GigaByte Z77X-UD5H AMI (OEM) F7 05/11/2012
2x GSkill : Fujitsu F3-2400C10-4GZH 4GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-19200U DDR3-2400
Intel Core i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz (4C 3.8GHz, 3.8GHz IMC, 2x 256kB L2, 6MB L3)
Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 (16 SM5.0 350MHz/1.15GHz, 1GB DDR3 2.4GHz 128-bit, Integrated Graphics) with OpenCL GP Processor : AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series (1024SP 16C 150MHz, 2GB DDR5 256-bit) Using MVP
1x 320GB SATA I (RAID0/SATA150, 2.5″, 5400rpm, 8MB Cache) : 298GB (C:) with ADATA 60GB mSATA SRT
4x 500GB SATA II (1.5TB, RAID5/SATA300, 2.5″, 5400rpm, 8MB Cache)
1x 120GB SATA III Mushkin Chronos SSD
1x 90GB SATA III Mushkin Chronos SSD
1x 250GB 7200RPM SATA III
1x 2TB 5400RPM USB 2.0 external
1x 160GB 7200RPM USB 2.0 external
1x 250GB 7200 RPM USB 3.0 external
1x 250GB 7200 RPM eSATA III external
Phison Electronics Corp. Attache 256MB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
Dynex SDXDUSB Reader (8GB Mushkin, USB2)
SanDisk Cruzer (4GB, USB2) : 4GB
USB 2.0 Lite-On DVD-RW
Windows 764 SP1
Radeon driver 8.980.0.0
Intel HD driver 188.8.131.5218
The build was straight forward but trying to turn the HSF (the heat pipes running perpendicular to the core) became an annoyance when we realized there was no wiggle room. To make everything fit properly we had to make cuts so that the VRM Heat Sinks could be cleared.
Wire routing on this setup was just not possible, but we did the best we could.We filled every USB port – including the two on the included faceplate adapter.We hooked up to an existing network powered by a Belkin Surf n’ Share router and also used our test network that is handled by Cisco.
After we had everything hooked up (making sure we had the KB and Mouse in the proper USB 2.0 ports) we configured our 500GB SATA II drives in a RAID 5 and then installed our operating system to an old 320GB 5400 RPM 2.5″ SATA I drive with the intent of enabling ISRT.
Following the driver installation and the Gigabyte provided software (not the bloatware – just the Gigabyte utilities) setup we immediately enabled SSD drive caching using the included Intel Rapid Storage Utility, jumped on the internet, updated all software/drivers and started our testing.
Sound Blaster X-Fi software suite_____________________________________________First up of two value added software components – Is it just a marketing gimmick? – is the X-Fi software. Well it was tested, we can hear a difference and you can see the difference: The audio clip was taken from a recording of AVP benchmark which saw no measurable performance impact (positive or negative) using the EAX and EAX with Crystalizer.
Next we moved to the other jewel of the Gigabyte software – ET6 (Easy Tune Six) which has come a long way in the last few years. We had pretty much the same results as we did with the UD3 and therefore decided to skip the benchmark testing and just give you a look at the software. The software is… easy. Though the purist uses BIOS, these types of tools bring new blood into the fold. You can not generally get the best combination of speed and cool running from a software overclock but for many it is all they ever need.
Smart recovery 2 is a simple to use backup solution and is definitely better than the Microsoft option. It is strait forward and easy to use. Simply choose the source and destination partitions (including network drives) and go. Recovery is also strait forward allowing one to restore from backup with a click. This was not tested; only the interface was opened.
@BIOS is Gigabytes BIOS update software that allows you to update your BIOS from the GUI (Windows) with ease. Though it is not recommended to do so by many advanced users, the option to update in the GUI is still there. This software allows you to update BIOS from the internet, from a file or you can back up current Bios.
Auto Green is a great feature that needs a Bluetooth connection to use. What it does is effectively cut power usage when your Cell is out of range which is great for the person building a sipping station.
Cloud tools (Cloud OC, Cloud Station) are just coming into the light today. Though at first glance there is not much use for them, when you actually think about work and remote desktop usage becoming more prevalent, the time when these utilities will become very useful is approaching.
EZ Setup tool allows a user to easily setup advanced Intel features such as Intel SRT, Rapid Start and Smart Connect.
This was a sink or swim testing and there was no in between – kinda looking the other way – it was pass with honors, or fail miserably; we held nothing back. We first wanted to give the south bridge a workout and see if we could hit the bandwidth limit without dropping raids, crashing the OS or borking our BIOS (yes we have seen that at stock speeds) at stock speeds. Running ATTO drive benchmark on all logical drives concurrently we achieved that goal and it was a pass.Just for fun we added an eSATA into the mix which brought us up to 13 logical drives being tested concurrently
After this we wanted to set a baseline by running some benchmarks followed by streaming and benchmarking at the same time to look at the total performance impact. To accomplish this we put one HD movie (Enemy Mine) on two internal drives and two external drives. We then enabled both network adapters and began streaming five instances from the four drives (two from the raid 5 over each network) over both networks. After we got them going we began benchmarking.
After completing these tests we wanted to go to the next level. Overclocking (4.5 -4.6/7 Turbo) with all system components enabled and running most of them. Gigabyte did not let us down:System benches ran flawlessly but we wanted to know about gaming while working out the sub systems.
We only posted the results of few benchmarks here as there is no point in beating a dead horse. This board passed our motherboard multitasking tests while overclocked with honors.
Part of our testing is checking the power draw. We only focused on one aspect here – streaming power usage. Using this board with an i5 CPU or greater as a multipurpose 24/7 file/media server while pulling double duty as a fully capable workstation is definitely possible and forget about max power draw because it is very subjective and will differ for every system. The one and only power test done was streaming using MVP in i mode. What kind of draw is made when you just stream? 74w on the low end up to 114w when the drives are active. Sure we saw how much power was used at full throtel but with 9 internal drives, 3 fans, and add in video card and USB powered peripherals it was pointless as it is not a real number.