Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 review

Z68 motherboards don't come much more attractive

TODO alt text

Gigabyte z68x ud3h b3

Bundled along with the usual suites of overclocking tools there's an app which we particularly liked for the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3, although we're not entirely sure when we'd make use of it.

Cloud OC enables you to take control of BIOS settings remotely via Bluetooth (if you have a separate adaptor) or the web. It's a neat trick, similar to that pioneered by Asus on its ultra-high end Republic of Gamers' boards.

But the real star of the show here, as it will be for all Z68 motherboards, is Lucid's Virtu technology. Once again this deceptively simple piece of software, which enables you to use the integrated graphics core without removing your gaming GPU, proves itself to be a reliable and invaluable tool.

At least, it is if you do any video editing, where it can accelerate certain encoding applications by stupid amounts. In our tests, it was almost five times faster than encoding by CPU alone.

But even if you don't do video editing it will still power-down your discrete card when its 3D chops aren't needed, making for a much greener gaming machine anyway.

Elsewhere, Gigabyte's Z68X-UD3H-B3 puts in an equally solid performance. We could wish for more USB ports and SATA slots, but we'd probably have to pay a lot more for them. We also quite like the familiar feeling old school BIOS option, though the lack of UEFI is still rather strange.

There is one issue, however. The PCIe slots scale back to just 8x, rather than 16x lanes if both are used at the same time. SLI or Crossfire should be fine for most purposes, but you might start to see that bandwidth bottleneck kicking in if you're planning to set up dual graphics for multi-monitor resolutions with lots of image quality settings turned on.

But if you're only planning to use one card, you might want to look at the ASRock Z68 Pro 3. The Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 is the better-built board, but ASRock's is almost £40 cheaper.

We liked

At less than £150 this seems like a good value board, considering it has Gigabyte's Ultra Durable three components and lots of flexibility for overclocking. Lucid's Virtu application for switching between integrated and discrete graphics again proves itself admirably, and extras such as Cloud OC are fun to have.

We disliked

It's probably going to be worth waiting to see how prices calm down around the Z68 chipset. There are other, cheaper examples available already, and the eight lane PCI-Express limitation here might be a cost cutting measure too far if you're planning for dual GPUs in the future.


Two USB 3.0 ports, support for SATA 3 drives, PCI-Express slots, premium grade components and a back-up BIOS combine with slick extras in the shape of Lucid's Virtu and Intel's Smart Response Technology to make the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 a very tempting offering indeed.


Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelZ68(B3) Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots1
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameGigabyte
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium Dual-core, Celeron
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots2
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces5
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports2
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports10
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports8
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots5
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports1
Processor TechnologyEnhanced SpeedStep Technology, Turbo Boost Technology
Width305 mm
Depth244 mm
ManufacturerGIGABYTE Technology, Inc
Product ModelGA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
Product NameUltra Durable 3 GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Desktop Motherboard
Product LineUltra Durable 3
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300, Serial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberGA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Combining the advantages of the Intel P67 and H67 platforms in one complete package, the GIGABYTE Z68 series offer the best of both worlds; users can take advantage of the system tuning and overclocking features found in the Intel P67 platform as well as the built-in visual features of the H67 platforms when combined with 2nd generation Intel Core processors.

Package Contents
  • Ultra Durable 3 GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Desktop Motherboard
  • Motherboard Driver Disk
  • User's Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • 4 x SATA Cables
  • I/O Shield
  • 1 x 2-Way SLI Bridge Connector
Limited Warranty3 Year