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Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK Review (Page 11 of 12)

Page 11 — Onboard Sound Frequency Analysis

Gigabyte has a great record of having very good performing integrated audio on their motherboards, and the GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK is advertised to be no exception. It comes with a rear headphone amplifier that can drive up to 800 ohm loads, and comes with a dedicated audio zone electrically separated from the rest of the components to reduce noise. This mainstream performance model uses Realtek’s ALC1150 audio codec. To see how it performs, we fired up RightMark Audio Analyzer for the answer, and here is the full report.

Test Information:

Testing device: Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)
Sampling mode: 24-bit, 48 kHz
Interface: DirectSound
Testing chain: External loopback (line-out — line-in)
RMAA Version: 6.4.0
20 Hz — 20 kHz filter: ON
Normalize amplitude: ON
Level change: -0.5 dB / -0.3 dB
Mono mode: OFF
Calibration singal, Hz: 1000
Polarity: correct/correct

Frequency response

From 20 Hz to 20 kHz, dB: -0. 21, +0.08; -0.04, +0.26
From 40 Hz to 15 kHz, dB: -0.04, +0.06; +0.13, +0.24

Noise level

RMS power, dB: -102.6, -102.3
RMS power (A-weighted), dB: -104.7, -104.7
Peak level, dB FS: -78.7, -80.8
DC offset, %: -0.0, -0.0

Dynamic range

Dynamic range, dB: +102.7, +102.4
Dynamic range (A-weighted), dB: +104.6, +104.7
DC offset, %: -0.00, -0.00

THD + Noise (at -3 dB FS)

THD, %: +0.0133, +0.0101
THD + Noise, %: +0.0134, +0.0103
THD + Noise (A-weighted), %: +0.0176, +0.0133

Intermodulation distortion

IMD + Noise, %: +0.0138, +0.0110
IMD + Noise (A-weighted), %: +0.0084, +0.0063

Stereo crosstalk

Crosstalk at 100 Hz, dB: -94, -95
Crosstalk at 1000 Hz, dB: -98, -101
Crosstalk at 10000 Hz, dB: -82, -100

IMD (swept tones)

IMD + Noise at 5000 Hz: 0.0163, 0.0130
IMD + Noise at 10000 Hz: 0.0119, 0.0099
IMD + Noise at 15000 Hz: 0. 0134, 0.0118

Test Summary:

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.24, +0.13 — Excellent
Noise level, dB (A): -104.7 — Excellent
Dynamic range, dB (A): 104.7 — Excellent
THD, %: 0.012 — Good
THD + Noise, dB (A): -76.2 — Average
IMD + Noise, %: 0.012 — Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -100.6 — Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %: 0.013 — Very good
General performance: Very good

Page Index

1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Bundle, Chipset, BIOS
3. A Closer Look, Board Layout, Test System
4. Benchmark: AIDA64 CPU
5. Benchmark: AIDA64 FPU
6. Benchmark: AIDA64 Memory
7. Benchmark: PCMark 8
8. Benchmark: 3DMark
9. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0
10. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R15
11. Onboard Sound Frequency Analysis
12. Overclocking and Conclusion

Computex 2016: Gigabyte Motherboards Updated for X99, Z170 unveiled

Computex 2016: Gigabyte Motherboards Updated for X99, Z170 unveiled — Custom PC Review


Home Articles Computex 2016: Gigabyte Motherboards Updated for X99, Z170 unveiled

During our stay at Computex we stopped by the Gigabyte suite and took a look at their motherboards.

GA-X99 Designare EX

The Designare series is a class of motherboards aimed at those looking for productivity, which is a very interesting step from Gigabyte. While very similar to their “Gaming” focused boards, this one has a focus on faster storage with dual SATA Express slots and support for U.2 and M.2 storage under the white shroud. It also supports the new Broadwell-E 10 core with a beefy 8+1 phase power design, which we would assume is from International Rectifier. Gigabyte boasts that with this board it won’t take a professional overclocker to get great overclocking results.

Manufacturer Gigabyte
Model X99 Designare EX
Form Factor ATX
Socket LGA 2011-3
Chipset Intel X99
Memory 8X DDR4 DIMM Slots (Upto 128GB)
EEC/NonEEC unbuffered, up to DDR4 3400+
Audio Realtek ALC1150
LAN Dual Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed support
Slots 3 x PCI Express 3. 0
Storage x10 SATA 6GB/s x2 M.2 PCI-E x1 Sata Express
USB 2 x USB 3.1 ports (Type C, Type A)
9 x USB 3.0 ports x4 USB 2.0
Price $419 USD

Designare GA-Z170X

Like the Gigabyte X99 Designare EX, the Gigabyte Z170X Designare is aimed at the content creator, graphic designer, and photographer except it supports the Intel’s LGA 1151 socket and utilizes Intel’s Z170 chipset. This motherboard also has a different color scheme with Black, Blue and White accent colors.

