Author: Bob Buskirk
Gigabyte has a very solid, feature-filled motherboard in the Z68XP-UD4. Starting with the overall design of the board Gigabyte has done a great job with making a very attractive board. The gunmetal and black design really looks great. There was also no connection that was hard to locate or that seemed out of place. I did find that when I installed my first set of memory it was too close to my CPU cooler and I had to actually switch memory to get it to fit correctly. The is the case with many Z68 and P67 motherboard though.
Gigabyte has put quality components together on this board as well. You have the 16 phase power VRM design, efficient driver MOSFETs, and Japanese solid capacitors. This board also features Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 technology design which features twice the copper for both the power and ground layers of the PCB, dramatically lowering system temperature by efficiently spreading heat from critical areas of the motherboard (such as the CPU power zone) throughout the entire PCB.
One thing that is very different about this board from the other second generation Intel motherboard out there is the lack of a UEFI BIOS. While having an UEFI BIOS is nice it really should not be a make or break for anyone looking at purchasing a new motherboard. I am so used to using a normal text BIOS, like the one the Z68XP-UD4 has that it is not that big of a deal to me. Also you do get the Touch BIOS software that does allow you to make changes to the BIOS via Windows so you really are not missing much.
One thing that I was a little disappointed with was my experience with overclocking, while Gigabyte makes overclocking pretty easy for the novice, when I went in to change voltages I was surprised to find that if I made any changes the system would not boot and would go back to default settings. I was able to get my i5-2500K up to 4.4GHz, but I think I could have got higher if I was able to actually change the voltages.
The board has all of the connection you would want except for maybe DVI or VGA, but you do have HDMI and an included adapter so it is not something you should really worry about. You have quite a few USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports as well as eSATA ports, one of which is a SATA 6GB/s port.
Overall I think Gigabyte has put together a very solid board. Right now you can find this board at my favorite online retailer for just under $200. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4 Intel Z68 Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
- Quality built
- 16 phase power design
- Lots of connections
- Ultra Durable 3
- Many ways to overclock
- Could not change CPU voltages in BIOS without it going back to default settings
- No UEFI BIOS