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Old 01-10-2012, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default Zap's Mini Review Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3

Zap's Mini Review
Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3


As promised over a month ago, here is my review of the Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 motherboard. Newegg currently has it for $160 before a $10 rebate. I purchased mine in a Micro Center store as part of a bundle deal with a Core i5-2500K processor. Micro Center's price was $140 before a $15 rebate, plus $60 off the motherboard when purchased with the processor. My final price (before sales tax) will be $65 if I ever get the rebate. In the rest of this review I wil be referring to this motherboard as the Gigabyte Z68MX for brevity sake. To my knowledge there are no other motherboards with "Z68MX" as part of the model name so there shouldn't be any confusion. I will not be benchmarking the motherboard since I believe that all boards of a similar chipset will perform within a few percentage points of each other, thus in my opinion one should make their purchasing decision on the suitability of the product (meets budget, has desired features and overclockability, no layout issues), and not on whether one board performs 1% better than the next.

SPECIFICATIONS
Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 motherboard
Micro ATX form factor
Supports all socket LGA1155 desktop processors
Intel Z68 chipset
Supports 4 DIMM slots up to dual channel DDR3-2133 data rate
Three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots
One PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot
Supports Nvidia SLI and AMD Crossfire technologies
Four SATA 6Gb/s ports
Three SATA 3Gb/s ports
One eSATA 3Gb/s port
Various RAID modes supported
Realtek ALC889 audio supporting 8 channels
Optical SPDIF output
Realtek 8111E gigabit Ethernet
Four USB 2.0 rear ports
Ten USB 2.0 headers
Two USB 3.0 rear ports
Two USB 3.0 headers
D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs

PACKAGING

The Z68MX comes in a colorful retail box chock full of marketing. The box touts Touch BIOS Hybrid EFI Technology which I didn't see any signs of. Maybe I need a touchscreen to unlock the feature? Other marketing speak talks about all the standard Intel Z68 features such as SSD caching (Intel Smart Response), Virtu, SLI, Crossfire and unlocked K CPUs.

Gigabyte specific marketing beyond the MIA Touch BIOS includes 3 year warranty, all solid caps, special MOSFETs and chokes, DualBIOS, etc. They also mention the board is "Ultra Durale" with "2X Copper PCB," whatever that means.

One interesting feature which will be of more use is the claimed 3X USB power. USB 2.0 has a specified power output of 500mA. Some devices such as many smart phones and tablets are unable to charge their batteries using a mere 500mA, so motherboard manufacturers have been upping the output of the USB ports. I'm not 100% positive, but I think that all the rear USB 2.0 ports have this boosted output, plus one set of internal USB 2.0 headers (closest to the USB 3.0 headers).

Note that while the price sticker states $155.99, the normal in-store price at Micro Center appears to be $139.99.



The accessories include some paper documentation, driver DVD, I/O shield, two 90 SATA cables and an SLI bridge. Not pictured is a "Dolby Home Theater" sticker, which was stuck in the manual and fell out later.



The motherboard is the full micro ATX size and is packed chock full of components. It came out of the anti-static bag with a cut-to-fit piece of foam wedged between the rear I/O ports and the VRM heatsink. The likely reason is that the VRM heatsink is wobbly. It is held on by two tiny plastic push pins and the base is 1/2 the size of the upper part. Also, the base is offset. It really does not inspire much confidence.



LAYOUT

As mentioned the motherboard has nearly every bit of PCB covered either with components or writing.

Immediately surrounding the CPU area are two 4-pin fan headers, the VRM heatsink which appears to only cover some of the chips, the 8-pin +12v power plug and the RAM slots. On the other side of the RAM slots are the 24-pin power connector, COM port headers and TPM headers (Trusted Platform Module, click for more information). The two fan headers are the only ones on the motherboard. That is a minor disappointment as many cases have at least front and rear fans to be hooked up in addition to the CPU fan. Note that in the picture I have the CPU fan plugged into the system fan header. The CPU fan header is the other one.

The RAM slots are quite close to the first PCI Express slot, so if a graphics card is in the first slot the RAM slots may be difficult to use. I am only mentioning this because some people seem extremely bothered by this. Personally it doesn't bother me a bit as once a system is built I rarely have need to swap out RAM. Plus, it is not some crazy hardship to have to remove the card. In fact, if the card has nothing on the back such as protruding component leads, chips, screws/push pins or a backplate, you can finesse the RAM in and out of the slot with care even with the graphics card installed.

