Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P Review

Conclusion

Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P Review

Conclusion

The 'Middle-Child' analogy we started off with proves to be an apt explanation of the Z68XP-UD3P. Whereas the older child gets by purely on being the biggest, and the youngest one has few expectations, the middle child has to work really hard and make every bit of its talent count to be noticed.

The UD3P definitely makes the absolute most of everything it's given. It's almost voracious in its use of each morsel of performance.

Initially we were very disappointed with the overclocking performance. No matter how much we tinkered and tweaked, which is something that there is a distinct lack of on the LGA1155 platform, it just wouldn't play ball past 4.6 GHz. Even the bargain basement Biostar hit 4.7 GHz and most of the other boards we've tested have been good for 4.8 GHz.

However this performance deficit is solely a number one. In actuality the UD3P performs pretty much as well as any other motherboard we've seen. Sure there are the odd tests in which those few extra MHz are found wanting, but we'd bet a pound to a penny that in daily use you'd never notice.

Indeed the main star of the show is, as it was with the Z68 UD5, the Intel Rapid Storage Technology. Plug in a SSD of your choosing, select XHD in the BIOS, install Windows to your main drive as normal then install the IRST driver and link the SSD to the HDD and within a couple of minutes you've got all the capacity of a mechanical drive with most of the speed of the SSD for a nth of the price. The kit used today comes to about £140 for the SSD and Spinpoint and you'll struggle to get a 1TB SSD for that money. You'd struggle to get a 128GB SSD for that money.

The benefits of doing this are clear for all to see in our results. Yes a pure SSD only arrangement will be a little bit quicker, but in terms of power per pound it's tough to beat the UD3P with IRST. Everything you use feels the benefit and hence the system is capable of performing far beyond what a glance at the overclock would lead you to believe.

So if you're the kind of person who just wants cheap, at around £140 the Z68XP-UD3P isn't the bottom of the line, but it looks great and is rock-solid. Yes if you believe that overclocking numbers are the sole reason for existing, regardless of how usable that performance is, then look elsewhere.

But for the rest of us, those with bills to pay, the Z68 Ultra Durable (which gives the UD series its name) is a workhorse of a board that will just get on and do with the minimum of fuss. If you aren't going to take advantage of the IRST there are better performing options for the money, the truly brilliant Sabertooth P67 springs to mind, but for an all-rounder that can still put a smile on your face, the UD3P is a great board and worthy of our OC3D Silver Award.

      

Thanks to Gigabyte for providing the Z68XP-UD3P for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

22-07-2011, 06:03:03

tinytomlogan
Today we take a look at the UD3 version of the Gigabyte Z68 line of motherboards. How does it stack up?



Continue Reading

22-07-2011, 06:14:56

CRAZYCAP
I want.....

22-07-2011, 06:17:51

SieB
Good review, sums the board up nicely.

22-07-2011, 08:40:36

marsey99
i still miss gb blue

great read that bry :thumb:

my question is mate, if it was your hard earned cash you was handing over would you be getting this or the tz68?

22-07-2011, 08:59:07

VonBlade
If it was my hard-earned I'd get this over the Biostar. No matter how much of a bargain the Biostar is it's just so fugly.

22-07-2011, 11:24:19

S_I_N
any plans on a review of the GA-Z68 UD4 seriously considering the UD4 for my 2600K which I should have next week (shipping from Canada ) so still looking at boards

22-07-2011, 11:29:19

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post

If it was my hard-earned I'd get this over the Biostar. No matter how much of a bargain the Biostar is it's just so fugly.
If you got a no window would matter that much. And Yes the biostar is very ugly.

22-07-2011, 13:13:12

VonBlade
No window it wouldn't matter at all. Although I'd still personally prefer the Giga.

As for the UD4, we've reviewed the D2H, the UD3P and the UD5. So it's probably wise to read this review and our UD5 one and decide if you could manage with slightly less than the UD5, or need slightly more than the UD3. There is very little between them.

22-07-2011, 16:55:14

S_I_N
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonBlade View Post
.

As for the UD4, we've reviewed the D2H, the UD3P and the UD5. So it's probably wise to read this review and our UD5 one and decide if you could manage with slightly less than the UD5, or need slightly more than the UD3. There is very little between them.
lol so this means no lol yeah I have compared between the DH4 and UD5 and for 50$ more the only difference I see is the UD5 has 2 more usb3.0's but at a sacrufice of 5 usb 2.0's not to mention the UD5 has 2 less sata 6 ports the UD5 has 2 esata/usb combo ports to the UD4's 1 but the UD4 has a sata6 esata port lol if you ask me the UD4 has more to give for less money But the UD5 does have one more pci-e slot but only at 4x so nothing really there for me plus it shares bandwidth with the pci-e x1 (which there is 2) slots so if anything is in them then its only 1x lmao why bother hahahah

22-07-2011, 17:00:34

badtaylorx
well....on a site geared towards the overclocking community,,, i dont see a 4.6Ghz showing going over all to well....even amongst gigabite fans!!!

03-10-2011, 18:05:22

v3rninater
Hey guys, saw the review on this board, I have it in my new system along with a 2600k Intel Proc. Was wondering what the bios settings are for the O/C, because anytime I try to overclock even to 3.5ghz, software doesn't run well at all in windows. It's like it's unstable, even if I go up to 1.39v to the CPU.

I have Corsair H100 on it, running super cool, @ stock 30c idle, 38c load. So temps are not a problem. It's at auto CPU voltage and @ stock speed now, running decently stable. I have a Corsair HX850 watt PSU running the system. I have the Gskill 17000 ram running at stock speeds 11-11-11-30 @ 2133mhz, so I'm trying to figure out what my O/C issue is.

At stock speeds the system is great, but any type of overclock warrants issues in windows 7.

I'm running a EVGA 580gtx as the Gpu as well...

04-10-2011, 02:34:58

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by v3rninater View Post

Hey guys, saw the review on this board, I have it in my new system along with a 2600k Intel Proc. Was wondering what the bios settings are for the O/C, because anytime I try to overclock even to 3.5ghz, software doesn't run well at all in windows. It's like it's unstable, even if I go up to 1.39v to the CPU.

I have Corsair H100 on it, running super cool, @ stock 30c idle, 38c load. So temps are not a problem. It's at auto CPU voltage and @ stock speed now, running decently stable. I have a Corsair HX850 watt PSU running the system. I have the Gskill 17000 ram running at stock speeds 11-11-11-30 @ 2133mhz, so I'm trying to figure out what my O/C issue is.

At stock speeds the system is great, but any type of overclock warrants issues in windows 7.

I'm running a EVGA 580gtx as the Gpu as well...
The overclock doesn't warrant any issues with Windows 7.

Try manually pumping the voltages up to 1.35v and then just increase the CPU multiplier to 4.2 or something. Don't bother tinkering with the Bus Speed for Sandy Bridge, you'll be lucky to get a 10MHz increase in that.
Reply
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