Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Gigabyte Z68X UD5 B3 Review

Introduction

The LGA1155 socket has had a difficult birth since its first appearance on the scene a few short months ago.

Firstly we had the problem with the early P67 chipsets and their SATA ports causing data loss on certain channels. Intel went away into their R&D department and came back with the B3 Revision of the P67 chipset and all seemed right in the world. We saw a rapid influx of motherboards all bearing the B3 branding and it seemed that finally the LGA1155 had settled into the slot vacated by the short-lived LGA1156.

Apparently solving the P67 problems weren't the only thing Intel were beavering away at, as following the B3 Revisions out the door, so close it must have been bumping into it, is the Z68 Chipset.

So what does this bring us that the P67 doesn't? Surprisingly little to be honest. The major difference is the inclusion of Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST for brevity), which we'll discuss in a few pages time, and the inclusion of a version of the Lucid chip on those motherboards that have integrated graphics. Otherwise the differences are largely manufacturer specific.

Today we're following up our preview from earlier in the week to bring you the full review of our first motherboard with this chipset, the Gigabyte Z68X-UD5 B3. Quite why it needs the B3 revision designation from the P67 series when it's a new chipset we're not certain, but it speaks volumes about how little difference there is.

Technical Specifications

So what has the UD5 got in store for us?

Firstly it isn't one of the models that has an integrated graphics card, so we have no Lucid nor any integration to test. Secondly it has got the IRST which can speed up a HDD by using a SSD as a cache drive. Finally it has a version of the excellent EFI BIOS, but I'd hold onto your bunting for just a moment.

CPU
  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package
Chipset
  1. Intel® Z68 Express Chipset
Memory
  1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
    * Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Go to GIGABYTE's website for the latest supported memory speeds and memory modules.)
Audio
  1. Realtek ALC889 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for Dolby® Home Theater
  5. Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  1. 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
  2. 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 with a PCI Express graphics card, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
  3. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
    * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_1 and PCIEX1_2 slots. When the PCIEX1_1 slot or the PCIEX1_2 slot is populated with an expansion card, the PCIEX4 slot will operate at up to x1 mode.
  4. 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  5. 2 x PCI slots
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 2-Way ATI CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology
Storage InterfaceChipset:
  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0, SATA3_1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_2~SATA2_5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
  3. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
    * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.
Marvell 88SE9128 chip:
  1. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors (eSATA/USB Combo) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1
USBChipset:
  1. Up to 10 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 on the back panel, including 2 eSATA/USB Combo, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
1 x Renesas D720200 chip and 2 x VLI VL810 hubs:
  1. Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 on the back panel, 4 via the USB brackets connected to the internal USB headers)
IEEE 1394T.I. TSB43AB23 chip:
  1. Up to 3 IEEE 1394a ports (2 on the back panel, 1 via the IEEE 1394a bracket connected to internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  4. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  5. 1 x CPU fan header
  6. 3 x system fan headers
  7. 1 x power fan header
  8. 1 x Chipset fan header
  9. 1 x front panel header
  10. 1 x front panel audio header
  11. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  12. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  13. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  14. 1 x IEEE 1394a header
  15. 1 x clearing CMOS button
  16. 1 x power button
  17. 1 x reset button
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  3. 1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
  4. 2 x IEEE 1394a ports
  5. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  6. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  7. 2 x eSATA/USB Combo connectors
  8. 1 x RJ-45 port
  9. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE IT8728 chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
  6. CPU/System fan speed control
    * Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.
BIOS
  1. 2 x 32 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b

 

Time to take a look at what we have.

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Most Recent Comments

12-05-2011, 10:58:04

tinytomlogan
Following our earlier preview, let's take a full look at the latest motherboard from Gigabyte, the Z68X UD5 B3.



Continue Reading

12-05-2011, 11:12:12

adamjamesroe
Looks ok, but a bit expensive, nice review though.

12-05-2011, 11:51:08

dugdiamond
nice mobo - but for the price i would rather have a sabertooth

12-05-2011, 11:54:58

SieB
Not as impressive as I thought it was going to be but as said it's not a bad motherboard. Z68, apart from the addition of SSD caching doesn't really seem worth it tbh, I know some of the boards offer the use of the IGP but if you are spending over 150+ on a motherboard it seems a waste to use the IGP and not a proper GPU.