The lower portion of the motherboard has the four PCI Express 2.0 slots, Z68 chipset heatsink and seven SATA ports.

Six of the SATA ports are angled, while the seventh sticks out of the board normally. The blue ports are SATA 3Gb/s (AKA SATA II) which are linked to three of the four SATA 3GB/s ports provided by the Intel Z68 chipset. The white ports are SATA 6Gb/s ports provided by the Intel Z68 chipset. The grey ports are SATA 6Gb/s ports provided by an additional Marvell chipset.

The PCI Express slots are physically oriented as x16, x1, x16, x16. However, electrically they are oriented x16, x1, x4, x8. Additionally, there are limitations depending on which slots can be used. The electrically x4 slot only works in x4 mode if there is no card in the x1 slot, otherwise it falls back to x1 mode. This is a limitation of the Z68 chipset where these two slots are linked to. The Z68 chipset does not have enough PCI Express lanes to provision five lanes for x4 + x1. The other two slots are additionally limited due to being provisioned from the CPU. The CPU only has x16 slots, so it is unable to provision for x16 + x8. Thus, if a card is inserted into the x8 slot, the x16 slot automatically becomes an x8 slot itself. Thus, if you fill all the PCI Express slots on the motherboard, your slots will be running at x8, x1, x1, x8 instead of x16, x1, x4, x8. Got that?

There is one additional limitation of this slot layout. Radeon cards are able to Crossfire in x16 + x4 mode with a tiny performance hit, but GeForce cards can only (officially) SLI in x8 + x8 mode. Thus, for SLI or optimum Crossfire peformance you will need to somehow utilize the first and fourth PCI Express slots, not the more common first and third. Most micro ATX cases support only 4 slots. Thus, the lowest slot cannot be a dual slot card, severely limiting your dual graphics options. There are a handful of enthusiast micro ATX cases which supports five expansion slots, but those are rare. Also, the coolers on some dual slot cards will interfere with cables plugged into the headers on the bottom edge of the motherboard.

Speaking of the headers along the bottom edge of the motherboard, they start on the left with the front HD audio headers, a near invisible 2-pin SPDIF header, five USB 2.0 sets of headers supporting 10 ports with the white header supporting (I am assuming) extra USB power, one set of USB 3.0 headers for two ports and the front panel LED/button headers.



The rear I/O port area of the Z68MX is also quite filled out. On the left are the combo PS/2 port (can use either keyboard or mouse) plus two USB 2.0 ports with extra power. Next are the D-SUB (AKA VGA) port supporting an analog 2560x1440 resolution plus the DVI-D port supporting 1920x1200 digital resolution. While the port looks to be physically a dual-link DVI-D port, the resolution supported is merely single-link. Next is the optical SPDIF output hovering over the HDMI output supporting 1920x1200 digital resolution and the DisplayPort supporting 2560x1600 digital resolution. While this setup can support dual monitors using any two ports, if you are running a 30" monitor with 2560x1600 digital resolution you can only get that from the DisplayPort output.

Next up are two more USB 2.0 ports with extra power and an eSATA port. This is not a powered eSATA port. This is the fourth SATA 3GB/s port provided by the Z68 chipset. Next are the gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports, plus six analog audio jacks.



My test setup includes a Core i5-2500K processor with stock cooler, 8GB Adata DDR3-1333, Corsair Force Series 3 60GB SSD, Samsung DVD writer and an SFX sized Seasonic 300W power supply.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:25 AM   #2
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BIOS

The BIOS looks old school compared to the fancy graphical UEFI that Asus provides, or even the simpler interface that ASRock provides. Indeed, the box touts "Touch BIOS" but I'm not sure how to enable that, or even if that is possible without having a touchscreen physically connected.

The BIOS is as well appointed as the motherboard. Besides all the standard fare, it has most of the important overclocking settings. You won't get the entire gamut that some of the full-sized enthusiast ATX motherboards give you, but nothing essential is missing. Indeed this may make the board less daunting for the neophyte overclocker as a myriad of esoteric settings may lead to confusion.

