People always say that when you have a kid, everything changes. Internally, some emotional shifting has happened because now there is a new life I am responsible for, but no grand transformation where my heart grew 3 sizes or anything like that. Maybe it's because I've always had that emotional capacity and it's not something new to me. If anything, the big change has been adding the +1 to the schedule of life. But I'm a home body, so that isn't a huge accommodation. So far, I've been looking forward to my daughter getting out of the baby phase so I can actually have fun with her. I told my wife, "You know, I'm going to be the one having fun with her and all of her toys." I'm still a giant kid at heart and love that stuff. Maybe when she hits her teens I'll get that "everything changing" people have been talking about..
When it comes to motherboard reviews, Gigabyte is one manufacture that I've reviewed plenty on the AMD platform. However, I haven't gotten to see much on the Intel side of things. From what I have reviewed, they have been pretty good with everything then involve with their motherboards. There is plenty of hardware features that they pack in and tons of software that they like to bundle. One key thing that I've liked is they've been ultra competitive in price with all that they offer. The UD3 line of motherboards seems to be right in that sweet spot, feature and wallet wise, for the mainstream user. Same goes for the UD5 lineup for the high end market.
The Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD5 motherboard continues that trend on the Intel Z68 Express platform. The GA-Z68XP-UD5 packs a ton of features with some pretty innovative software. Starting out, the motherboard uses the Z68 chipset. This means that it is a LGA1155 socket for the newest Intel Sandy Bridge processors and has memory support up to 2133MHz with a capacity for 32GB. For storage there are two SATA 3.0 ports and four SATA 2.0 ports with RAID 0,1,5,10 support. There are I?O connectivity includes two eSATA 6Gb/s connectors, up to ten USB 2.0 ports (including the 4 expandable with internal headers), up to 8 USB 3.0 ports (4 on the back panel and 4 with internal headers), and three IEEE 1394a ports (two on the rear and one internal header). Additional components include a Realtek LAN and ALC889 audio codec. For expansion the GA-Z68XP-UD5 includes three PCI Express slots with one running at 16x, 8x, and 4x. There is also two PCI Express 1x slots and two PCI slots. Featured software includes the Touch BIOS (downloaded separately), Smart 6, and EZ Smart Response.