If you have ever stayed up too late watching television, you have probably come across several very entertaining infomercials. One of my favorites involves a unique knife that requires no sharpening and, as demonstrated in the 20 minute video, can cut virtually anything. They show the knife cutting through cans, wood, metal, PVC pipe, shoes, and thankfully by the end, they show it cutting through actual food. While most of us have no need for that much versatility in a knife, it is nonetheless a good thing to have, just in case. The only problem is, something that special often comes in a premium price, much higher than what most of us would pay.
When it comes to motherboards, not everyone is looking to build a high-end platform but would readily welcome some high-end features if the price is right. Words like “overclocking” and “multi-GPU” scare a lot of mainstream users away, as it is often associated with higher costs, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. As one of the world’s largest mainboard manufacturers, Gigabyte has always provided decent top-down segment products that appeal to users looking for reasonable prices, and their latest Z77X-UD5H-WB is no exception.
The Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB is a uniquely designed motherboard that straddles the line between mainstream and high-end. The Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB is priced at $209, placing it within the mainstream segment, but it is loaded with features that are often only found in high-end motherboards. Capable of PCI-E 3.0 multi-GPU setup up to TRI-SLI/TRI-Crossfire configuration at 8x/4x/4x, the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB is a solid gaming platform, as well. For users who want to squeeze out as much performance as possible from their Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge processors, Gigabyte has made it convenient with the addition of on-board buttons, voltage readout points, debug LED, dual-BIOS and an on-board BIOS switcher on the Z77X-UD5H PCB. Optional extra power can be added to the PCI-E as well, through the OC-PEG connector, useful for extreme LN2 GPU overclocking. In terms of USB connectivity, the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H has three on-board USB 3.0 headers (2x VIA VL810, 1x Intel Z77) for up to six ports, as well as four more USB 3.0 ports in the back. There are also two Gigabit LAN ports which use an Intel WG82579V, as well as an Atheros AR8151 controller. For wireless networking, Gigabyte has also bundled a Bluetooth 4.0/Dual-band WiFi card, capable of fast transfer rates, up to 300 Mbps.