All images show the default state. One thing I did like is that many of the options will show the current (or perhaps default) setting next to the settings options. A word of warning: Gigabyte allows for extreme settings which are guaranteed to not work. Indeed, some of the voltage settings can easily, quickly and permanently damage your hardware so user beware! Do your research, use small steps and test for temperature and stability when overclocking.

The first image shows the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T) screen which is what Gigabyte calls the section for overclocking and tweaking. If you are not going to overclock then stay out of this section. There are a number of sub-pages within this screen.



M.I.T Current Status is a nice informational output showing all the essentials relevent to CPU and memory performance.



The Advanced Frequency Settings screen is mostly useless because everything except for the Internal Graphics Clock is duplicated elsewhere, plus the BCLK/DMI/PEG Clock Control probably should be left alone.

The Internal Graphics Clock is interesting because if you were using the integrated graphics for playing less demanding 3D games, you can get a small boost in performance by overclocking the integrated graphics core through this setting. The possible settings are Auto and 0-3000 in 1MHz increments. The 1100 in this image is from the default maximum graphics clock of the HD 3000 built in to the Core i5-2500K used for testing. Other processors may have different default clocks. For instance, the Celeron G530 defaults to 1000. Note that this is essentially the graphics "turbo" speed, because there is also a lower base frequency of 850MHz which cannot be changed, just as the CPU core has a 1.6GHz base frequency under idle conditions.

This setting is one of two which makes possible overclocking of the integrated graphics core. This obviously controls the clock speed, while a different screen (below) controls the voltage. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this frequency can be increased to at least 1400 with ease, and sometimes even a few hundred MHz higher with some testing.



The Advanced CPU Core Features is the meat of the CPU overclocking excepting for voltage discussed below. For most casual overclockers, you can just increase the "Turbo Ratio(1-Core)" through 4-Core to your desired clock speed, while leaving all other settings alone. For instance, if I had a better CPU cooler installed and wanted to overclock my 2500K to 4.5GHz, I would just increase the four ratios to 45 each, so where they say 37/36/35/34, I would change the Auto to 45/45/45/45. About the only other thing you would want to fiddle with is if you want even more hardcore overclocking (higher speeds and voltages), which will probably mean raising the Turbo Power Limit and Core Current Limit.



The Advanced Memory Settings is pretty simple. The System Memory Multiplier (SPD) changes the RAM data rate. Available settings are 8.00, 10.66, 13.33, 16.00, 18.66 and 21.33. Obviously they correspond to the resulting data rate. Just remove the decimal point and add "MHz" to the end to get your target data rate. I have to admit that I like this much better than the esoteric 2.00 2.50, 2.66 or 1/2, 2/3, 4/5 multipliers that some motherboards use.

Performance Enhance has Standard/Turbo/Extreme settings. I am not sure what these settings accomplish.

The DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD) has Auto/Quick/Expert. In Auto, you can only look at the Channel and Rank Interleaving settings, and the Channel Timing Settings only report the timings (CAS, RAS, etc.). Setting this to either Quick or Expert allows fiddling with these settings. I am not sure if there is a difference between Quick and Expert.

One thing I did not see was an XMP setting. It may be due to the RAM I was using, which does not have an XMP setting in it. I do not know for certain.



The Advanced Voltage Settings has all the voltage settings in one screen. There isn't much, as my Asus P8P67 Pro motherboard has nearly 3x the available settings. However, as mentioned before this BIOS hits most of the important settings, leaving the more esoteric ones to more expensive products.

Multi-Steps Load-Line has Disabled and Level 1 through Level 10. Increasing this seems to help with more hardcore overclocking. This option becomes disabled if you use the preferred Vcore offset (detailed below).

CPU Vcore has Auto, Normal and 0.750v to 1.795v in 0.005v increments. Setting it to a manual voltage will cause the CPU to always work at that voltage. Setting it to Normal disables the Load-Line settings, and enables Dynamic Vcore (DVID) which is the voltage offset. This is useful to allow voltage control for overclocking, while still allowing the CPU to undervolt itself under idle conditions. The DVID has settings from -0.200v to +0.480v in 0.005v increments, and above that to +1.200v in 0.010v increments.

QPI/Vtt voltage has Auto, Normal and 0.900v to 1.500v in 0.01v increments. I think this setting was more useful with older platforms that used BCLK overclocking.

