Intel's Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture Debuts: Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K CPUs Reviewed
Gigabyte 6 Series Motherboards
We already know of half a dozen new Gigabyte 6 Series motherboards and you can bet that there will be even more to come. Gigabyte has moved away from their baby blue color scheme for something a little more sinister, at least with their high-end boards. The new matte black color PCB provide a stylish new look which will no doubt appeal to case modders.
The flagship model is the P67A-UD7 which features a 24 phase power design. The board also boasts 10 USB 3.0 ports for a total of 18 USB ports including USB 2.0 and 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports to deliver impeccable data transfer speeds.
With 4 PCI Express x16 slots, both CrossFireX and Nvidia 3-way SLI are supported. The patented Gigabyte DualBIOS technology is also featured on this board. Dual Gigabit LAN with Smart Dual LAN technology along with a unique 3x USB power design with On/Off Charge USB ports to offer faster battery charging for iPhone, iPad and iPod devices.
Those that find the P67A-UD7 too pricey can fall back on the equally impressive P67A-UD5. This board offers less USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s ports, and a 20 phase power design. Multi-GPU support is still present with CrossFireX and Nvidia 2-way SLI.
For testing the Sandy Bridge processors today we relied on the P67A-UD4 which is a more mainstream model that still possesses many of the features we just mentioned.
The P67A-UD4 uses a 12 phase power design and all Gigabyte motherboards are Intel VRD12 qualified due to their Intel VRD12 compliant Intersil PWM controller. The P67A-UD4 also features the Ultra Durable 3 design with 2x Copper PCB, which is said to reduce electrical waste by 50%, improve signal quality and reduce board temperatures around critical components.
Like the more expensive high-end 6 Series motherboards Gigabyte still provides onboard USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s connectivity. The Gigabyte 3x USB power design with On/Off Charge USB ports for Apple devices is also present as well as Gigabyte's DualBIOS.
The P67A-UD4 provides a pair of PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots which support CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI. The new matte black PCB color scheme is also used, giving the board a more aggressive look.
Also provided by Gigabyte is the H67MA-UD2H, which is a MicroATX motherboard sporting the H67 chipset. This motherboard is aimed at users that prefer to utilize the integrated CPU graphics in the Sandy Bridge chips.
Despite being a compact motherboard, the H67MA-UD2H is still heavy on features. The Gigabyte Ultra Durable 3 design with 2x Copper PCB is still present, the USB 3.0 ports and Gigabyte 3x USB with On/Off Charge USB ports.
Compared to the P67 boards we have looked at so far, the H67 chipset enables the VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors at the board's I/O panel. Therefore we will be using the H67MA-UD2H to measure the performance of the Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000 of the Intel Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K in an upcoming segment of this review.
Featured on Processors
Legion Hardware Reviews
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Receive a weekly update of our best features and tech news you don't want to miss: