 port (as these are the only ports that work 100% pre-boot) and put my 2 USB 3 hard drives on the Intel USB 3 ports where I pretty much leave them. This is the only way I have been able to run the board stable.

    It was a lot to go through but things now work. If this were my first board I'd have been in trouble. Initially you don't experience the issues. It's when you move beyond a keyboard and mouse that you start seeing problems.
    I wish reviewers did more than just stuck a keyboard and mouse on these boards. I get that the review process can be grueling but most people nowadays have more than a KB and Mouse and a review should put a board through more paces than just overclocking. These manufacturers put so much into 'tweaking' the boards for OCing they are getting lazy with the rest of stuff. It seems a lot of boards experience USB problems, despite the various chips they use.
    I don't know if I'll ever use all of the onboard ports, I know that I don't DARE change anything, lest I go back to the reboots and crashes that occurred before I found my fix.
    Reply
  • xs7v3n - Tuesday, August 07, 2012 - link

    So i see almost everyone here is dealing with the slow post time.
    Most of the time my post time is around 8 seconds (sometimes its around 4 seconds), while Dr. Debug lcd on mobo is showing a "99" post then it loads up the windows 7 loading screen (but sometimes after the post a blank screen with that "_" [underscore] appearance like when u open cmd which takes like at least 8 seconds also).. I have a Corsair Force GT 240gb and i want to get the most speed out of this system on boot up.
    Reply
  • xs7v3n - Tuesday, August 07, 2012 - link

    Actually it wasn't 8sec it was more like 24seconds LOL and so sometimes its 8 seconds... Why is that taking that post so long to disappear? Reply
  • Raikku - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Why I don't have that auto-oc option in my Ext4's bios/oc-tweaker screen? Reply
  • Nanology - Monday, September 17, 2012 - link

    Great review, it's cleared up a lot for me.
    It's been around 5yrs since I have updated my gaming rig.
    I would like to be able to run a variety of games at med. settings and also stream games!
    Also use a lot of Adobe products, video editing etc, and some 3d level design, but nothing to crazy!

    Budget upgrade:
    Intel i5-3570k
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 2133

    Can't decide on one of these motherboards...
    I currently have a CM Gemini II LGA 775 heat sink, which the ASRock board supports = saves money!
    Do all these boards support a LGA 775 heat sink?
    I was looking at the ASRock z77 pro4 for around $109, but really like the ASRock ex4
    The 555 is nice and I would actually use it.

    Can someone please help me sway my decision?!?!??!?!?!?
    Reply
  • jonjonjonj - Saturday, November 17, 2012 - link

    im seriously thinking about thie asrock extreme4 but the 2 PCI slots bother me. PCI-e came out in 2004. its 2012 time to ditch the PCI slots. if your getting a Z77 board and still use a PCI card its either time to upgrade that card or since you insist on using a 10 year old card stick with your old board. Reply

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