Motherboards

GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H Motherboard Review

An Even Closer Look:

Let’s have a closer look at the anatomy of the Z77X-UD5H to see what it’s really made up off. GIGABYTE had to face quite a lot of criticism from the enthusiast community when they showed off their redesigned heatsinks design for Intel’s Z77 based motherboard. Community really liked the design on Intel P67/Z68 motherboard but according to GIGABYTE the new design might not look that good but it is a lot better in terms of cooling performance.

The Z77X-UD5H has three blocks of heatsinks which are connected with a beefy heatpipe. Two of them are for CPU power delivery and a big chunk of a heatsink for the Z77 PCH. All the heatsinks are secured with screws instead of push pin mechanism which is usually present in cheaper boards.

The Z77X-UD5H has a 12+2+1 phase power design for CPU. 12 phases are for cores, 2 are for IMC and 1 is for IGP. Voltage regulation is done by International Rectifier’s IR 3567 which is a digital PWM controller. It is also used in other high-end boards like GIGABYTE X79-UD7 and G1.Assassin 2. Inductors used in Z77X-UD5H are from the same company which produced custom inductors for GIGABYTE’s X58-OC motherboard. Whole VRM of the Z77X-UD5H comes with a great amount of customizability, almost all the options like current limits, load line calibration and refresh rates can be tweaked from the BIOS. All in all, the power delivery system of this motherboard is good enough even for enthusiasts grade sub-zero overclocking.

On the top left edge of the motherboard, two ASMedia ASM 1442 are present right behind the back I/O. These are high speed TMDS (Transition-minimized differential signalling) level shifters which convert digital output to DVI and HDMI connectors. These are responsible for HDMI and DVI ports on the back I/O.

Near the top most PCI Express x1 slot, there is VIA’s VL810 USB 3.0 hub. It takes one input and provides up to four outputs. It provides four USB 3.0 ports on the back I/O. Same chip is also present near SATA ports, that one provides the extra front panel USB 3.0 headers.

Under the USB 3.0 hub chip, we’ve two LAN controllers, Intel WG82579V and Atheros AR8151. Both are very power efficient and one of the high-end solutions.

Next to the LAN controller, there is Realtek ALC898. GIGABYTE has loaded it with Creative X-Fi software packages which make it a similar solution to what ASUS has been shipping with their ROG motherboards. It also comes with Dobly Home Theatre support.

The VIA VT6308P is a PCI to 1394 host controller which provides two outputs; one is present on back I/O while the other can be used via the internal header.

The iTE IT8892E is a PCIe to PCI bridge chip which provide PCI lanes to the VIA VT6308P 1394 controller and physical PCI slot on the motherboard. The Marvell 88SE9172 is a SATA III 6 Gb/s controller and this board has two of these. Three grey SATA III 6GB/s ports and the eSATA port on the back I/O is provided by these chips.

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