Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P Review
Published: 22nd July 2011 | Source: Gigabyte | Price: £131.99 @ Aria |
There is a certain confidence that comes from being at either the value or premium end of the marketplace that allows a manufacturer to be very minimalist in their packaging. This is true of all product types. Equally true is that in the very tightly fought middle ground where the majority of us do their spending, it's tough to be noticed. This insecurity is prevalent in the packaging for the UD3P. Gigabyte seem to have crammed every possible technology badge and mentioned every tiny feature in the hope of catching the eye of the shopper. Whilst it's a case that sometimes more is more, here we think a bit of the "feature shouting" could be toned down.
Once we've opened the box we find the usual selection of accessories. The manual is, for once, something that's both informative and full of information. So many companies either give you a book containing all the things they want to advertise (which is a bit late once you've brought it) or commit the cardinal sin of giving you a pamphlet. How lovely it is to see a properly written manual with a decent explanation of everything.
I'm a firm believer you can tell a lot about the quality of a motherboard from the IO shield. At the bottom end you have plain ones punched from tin foil, in the middle coloured ones but still with finger gouging bits hanging out the back, and at the high-end there are ones with soft backs and all black colouring. The UD3P is equipped with the middle kind. However the colour-coding is thankfully exactly what it should be, being easy to tell at a glance the difference between the USB2 and USB3 ports when fumbling in the dark.
And here is the board itself. All the plastics are black and all the metal bits are in the gun-metal grey we've seen previously on the UD5. Sure they aren't of the same exquisite quality, but they certainly have enough design flair to justify your decision to pay that little extra over the base model.