titleThe second in a long list of Z77 previews we have for everyone is a board from our friends over at Gigabyte. Today we are taking a sneak peak at their Gigabyte z77x-ud3h, their entry level Z77 board. With similar features to the Intel board while keeping the price as low as possible there is a good chance this could be a great value for someone looking for good features at a great price.

Product Name: Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H

Review Sample Provided by: Gigabyte

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Specifications

Processor

Supports 3rd Gen. Intel® 22nm CPUs and 2nd Gen.

Intel® Core™ CPUs (LGA1155 socket)

Chipset

Intel Z77 Chipset

VIA VT2021 codec  (Audio)

Atheros GbE LAN chip (LAN)

Marvell 88SE9172 chip (e-SATA)               

VIA VL800 chip (USB 3.0)

Memory

Supports 2 Channel DDR3 with 4 DIMM slots

Expansion Slots

1 x PCI Express x16 slots (@x16)

1 x PCI Express x16 slots (@x8)

1 x PCI Express  x4 slots

3 x PCI Express  x1 slots

1 x PCI slots

Internal I/O Connectors

2 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s connectors

4 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors

1 x m-SATA connector

1 x IEEE 1394a connector

1 x USB 3.0/2.0 connectors (supports 2 ports)

3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors (supports 6 ports)

1 x CMOS,1 x Reset, 1 x Power switch

1 x OC-PEG connector

1 x TPM pin header

1 x Voltage Measurement PointsŠŠ

1 x BIOS Switch

Rear I/O  Connectors

2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector

6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports

1 x HDMI connector, 1 x DisplayPort

1 x DVI-D connector, 1 x D-Sub port

1 x LAN ports

1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector

6 x audio jacks


Packaging

As you can see our Z77X-UD3H from Gigabyte took a beating while getting to us. Even with that large dent there was no damage to the board or anything inside the box. The white look is typical for an entry level Gigabyte board. The main differences on the packaging beyond the name are in the details like the PCIe 3 logo and other features specific to Z77. The entire bottom of the packaging is covered in good information about the board’s features as well.

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Inside, being a budget board the accessories are limited but you do get what you will need to get going. You end up with four SATA cables, the rear I/O panel and a flexible SLI cable.

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Board Layout

As much as I love the blue and black theme, I think in this case Gigabyte should have stuck with the all blacked out look. Beyond the heatsinks they did this, it almost feels like at some point someone changed their mind and wanted to go with a little color. The all blacked out PCB with all black slots, dims, and connections has a good look to it.

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Starting in the top left corner, here is the 8 pin CPU connection needed. It’s tucked in just above the blue heatsink. I hope someday that we start seeing this 8 pin connection someplace that is easier to reach with a bottom mounted heatsink and if nothing else someplace that is easy to reach when you have a large heatsink installed. 

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In the top right corner we start off with a collection of different buttons. The large red button is the boards power button. This is something I didn’t expect to see on a budget board, kudos to Gigabyte for that. The other two buttons are much smaller, one is reset and the other is a clear CMOS button. I love that they included both of these but putting them next to each other is asking to have someone reset the CMOS while trying to reset, or even after slipping off the power button. Next to the four all black DDR3 dimms you have one four pin fan header and the 24 pin power connection. Near the power connection there is also a USB 3.0 internal header tucked away.

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I’m sure some of you looking at the photo below are wondering what that long SATA like connection is. That would be Gigabytes OC-PEG connection. This is a SATA power connection that is designed to provide more stable PCIe power while overclocking your GPU. In the past we have seen Molex connection used for a similar reason. Next you have the board’s six SATA connections all running on the Intel chipset. The white two are SATA 3 and the black four are SATA 2. You will also note a sticker pointing out that port 5 will be disabled when the board’s mSATA connection is being used. This is important to know if you plan on putting the mSATA connection to use. Last you have another four pin PWM fan header.

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In the bottom right corner we have the diagnostic LED packed up against the front panel connections. It’s interesting to see a diagnostic LED at all on a budget board, but that seems to be becoming a trend. Next you have all of the front panel connections color coded to help with hooking everything up. There is also a clear CMOS jumper just above the front pane connections if you need it as well, personally I would go for the button at the top of the board.

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The bottom left section of the board is lined with various headers including three USB 2.0, two four pin fan connections, and the front panel audio header.

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The Slot layout is as follows

PCIe x1

PCIe x16

PCIe x1

PCIe x1

PCIe x8

PCI

PCIe x4 (in x16 length)

This layout gives three spaces between two video cards . With two cards in you still have access to two PCIe x1 slots as well as the PCIe x4 slot.

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Tucked in just above all of the PCI slots is an mSATA connection. As mentioned before when you use this one of the six SATA connections on the board is disabled, but if you need an mSATA connection you can’t beat having it right on the board. Perfect for building integrated systems with a small mSATA SSD.

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For being a budget board the rear I/O panel is packed full of different options. First there are four different connection types for the onboard graphics. You can use VGA, DVI, Displayport, and HDMI. For audio there is a full six port audio setup along with the optical connection. Model M keyboard lovers will be happy to see the PS2 connection.There is one gigabit network connection as well as two eSATA connections capable of 6Gb/s each. By far the most impressive part to this board is the six USB 3.0 connections on the back. I love seeing every USB port being a full 3.0, something we haven’t seen on any other board to date!

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I spoke about it before but the black PCB Gigabyte went with is one of my favorite parts about this board. Normally on a budget board like this we might see blue or another color to set the board apart from its more expensive brothers.

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Cooling

Cooling on the UD3H is bare minimum when compared to any other Z77 board, but of course this is a budget board. The blue for the cooling is the only blue on the board, with everything else fully blacked out. There is a small blue anodized heatsink covering all of the boards voltage regulation. The UD3H lacks a heatsink above the CPU socket like we would normally see. Down toward the bottom there is another blue anodized aluminum heatsink cooling the chipset.

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To Be Continued...

Please stay tuned for complete and continuing coverage!

 

Author Bio
Lersar
Author: Lersar
Contributing Editor / Event Staff
Adam is a big proponent of LAN parties, esports and speed-running, and helps organize our semi-annual LAN events. He has covered hardware and software reviews of a wide variety, but most content these days come from event coverage, such as other LAN parties.

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #24713 20 Apr 2012 20:11
More motherboards!
Brandonxcore's Avatar
Brandonxcore replied the topic: #24714 20 Apr 2012 20:26
This is probably my next computer upgrade, im coming from the GA-P67X-UD3-B3, either upgrading to this or updating my graphics card to a Gtx 570.

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