Sin's Z68X-UD3H Review

Sin had a look at the GIGABYTE Z68X-UD3H and wrote down his findings. Another really in-depth review, interesting read!

When I review a motherboard, I sit back and take a look at it for a while. I stare for probably a good 30 minutes, while I take time and analyze things. I have to say I spent a good amount of time testing out this board, and I was surprised to find very little BIOS issues. Usually I might find a cold boot, boot loop, or BIOS glitch with memory, but this time I found none of those things. Instead the debugging process was pretty straight forward. The only part in which I think this board falls a bit short is the CPU voltage regulator. I think that GIGABYTE should have given it a few more phases, but for $160 you can’t ask for too much more. I did realize something though, in the past on P67, the UD3 series and below used Low RDS (ON) MOSFETs for the CPU core voltage regulator, in which each phase could produce 22-25A. When I look at the specs of these Driver MOSFETs (DrMOS) we see that they are rated 35A. So if you think about it, this board would be as good as a P67 variant that has 6-8 phases. It is an example of how the number of phases isn’t a good way to judge a board, instead judge by the quality of each phase. Of course 4 phases for the CPU cores is the minimum, but the fact that they are DrMOS makes it a bit better. On a side note, if this were LGA1366 would you ever dream of a 4.5ghz overclock on a 4+2+1 phase motherboard? As we all known Sandy Bridge CPUs are very power conscious, they are extremely efficient, and they have lower TDPs than past platforms.

This allows manufacturers to reduce the amount of phases. Of course we have to realize that this board is not meant for benchers, it’s meant for the mainstream user and occasional overclocker. It is meant for that person who need a 24/7 computer to last them years to come without failing. GIGABYTE delivers in that respect, and even put a few features in there that are just excellent for the price. The fact that this board rocks the Ultra Durable 3 label means that isone of GIGABYTE’s best built motherboards, and that is a great sign. GIGABYTE is known for making some of the best built motherboards, and having the best quality control, because they actually have their own factories. In the case of the Z68X-UD3H, they took a mainstream motherboard would you find in any desktop PC and slightly tweaked it to match the lower end of the overclocking spectrum. This board will allow you to OC your processor to your 24/7 OC, it just won’t be able to do any 5.2 GHz + benchmarking. It is packed with every connection you would ever want out of a motherboard; it even has legacy PCI and COM ports. For $160 you really can’t beat the deal that GIAGBYTE is offering here. Even compared to Asrock boards in a higher price range, this board has the same features. The bottom line is that if you want an affordable motherboard that will sustain a mild overclock for many years, is feature packed, and stylish at the same time, then this motherboard is for you.

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