With the IGP you also get the Lucid chip (on some boards) and the ability to overclock the CPU where as on H67 you only get use of the IGP which can be overclocked but no CPU overclocking and P67 no use of the IGP and only CPU overclocking.

Combining the use of the IGP and being able to overclock both IGP and CPU is good, but again if you are spending money on a decent motherboard i'd say it's best to go with P67 with a proper GPU or a high end Z68 motherboard with a proper GPU. The SSD caching is good but i would like to see the tech mature a bit to see what it is fully capable of on future motherboards.

Good review anyway Bryan

18-05-2011, 02:16:09

Luger718
the igp can also be used for encoding

ive seen mediashow espresso 6 benchmarks that show it encoding twice as fast then a gtx 560 ti

18-05-2011, 05:34:04

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luger718 View Post

the igp can also be used for encoding

ive seen mediashow espresso 6 benchmarks that show it encoding twice as fast then a gtx 560 ti
I read about that in this months Custom PC, not about the 560s but the igp. You can only use it on boards with the Lucid chip though but still it's a good feature to have. You can also switch between using you GPU to using the IGP or you can use it to boost the performance of the GPU, on the Asus boards with the Lucid chip anyway.

Also in Intels key notes at CES they showed the Quick Sync encoding being faster than a 580 .

18-05-2011, 16:24:14

Luger718
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

I read about that in this months Custom PC, not about the 560s but the igp. You can only use it on boards with the Lucid chip though but still it's a good feature to have. You can also switch between using you GPU to using the IGP or you can use it to boost the performance of the GPU, on the Asus boards with the Lucid chip anyway.

Also in Intels key notes at CES they showed the Quick Sync encoding being faster than a 580 .
i thought all the z68 boards have that lucid virtu stuff on them

damn the quick sync must be really optimized for encoding

considering a gtx560ti or anything higher completely destroys it in gaming

18-05-2011, 17:14:19

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luger718 View Post

i thought all the z68 boards have that lucid virtu stuff on them

damn the quick sync must be really optimized for encoding

considering a gtx560ti or anything higher completely destroys it in gaming
Not all of them have it, the higher end Gigabyte ones don't anyway. The Asus P8Z68 VPRO does, not sure about the MSI ones, the lower end ones do but I haven't looked at them all so I don't know whether they all do.

I haven't seen Quick Sync in action apart from the Intel keynotes at CES where it encoded a vid faster than a 580, by a fair bit as well.

18-05-2011, 17:50:25

Luger718
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Not all of them have it, the higher end Gigabyte ones don't anyway. The Asus P8Z68 VPRO does, not sure about the MSI ones, the lower end ones do but I haven't looked at them all so I don't know whether they all do.

I haven't seen Quick Sync in action apart from the Intel keynotes at CES where it encoded a vid faster than a 580, by a fair bit as well.
oh you mean the video outputs on the mobo? yea higher ends dont but cant they still do the dGPU thing where they plug monitor into graphics card but still use quicksync features

iGPU is when you plug into the motherboard and it allows it to idle on intels video instead of graphics card for more power saving

18-05-2011, 18:02:10

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luger718 View Post

oh you mean the video outputs on the mobo? yea higher ends dont but cant they still do the dGPU thing where they plug monitor into graphics card but still use quicksync features

iGPU is when you plug into the motherboard and it allows it to idle on intels video instead of graphics card for more power saving
I thought only the ones with the video output had the Lucid chip. The Gigabyte Z68 UD5 and Z68 UD7 don't have video outs or the Lucid chip and you can't use IGP on those so you wouldn't be able to use quick Sync.

I think the boards with the video outs have the Lucid chip but the ones without don't, so on the ones with out I don't think you can use it because you would need the Lucid chip to be able to use the IGP and Quick Sync.

19-05-2011, 19:10:53

Luger718
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

I thought only the ones with the video output had the Lucid chip. The Gigabyte Z68 UD5 and Z68 UD7 don't have video outs or the Lucid chip and you can't use IGP on those so you wouldn't be able to use quick Sync.

I think the boards with the video outs have the Lucid chip but the ones without don't, so on the ones with out I don't think you can use it because you would need the Lucid chip to be able to use the IGP and Quick Sync.
just checked gigabyte site your right only their lower end ones can use the virtu software... i didnt know there was any hardware (lucid chip) involved thats why i figured any z68 could do it....well that sucks (for people who wanna encode or use the power saving features) and it kinda limits z68 too, now the only added feature is ssd caching
Reply
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