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Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 (Sandy Bridge) living review

Dark Mantis

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Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 (Sandy Bridge) living review
« on: March 07, 2011, 02:13:07 pm »
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 (Sandy Bridge) Living Review

7th March 2011

by DARK MANTIS

Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 rev 1.0 motherboard  website : http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3647&dl=1#ov

Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5  Motherboard



Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 B2 Motherboard unboxed



Motherboard rear surface



Motherboard basic specs

To fit LGA1155 socket CPU i3, i5 , i7 second generation
Maximum 32 GB DDR3 Dual Channel  1.5v non ECC memory
Realtek ALC889 onboard sound HD compatible
Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit LAN
1 x PCIEx16 slot @ 16x
1 x PCIEx16 slot @ x8
1 x PCIEx16 slot @ 4x
2 x PCIEx1 slots @ 1x
2 x PCI slots
2 x SATA3 ports 6Gb/s
4 x SATA2 ports 3Gb/s
2 x ESATA3 ports 6Gb/s
Maximum 8 USB3.0/2.0 ports
Maximum 3 1394a Firewire ports
1 x PS2 mouse/keyboard port
1 x optical port
1 x coax port
1 x  RJ45 LAN port
6 audio jack ports
Award Dual BIOS  2 x 32 Mb chips
ATX form factor

Plexiglas test-bench designed and manufactured by Dark Mantis



Firstly I want to make it clear that this is a living review and as such will continue to be updated as time goes by or as I hit any problems!

I am not going into great detail when it comes to the build as I am sure that most of you will be familiar with the basic steps involved. Also I have designed and built a testbench out of Plexiglas to make it easier to see all the devices and for me to take photos. It will also enable me to swap out components  as needed much more easily and quickly.

I intend to build and run the basic system as it was delivered at first with no updates of BIOS or drivers, so we will be able to see how stable it is from that standpoint. I will just use one hard drive and one optical drive at this stage although later on I want to try running a RAID0 configuration of two Western Digital Black SATA3 6GB/s HDD on the Intel SATA3 ports.

Later I will update everything and see how it then compares and then after that I want to try and overclock it to see just how easy it is  and how far I can go.

Let me start by listing the parts that are actually going into the build:

•   Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 B2 motherboard
•   Intel i5 2500K 3.3Ghz processor
•   Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro cooler
•   Corsair Vengeance 1600 Mhz DDR3 memory  - 8 GB (2 x 4 GB modules)
•   Gigabyte Radeon 4850 GV-R485-512H-B graphics card
•   Gigabyte Odin Pro 1200W Power Supply Unit
•   Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB SATA3 6 GB/s hard drives x 2
•   Lite-on 24x DVD multi recorder
•   Custom made plexiglas test-bench
•   Logitech MK700 wireless keyboard/mouse
•   Iiyama ProLite B2712HDS 27" monitor
•   maybe other parts as required which will be listed as fitted

I want  to point out here that as I am using 8 GB of memory I have disabled the swapfile

Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro Cooler



Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro Cooler unboxed



Gigabyte ODIN Pro 1200W PSU



Gigabyte ODIN Pro 1200W PSU unboxed



Corsair Vengeance 1600 MHz 2 x 4 GB Memory modules



Memory fitted and showing how the Gigabyte cooler helps blow air over the nearby components



First boot....and everything works!



When I first applied the power I had the expected on/off/on as the system read the hardware connected and logged it in the CMOS after that the supplied BIOS worked fine without me even touching it. Good start.

I let it continue to run like this for a while just to make sure that everything was stable.
 
As it was only on stock speeds I was able to turn off the two extra fans as they weren't required. At full  speed the CPU fan was quiet but noticeable but if dropped down to the 5v (half- speed) level  it was silent and for standard usage more than adequate performance.

Original F2 BIOS as supplied on the motherboard



Next I loaded on the drivers from the supplied disk and a couple of testing programs. Prime95 and Real Temp just to stress it out and see if everything was solid....no problems at all which is good considering I hadn't updated anything.



