Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P Review (Page 12 of 12)

Page 12 - Overclocking and Conclusion

Just like Intel's P67 chipset motherboards, the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P is features all the bells and whistles when wanting to overclock. Overclocking the CPU on this board is quite easy. Pre-Sandy Bridge processors made overclocking a little more complicated, as there are more things to change in the process. Because Intel has locked down the base clock on the Sandy Bridge processors, changing your clock speed only involves hanging the multiplier on the processor. It is both a blessing and a curse. With my Intel Core i5-2500K, I reached 4.5GHz with reasonable voltage specifications without much of a hassle. I changed the core voltage to 1.340V, Load Line Calibration enabled to Level 6, QPI/VTT voltage to 1.050V, System Agent Voltage to 0.925V, and lastly, CPU PLL to 1.800V. There are those that would disagree with enabling Load Line Calibration at such a high level, but since there is still considerable room for potential spikes in voltage when changing from idle to high load transitions, I would rather have it enabled to get lower idle voltages.

4.6GHz and up is quite possible, and I definitely attempted it. However, adding all the extra voltage to the CPU was, in my mind, not worth it. Also, running Prime95 to check system stability shot the CPU core temperatures to over 70 degrees Celsius even with pretty good cooling.

-----------------------------------------

Looking at my watch, it is certainly past my bedtime. However, spending my wee hours in the morning writing on Gigabyte's GA-Z68XP-UD3P motherboard is well worth it. I think Gigabyte has once again designed a motherboard well worth approval. What Gigabyte continued to do well is design a motherboard with solid components, great layout, easy overclocking utilities, and integrated a host of new features from the Intel Z68 chipset. With this chipset released into the market, it is no wonder P67 and H67 are now taking a back seat. Of course, some things on the Z68XP-UD3P are lacking. One could say that the new Touch BIOS is a cool addition to the new line of motherboards, but at the end of the day, it is just a Windows program -- not a true solution to its lack of a GUI UEFI BIOS. Secondly, the motherboard should have a better chassis fan control mechanism. Even though this is a UD3 model, it is still one of the more expensive of the UD3 models, and therefore, I would have liked to see an on-board power button, reset button, and a clear CMOS button, rather than the classic clear CMOS jumper. With all this in mind, I am just about to sum up the last motherboard review of the year, but the first Z68 chipset motherboard we have looked at (Yes, I know we are a bit late to the party, haha). If you want some Christmas advice from me, then I would recommend that you grab a Z68 chipset board and forget the almost already forgotten P67 and H67 boards!

Gigabyte provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

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.

The Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P is an excellent mid-range enthusiast motherboard featuring Intel's latest Z68 chipset with awesome build quality, great overclocking capabilities, integrated graphics, and Intel's Smart Response SSD caching technology. The new Touch BIOS Windows program from Gigabyte, however, seems almost like an afterthought.

Do you have any comments or questions about the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P? Drop by our Forums. Registration is free, and it only takes a minute!


Page Index
1. Introduction, Features, and Specifications
2. Bundle, Chipset, BIOS
3. A Closer Look, Board Layout, Test System
4. Benchmark: AIDA64 CPU
5. Benchmark: AIDA64 FPU
6. Benchmark: AIDA64 Memory
7. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
8. Benchmark: 3DMark 11
9. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
10. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R11.5
11. Onboard Sound (RMAA 6.2.3) Analyzation
12. Overclocking and Conclusion