by Rob Williams on September 21, 2012 in Motherboards
For its $180 pricing, GIGABYTE packs quite a bit into its Z77X-UD5H. For starters, it includes 9 internal SATA ports, 4x USB 3.0 ports at the back, and not four, but five internal 4-pin fan headers. On top of it all, there’s an mSATA option and three internal USB 3.0 headers. Does the rest of the board meet our newfound expectations?
Before heading into the results, there are a couple of things I need to mention. With its P67 line-up, ASUS rolled out a feature that auto-overclocks the motherboard, a feature we’re none-to-fond of as we feel it’s a cheap way to make it look like one board seriously out-performs another – in effect misleading the reader. To avoid this, we’ve tweaked the Turbo multipliers to match up to Intel spec, and so far, so good.
However, we discovered that GIGABYTE’s current crop of boards do the same thing. Here though, it’s made even worse, since it seems even if we force Turbo multipliers, the board will at times burst past them. Intel spec normally sees an i7-3770K top-out at 3.70GHz per core under a full stress, while when testing GIGABYTE’s Z77X-UD5H, we’d often see two or more cores burst to 3.8GHz. This of course changes the results to its favor.
This all said, in the near-future we’re going to be opting to run a board “as-is”, because vendors have made it far too challenging for us to keep the playing field level. It’ll just be something we’ll have to preface our results with to make sure everyone understands why one board may appear 5 or 10% faster than another. As always, it’s not so much performance that matters, but whether or not one board falls behind.
Our test system can be seen below. Aside from the motherboard being swapped out, all other hardware remains the same. We’ve opted to use Intel’s Core i7-3770K for all of our LGA1155 testing, along with 16GB of Kingston’s HyperX memory.
|Intel LGA1155 Test System|
|Processors||Intel Core i7-3770K – Quad-Core, 3.50GHz, Default Voltage|
|Motherboard||ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE (BIOS: ‘1401’ 07/30/2012)|
GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H (BIOS: ‘F14’ 08/23/2012)
Intel DZ77GA-70K (BIOS: ‘0049’ 07/13/2012)
MSI Z77A-GD55 (BIOS: ‘1.5’ 07/17/2012)
|Memory||Kingston HyperX Genesis 4x4GB – DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ 1.65v|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon HD 7850 1GB (Catalyst 12.7 Driver)|
|Audio||On-Board Creative X-Fi Audio|
|Storage||Corsair Force F160 160GB Solid-State Drive (OS Drive)|
Kingston HyperX 240 Solid-State Drive (I/O Testing)
|Power Supply||Corsair HX850W|
|Chassis||Corsair Obsidian 700D Full-Tower|
|Cooling||Corsair H70 Self-Contained Liquid Cooler|
|Et cetera||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
Let’s get on with it!
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||100.0 MHz|
|GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H||100.1 MHz|
|Intel DZ77GA-70K||99.8 MHz|
|MSI Z77A-GD55||100.0 MHz|
We wouldn’t expect too much of a sway on the BCLK side of things, and really, there isn’t one.
|Cold Boot to Desktop||Result|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||20.894s|
Intel’s board falls quite a bit behind here, although I’ll readily admit that anything under the 30 second mark is quite impressive. But – it’s hard to ignore the fact that ASUS, GIGABYTE and MSI all come quite a bit closer to 20 seconds than 30.
|PCMark 7||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5||Test 6||Test 7|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||23.07||8.49||95.66||12.34||19.98||21.95||5.43|
MSI manages to dominate this test, though all of the results are rather close to one another across the board (no pun). Let’s see how things stand up overall:
|PCMark 7 Suite Scores||Result|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||5431|
Like the previous set of results, MSI leads the pack here, while Intel’s board falls just a bit behind.
|Autodesk 3ds Max 2011||Result|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||1322s|
As I mentioned near the top of this page, GIGABYTE’s board tends to reach out past the hard Turbo limits I set, and it’s with this particular test where I saw it the most. So, it’s of little surprise that it’s found itself in the lead here.
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||83.29||7.45|
Much like the 3ds Max test, GIGABYTE has successfully trolled all of its competitors with Cinebench.
|HD Tune Pro 5||Minimum||Average||Maximum||Latency|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||353.4||379.6||412.4||0.043ms|
ASUS manages the best “Maximum” here, while it along with MSI share the best access time. Intel again lags a bit behind, though there are no major anomalies to speak of.
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||4451.18||2191.30||5995.34||1501.51||6060.14||1515.90|
While Intel didn’t dominate our HD Tune test, it does manage to take home the Iometer Workstation crown. ASUS cleans up both Database and File Server, causing GIGABYTE and MSI to do little but weep.
|Ethernet (iperf)||50 Jobs (64KB)||50 Jobs (1518KB)|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE (Intel 82579V)||939||941|
|GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H (Intel 82579V)||936||918|
|Intel DZ77GA-70K (Intel 82579V)||930||920|
|MSI Z77A-GD55 (Intel 82579V)||932||942|
Iperf is one of those tests where best values shouldn’t be highlighted, because the end result can be rather random. Much like our performance tests in general, the goal here isn’t to see which board performs the best, but which lags behind (if any). Each board happens to offer the same Intel on-board NIC, so that’s what we tested with across the board. Results will be a bit lower with pretty-well any other on-board solution.
|Adobe Lightroom 4.1||Result|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||522.352s|
It’s been a recurring theme that won’t end here. Intel places last, while the others could almost be considered equal (with the slight exception of MSI).
|Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5||Result|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||681|
MSI rendered our video quicker than any other, with ASUS coming painstakingly close. Both GIGABYTE and Intel settle in the back, but GIGABYTE still manages to come quite a bit ahead of Intel.
|Sandra 2012 SP4||Integer||Float||Cache||Mem Latency|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||20.90||20.90||123.05||22.20|
Given what we’ve seen so far, it’s a little ironic to see Intel pull ahead here, but it’s indeed happened. On the latency side, both ASUS and GIGABYTE come out about even, while both Intel and MSI trail behind, but just a smidgen.
|Gaming||3DMark 11||Left 4 Dead|
|ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE||5629||228.93|
ASUS cleans house, but Intel proves its no slouch where gaming is concerned. Overall, most of the results are on par with one another, which is what we’d expect to see.