Reviews and Problems with Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
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Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard
22 February 2012
Summary: In the beginning of this review we asked the question of what can a mainstream motherboard really provide and do you need to build a great budget system. Having reviewed several P67 and Z68 we can say that a little goes a long ways and what is important for mainstream is features.
The GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 a very unique motherboard in that it comes with all of the Ultra Durable Features like the 2oz copper PCB and whole list that alone would make this conclusion way to long.
Pros: Dual Card SLI Support, Extra space between video card slots, Onboard TPM for Security, SATA 6, New Version Supports Gen3 PCIe, Onboard Video
Cons: No POST indicator, difficult to debug when overclocking, Limited Overclocking Headroom
Conclusion: While using the Z68X-UD3H-B3 I was impressed with the features included on what is essentially a budget motherboard. This is a perfect board for a shop to stock up on. It is capable of both being a good foundation of a gaming rig and being in a basic PC build for a family on a budget. Because of that this is perfect for someone who plans on upgrading later to a dedicated video card.
Summary: Socket 1155 motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 which are built around it offer up a mainstream suite of capabilities and a kitchen sink full o'features. The board
supports 2nd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 2xxx-series socket LGA1155
processors - these CPUs are based on the Intel 'SandyBridge'
architecture which includes an integrated graphics core on the CPU
Summary: Ordinarily I’d be raving about the board at this point. The Z68X-UD3H-B3 was always stable and never gave me any major issues aside from one major thing. I couldn’t get the Marvell 9172 controller to work in RAID mode as long as the Intel Z68 controller was in RAID mode as well. As I stated earlier there are multiple implications from this. To make a long story short, your options for drive configurations just got a lot more limited.
Summary: The Intel Express Z68 chipset is the new hotness and as a result tons of Z68 boards are hitting the market. Gigabyte isn’t one to be left behind and as a result it has plenty of Z68 boards to choose from. The one we are evaluating here is the Z68X-UD3H-B3. Despite being somewhat of a budget board it certainly packs a ton of features and promises solid overclocking performance to boot.
Conclusion: The Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H offers 'bang for buck' performance. If you are still waiting to get on the Sandy Bridge bandwagon, you could consider this motherboard as it offers a large amount of features and performs fairly well compared to other, more expensive motherboards. However, if you already own a P67, then there is no point in switching over. Being a Z68, it incorporates the best of both worlds from the H67 and P67 platforms.
Conclusion: Currently priced at less than $170 at the usual online retailers, the Z68X-UD3H-B3 is pretty easy on the wallet and includes a lot of features considering it is a mid-range motherboard. The Intel Smart Response Technology alone may be worth the upgrade from previous chipsets for some.
Conclusion: The Z68X-UD3H-B3 is a great idea and is executed well but there are some stumbling points for the motherboard. One of the major features of the board–the GPU Switching feature–is based on the Lucidlogix Virtu software, which works most of the time, but can cause major frustration when it fails.
Conclusion: Overall, the Z68X-UD3H-B3 offers an impressive feature set for a board priced well under $200. The more expensive boards we looked at in concert with this one are certainly justified if you’re looking to install three video cards, overclock at extreme speeds, connect 10 hard drives, or test your board outside of a case.
Pros: Inexpensive, Supports SSD caching and switchable graphics, Four 6Gbps SATA ports
Cons: No backplate connectors for extra USB ports, Dual graphics cards must run in x8 mode, Hard-to-access CMOS jumper
Summary: As expected, when compared to the P67 chipset the new Z68 chipset delivers the same level of performance when using similar configurations. Of course the two new features include the Lucid Virtu software and the Intel Smart Response Technology, the former being considerably more exciting in our opinion.