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Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H Motherboard Review

Gigabyte box artwork is always very simple, and the Z77X-UD5H is no exception. Primarily white with a cube logo, focusing on their ‘3D Bios’ implementation.

The bundle includes a user manual, optical disc with drivers and software and a 3.5 inch USB 3.0 bay for a chassis. There is also an SLI cable, a backplate and multiple SATA cables. Gigabyte also include a branded sticker which can be adhered to a case.

The Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H Motherboard is built around a black PCB with blue accenting on the heatsinks. This is an ATX motherboard with 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm dimensions. The board incorporates onboard Voltage read points to allow for real time voltage monitoring when overclocking. OC-PEG provides two onboard SATA power connectors for stable PCIe power when using 3-way and 4-way graphics configurations.

An mSATA drive can be connected just below the CPU socket. This is controlled by the Intel Z77 chipset.

Gigabyte have left plenty of space around the CPU socket for installation of the biggest physical CPU coolers, such as the Noctua NH D14. That cooler fits perfectly on this board without a problem. There is a CPU power connector in this area, with several fan headers to connect multiple heatsink, or chassis fans.

The board has four memory slots, all coloured black. They are split into a dual channel configuration. The Z77X-UD5H has support (officially) for 32GB of 2400(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz DDR3 memory, although they list 2666mhz as also being supported ‘unofficially’. We will look at this support later in the review. Obviously there is full support for Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) to make the configuration process straightforward.

Gigabyte have included a power, reset and ‘clear cmos’ button with a diagnostic readout close by the memory slots. These are often placed along the bottom of the board, but it makes more sense to position them next to the memory as they are easier to access with multiple graphics cards installed.

There are eight SATA ports installed on the Z77X-UD5H (with an extra one along the bottom row of the board for front panel connection). The two grey and two white ports are SATA 3 rated. The grey ports are controlled by the Marvell  88SE9172 chip (Raid 0 and Raid 1 support). The four black ports are SATA 2 rated with support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. It is worth pointing out that the SATA2 5 connector will become unavailable when the mSATA connector is installed with a solid state drive.

Along the bottom of the board are the audio connectors, several USB headers, and another four pin fan header. Next to this is the front panel header panel, nicely colour coded. Next to this is the SATA header for front panel connection and several USB 3.0 headers. As we mentioned earlier, the CMOS, reset and power buttons are moved up next to the memory slots, within easy reach.

The Z77 chipset is passively cooling with a large blue heatsink, branded with the Gigabyte logo.

The board has the following expansion slot support:

  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
    * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
    * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
  • 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
    * The PCIEX4 slot is available only when an Intel 22nm (Ivy Bridge) CPU is installed.
    * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX8 and PCIEX16 slots. When the PCIEX4 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode and the PCIEX8 will operate at up to x4 mode.
    (The PCIEX16, PCIEX8 and PCIEX4 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
    * PCIE Gen.3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.
  • 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  • 1 x PCI slot

The back panel has the following connectors:

  • 1 x D-Sub port
  • 1 x DVI-D port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
  • 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.0 ports
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a port
  • 2 x RJ-45 ports
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out)

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