After proving the build I decided to update the BIOS to F6 and all the drivers to the latest versions. This went without a problem and then made a few basic changes to the BIOS setup. Nothing special just the sort of thing that we always recommend like disabling the Full Screen Logo,  enable Quick boot, make HDD the Primary Boot Device and I enabled the XMP profile in the memory section so that the RAM would run at its full rated speed of 1600 Mhz.

CPU-Z data at stock settings



Temperatures on idle



Temperatures when stressed with Prime95 100%



Disk Read/Write data with CrystalDiskMark SATA3 6GB/s port and drive



As you can see from the reported throughput figures there is very little difference between the SATA2  and SATA3 drives even with the latter having the benefit of a massive 64MB of cache.  
This is set up as AHCI mode to make the most of the performance and is connected by SATA3 cable to SATA3 port



I would like to say thank you to Gigabyte and runn3R in particular for their help in making this review possible.

Here endeth the first lesson...
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:36:16 am by runn3R »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 02:13:40 pm »
RAID 0 Configuration
I replaced the original single Western Digital Black SATA3 6GB/s hard disk drive with a pair of the same drives connected to the Intel SATA3 ports and left everything else at the same stock settings. I then configured them as a RAID0 array using the Intel Rapid Storage Technology and installed Windows 7 64 bit again.



As you can see the read/write rates have more than doubled as should be expected. I will now run them like this for a substantial time to check for stability.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 05:14:18 pm by runn3R »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 02:13:53 pm »
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 and Intel i5 2500K CPU Over-clocking

I decided to see how easy it is to overclock these boards/CPUs without raising the voltages above stock values and staying on air cooling with the same Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro cooler that was installed since the beginning.

I thought that I would just try a reserved 4.0 Ghz OC for a start.

This was on idle at 4.0 Ghz



So I then ran Prime95 custom using 4 GB memory

and this was the temperatures then.




Next up was 4.6 Ghz with these figures on idle again



Once again time to run Prime95 and I found it was hardly straining the air cooler still.



OK 4.7 Ghz next and remember I haven't changed anything but the multiplier so far. Once again at idle



Now at load with Prime95



I started to notice a litle bit of instability creeping in now and so without upping the voltage this seemed to be the limit. However I think that with the same Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro air cooler that I started with still coping very well I am amazed at the ease and amount of overclock available with these components. This Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 motherboard paired with the Intel i5 2500K CPU is formidable to say the least. I would have liked the oportunity to have tried the Intel i7 2600K in place of the i5 and see how they compared.

I reckon that given water cooling and a touch more voltage and 5.0 Ghz + would be on the cards.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 03:07:56 pm by Dark Mantis »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 02:14:14 pm »
RAID0 Configuration... continued

I have now done some prolonged and heavy duty testing of the RAID0 configured drives and they have performed perfectly so far. The tests consisted of copying large files from the optical drive to the array, copying very large files over the disks and installing several games and programs like MS Office. Apart from a bit of heat build up that had more to do with the enclosure than the drives or their performance and has now been sorted out by adding a fan onto the front of the drive bays, the disks worked without a glitch and for sustained periods at full rate.

I am happy to say that these Western Digital Black SATA3 drives connected to the SATA3 ports of the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 are solid. I have not experienced one dropout or failure to pickup the drive on boot.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 03:56:22 pm by Dark Mantis »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 02:14:27 pm »
Watercooling the GA-P67A-UD5

Well after building the system and then running the various tests on it to see how it would respond I decided my next endevour would be to watercool it.
 


This was a bit of a trial as it was only a small testbench case and watercooling calls for a lot more components to be fitted in. Out came the Gigabyte G-Power 2 pro cooler and in went a Alphacool 655 Pump with EK head, Phobya 5.25 single reservoir, Phobya G-Changer 280 radiator with dual 140 mm XIGMATEK XLF fans, Aquacomputer Water Filter, Swiftech XT CPU block and Primochill Primoflex 10 mm  black hose.



