Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3: Z68 Done Right

Specifications, Overview, and Features

Here is a quick stat-sheet of the different chipsets and what they offer. As you can see, the Z68 chipset is identical to the P67 except only in two areas:

Core elements and enhancements the Z68 chipset brings:

To start off the review, I would first like to thank Gigabyte for providing the Z68X-UD3H-B3 for testing. The extensively advertised features, and the board itself, certainly performed beyond what was expected.

Talking about features, here are a few (of the many listed on Gigabytes Z68X-UD3H-B3 website) that caught my attention as they are important:

Gigabyte Touch BIOS: An Innovative New Way to Modify BIOS Settings

Navigating through the BIOS to change system settings can be a daunting task for users not familiar with control F functions and mouse-less navigation. While some EFI BIOS try to address this with a mouse friendly environment, many implementations still lack a certain ease-of-use necessary for most people. With Gigabyte Touch BIOS, Gigabyte engineers have completely re-imagined how users can interact with their BIOS, allowing for a more intuitive user experience. In fact, with a touch screen monitor, Gigabyte Touch BIOS is as easy to use as most apps on your iPhone.

DualBIOS 3TB+ HDD Support (Hybrid EFI Technology)

Hybrid EFI Technology combines the benefits of Gigabyte’s mature BIOS platform including stability and compatibility with 3rd party products with 3TB+ HDD support from EFI technology, allowing Gigabyte to offer the best of both worlds through a quick and easy BIOS update using Gigabyte’s @BIOS utility that is freely available from the Gigabyte website.

Gigabyte DualBIOS is a patented technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when the main BIOS has crashed or failed. Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated onboard, Gigabyte DualBIOS allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating. In addition, Gigabyte DualBIOS now supports 3TB+ (terabyte) hard drive booting without the need for partitioning, and enables more data storage on a single hard drive.

Intel Smart Response Technology

Gigabyte Z68 series motherboards are equipped with the much anticipated Intel Smart Response Technology, allowing users to experience system performance similar to SSD only systems. IntelSmart Response technology works by using intelligent block-based caching of frequently used applications to improve system performance and responsiveness. In fact, Gigabyte Z68 motherboards with IntelSmart Response Technology are able to outperform hybrid drive systems by more than 2X (PCMark Vantage) and HDD-only systems by as much as 4X (PCMark Vantage).

Dynamic Energy Saver 2

Gigabyte Dynamic Energy Saver 2 incorporates a host of intelligent features that, at the click of a button, utilize a proprietary hardware and software design to considerably enhance PC system energy efficiency, reduce power consumption and deliver optimized auto-phase-switching for the CPU, Memory, Chipset, VGA, HDD, and fans.

Switchable Graphics with LucidLogix Virtu GPU Virtualization

Gigabyte Z68 motherboards are enabled with LucidLogix Virtu GPU Virtualization technology which allows users to dynamically switch between their built-in graphics and their high-end, 3D discrete graphics cards. This is ideal for gamers who require high-resolution gaming and still want to enjoy the built-in media features of 2nd generation Intel Core processors. In so doing, switchable graphics helps to dramatically reduce PC graphics power consumption.

Multi-display support with CrossFireX and SLI

Flexible graphics capabilities supported for either CrossFireX or SLI action, delivering the ultimate in graphics performance for gaming enthusiasts who demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.

The Intel Smart Response Technology is definitely the most intriguing feature of the Z68X-UD3H-B3 (and hence the Z68 platform), as it claims to drastically decrease load times by utilizing the SSD cache on a secondary hard drive.

However, the multi-display and Quick Sync GPU transcoding provided by LucidLogix are compelling features in their own right. Support for both hybrid NVIDIA and AMD cards is a great add-on, and the ability to effortlessly switch between a dedicated GPU/GPUs and the graphics processor provided by a Sandy Bridge CPU not only allows for more efficiency in performance, but also allows the user to experience features unique to both mediums.

NEXT: Closer Look, Specifications, and Benchmark Testing Platform

Page 1: Introduction

Page 2: Specifications, Overview, and Features

Page 3: Closer Look, Specifications, and Benchmark Testing Platform

Page 4: CPU Benchmarks

Page 5: Computation and Productivity Benchmarks

Page 6: Storage and Peripheral 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

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