Where most other motherboards will start at say 200 EUR, this 125 EUR this Z77X-D3H motherboard seems to offer really great value. The overall baseline performance was a little lower at default settings compared to the Intel reference board. I noticed the very same thing with an MSI and ASUS board as well actually. It's weird because to get baseline performance for each motherboard test we always upgrade firmware to the latest revision, clear CMOS and then load up default (optimal) BIOS settings. With this procedure the motherboard was performing a tiny bit under the reference baseline.
It looks like it that Intel is forcing all the Turbo cores to the full frequency or something, it's something you can easily tweak out of this motherboard yourself though (if it bothers you).
With the baseline offset aside, we are admittedly impressed with this motherboard. The overall looks are definitely okay enough considering the price range this motherboard is operating in.
And the tweaking performance is definitely okay. We got the processor towards a 100% stable at 4842 MHz and that's not bad at all. I do wish the board would have had a slighyly improved power cicuitry though with a 8-pin CPU power header instead of a 4-pin.
On overclocking, again I do have to say though that Ivy bridge processors run hotter when overclocked opposed to Sandy Bridge, reaching 4500~5000 MHz is fairly easy to accomplish with the motherboard but you'll find yourself needing juice in the 1.45 Volts range of the processor. So be prepared for processor heat, and proper liquid cooling definitely deserves a recommendation alright.
As shown we quickly popped in G.Skill's new Trident X 2666 MHz memory as well, and in the BIOS we simply flicked the XMP profile to on and boom, the memory was running at a rather amazing clock frequency of 2666 MHz. Astonishing really, though that alone will not bring you heaps of extra performance.
Currently the price point of the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H motherboard is set at the 125 EUR market. For that amount of money you'll receive a complete motherboard with a wide variety in terms of connectivity, design and features. And sure it does miss out on sport features like onboard buttons, pre-overclock modes and diagnostic LEDs etc. But the reality is that it offers plenty enough for the money. Looking at components, it all good as well. The mobo has quality capacitors, good mosfets and solid core chokes so yeah, overall this is a good build.
Out of all the Z77 motherboards we have had in our hands this one was the easiest to overclock with. Fiddling around with the multiplier and voltages alone is enough to reach 4.84 GHz on heatpipe based cooling.
That said, if you do not want too spend too much money, get all the new features including multi-GPU gaming options, extra SATA3 ports and then some more. For 125 EUR the Z77X-D3H motherboard is your new best friend. it can do everything the competition does including multi-GPU functionality. We can definitely recommend it. However if you want to overclock a little more to the extreme, topping that 5 GHz, then you probably want to look into a slightly more expensive offering.
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