Graphics Core has Auto, Normal and 0.850v to 1.705v in 0.005v to 0.010v increments. The finer increments are those near the default voltage while the coarser ones are the outliers. This setting combined with the Internal Graphics Clock setting detailed above is used for overclocking the integrated graphics. Setting it to Normal acts similar to the CPU Vcore settings where the Graphics DVID allows for offset voltage of Auto, Normal and -0.200v to +0.480v in 0.005v increments.

Finally, the DRAM Voltage allows for 1.100v to 2.400v in 0.020v increments. This is mildly exciting because lower voltage RAM than the default 1.5v has been creeping onto the market. While those kinds of RAM can probably run fine at 1.5v, lower voltages can decrease temperatures and power draw.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:26 AM   #3
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BIOS continued

The Advanced BIOS Features screen is fairly typical. You can increase the memory of the integrated graphics, plus allow for installing Windows on hard drives larger than 2.2TB using the EFI CD/DVD Boot Option.



The Integraged Peripherals screen looks normal yet packed due to all the features of the Z68MX. I'm not even sure what eXtreme Hard Drive does, or OROM UI and Banner. Maybe that UI is the touch interface?

One thing which I do not see is an option for marking SATA ports as "removable." I do not know if the eSATA port is automatically marked this way. This is somewhat important as a removable port allows you to tell Windows to "safely remove hardware" before unplugging the drive, thus making sure everything in cache is written and avoiding data loss. Some motherboards automatically mark all ports as "removable" once you enable AHCI mode, thus even internal drives which you will not remove will show up under "safely remove hardware" which is irritating. I'm wondering if the SATA Port0-3 Native Mode controls this? Ports 0-3 are the white and 90 blue SATA ports, while ports 4 and 5 are the solo SATA port and the eSATA port.



The Power Management Setup defaults to S3(STR) which is preferred. This allows Windows to essentially shut off your computer (drawing near 0W) but at a moment's notice power on and get you back to exactly what you were doing in a matter of a couple seconds.

The Power On By Mouse looks interesting. You can enable it so that double-clicking your mouse will power on your computer. I do not know if this requires a PS/2 keyboard, as I have encountered some that do or were picky about your USB devices, so YMMV.



I always peek in the PC Health Status because here is where I can enable a fan profile to make the system quieter. The warning settings are pretty self explanatory.

The CPU Smart FAN Control has Normal, Silent, Manual and Disabled. Those are pretty self explanatory. Once you enable Manual mode, you can control the Slope PWM and Disabled appears to set a static fan speed. The Slope PWM seems to be a multiplier value. I believe the actual results would depend on the fan you were using. For instance some PWM fans allow themselves to be stopped using the lowest value, while others will run at their minimum RPM, which can vary from fan to fan. Thus, if Normal or Silent modes are insufficient, you may have to spend some time fiddling with the Slope PWM to customize the setting to your fan specifications and your liking.

The CPU Smart FAN Mode can be Auto, Voltage or PWM. This indicates that you may be able to control a 3-pin fan plugged into the fan header. This is somewhat of a rare feature as many motherboards seem to no longer support controlling 3-pin fans through voltage.

One feature I am missing is the ability to control the system fan. Why, Gigabyte, why? So close, yet so far away.



OVERCLOCKING

I touched upon the important settings when going over the BIOS settings. The Z68MX seems as easy to do a "normal" overclock as any other overclockable LGA1155 motherboard. By this I mean to say that it accepted memory frequency adjustments and Turbo multiplier adjustments without complaint. Since I am using the stock Intel heatsink which came with the processor, I did not try hitting the common 4.5GHz overclock. Instead, I aimed for an easy 4.0GHz overclock without the need to adjust the voltages. CPU temperatures went up just under 10C above the stock settings, but they were still comfortably cool. i have no doubt that this board can hit the 4.4-4.6GHz range that most of the decent K chips top out at using reasonable voltages.

CONCLUSION

The Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 motherboard is a worthy choice for an upper end micro ATX motherboard. It costs less than the Asus Maximux IV Gene-Z and while the Gene-Z has a better layout, possibly better overclockability and better BIOS, the Z68MX has more SATA 6Gb/s ports and a much better array of video outputs for using the integrated graphics.

Comparing it to a lower end motherboard such as the ASRock Z68 PRO3-M, the Gigabyte has much more features and possibly better overclockability.

