On paper, the Z77X-UD5H sounds like a great board with a ton of features.  It is hard not to notice the dual network ports (one Intel), the mSATA, the extra SATA ports, a total of 10 USB 3.0 ports available (if you have enough USB 3.0 panels), a full compliment of PCIe 3.0 GPU lanes for tri-GPU, a Trusted Platform Module, Firewire/IEEE1394 and a full set of video outputs.  All of this for $180 seems a bargain, especially considering the rest of the motherboards in this price bracket.

Gigabyte has also been improving its BIOS functionality, and is now giving us something that is quick to respond and a little easier to navigate.  We have suggested several features that would be beneficial to non-technical users and enthusiasts alike, and we hope that Gigabyte take them on-board.

Unfortunately, the buck sort of stops there - talking about the software and performance from here on out does not bring gold medals.  Starting with the software, I am sad to say that it is looking very outdated and needs a swift kick in the correct direction.  It has not changed in any way since I first started reviewing for AnandTech 18 months ago.  Some items do not need changing, like @BIOS, but EasyTune6 is still rough around the edges.  It would be nice for Gigabyte to also consolidate all their software into a single clean interface for a user. 

Performance on the Z77X-UD5H ends with mixed results - the motherboard benefits from MultiCore Enhancement, which gives the full turbo-mode of the CPU no matter the CPU loading.  On the i7-3770K this means an extra couple of hundred MHz on standard - this helps the Z77X-UD5H reach the top (or near top) results in our CPU testing. 

The UD5H comes more often than not in the middle in terms of peak and real-world IO performance, but drags behind when it comes to DPC Latency.  In the gaming tests, the UD5H has some preferential tests but others are not so great, even though the board comes top in all the boards we have tested with three AMD GPUs due to the x8/x4/x4 PCIe 3.0 configuration.

The reality of it comes down to the fact that Gigabyte has encrusted this motherboard with many features for a low price.  This is hard to ignore.  Performance is always there or there about, and if you end up not too bothered about fans (or have your own controller), the Z77X-UD5H represents a good buy at a good price point.  Users who want a WiFi controller can also invest an extra $30 to purchase the Z77X-UD5H-WB-WiFi version, at the expense of a PCIe x1 slot.

For offering so many features on a Z77 motherboard for $180, I would like to give the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H an AnandTech Editors' Choice Bronze Award.  It represents good value in a motherboard market that is blurring the lines between mid-range and high-end products.

AnandTech Editors' Choice Bronze Award
Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H

Gaming Benchmarks
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  • IanCutress - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    As a competitive overclocker, I have used GBTL when pushing the BCLK of these boards as far as my CPU will allow (http://hwbot.org/submission/2301438_). I like GBTL - no mess and no fuss. But it is understandable why they do not include it in the Support CD, and hence why it doesn't really get a mention here. I did touch upon it very briefly in the overclocking section of the Z77X-UD3H review back at Ivy launch. As for voltage read-points, they are mentioned briefly in the board features, but I am also in agreement that perhaps the implementation of other manufacturers is more beneficial in our very niche usage scenario :)

    Ian

    PS On the multi-board reviews I try not to take anything out from what is in a single board review. Every benchmark, test and bit of analysis in each of them gets put in :)
    Reply
  • Nickel020 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    Oh, I missed the part about the GBTL in the UD3H review. While I haven't goten around to playing with my UD3H, I have found the Asus AI suite very practical for "normal" overclocking and I believe the GBTL will also be a real benefit for anyone working out a good 24/7 overclock. If I didn't knwo about it already I certainly would want to read about in your review if I was going to get this board for 24/7 OC.

    I also missed you mentioning the UD3Hs voltage read points, but in any case there's still an error in the conclusion though where you implicitly state that the UD3H does not have voltage read points (in the part about the GD65).

    I know you run the same benchmarks, but I find the text/user experience more interesting than the benches, and there's definitely more text in a single board review! The benches I only care about to see whether a board has a significant performance issue, since I'm not into competitive OC I don't care about slight differences that I won't notice anyway.

