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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  • Jase89 - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    Having RAID Option ROM Supported in UEFI as well (people using RAID) is a very good thing ASRock have done with their Z77 series, wonder when Gigabyte will add this feature, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1TbdVtAE9c Reply
  • gramboh - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - link

    Just wanted to add that my new P8Z77-V Pro POSTS significantly faster than what Ian experienced in this review, probably due to my configuration:

    Intel SATA: AHCI
    ASmedia USB3: on
    ASmedia SATA controller: off
    Wifi: off
    Onboard sound: off

    My total time from splash screen to Windows 7 Pro x64 login is 15 seconds on a Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB. The post is about 6 seconds (hand timing these). It's unfortunately the other controllers add ~14 seconds of POST time.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - link

    Hi Gramboh,

    Disabling ASMedia SATA, Wifi and Sound would obviously decrease POST time by quite a bit! As I doubt the majority of non-enthusiast buyers would go into the BIOS and disable what they don't need, I kept the start up sequence the same as default to reflect this.

    Ian
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - link

    A large number of your readers are enthusiasts. Giving both sets of numbers would be beneficial for us. A per onboard device breakdown of boot time would be nice; but probably too much work to be justified. Reply
  • IanCutress - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - link

    I've added 'POST Quick' to my internal database of testing, with the aim to turn off all I can to observe POST times. Will be applied from the next review onwards, perhaps retroactively if I get time.

    Ian
    Reply
  • AlexIsAlex - Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - link

    Awesome, thank you so much!

    Perhaps the manufacturers will pay attention to this too :-)
    Reply
  • Paapaa125 - Wednesday, May 09, 2012 - link

    I think most Anandtech readers DO go to BIOS to set things up. I think it is crucial to know if the differences in performance (boot time, benchmarks, power consumption etc) can be minimized just by changing BIOS settings. That would make it a lot easier to buy a new board.

    I have seen reports that some boards don't follow the Intel specs regarding Turbo Boost settings and utilize higher frequency with all cores utilized. This skews the performance results greatly. Those following the specs get worse results - yet they could be configured for exact same performance.
    Reply
  • dananski - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 - link

    Makes me really glad to have ordered the ASRock, though I wonder how it would be affected by having RAID enabled? My GA-P35C-DS3R takes about a minute to get through POST and RAID screens.

    I am also confused why even the quick one is taking so long. My laptops take less than 5 secs to POST :/
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Monday, May 07, 2012 - link

    ATX just seems like it's for bragging rights, and not even directly so, simply because you'll be able to say you have so many things connected, maybe you even have tri or quad SLI, all in a huge case. Can we get some coverage of mATX boards?

    On another note, something that drives me nuts is the AHCI driver loading at POST. Last time I checked I couldn't find a straight answer, does this loading stage still happen in ivy bridge? Of course you don't have to use AHCI, but it really should be standard and enabled by default. At least for anyone spending this much on a motherboard.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Monday, May 07, 2012 - link

    "Conclusion – Gigabyte MSI Z77A-GD65"

    One more rant lol. Is having all 4 video outputs really a feature? Is this not targeted at people who will be using their own graphics card? In which case they only serve to use up space that could be used towards USB ports or something else that's almost as useful. Remember before P55, 10 usb ports were starting to be the average on a feature filled board, now we have to settle for 6-8. Unless you want to spend top dollar for more.
    Reply

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