- Intel P67 Express Platform Controller Hub
- True 24 power phase design
- VRD 12 Design
- Driver MOSFET solution
- GIGABYTE Unlocked Power
- Auto Dual Power Switching Design
- 2x Copper PCB Design
- GIGABYTE 333 Technology
- Turbo USB 3.0
- Turbo XHD
- 3-way SLI and 3-way CrossfireX
- Extreme Cooling Solution
- On/Off charge
- Rear panel with Great Connectivity
- Smart DualLAN
- Dynamic Energy Saver 2
- Smart 6
- GIGABYTE Hotkey OC
- GIGABYTE Cloud OC
- Auto Green
The P67A-UD7 is based upon Intel’s new P67 Express Platform Controller Hub, which supports the newest Sandy Bridge CPUs like the Core i7-2600K, and Core i5-2500K, which I have in-house. There are many other CPUs including an Extreme Edition and Core i3s-launching today that the chipset supports. Note that the P67 does not have display options meaning that the integrated GMA 3000 graphics are not used with this motherboard.
GIGABYTE says the P67A-UD7 is the world’s first motherboard with true 24-phase power design. Their VRM design offers fast transient response that provides quick and seamless power delivery during extensive CPU loading variations. Also, due to their being 24 power phases VRM heat is effectively dissipated among the 24 phases compared to other designs that have 6 or 8 power phases. GIGABYTE also uses Voltage Regulator Down chips that are Intel VRD12 compliant offering faster response, higher accuracy, ultra stable and ultra durable protection compared to other solutions.
Driver MOSFETs are not a new idea, but GIGABYTE has decided to implement them in the 6 series of motherboards. Traditionally, the MOSFETs have two discrete MOSFETs (High side MOSFET, and Low-side MOSFET) and a Driver IC. The Driver MOSFET puts all three on the same package saving up to 50% space compared to the three distinct chips. A Driver MOSFET delivers higher power transfer rates and increased efficiency at higher switching frequencies than traditional MOSFETs. Lower temperatures on the Driver MOSFET are also achieved. Driver MOSFETs have lower working temperatures, higher power efficiency and lower power loss than traditional MOSFETs.
Ultra Durable is Gigabyte’s trademarked term for their high quality components. Ultra Durable 3 is their latest revision offering 2oz Copper PCB, Japanese Solid Capacitors, Lower RDS (On) MOSFETs and Ferrite Core chokes. In combination with the 24-phase power this means longer lifetime, lower temperatures, better power efficiency and lower impedance than earlier designs. The takeaway from all of this is GIGABYTE is committed to providing the most power efficiency with the highest quality components for their motherboards.
GIGABYTE has implemented another new feature on the P67A-UD7, the industry’s first auto dual power switching design. This doubles the VRM phases lifespan, more energy saving and offers 6 Gear switching. The 24 power phases are divided into two sets of 12-phase power. Under normal loading one set of 12 phase power is switched off to conserve energy. Auto Dual Power Switching ensures that each set of phases share the power workload doubling the lifespan of the phases. Under heavy loading, both sets are active giving 24-phase power to the components.
The next feature should be very familiar to anyone with a GIGABYTE motherboard of the last year or two 333. This signifies USB 3.0, SATA 3.0 and USB Power 3XS. The P67A-UD7 has up to 10, that’s right, 10 USB 3.0 ports! The rear I/O has six USB 3.0 ports with two controlled by the NEC (Renasas) chip and four controlled by a new VIA chip. Two headers on the board controlled by the NEC chip allow for four further USB 3.0 connectors, for a total of 10.
This board also supports a Turbo USB 3.0 mode for those that want the ultimate USB powerhouse where PCIE x8 lanes is used by the USB 3.0 ports, offering 40Gb/second of bandwidth among the USB ports. When you consider that the DMI bus offers 20Gb/second of bandwidth between the CPU and various connections, and that SATA 6Gb/second would take 12Gb/second of that bandwidth alone, you can see there would be a possible bottleneck when 6 or 10 USB 3.0 ports that take 5Gb/second are added, not to mention the many other devices using that bandwidth including PCI Express lanes and the Gigabit LAN controller.
The next feature is SATA 6Gb/second ports. While all P67 boards on the market support SATA 6Gb/second ports, the Intel P67 chipset natively supports two ports, which is the solution many motherboard manufacturers have adopted with their chipset. The P67A-UD7 has four onboard SATA 6Gb/second ports with two controlled by the P67 Express chipset and two controlled by the MARVELL SATA controller. There are two ESATA ports on the rear I/O that are fully SATA 6Gbps compliant meaning up to six SATA 6Gb/second ports can be used on this board.
Turbo XHD allows the system to have eXtreme Hard Drive performance. When two new SATA3 HDDs are detected by the system Turbo XHD will automatically configure the drives into RAID 0 mode if you click Yes on Power on. This will enable RAID 0 on the two SATA3 drives automatically, dramatically improving performance. If you have ever set up RAID 0 on a regular motherboard you first have to configure it in the BIOS, then hit F10 or CTRL+I to enter the RAID setup menu, choose the RAID array then click Y to set it up. This cleans up the process that would take up to 7 steps into a single step.
The USB 3.0 standard ups the power that the ports give from 500micro Amps to 900 micro Amps. GIGABYTE pioneered the use of 3X USB power, offering up to 2700 micro Amps of power to USB 3.0 devices and 1500 micro Amps to USB 2.0 devices. On GIGABYTE boards a fuse protects each USB port, and they use lower resistance fuses to ensure lower voltage drops. The ports on GIGABYTE boards can provide enough power for power-hungry devices that require 2 USB connections on a single port like an external DVD-RW or HDD. Hand in hand with 3X USB power is the On/off charge, which allows the motherboard to provide charging power even when the system is turned off allowing charging times to be shorter by up to 40%.
Of course GIGABYTE is known for their overclocking and they have implemented Hotkey OC. Hotkey OC allows you to set up to four OC profiles in EasyTune6 for different purposes with the single click of a hotkey. Cloud OC allows the user to remotely control their PC via any device with a web browser. The user can use WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth or any other protocol to establish an Internet connection link to the motherboard. It allows you to monitor system hardware status while running benchmarks, OC on the fly and control power states (Power off, restart, suspend and hibernate.)