|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H Motherboard|
|Posted by Winston|
|Monday, 10 January 2011 23:03|
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With so much emphasis on the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the new P67 and the H67 chipsets ... it would be a mistake for manufacturers not to take advantage of this. Over the course of the next few months, we'll be seeing numerous manufacturers producing a whole range of P67 and H67 based motherboards. During our review of the Intel DH67BL motherboard, we've already proven that the new H67 chipset (plus Sandy Bridge CPU combination) is definitely a decent performer, over its older predecessor ... the H55 chipset (which requires the older Clarkdale CPU).
Now imagine all of the benefits from the above, and then add Gigabyte's own unique and innovative features, such as DES, Ultra Durable 3, dual BIOS and 2oz Copper PCB. Well, this is what Gigabyte has done exactly with their H67MA-UD2H motherboard. This is why sometimes it is best to check out other motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte or MSI, because they tend to include a lot of extra features over your standard reference designed boards from Intel.
So with that said, we will be taking a look at the Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H motherboard. Like the Intel DH67BL, it's based on a micro-ATX form factor and utilises Intel's new H67 chipset, which is designed to complement the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors (socket LGA 1155). It supports range of extra features such as SATA3, USB3.0, onboard RAID, support for DDR3-1333, DX10.1, as well as integrated video outputs, such as DVI and HDMI. But wait, we've not finished yet, Gigabyte have also included a 15-pin D-sub VGA and DisplayPort, as well as support for full Dolby Home Theater sound and CrossfireX. These extra features make the Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H motherboard ideal for HTPC and media users.
The built-in processor graphics on the Sandy Bridge CPU comes in the form of Intel HD 3000 graphics. The frame buffer is configurable in the BIOS of the motherboard from 64Mb, 128Mb or 256Mb. It only supports upto DX10.1, but I think that's more than enough for most mainstream user. However, if the onboard graphics isn't enough, then you have the option to install a discrete PCIE graphics card. What Gigabyte have also included with the H67MA-UD2H, is an extra PCI-E (x16) slot (two in total), which is a great added bonus for the enthusiast gamer who wants to run CrossfireX multi-GPU configuration in x8 mode. Unfortunately, according to the manual, there's no support for Nvidia SLI. However having said, with CrossfireX support, Ithink it's more than adequate for most gamers.
The other selling point with the H67MA-UD2H are the comprehensive video outputs available, and the support for full Dolby Home Theater sound. You get a total of 4 video outputs including DVI, HDMI, 15-pin D-Sub and a DisplayPort. It's one of only a few motherboards that feature so many video outputs, this would make it ideal for HTPC users.
Which brings us to the H67MA-UD2H's support for full HD and Blu-ray movie playback. With an integrated HMDI 1.4 video output, all you have to do is plug a decent quality HDMI cable to your HDTV, and you'll get super smooth Blu-ray movies playback. This is all thanks to the combination of the H67 chipset plus the built-in processor graphics of the Sandy Bridge CPU.
All of these extra features mentioned above are just small part of what the H67MA-UD2H can really offer. Don't forget the rest, which includes Gigabyte's DES, Ultra Durable 3, dual BIOS and 2oz Copper PCB. I think the H67MA-UD2H will be one of those motherboards which will really show the full potential of Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors. I'm expecting to see a definite improvement over a H55 based system, and it should compete very well against Intel's own DH67BL mothereboard.
As you all are aware, Gigabyte motherboards are known for its overclocking ability. So, we decided to see how far the H67MA-UD2H can overclock the Core i7-2600K. Can it overclock as well as the P67A-UD4?
We'll be testing the Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H motherboard, using the following components, which includes ... an Intel Core i7-2600K procesor (LGA 1155), 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer, Arctic Cooling Freezer13 CPU cooler and a Thermaltake ToughPower XT 875W power supply.
Right, let's take a closer look at the specifications and features of the Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H motherboard ...