Manufacturer Gigabyte
Model Z170X Designare
Form Factor ATX
Socket LGA 1151
Chipset Intel Z170
Memory 4X DDR4 DIMM Slots (Up to 64GB)
up to DDR4 4000MHz+
Audio Realtek ALC1150
LAN Dual Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed support
Slots 3 x PCI Express 3. 0 (1X16 1×8 and 1X4)
Storage 6 x SATA 6GB/s x1 M.2 PCI-E x1U.2 x2 SATA Express
USB 2 x USB 3.1 ports (Type C)
6 x USB 3.0 ports 6 x USB 2.0
Price $230 USD


GA-X99 Ultra Gaming

The Ultra Gaming model is one of Gigabytes more traditional G1 Gaming motherboards. We see support for U.2 and M.2 as well as triple graphics solutions.

Manufacturer Gigabyte
Model X99 Ultra Gaming
Form Factor ATX
Socket LGA 2011-3
Chipset Intel X99
Memory 8X DDR4 DIMM Slots (up to 128GB)
EEC/NonEEC unbuffered, up to DDR4 3400+
Audio Realtek ALC1150
LAN Intel i219V + Killer E2400
Slots 3 x PCI Express 3.0
Storage x10 SATA 6GB/s x2 M. 2 PCI-E x1 SATA Express
USB 2 x USB 3.1 ports (Type C, Type A)
10 x USB 3.0 ports x4 USB 2.0
Price $270 USD

Z170X Ultra Gaming

Finally we have the Z170 variation of the G1 gaming, with a slightly different color scheme and has Gigabytes ambient RGB lighting as all the other boards. We see support for Dual and Triple graphics solutions and U.2 SSDs.

Manufacturer Gigabyte
Model Z170 Ultra Gaming
Form Factor ATX
Socket LGA 1151
Chipset Intel Z170
Memory 4X DDR4 DIMM Slots (Up to  64GB)
up to DDR4 3866MHz+
Audio Realtek ALC1150
LAN Intel i219V cFosSpeed support
Slots 3 x PCI Express 3.0 (1X16 1×8 and 1X4)
Storage 6 x SATA 6GB/s x1 M. 2 PCI-E x1U.2 x2 Sara Express
USB 2 x USB 3.1 ports (Type C)
6 x USB 3.0 ports 6 x USB 2.0
Price $170 USD

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Alex Stevens

Alex is a long time PC Hardware Enthusiast, when not testing, or troubleshooting he spends way too much time playing the latest RTS and FPS games.

GIGABYTE 9 Series Ultra Durable Motherboars

Intel ® GbE LAN Controller and CFOS Internet Accelerator

GIGABYTE 9-series board software comes with cFos Speed, a network traffic management utility that helps optimize network latency, minimize response time, and provide fast event response in crowded LAN environments. The utility works similarly to an OS driver, monitoring network traffic packets at the application level, which allows you to evaluate the efficiency and optimize the network infrastructure, increasing its performance when executing specific applications.

LAN controller and GIGABYTE LAN Optimizer

GIGABYTE LAN Optimizer is designed to manage network traffic by allowing you to prioritize various streams (such as HD media content, web browser page content, or online gaming) to improve bandwidth for selected critical applications.

CFOS / LAN Optimizer functionality depends on the specific model

Realtek ALC1150 HD audio subsystem and integrated amplifier

S/N ratio 115 dB
GIGABYTE 9-series motherboards are based on the Realtek ALC 1150 progressive multi-channel audio codec, which provides the proper signal quality, an excellent signal-to-noise ratio of 115 dB, and ensures maximum comfort when listening to audio content on a PC.

The ALC1150 codec is a 10-channel DAC that can provide 7.1 playback plus 2 independent stereo outputs (multi-streaming) via the front panel audio jacks. The two integrated ADCs support an array of microphones as well as Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming (BF) and Noise Suppression (NS). Thanks to proprietary technology developed by Realtek, one of the key indicators of the audio subsystem — the signal-to-noise ratio for the ALC1150 codec during playback is 115 dB (DAC) and 104 dB — during recording (ADC).

