Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Motherboard Review
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The Intel Z77 Express chipset is the evolution of the Z68 Express chipset, as instead of doing an overhaul of the platform Intel instead just added native support for technologies such as USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s and PCIe x16 Gen 3.0. These features are a huge step in the right direction, but since they are integrated into all Z77 chipset it is still up to the motherboard manufacture to add the magic and make their product stand out from other motherboards sporting similar features.
To do this Gigabyte has added features to their motherboards such as their 3D power Engine, Ultra Durable IV design, Dual UEFI BIOS with a 3D mode and a host of new software utilities. In addition, the Z77X-UD3H also comes with an on-board mSATA connector. This is a technology that Gigabyte has been pushing since the release of the Z77 chipset and for good reason. It allows users to take advantage of technologies such as Intel Smart Response and Rapid Start to boost the systems response and boot times.
While the Z77X-UD3H offers an impressive feature set it does exclude some high-end features. These include built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options, and it also doesn’t come with all the add-on support as the more expensive models. By not adding these features though Gigabyte was able to keep the price of this model at a respectable $149, while models that include all the bells and whistles can reach upward of $300. So for us this model comes in at a sweet spot in terms of price to features.
Another interesting aspect of this motherboard is that it is able to utilize the Turbo Boost Feature better than the Intel Z77 board we compared it to. During our testing the Gigabyte model Boosted to 3.73GHz during our benchmarks, while the Intel model was increased to just 3.68GHz, meaning during load the Gigabyte board is going to have better performance. The difference we have seen though is extremely small, under 100MHz, so any performance increase should be minimal.