Gigabyte’s Z68X-UD5 and Z68X-UD4 motherboards detailed

z68x ud4 Gigabytes Z68X UD5 and Z68X UD4 motherboards detailed

We're definitely getting close to the launch of Intel's Z68 chipset and more details of Gigabyte's upcoming boards have turned up on the internet. Not only have we found pricing of the three high-end boards, but the Z68X-UD5 and Z68X-UD4 have been given a thorough going over in a detailed preview, of course without benchmarks as Intel don't condone benchmark figures ahead of a launch.

We're definitely getting close to the launch of Intel's Z68 chipset and more details of Gigabyte's upcoming boards have turned up on the internet. Not only have we found pricing of the three high-end boards, but the Z68X-UD5 and Z68X-UD4 have been given a thorough going over in a detailed preview, of course without benchmarks as Intel don't condone benchmark figures ahead of a launch.

The Z68X-UD5 is pretty much the same motherboard as the P67A-UD5 with the exception of the chipset of course. In fact, the boards are so similar that if it wasn't for the red ports around the back on the Z68X-UD5 and the silk screen on the board with the model name, we wouldn't be able to tell the two boards apart. If this is a good or a bad thing is a matter of what you're after in terms of features, but it's pretty clear that there's no real reason to get the P67A-UD5 any more, especially as the price difference appear to be minimal. In fact, the Z68X-UD5 has already appeared on an Australian online retailer priced at AU$319 (S$427) and the same company stocks the P67A-UD5 for AU$305 (S$408). In as much as this is a price premium, we're sure it won't last for long.

z68x ud5 Gigabytes Z68X UD5 and Z68X UD4 motherboards detailed

The Z68X-UD4 on the other hand is nothing like the P67A-UD4, instead this looks like the P67X-UD4 which was shown off at CeBIT but never launched. We can't say we're overly keen on the board layout, as Gigabyte has made a few peculiar choices here. For starters the 16-phase VRM is taking up an unusual amount of space on the PCB and this means you end up losing the first expansion slot. The slot layout consists of a pair of x16 slots in a dual x8 configuration when both are used, two x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots.

On the other hand, the Z68X-UD4 has an additional two SATA 6Gbps ports beyond the two supplied by the Intel chipset, which is also two more than the Z68X-UD5 which seems very odd. Gigabyte has also fitted a pair of Etron USB 3.0 host controllers to the board, rather than using VLI USB 3.0 hubs and a single Renesas chip as per the Z68X-UD5. This means that you'll actually be able to get better performance out of each of the four USB 3.0 ports, although you do lose out on an additional four ports compared to the Z68X-UD5.

z68x ud4 Gigabytes Z68X UD5 and Z68X UD4 motherboards detailed

At the rear the Z68X-UD4 has a PS/2 port, seven USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one eSATAp (USB/eSATA combo with power), one eSATA, a Gigabit Ethernet port, FireWire port and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. The same Australian retailer is listing this board for a pretty affordable AU$239 (S$320) which looks like a much better deal compared to the Z68X-UD5, despite the somewhat peculiar board layout and lack of one expansion slot that might not be to everyone's liking.

For those of you that are looking at going for the high-end Z68X-UD7 we can let you know that the price of this board is AU$399 (S$534), once again from the same Australian retailer. We'd expect these boards to be slightly cheaper in the US of course and it's worth keeping in mind that the US dollar is now worth less than the Australian dollar. For detailed pictures of all three board models, hit the link below.

More pictures: Lab501

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