Of course, at the price I paid, this motherboard was a steal!

DISCLAIMERS

This review is my own. I purchased the Z68MX using my own money (along with all my test parts) and am writing this in my spare time. I do not work for AnandTech and I do not get paid in any way, shape or form through advertising, free parts or cash. That doesn't mean I won't accept being paid.

If there are any errors, point them out and I will fix them.

I will try to answer any questions that comes up regarding this motherboard, if possible.

2012 All rights reserved
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Nice review! I have that board's baby brother (in sig below) I got at MC on BF with my 2500K. I really like it and so far has provided very good service. Your review verifies some of the things I've found on my own, and helped me out in a few areas I was hazy on (like the memory settings and eSATA ports.)

The TouchBIOS does require a touch screen.

The UD part is the 2x copper in the board vs a normal board, I'm guessing to dissapate heat buildup.

Word of caution... as installed with a CM 212+, the fan does not provide adequate clearance over the #4 RAM slot for a stick with a tall heatsink, in fact, my Stealth in #3 slot is right up against the fan as it is... I would have to slide the fan up on the heatsink to allow room. Solution: Use low profile RAM like XMS3 or even just a non-heatsink design.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie98 View Post
Word of caution... as installed with a CM 212+, the fan does not provide adequate clearance over the #4 RAM slot for a stick with a tall heatsink
This is a very common problem with many motherboards and big coolers, and not merely an issue with the Gigabyte boards.

Regarding the copper, Gigabyte used to advertize "2oz Copper" instead of "2x copper" on everything. I don't see how it can help dissipate heat because the PCB that the copper is embedded in makes for a terrible heat exchanger compared to a normal heatsink (which is a misnomer).
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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I'm finally going to be putting this motherboard to use. Currently it is installed in an old aluminum case. Graphics card is a GTX 460. Cooler is Scythe Zipang 2 with a different fan. PSU is a Silverstone ST45SF (SFX sized, not ATX).

After I toss in some drives and install Windows/games, this will become my LAN rig. I'm aiming for having this done in time for AWOL LAN.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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Looks like a great board except for the potential deal breaker - single fan control? How much could it cost to add another fan control (or two)?

For a small case, this is the feature I look for first. It's also difficult to find this information anywhere but forum posts. I'm in the market for a few Z68 Matx or Itx boards. I guess this one's off the list.

Edit - and...holy crap the old-school bios just looks hideous now that I've been using the new Asus UEFI bios for a while.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:31 AM   #8
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Hey guys.

I'm in a bit of a dilema. Currently I am an owner of ASRock Z68Pro3-M board. But because S3 mode does not function on that board for me I will exchange it. This gigabyte board was my first choice. So, those of you that have it, does S3 function work for you?

My other componentes are:
- Intel i5 2500K
- 2x4GB Corsair Vengance DDR3 mem
- Samsung 830 SSD
- geforce GTX560ti

On the above combo S3 does not function on my current MB. I was in contact with ASRock but they just stopped with the "support".

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:24 PM   #9
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I wonder why reviewers make such a fuss about old style text based BIOS screens. How many times are you going to be messing about with it anyway?
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilx View Post
I wonder why reviewers make such a fuss about old style text based BIOS screens. How many times are you going to be messing about with it anyway?
Actually, I like the simplicity of it...
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:08 AM   #11
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Hi im planning to get this board, it has very good reviews,so this is my question for you an owner
how about onboard sound quality?does it has 3d sound feature(i play arma2 son this is important for me)?
any comparation with this z68 onboard sound vs xfi creative?
thanks.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:28 PM   #12
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I don't know if the onboard sound has 3d or not. I always use headphones or a stereo pair of speakers. Sorry.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:48 AM   #13
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Another thing for potential buyers to keep in mind when using these 1155 Gigabyte boards and a Corsair sealed water cooling setup like the H80 or H100 - you will almost without a doubt have to rotate the CPU block so that the mounting arms do no smash a cap. I had to rotate mine on my Z68XP-UD3-iSSD board, and had read from other owners that it was a potential issue.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:25 PM   #14
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anyone using an ivy bridge on these?
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:07 PM   #15
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I too took advantage of the Micro Center deal in July of 2011 and got this MB with the 2500K. Up until about 3 weeks ago I had no issues and was generally happy with the board. Unfortunately the onboard sound lost the left channel so now I'm utilizing my video card's sound. Has anyone else had this happen?
Thanks for the review.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:41 PM   #16
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I too took advantage of the Micro Center deal in July of 2011 and got this MB with the 2500K. Up until about 3 weeks ago I had no issues and was generally happy with the board. Unfortunately the onboard sound lost the left channel so now I'm utilizing my video card's sound. Has anyone else had this happen?
Thanks for the review.
Have you checked that the problem isn't in the cable or connector from the jack to your speakers?
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #17
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Yes, I've checked all hardware and device managers. The problem is in the "front speaker" jack. When I changed to 5.1 and plugged into the side speaker jack the speakers functioned normally. A call to Gigabyte tech support resulted in the suggestion to remove motherboard and ship to them for warranty repair. (apparently they don't care that I'd be without a system for 2 weeks or more)
Not happy with Gigabyte right now, back to Asus in the future.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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Default Why is this still stickyed?