The Alphacool pump is extremely powerfull and when coupled with the EK head unit I was able to use my preferencial size of Primoflex pipe which is not normally possible on these pumps as they have standard fixed ports of 1/2". I had to turn the pump down to about half it's rated output to run smoothly and silently.



I decided on a Phobya 140 mm width radiator as it made better use of the size and although these are far from cheap they are real beasts and have no real impact on the flow. I fitted two XIGMATEK XLF 140 mm fans with a maximum 63.5 CFM at 1000 RPM. They are attractive fans with white LED highlights that have the desired effect. They seem to be very efficient and this was the first but will not be the last time I have used them. I have them connected to the directly to the PSU as is favourite.



The Phobya 5.25" reservoir fitted nicely above the PSU and was at the top for ease of filling. With a couple of UV LEDs installed it looks the business as well as being supremely functional. There is a choice of three inlet ports and one outlet so it is also versatile.



I connected everything up with the aid of EK Black compression fittings. They just look so much more tasteful than the shiny silver variety and I was impressed by how much extra grip they had on the pipe even before screwing the cap down. They also have a neat little EK logo stamped on them.



The filter made by Aquacomputer is a lovely bit of kit and this is the first time I have incorporated a filter into one of my loops. It was something I always thought was a good idea to stop "gunge" blocking the fine matrixes of the cooling blocks and performance deteriorating because of it. However prior to this filter coming onto the market I had never liked the inline type that were available as they had a much smaller filter diameter and would restrict the flow especially when they became partly clogged as they are supposed. Well that's the theory I will let you know if it works the same in practice!



Of course all this led to the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 motherboard with an Intel i5 2500K chip and the XT CPU waterblock by Swiftech which I have modified a little to increase the flow as I found it rather restrictive. I ground down the fine matrix a little to give more free flow at the cost of a small amount heat transfer performance.



Talking about performance I expect you are wondering how the watercooling compared to the aircooling that was fitted previously. So I did some more tests. Firstly I ran the system at stock speeds and took screenshots of both idle and stressed levels. I used Prime95 to load the processor to 100% for these tests. Secondly I overclocked the system to 4.6 GHz and then re ran the same tests and took more pictures. My room had an ambient temperature of 21 degrees for the stock speed testing and then 25 degrees by the time I did the overclocked readings.



Basically the stock temps were ambient 21, Idle 21, stressed 36 -38 degrees. So these have dropped about 4 degrees when idle and 4 - 6 degrees when stressed.



The overclocked temperatures were ambient 25, Idle 30 and stressed at 51 degrees. These have also fallen and now are idle at 5 degrees lower and stressed at about 4 degrees lower. I would like point out here that when I did the original test with the Gigabyte G-Power 2 Pro aircooler the ambient was lower and I did notice that the Prime95 setting wasn't at 100% so if anything the differences would have been greater.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 09:33:24 am by Dark Mantis »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 02:14:51 pm »
Future posting
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 01:36:32 am »
Excellent start DM!  I really like that plexiglass test set up you are using!  Very creative and very effective!

I also like most of your hardware choices.  Very effective and very nice!

Why are you using that Gigabyte CPU cooler?  Although it looks pretty, it is pre-2008 design and the reviews are not so good on it.  Do you intend to use it only for testing purposes or will that be your CPU cooler long term as in forever?

Your new build almost looks like a nice Jaguar automobile with all the nice trimmings but then you put a Model-T radiator in your nice Jaguar automobile!

