The Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H is without doubt one of the finest Z77 motherboards we have reviewed to date. We have been impressed with not only the stability and reliability over the last week, but also the potential for overclocking. The 12 Phase power design delivers fast transient response times and class leading power delivery.
The 3D BIOS is a very attractive design which will definitely appeal to bios fearing users. By simply clicking on a full screen image of the board the user is presented with relevant options to tweak and tune. We would feel however that experienced users will ditch this immediately for the advanced interface, we certainly know we did.
The M.I.T. advanced section of the BIOS is fully featured with plenty of options to tweak voltages, frequency adjustments and power distribution. That said, we do feel that ASUS still hold the leadership here, especially in regards to intuitive layout. Gigabyte could really include many of these functions in a single, easy to scroll location. I found myself frequently navigating backwards and forwards within sub menus to change voltages and frequencies.
Overclocking this board is very straightforward and we had great success, even with a modest air cooler. We achieved stability at 4.8ghz with the Core i7 3770k although it required 1.35 volts which meant that the cooling solution would need to be enhanced for long term reliability. A Corsair H100 would be our recommendation for this setting.
4.7ghz was our chosen speed for this review as we could drop the voltage to 1.3, subsequently lowering temperatures by 10c under load. The Z77X-UD5H was rock solid and passed our stress tests with ease. A quality, inexpensive air cooler could be used at 4.6ghz (@ 1.25v), such as the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 which retails in the United Kingdom for only £20.
The Z77X-UD5H is fully featured, with fantastic connectivity and the mSATA slot will let the end user take advantage of Intel Smart Response and Rapid Start. There are also a myriad of USB 2.0/3.0 ports and a total of 9 SATA connectors for the most demanding enthusiast system. We like the small touches, such as moving the CMOS, reset and power switches next to the memory at the top of the board. This means it is easier to locate the buttons and recover from a serious problem, especially if multiple graphics cards are installed.
We have no hesitation in recommending the Z77X-UD5H for a new system build. It is just as good as the Asus motherboards we have tested and ARIA are currently offering a great deal, at £177.77 inc vat, with a free Antec Kuhler 620.
- Competitive price point.
- Good bundle.
- good bios.
- fantastic overclocker.
- I still prefer the ASUS bios layout, but thats about it.
Kitguru says: As good a board as the Asus Z77 boards we have reviewed in recent weeks. Great deal from ARIA too right now.