Built-in Audio Amplifier
GIGABYTE 9-series motherboards are equipped with a headphone amplifier (maximum load up to 600 ohms). This allows audiophiles to enjoy high-quality sound throughout the entire dynamic range of the declared frequencies, due to the maximum detail of the audio signal against the background of minimal harmonic distortion, provided that high-quality professional headphones are connected to the system.

Dedicated audio shielded area
+ Separate shielding in PCB layers to protect sensitive analog audio components
+ Separate analog and digital grounds to protect against EMI

The photos above are for informational purposes only
* Product functionality may vary by model.

GIGABYTE App Center, EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™

EasyTune™ Utility
GIGABYTE EasyTune™ Utility features a simple and intuitive user interface that allows you to adjust system settings without the need to reboot the system (in particular, adjust the clock frequency and power supply voltage of key components in a Windows environment), as well as the ability to display information about the current state of the system without the need to install additional third-party software

The Smart Quick Boost feature allows the user to select the desired performance level by automatically overclocking the system with one click.

Get instant performance boost
Take your PC to the next level with GIGABYTE’s signature overclocking features.

Advanced settings:
For experienced users and professionals.

Easy OC profiles:
One-click automatic CPU and RAM overclocking

Automatically detect the performance level of your PC

APP Center
The GIGABYTE App Center gives you instant access to GIGABYTE branded apps to help you get the most out of your motherboard. The intuitive GIGABYTE App Center user interface allows you to launch all GIGABYTE applications installed on your system.

GIGABYTE App Center, EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™

• Smart Quick Boost provides users with different levels of CPU frequencies to choose to achieve the desired system performance.

• Advanced CPU OC allows users to set CPU base clock, frequency, and voltages, and integrated graphics frequency.

• Advanced DDR OC allows users to set the memory clock.

Cloud Station™ Proprietary Software

GIGABYTE Cloud Station™ is a suite of unique proprietary applications that allow portable devices (smartphone/tablet, etc. ) to communicate, share resources, and control a desktop PC wirelessly.

The HomeCloud app (Home Cloud) allows you to share data between your smartphone / tablet and desktop computer, as well as back up files from your device to your PC.

The HotSpot (Access Point) application allows you to use your desktop PC as a virtual wireless access point, sharing connection resources between connected wireless devices.

With the GIGABYTE Remote app, the user can remotely control the hardware/peripherals and software (especially the Keyboard/Mouse/Windows Media Player) of a desktop PC via a smartphone/tablet.

Remote OC
The Remote OC utility allows you to fine-tune the parameters of a remote PC, allowing you to monitor and overclock the system, as well as shutdown / restart the computer when necessary.

Auto Green
The Auto Green application is a simple and convenient toolkit designed to save energy on a desktop PC using a portable device (smartphone / tablet) connected to a computer via Bluetooth. When the device is outside the range set in the computer’s Bluetooth receiver, the system enters the specified power saving mode.

comparison review and testing / Motherboards

3DNews Motherboards Benchmarking Intel Z87 Based Mini-ITX Boards: Comparison…

The most interesting news

⇣ Contents

The ideology of motherboard manufacturers offering Z87 products in the Mini-ITX format is basically the same. Such boards are usually aimed at the enthusiast audience, and therefore not only have overclocking support, but are also equipped with rich peripheral features, which ultimately affects their price. However, ASRock decided to take a slightly different path to the hearts of consumers. The company was able to design a relatively inexpensive Mini-ITX board that still had a good list of features.

As a result, ASRock Z87E-ITX stands at the level of boards from other manufacturers, which are noticeably inferior to it in terms of capabilities, and primarily in terms of connecting drives. However, the secret behind ASRock’s product is quite simple. The engineers did not stuff the compact motherboard with additional controllers, which in the case of the Mini-ITX format turns into a non-trivial task, but simply relied on the functions offered by the Intel Z87 logic set, trying to use them to the maximum. The second original design approach, which found a place in the design of ASRock Z87E-ITX, is adding the maximum number of slots to the board for installing external expansion cards. Of course, you can’t expect much from the Mini-ITX format, but in addition to the usual PCI Express x16 3. 0 graphics slot for Z87-based boards, the Z87E-ITX offers two mini-PCIe slots.

One of these slots is located in the center of the board, it is designed for half-size cards and is already filled as standard with an expansion card — Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controller Broadcom. It should be noted that this controller is quite good: it is dual-band, with support for the 802.11ac standard. Thanks to the support of a pair of antennas (they are included with the board), the maximum wireless data transfer rate reaches 867 Mbps. Mini-ITX boards on the market rarely offer such generous functionality in terms of wireless interfaces.

