Company: Gigabyte Technology
Price: ~$170 CAD
Warranty Period: Three Years
The much riled and awaited Sandy Bridge platform and Cougar Point chipset were released at the beginning of January, signalling the start of a dominant new era for Intel. Indeed, with AMDs upcoming Bulldozer lineup still in the process of rolling out, Intel theoretically had six months to saturate and hold a firm grip in the consumer market. The timing could not have been better; a new year, the start of a new decade, and a new architecture released during the holiday season, a time when most consumers are ready to spend their saved up money on a new build, or upgrade. The pieces were in place…but not all of them fell in the right places.
The Cougar Point chipset turned out to be the culprit of the woes that were to follow for Intel. Cougar Point, the backbone of P67 and H67 motherboards, was revealed to have had issues with the SATA 3GBPS ports, the primary problem being faster degradation of the ports/controller. This led to mass recalls of the P67 and H67 motherboards, a move which not only cost Intel billions of dollars upfront, but also cost three months worth of obtaining a significant lead over Bulldozer. Not only that, but by the time the new B3 revisions started making their way out to retailers in March, the beefier, upgraded Z68 motherboards were starting to expose themselves for the same 1155 socket.
This puts Intels motherboard manufacturers in a sticky situation, as logically, the Z68 would steal revenue that was originally intended to be produced from the H67 and P67 boards. One essential and efficient way to combat this, as Gigabyte illustrates, is to aggressively release a plethora of different motherboards made for specific consumers at many different price ranges, with the Z68X-UD3H-B3 being the first to test the waters.
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