Soar
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 01:40:37 am by soarwitheagles »
AMD 1055T
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3
XFX 6870 DD
Corsair Vengeance 1600 16GB
OCZ ZX-850 Watt Gold
HAF 932

Intel i5-3570
ASRock Z77 Extreme4
GeForce 560Ti
OCZ ZX-850 Watt Gold
Corsair Vengeance 1600 16GB
CM HAF X Blue

Both Systems:

Windows 7+8
Scythe Temp Monitor + Fan Controller

faizoff

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 03:47:03 am »
Wow is all I have to say. Just Wow.
Intel i5 2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3 Ghz (OC to 4.6 Ghz)
Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Gigabyte P67-UD3-B2 Bios V. F4
Crucial 64 GB RealSSD C300
8 GB DDR3 1333 RAM (OC to 1666 Mhz)
Radeon HD 4670 1 GB DDR3 (Does what I need it to do)
23" Asus VH236H 2ms 1080p
Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 05:39:14 am »
Excellent start DM!  I really like that plexiglass test set up you are using!  Very creative and very effective!


Agree Totally  :D

Killer Design i love it  8)
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 05:40:28 am by PlatinumShadow »

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 09:46:29 am »
Thanks for the comments. I understand your feelings regarding the cooler but it is really just for testing purposes and so far is doing a fine job as you can see from the temperatures. Maybe when I overclock and the output ramps up it will stuggle but we will see. I will report exactly as I find it...good or bad. Maybe later I will test it with a watercooling loop just to be able to have the whole spectrum of temperatures to compare but that will be a while yet.

By the way Soar, there is nothing wrong with some "classic iron". ;D
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 09:48:43 am by Dark Mantis »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

faizoff

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 12:10:21 pm »
Yknow with regards to the temp, I now find the temp to be always in the lower 40s with this stock cooler, not sure if it has anything to do with the weather. But I feel it just may be time to invest in a better cooler and a newer case. I've recycled my previous case and while it's ok, it doesnt have any fans on it.

Might just have to get that NZXT Phantom I was thinking of getting.
Intel i5 2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3 Ghz (OC to 4.6 Ghz)
Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Gigabyte P67-UD3-B2 Bios V. F4
Crucial 64 GB RealSSD C300
8 GB DDR3 1333 RAM (OC to 1666 Mhz)
Radeon HD 4670 1 GB DDR3 (Does what I need it to do)
23" Asus VH236H 2ms 1080p
Windows 7 Home Premium 64

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 01:26:29 pm »
This motherboard/cpu combination does run at a lower temperature level than the previous generations did anyway which is obviously a bonus.

As you said though you still need a decent flow of air for all the other components to stay cool and even though I normally watercool my setups I stll maintain a good fan system although I run it at slow speeds which mean almost silent working.
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

Dark Mantis

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  • 10typesofpeopleoneswhoknow binaryandoneswhodont
    • Dark Mantis
Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 08:38:45 am »
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy

absic

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 10:09:16 am »
Looking good DM.

I see you running the Western Digital Caviar Black drives in your RAID0 array and I hope, like I did on the AMD SB850 Chip, that you find no problems with stability. Unlike the Marvell chip and the advice we were given that these drives are not recommended for RAID set-ups!  ::)

Disk read/write speeds are very close to those on the GA-890FXA-UD5 board, which is an interesting comparison for throughput of data.

Look forward to seeing how the CPU handles other tasks such as video and audio rendering.
Remember, when all else fails a cup of tea and a good swear will often help! It won't solve the problem but it will make you feel better.

Dark Mantis

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Re: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 living review
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 10:20:28 am »
Yes absic, that was one of the main reasons I was looking forward to being able to try this setup on a different platform.

After Western Digitals explanation of the fact that TLER is no longer supported on these drives I was interested in how much actual difference that would make on a decent controller. It is  abit early to tell yet but so far no big worries.

I have other tests in mind for the future but for the moment I will satisfy myself that they are running reliably.
Gigabyte X58A-UD7
i7 920
Dominators 1600 x6 12GB
6970 2GB
HX850
256GB SSD, Sam 1TB, WDB320GB
Blu-Ray
HAF 932

Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
i7 3770K
Vengeance 1600 16GB
6950 2GB
HCP1200W
Revo Drive x2, 1.5TB WDB RAID0
16x DLRW
StrikeX S7
Full water cooling
3 x 27" Iiy