    Conderning the benches, I'm also a little surprised that you somewhat praise GB for auto-overclocking the CPU. IIRC Anandtech has been opposed to that in the past, since it's technically overclocking and thus theoretically voids your CPU warranty. It also makes it hard to compare board performance when CPU settings are actually the same, such as when using a manual overclock. I know it's considerably more work, but I would love to see the benches with the CPU forced to run at stock settings added to the charts, the current version is an apples to oranges comparison imho. For someone just looking at the charts (and not the text, as many do...) the current ones give a very wrong impression, they make it seem like Asus and GB perform better, when without the auto-overclock, they might actually be worse...
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    Most users of these boards never touch the BIOS, let alone update it. This is why we run the boards at default - some manufacturers are being more aggressive with their settings and that is what you are paying for. If that aggressive setting compromises stability, then that can also be an issue. Thus it is a like-for-like comparison, as if a user was taking the boards out of the box and then just strapping in a CPU.

    After all, if we start changing the application of Turbo modes, what else do we change? Setting the voltage equal on each board to get a VMM reading that is always the same across the range? How about disregarding any board that uses x8/x4/x4 PCIe 3.0 against x8/x8/x4 PCIe 2.0? Default is the choice because that's what most users will end up with. Visiting some LANs recently, you would be surprised how many people buy 2133+ kits of memory and not enable XMP. That's the reality of it.

    I used to be wary of this feature (as per my review of the P9X79 Pro, where I disabled it and was severely disgruntled), and still am as it results in motherboard manufacturers artificially inflating some results as to what you would expect. But this did happen before in earlier chipsets, when one manufacturer would run 100.5 BCLK, and the next would use 101.3, and even 102 BCLK, stating 'that's just how the design works'.

    There's nothing we can do to change this, so I am taking the position of sitting back and analysing what they are doing, and how aggressive they are taking this philosophy. Any good reviewer will recognise what is pure statistical variation and not assign world class status to a result that is 0.01% difference.

    With regards the warranty, it is a tough hammer to nail down. Would a pair of companies ever advertise that by default their settings technically breaches warranty? Or how would Intel take it, given that technically none of the cores ever went past the top turbo mode? Without a direct response on the issue, it's not worth speculating. I've known users to repeatedly successfully RMA CPUs they've overclocked on LN2 way too hard and broke them, so we don't really know if Intel will draw a line much.
    Reply
  • Nickel020 - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    It's certainly a matter of opinion. As an "enthusiast" I'm of the opinion that a board should not overclock without my knowledge/express wish (since I can easily do so myself. Practically the overclock of course has no bearing on CPU warranty (the CPU also being the very last PC component that you're likely to need warranty on...).
    I agree that for the average user this is actually added value, a slight performance bonus at absolutely no cost other than a little bit more power consumption. Maybe point out both sides in future reviews? That way everyone's happy :)

    PS: Please do fix the error in the UD3H, GD65 conclusion, it's wearing me down ;)
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5793/intel-z77-mothe...

    "For the price we lose PCI and mSATA over the Gigabyte, but gain SATA, voltage read points, [...]" <--- wrong, maybe say "better implemented voltage read points"? ;)
    Reply
  • Nickel020 - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    Thanks Ian :) Reply
  • mystikl - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    No VGA port, no floppy connector, no buy . Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    Seriously?

    First, it does have a VGA port. Why you would want to use one escapes me now, but it's there.

    Second...you still need a floppy drive and can't make do with a USB 2.0 one? Almost no modern motherboards include floppy connectors because floppy disks are horrendously outdated and that real estate can be better employed elsewhere.
    Reply
  • mystikl - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    I was actually making fun of the guy who posted the second comment! Why on earth people still need those ancient connectors is beyond me. Some may argue that some ancient software doesn't run without that specific port, but software that old doesn't require a computer with a quad core, 16 GB RAM and 3 videocards. Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    bios flashes on some boards still require a floppy disk... even on a quad core. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    Luckily those boards have floppy ports then. Reply

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