Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WiFi Reviewccokeman -
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Back in April of this year Intel introduced its Third Generation Core series processors along with the Z77 "Panther Point" chipset. Since then we have seen that the platform offers an upside over the previous generation products. After looking at the Z77X-UD3H it was clear to see the path that Gigabyte would take bringing the rest of its Z77 lineup to market including the board I have to look at today, the Z77X-UD5H-WiFi. Packed full of features such as Untra Durable 4 technology that incorporates 2oz copper layers for better signaling and cooling, an all digital 12+2+1 phase power circuit, new glass fiber core for the PCB, ESD humidity and surge protection, and more. Added value and functionality comes by way of the inclusion of the companie's own WB300D Dual Band WiFi/Bluetooth expansion card to release you from the reliance on that wall mount RJ-45 jack.
As good an overclocker as the Z77X-UD3H was Gigabyte has set the bar pretty high with the lower end of its product stack. If the trickle down effect from the upper end is indeed evident at the low end of the price spectrum then these credentials should prove out with the Z77X-UD5H-WiFi. Priced at $209, the addition of the wireless package adds to the cost of the board but is a cost that should prove out its usefulness with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in use in homes across the globe. Let's dig into what Gigabyte's Z77X-UD5H-WiFi has to offer and see if it earns its more than reasonable price tag.
The packaging for Gigabyte's offerings has not changed much since I last looked at one of their motherboards. The front and rear panels are full of information about the Z77X-UD5H-WiFi laid out in vivid colors that catch the eye. The front panel illustrates the top line feature set including 3D Power and 3D BIOS, Ultra Durable technology, the motherboard name, GPU and CPU support, the inclusion of Gigabyte's WB300D Dual Band WiFi/ Bluetooth add in card, 2oz copper layers, and new glass fiber design in the PCB core. The back side of the package really expands on these features so that customers can make an informed decision without reaching for a smartphone to look up the feature set. Inside the package the motherboard and bundle are segregated by a cardboard enclosure for the motherboard. The large bundle is stored under the board and fills the compartment.
Gigabyte has delivered a fairly robust accessory bundle with the Z77X-UD5H-WiFi. The documentation and software include several installation as well as the general manual, a quick start guide, Gigabyte sticker, and a driver and software disk for the board and one specifically for the WB300D add-in card. The hardware side of the bundle includes an SLI bridge connector, SATA 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s cables, externally accessed USB 3.0 ports that can be mounted in a 3.5 inch drive bay, I/O bracket with ESD and EMI protection, WB300D WiFi/Bluetooth module, and a pair of antenna for use with the WB300D.
Since the bundle is sufficient enough to get the board installed and running, let's see what the Z77X-UD5H-WiFi has to offer.