Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H Review: Functionality meets Competitive Pricingby Ian Cutress on July 25, 2012 5:00 AM EST
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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 Starting with the software, I am sad to say that it is looking very outdated and needs a swift kick in the correct direction.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
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Aunt Fritzi - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkI have a 3-year-old Biostar motherboard (go ahead and laugh)... it has two PS/2 ports. A PS/2 keyboard is needed to bring up the BIOS tool at startup. Is that generally the case when mobos have PS/2 ports?
Samus - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - linkYou need to enable "USB Legacy Keyboard" in the BIOS, and your USB keyboard will work.
Samus - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - linkPS/2 has a limitation of 5 keystrokes within 250ms of each other.
The ultimate test is Stepmania (DDR) where you hit many, many keys at the same time.
PS/2 is a joke for gaming or fast typing. It has no place in modern computing.
Questor - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - linkMy wife can type like lightning and mistake free. It astounds me to watch her. I made the switch from PS/2 to buying USB keyboards some years ago, she has been blowing my mind with them without missing a beat since the switch.
I am not half-bad at typing and have neither of us have noticed a difference.
I am not saying you are wrong, I am just saying, we have not noticed any issues.
Einy0 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkPS/2 is dead long live USB!!!
Belard - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - linkFor my 1996 keyboard, the ps/2 port is a must. They don't make them like they used... my $20 keyboard is easily better made than todays $20~80 keyboards.
Really, todays keyboards from MS and Logitech and most others use stickers for for the keys and have weak support. Mine is solid, heavy and will hopefully last another 10 years.
Most PS/2>USB adapters don't work.
Grok42 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkI guess I'll be the lone supporter of ps/2 as well. I haven't found a replacement for my $20 IBM KB-8923 ps/2 keyboard. I don't even consider myself a picky keyboard guy either. I don't want a cheap light piece of junk that moves around my desk as I type and I don't want some 10lb monster clickty clackety old school keyboard either. Most importantly, I like to keep the number of "shopping" and "email" buttons to a minimum. Seems that's an impossible list of needs these days.
Of course, it might be possible to use this ps/2 keyboard with a ps/2 to USB converter but I haven't tried.
Belard - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - linkThat IO panel is full of ports. If you need ps/2, go for a lower-end Gigabyte board. Their Z77 boards start at about $125 (or $80 in Dallas) and have ps/2 connectors.
For my 1996 keyboard, the ps/2 port is a must. They don't make them like they used... my $20 keyboard is easily better made than todays $20~80 keyboards.
johnrysf - Saturday, August 4, 2012 - linkBefore ya'll plunge off the road and into the weeds in the typing speed, etc. discussion that follows, let me mention that I have 2-3 ps/2 <---> USB pigtails that I've picked up free over the years. They're maybe 8" long. Perhaps this will offend your PC-related aspirations, but one of them even says "Radio Shack" on it.
Life really is short. Geez.
Nickel020 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkFirst, nice review! I like the more in-depth single board reviews!
You always point out the software situation with GB boards. While this is definitely an issue as far as fan controls goes, as far as overclocking goes, there's also the GB Tweak Launcher:
While not looking pretty, I actually prefer this functionality focussed UI to a fancy one (while I like the Asus UI, the clicking does get a little bit tedious when trying a lot of different settings). I don't know whether you're not aware of this software, or don't mention it for another reason, but I think you should include it in the review. Or at least mention it, so people are aware of it.
Another point is the voltage read points, which you don't mention in the review as well. I think these are actually a major selling point for overclockers, and should be mentioned, if not even used to check actual voltages versus BIOS settings. That's also an issue that I have with your UD3H/GD65 etc. review: You say that the GD65 gains voltage read points over the UD3H, yet the UD3H *has* voltage read points (even though I like MSI's implementation far better than what Asus/GB are doing).
That's it for now, I'll read the complete review now :)