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Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB Intel Z77 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB Intel Z77 Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB motherboard is a fully featured mainstream-gaming platform based around the Intel Z77 chipset and bundled with a Wireless 802.11bgn + Bluetooth 4.0 PCI Express x1 card, not to mention all the bells and whistles of a highly expandable workstation platform and a good set of overclocking tools.
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Gigabyte Apr 12 2013   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB

Bundled in Wireless Networking

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 mobile devices.

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 results here.

PCSTATS takes a look at the GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB's overclocking tools next, then it's onto the Intel Z77 chipset.

Overclocker Tuning

Along 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 dark.

Less then 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 multimeter leads.

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 motherboard!

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Contents of Article: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB
 Pg 1.  Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB Intel Z77 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Bundled in Wireless Networking
 Pg 3.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Features and Layout
 Pg 4.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Continued
 Pg 5.  Overclocking Report and BIOS Walk through
 Pg 6.  Test System Hardware and Specs
 Pg 7.  Sysmark 2012 - Workstation Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 8.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 10.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 11.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 14.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 16.  Total System Power Draw and Conclusions

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