The second mini-PCIe slot on the front side of the board did not fit as expected, so ASRock engineers ingeniously moved it to the back of the board. And this placement made it compatible even with full-sized mini-PCIe cards. In addition, the same slot also supports solid state drives in mSATA format.

Naturally, the board also has an unchanged pair of DDR3 DIMM slots — this is a standard package for Mini-ITX. On ASRock Z87E-ITX, these slots have one-way latches, so changing the memory in an already assembled system with a video card installed will not be too difficult. The maximum amount of supported memory is 16 GB.

The board could fit two connectors for connecting USB 2.0 ports, as well as a needle connector for a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Adding these ports to those on the rear panel, it turns out that a total of six USB 2.0 and six USB 3.0 are supported on the ASRock Z87E-ITX. This is not a record, but what really deserves praise is the presence of a full set of six SATA 6 Gb / s chipset ports on the board. True, one of these ports is shared with an mSATA slot, and another one is with an eSATA connector on the rear panel. But nevertheless, the ASRock Z87E-ITX’s storage connectivity is clearly richer than most competing products of the same form factor.

Of course, the placement of a large number of slots and connectors on a 17 by 17 cm board could not but affect the design. At ASRock Z87E-ITX, it turned out to be dense and not very comfortable. The LGA1150 processor socket was also damaged, which had to be moved to the top edge of the board. On the one hand, this gives some freedom when using massive video cards, but on the other hand, it creates problems when using large processor coolers. In fact, after installing an ASRock Z87E-ITX in a typical Mini-ITX case, the subset of CPU coolers that fit will be limited to models with no more than 92mm fans. However, in spacious cases or on an open bench, much larger cooling systems can be mounted on this board — they will not conflict with a video card.

Even more serious criticism is the location of the eight-pin power connector. He stuck in the center of the space between the processor socket and the rear panel, which means that in the assembled system, access to it is likely to be blocked.

The processor power circuit itself has a six-channel design. It is based on DrMOS assemblies and iron core coils commonly used in server boards. This gives ASRock reason to claim that its circuitry is highly reliable, even though full-size boards typically use high-current electronic components. Semiconductor elements of the power circuit are covered with a small radiator with a rigid screw mount. During operation of the board, this heatsink can get hot, but compared to how hot the power converters on other boards are, this is mere trifles.

ASRock Z87E-ITX has only two four-pin connectors for connecting fans, which means that after turning on the CPU cooler, only one fan can be connected to the motherboard. The fan speed is controlled only with a four-pin connection, via PWM.

Rear panel contains two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, and a PS/2 socket that works with either a mouse or keyboard. There are three ports for connecting monitors to the processor’s integrated graphics: HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI. Analog monitors can be connected to DVI-I via the supplied adapter, while HDMI and DisplayPort ports support 4K screens. Also on the rear panel are five analog audio jacks and an optical S/PDIF, which are responsible for the eight-channel Realtek ALC1150 codec and the TI NE5532 amplifier, which makes it possible to use headphones with an internal impedance of up to 600 ohms. There is also a gigabit wired network connector implemented through the Intel I217V chip, as well as two connectors for connecting WiFi antennas. Among all this abundance, a small, inconspicuous Clear CMOS button was able to squeeze in.

In addition to the already mentioned two WiFi antennas and a DVI-I to D-Sub adapter, the ASRock Z87E-ITX package includes only the most necessary things: SATA cables, a driver disk, a manual, and a plug for the back of the case (I / O shield).

ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard BIOS is absolutely typical for this manufacturer. It has the usual set of options for fine-tuning the system and overclocking, which is typical for full-size boards. Fortunately, no reductions or simplifications made specifically in the Mini-ITX modification are visible.

The main options for controlling the processor frequency and voltage have been moved to a special section of OC Tweaker.

The memory settings are hidden in the DRAM Configuration subsection.

Processor power-saving technology controls are located in the CPU Configuration subsection of the Advanced section.

Processor overclocking on ASRock Z87E-ITX board is very easy. You just need to change the CPU multiplier and its voltage — the board will change all the other necessary parameters of the Turbo technology on its own. The situation is similar with memory overclocking — we did not encounter any problems when setting the high DDR3 SDRAM frequencies.

In other words, despite its modest size, the Z87E-ITX is a good overclocking platform. But not only. The electrical design makes it possible to assemble very economical systems on its basis. At the same time, the expansion options offered by ASRock Z87E-ITX are among the best in their class.

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