I was just wondering why this post is still stuck up top? Old news now.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #19
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Nice review, still confused about the PCIe lanes.

If I'm understanding correctly, the first and the last slots are connected to the CPU socket and the middle two slots are connected to the PCH (or whatever is called)?
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:55 PM   #20
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Hi im planning to get this board, it has very good reviews,so this is my question for you an owner
how about onboard sound quality?does it has 3d sound feature(i play arma2 son this is important for me)?
any comparation with this z68 onboard sound vs xfi creative?
thanks.
All recent realtek chips are capable of surround sound feature in hardware. But in order to experience the games encoded with surround sound, you need the drivers for API a game utilizes. Most of today's games use either 1) DirectSound 3D, or 2) OpenAL.

Thankfully some games come with the sound drivers in which case you don't need to do anything. But if not you may need to hunt out for the drivers or pay for something like Rapture3D.

Digital (PCM, Dolby) should work out of the box, I suppose.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:54 AM   #21
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Not happy with Gigabyte right now, back to Asus in the future.
This thread would like a word with you.

Not sure if warranty service is any better from any other motherboard company, with perhaps the exception of EVGA.

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I was just wondering why this post is still stuck up top? Old news now.
IDK.

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Nice review, still confused about the PCIe lanes.

If I'm understanding correctly, the first and the last slots are connected to the CPU socket and the middle two slots are connected to the PCH (or whatever is called)?
You don't sound very confused at all. Yes, as far as I can tell that is how the lanes are laid out to the slots. To take advantage of SLI (which requires the 8x8 of the CPU lanes) you need to use the first and fourth slots. With a dual slot graphics care that requires you to either use the mATX motherboard in an ATX case, or have a mATX case with 5 slots (like the In Win Dragon Slayer).
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #22
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Hi Zap.

I am interested in one particular feature of this board & wondered if you had been able to test it. As far as I am aware it is the only current mATX board to offer this feature!

Dolby Home Theatre.

The theory as I understand it, is that you can (for example) when gaming pass the Dolby-encoded audio via the optical out to a suitably equiped AV Receiver which then decodes the audio stream to play thru your Home Cinema speakers.

The beauty being that you can just use the one cable without the need for an extra set of gaming speakers.

I believe it might also be possible instead to connect the hdmi cable instead and there being a BIOS option to passthru audio via HDMI.

Have you been able to test any of this out?

Many Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:57 PM   #23
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Thank you very much!
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #24
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The theory as I understand it, is that you can (for example) when gaming pass the Dolby-encoded audio via the optical out to a suitably equiped AV Receiver which then decodes the audio stream to play thru your Home Cinema speakers.
...
Have you been able to test any of this out?
Apologies for the late reply. I didn't see this message earlier.

I have not tested it because I don't have a suitable AV receiver. Mine only does HDMI passthrough, making it essentially a 2-to-1 switch. Lame.

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Thank you very much!
You're welcome.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:21 PM   #25
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Another update. The USB 3.0 ports on my board are flaky. I had issues in the past with a USB 3.0 HDD that would constantly disconnect itself. As that was my only USB 3.0 device at the time, I wrote it off as a flakey external HDD. Well, same problem now with a USB 3.0 flash drive. This time I know the flash drive is good, because I use it elsewhere on USB 3.0 ports.

Bleh.
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