Even before Intel announced the release of their latest Sandy Bridge processors at the CES in January 2011, Gigabyte had already started sampling their P67 motherboards last year. In fact, here at Funky Kit, we received our P67 sample from Gigabyte in November 2010. I suppose it's not all that surprising considering Gigabyte are close partners with Intel. Over the past few years, Gigabyte have enjoyed excellent growth and plenty of success, especially with their high-end and overclocking motherboards. By working closely with Intel, and listening to user feedback, Gigabyte have time and time again produced feature-rich motherboards that offers good performance and price.
But wait, Gigabyte don't stop there either. In all of their motherboards, they've introduced new innovative technologies which make them extremely attractive and appealing. These include the Dynamic Energy Saver, the use of Ferrite core chokes, lower RDS(on) mosfets and Japanese solid capacitors, which was all part of the Ultra Durable 3 feature. And don't forget the 2oz Copper PCB design, which was hugely controversial at the time. These innovative features are not your usual gimmicks, they work to make the motherboard more power efficient, offer better stability and longevity, as well as better cooling performance.
So imagine having all of these innovative features mentioned above, in a new motherboard featuring Intel's latest P67 chipset. Now that would be interesting, and this is exactly what Gigabyte have done with their new GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard (we'll call it the P67A-UD4 for short). Since Gigabyte was one many manufacturers to pre-release a P67 chipset based motherboard to the media, Funky Kit was one of only a few sites to receive the P67A-UD4 before its official launch. This has given us more time to take a closer look at this motherboard.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 motherboard. It utilizes Intel's new P67 chipset and supports all of the new Sandy Bridge LGA 1155 processors from Intel. This motherboard features all of Gigabyte's innovative technologies, which we mentioned earlier. These include dual BIOS, Ultra Durable 3, 2oz Copper PCB and more recent SATA3 and USB Power. Incidentally, this is one of their first motherboards to use a black/dark PCB. It's unusual because normally, almost all of Gigabyte's motherboards have been made using their distinguishable blue PCBs. I guess everyone needs a change now and again.
The P67A-UD4 from Gigabyte is aimed and targeted at the mainstream to higher-end market, and as advertised on the packaging, it comes with "unlocked" performance. This makes P67A motherboard a perfect match for our Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge processor. A processor with an unlocked multiplier, which we'll be using in our tests.
As with all previous overclocking tests we conducted on Gigabyte's motherboards ... it shouldn't disappoint. This is one of their strong areas, so I'm expecting good overclocking results with the P67A-UD4. As far as the rest of the benchmarks are concerned, I needn't worry too much. The combination of Intel's new P67 chipset and the Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge processor should be plenty to produce some good healthy scores.
On closer look, we've noticed that the P67A-UD4 has more to offer than meets the eye, how about .. support for CrossfireX, Nvidia SLI, and full Dolby Home Theater sound. It doesn't end there either ... there's a whole host connectors at the rear ATX panel which are more than enough to satisfy the more demanding user.
We'll be testing the Gigabyte P67A-UD4 motherboard, using the following components, which includes ... an Intel Core i7-2600K procesor (LGA 1155), Geforce GTX 460 (1Gb GDDR5), 4Gb Crucial Ballistix DDR3-2133, Arctic Cooling Freezer13 CPU cooler and a Thermaltake ToughPower XT 875W power supply.
OK, let's move on and take a closer look at the specifications and features of the Gigabyte P67A-UD4 motherboard ...