Final Words and Conclusion
With the introduction of Sandy Bridge at the beginning of 2011, consumers who could not wait for Z68 had to make two choices in terms of their motherboard chipset: H67 for GPU functionality, or P67 for overclockability. Ironically, due to the mishaps of the Cougar Point chipset, the mass recall of H67 and P67 motherboards gave most people who could not wait to jump on the new Sandy Bridge architecture enough patience to either wait out the new refresh, or even bump up to the Z68 platform. Luckily, this notion worked in favour for the consumers rather than Intel, but for those who already had H67/P67 boards and were waiting for their fully functioning models to return, the P67 users definitely received the shorter end of the deal. Premium P67 motherboards are on par, if not more expensive than Z68 boards when compared to boards like the Z68X-UD3H-B3, which offers features from both H67 and P67 chipsets.
In essence, the Z68 chipset is nothing revolutionary. It utilizes the onboard GPU offered by the H67 chipset, while retaining the dynamic and massive overclockability via the P67s capability to adjust multipliers when paired with an unlocked K-series processor. What the Z68 brings to the table is Intels new Smart Response Technology (SRT), which allows better SSD caching when paired with another hard drive.
However, this is exactly what makes the Gigabyte Z68 lineup unique. When looking at the price:performance ratio, combined with all of the latest features (including those native to Gigabyte), the bang-for-the-buck value is absolutely out of this world.
These are exactly the reasons why manufacturers are hesitant to adopt the new revised chipset, as sales from H67 and P67 have taken a hit due to the aforementioned problems. Gigabyte on the other hand, has taken a different approach, and have released a myriad of Z68 boards in different flavours and prices, for the novice to the enthusiast. They have aggressively priced and saturated the market, encouraging consumers to buy the Z68 boards, instead of worrying about the H67/P67 losses, which in my opinion is an excellent response by Gigabyte.
Coupled with a good amount of accessories, beautiful black and white design, copious amounts of cutting-edge features like Virtu, with all at a great price, there is really no way you can go wrong with the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3. It has exactly the right mix of components anyone would ever need, the design making many higher-end boards look pale in comparison. It is a truly magnificent enthusiast product, priced at a market value meant for lower-end models. With an amazing bang-for-the-buck value, the verdict for the Gigabytes Z68X-UD3H-B3 is a no-brainer: a must-buy motherboard for anyone who wants to fully experience the Z68 and Sandy Bridge era.
Overall, I give the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 a solid and well-deserved 10/10 perfect score, and would like to thank Gigabyte again for providing the motherboard for testing and reviewing.
– Hybrid functionality of both H67 and P67 chipsets
– Multi-display ports
– Exceptional performance
– Excellent design and build quality
– Beautiful motherboard colours
– An extravagant number of features
– Three-year Gigabyte warranty
– Great pricing
– Aftermarket CPU heatsink may intrude into the space meant for DIMM modules due to cooler layout (trivial point, as this can effortlessly be avoided with prior research)
Page 1: Introduction
Page 4: CPU Benchmarks
Page 7: Memory Benchmarks
Page 8: Gaming Benchmarks
Page 9: Overall System Benchmarks
Page 10: Z68 Chipset-Specific Benchmarks
Page 11: Temperature, Power, and Efficiency
Page 12: BIOS and Overclocking
Page 13: Final Words and Conclusion