802.11bgn & Bluetooth Smart 4.0 WiFi
The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard comes
with a nifty PCI Express x1 expansion card that supports Bluetooth 4.0 (Smart
Ready) and 802.11bgn Wi-Fi connectivity standards. The idea is that with the increasing number
of smart phones users need to augment there desktop with a mobile device.
The Wifi card allows better cooperation and easier data syncing between stationary and
By bundling in this 802.11bgn wireless card, Gigabyte is trying to integrate this motherboard with smart phone and tablet devices. The key technology at play is Bluetooth Smart 4.0 - the standard you'll need in order
to leverage mobile apps that can interact with a PC. By including the
Wifi/Bluetooth 4.0 card up front, Gigabyte provides users with basic tools to set up a simple
'Cloud environment' at home. Nice.
Bluetooth 4.0 permits quick data syncing between a computer and a smart phone, allowing photo's, music or any other content to be transferred about. Bluetooth Smart 4.0 is basically a catch-all name for the three
preceding Bluetooth specifications, rolled into one. We should note that while
the theoretical maximum data transfer speed of Bluetooth 4.0 is pegged at 24
Mbit/s, this is not over the Bluetooth link itself. Rather, the Bluetooth link
negotiates the connection and data is sent over an 802.11 link - hence the
reason for the standard Wi-Fi antenna attached to the Gigabyte GC-WIFI
card. Microsoft Windows 8 supports Bluetooth v4.0 Smart, but not all older smart phones do.
Gigabyte GC-WIFI Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11bgn
PCI Express x1 bundle-in card.
The Gigabyte GC-WiFi Card installs into any of the
GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB's PCI Express x1 slots and a USB jumper is connected to one
of the boards USB 2.0 headers for the Bluetooth device. The Bluetooth 4.0 device
connects to the PC via the two-port USB jumper cable, so this is why a single
internal USB 2.0 port is available on the card. The 802.11bgn wireless card uses
the higher bandwidth PCI Express x1 interface for data transmission.
On the supplied driver CD Gigabyte include a small utility called
'CloudStation' which help apps to communicate and share resources on the PC.
PCSTATS has previously benchmarked the speed of the Gigabyte GC-WIFI
802.11bgn card, you can see the test
takes a look at the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB's overclocking tools next, then it's onto the
Intel Z77 chipset.
with a Port 80 card by the front panel
I/O, enthusiast overclockers are provided with a set of voltage read points on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB
motherboard (points: Vcore, CPUVtt, VSA, CPUPll, VDimm, DDRVtt and PCIIO) for
monitoring power draw with a multimeter. Out of
the box tweaking is a breeze with the handy red power switch by the memory
slots. It's big and chunky and illuminated so it's easy to find in the
handy are the physical Reset and CMOS Reset buttons located right next to the power button and far too close
to each other. Enthusiast overclockers who blow out the BIOS out on a regular
basis might find this placement convenient, but mere mortals are likely to accidentally reset their CMOS
more often than not.
Reading voltage points with
Tangentially related to overclocking, the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB makes use
of low profile passive extruded aluminum heatsinks to cool the VRM and chipset, all of which are connected by a heatpipe to equally distribute heat. Furthermore, Gigabyte's standard 2oz copper PCB acts like a giant heat spreader for
surface mount electrical components. The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB has four 4-pin PWM fan headers too.
Dual UEFI BIOS's come standard of course, Gigabyte have also tacked on a switch
so users can toggle rapidly between the two BIOS' when overclocking.
Since PCSTATS has already
covered the Intel Z77 Express Chipset in the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H and
GA-Z77X-UD4H board reviews, we're going to skip ahead to the 360-degree
motherboard photo gallery. If you want to read up on the Intel Z77 feature
set or Intel Platform Responsiveness Technologies, see here. Moving
along, it's time for the 360-degree look at the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB