Page 13 - Overclocking and Conclusion
Before Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, overclocking your CPU involved changing half a dozen settings to try to obtain the highest clock speed. This was because there were so many different ways to obtain your maximum frequency; things were a bit complicated even if you are an experienced computer enthusiast. Since Intel locked down the base clock on their latest products, tuning your processor now only involves changing the multiplier with K-series CPUs -- making this process intrinsically simple. With my Core i7-3770K, I was able to attain 4.7GHz at reasonable voltages on the GA-Z77X-UD3H; just like what I have done with other motherboards I have tested with it. To achieve this, I changed the PWM Phase Control to 'High Perf', Vcore Voltage Response to 'Fast', and Vcore Loadline Calibration to 'Extreme'. Next up, the CPU voltage was modified to 1.270V in the BIOS, with a minor adjustment of the Vtt, PLL, and IMC voltages to 1.060V, 1.085V, and 0.930V, respectively. Overall, I am quite pleased with this overclocking result, as the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H delivered on everything as expected.
If owning a good computer is really a factor of the social determinants of health, all I can say is, "Ahh, first world problems". What gives? Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UD3H has proved to us once again that performance, stability, and reliability is not exclusive to high end motherboards only. There is no question about the performance of this product. It does everything well within expectations, and sometimes a bit better than expected (Although they did cheat slightly in giving the CPU a very small clock boost), too. With great overclocking capabilities and cool features like switchable graphics, it is really hard to argue against the Z77X-UD3H. As we have reviewed and used a good number of Gigabyte products in the past, most of them has been nothing but rock solid from my experience. Actually, the X48T-DQ6 -- a motherboard we have reviewed more than four years ago -- survived several years of constant abuse in our test platform, and is still strong and healthy today as it continues its service in one of my servers at home. My expectations for the Z77X-UD3H will be no different. There is one thing I would like to see improved upon though. While the BIOS is fresh and visually appealing, the usage experience can definitely use a lot more refinement, because the laggy mouse input and rough screen transitions is very noticeable. That said, at the end of the day, unless you spend most of the time in the BIOS, the motherboard's commendable layout, long feature list, and reasonable price of approximately $150 at press time is definitely a winner in my books.
Gigabyte provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH equal.balance Award
Since April 30, 2007, Number Ratings have been dropped for all CPUs, motherboards, RAM, SSD/HDDs, and graphics cards. This is to ensure the most appropriate ratings reflected without the inherent limits of using numbers. Everything else will continue using the Number Rating System.
More information in our Review Focus.
If you are looking for a motherboard that delivers in performance, stability, and reliability that won't break the bank, Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UD3H is the one to buy.
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