Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H Review: Functionality meets Competitive Pricingby Ian Cutress on July 25, 2012 5:00 AM EST
- Posted in
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 Starting with the software, I am sad to say that it is looking very outdated and needs a swift kick in the correct direction.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
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
jardows2 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkCan anyone explain the value in multiple Ethernet ports? Outside of being server board, and some specialized workstations, the practicality (and added cost) of multiple Ethernet ports escapes me.
IanCutress - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkConnecting to multiple networks, redundancy, teaming for better throughput, connecting via ICS, VM throughput, one specifically for backups, separation of traffic (i.e. you could have a combo web/database server, same network, put all web traffic on one NIC, db traffic on the other, makes it easier to calculate loads for traffic types). If you're streaming from a NAS that supports teaming, then the improved bandwidth can benefit users that stream from that device. Agreed, it is a perhaps a niche scenario, but there are enough users that want it. The Realtek NIC + Audio is a relatively cheap bundle, but some people prefer the Intel NIC. So why not have both, as long as the price for the user is reasonable.
Snotling - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkIf your NAS has two ports... you can team up your nick on both ends.
If your two NICs have different chip-sets then it may be for compatibility reasons. Some businesses will want to use only the Broadcom or only the Intel or Marvel... etc. Maybe at some point you can save downtime if a driver update causes a problem either by being bugged or missing.
Load balancing, bridging networks, Acting as gateway or firewall... even if you do not actually run a server on the board you may want to do it for test purposes or some weird networking condition. Like having two different VPNs that require you to be on two different subnets.
I admit, most of this is exceptional conditions but the exceptions addup and higher end boards aim to cover the needs of those who may run into those situations or actually need them.
Grok42 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkI can't figure it out either. I've built boxes with many nics before for routers, gateways and bridges. Almost all the servers I've built have had 4 nics. However, I can't imagine using the two nics on this board for anything. Why would I want to build a NAS box with SLI and overclocking? Why wouldn't I get a much different board and add a good discrete NIC board with multiple ports? At the consumer level I can't imagine doing any of this. My file server only has a single gigabit nic and is WAY faster that I need. I can move GBs of files in just a few seconds between it and my workstations. At work we have 10GB and we team ports to increase even that so I know there are needs for higher speeds, I just can't figure out a reason at the consumer level this board is obviously focused on.
Einy0 - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkI own this board, it is amazing thus far. I haven't really had a chance to really push it too hard yet... One of these weekends I will try some overclocking. The 3770K is so fast, I'm still getting used to it. I am really impressed with the Z77's SATA controllers. My Vertex 4 is topping out at about 562MB/s for reads and my 4 disk (500GB WD Blue) RAID5 Array is hitting around 362MB/s for reads. I would love one more USB 2.0 header or a USB 3.0 to 2.0 header adapter. A non Realtek audio codec would be terrific too...
vailr - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - linkThere's evidently 2 board versions of the UD5H:
The older version has a space in between the 2nd & 3rd DDR3 slots, with blue capacitors.
The newer version has no space in between the 2nd & 3rd DDR3 slots, with purple capacitors.
Question: why doesn't Gigabyte provide drivers for the VIA USB 3.0 ports? There are some VIA USB 3.0 drivers on www.station-drivers.com, but those fail to install on Windows 7 64-bit.
Sabresiberian - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - linkOne of Gigabyte's strengths is that they've long had dual Ethernet capability, but -
Why only one Intel? Is it really that much more expensive to just put the best in here?
I think your read of Gigabyte has been right on the money Ian, I've long thought the same, and wondered why some media types blew their horn so loudly.
Zak - Saturday, July 28, 2012 - linkI see no point in adding FireWire any more... I'd rather have two eSATA ports or another SPDIF output. Any why having DVI, DP and VGA? Waste of space. I really doubt anyone has a need for all three simultaneously. If someone needs to use VGA they can use DVI or DP adapter.
Zak - Saturday, July 28, 2012 - linkTypo: "Overclocking on the UD5H was a mixed back of results"
JimDicks - Saturday, July 28, 2012 - linkThis GB mainboard comes with a Marvell 9172 6Gbit/s S-ATA controller, almost same as my GB mainboard. When I recently bought a 6Gbit/s SSD and connected it to the 'superb' Marvell, it only reached about 250MB/s instead of the advertised 600MB/s. A whole afternoon searching and reading forums and specifications revealed that most of these 3rd party chips have a higher latency than the Intel/AMD south bridges, and reach much lower data rate than advertised, because they are connected via 1, maximum 2 PCIe 2.0 lanes to the mainboard. That means that a controller with 4 6.0Gbit/s connectors would need 2.4GB/s to transfer, yet it can only theoretically transfer 0.5GB/s (1 lane) or 1.0GB/s (2 PCIe 2.0 lanes) to the mainboard. In fact, the practical PCIe speed is much less.
I recommend that Anandtech not only checks USB speeds, but also S-ATA speeds via the 3rd party chips, the southbridge and via external PCIe x8 SAS Raid Controller (ie. LSI MegaRAID SAS 9240 or 9260). The latter could also be used to check the practical PCIe bandwiths.