In our continuing coverage of the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H WB we are moving into the performance side of things. Here is where it becomes difficult to differentiate between companies. The problem is that if you are testing Z77 Express based motherboards you are testing very similar platforms. It is only when you start adding in features to the mix that they separate. So the big deal here is how well do these products perform when you throw in all the advertised features (or at least as many as will work at once)? This is what we try to do with our performances testing. In our feature and design review we showed you what the Z77X-UD5H has to offer, and now we will show you how well it performs when you ask it to give you all of that at once.
Intel is in full swing with the X79 and their Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. We have watched as they have broken and re-broken records for performance and in some cases overclocking. Behind all of this we have the X79 chipset with its quad-channel DDR3 configuration and some impressive power specifications. Intel has also brought back BCLK overclocking which has made things very interesting. We have a few X79 boards in the lab and are working on finding out just what they can do and how they actually work in the real world. One of these is also our second Gigabyte motherboard; the X79-UD5. This will also be our first video preview where we show you and talk about the design and features. So let’s dive in and see what the GA-X79-UD5 has to offer…
Moving through some of the more prominent Z77 motherboards that are out right now we come to another one from Gigabyte. Here we have the Z77X-UD5H WiFi Motherboard (Model number GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB). The UD5H is typically their second in line for the top spot in Gigabyte’s food chain The Z77X-UD7 currently holds that top crown. However the UD5 boards are always very functional and tend to combine the best of both performance and features. With this review we will be covering not only the features of the Z77X-UD5H WiFi but also come of the design choices that go into the board to get you the performance you expect on the other end. So let’s get right to it and find out if the Z77X-UD5H WiFi is worth the $210 that Gigabyte is asking.
After taking a look at a couple of Asus’ MicroATX Z77 boards we are moving up in size to the standard ATX products. Asus has been (as we have told you) working on integrating the same feature set you find in their ROG boards down into their mainstream and even channel boards. This move is also helping them to restructure the feature set at each level and offer the right features to the right market segment. We started off with the gateway product into the ROG line (the Maximus V Gene) and then dropped to the other end of the spectrum with the P8Z77-M Pro. Now we are going to check out the lower end of the mid-range motherboards in the P8Z77-V. This board is a step up from the P8Z77-M Pro in both size and the features that it brings to the table. Let’s take a look shall we?
After seeing what new features Asus is bringing to the table with the Maximus V Gene (and there are a ton of them) we now get to dive into the performance side of things and see what we have. As the gateway product to the ROG lineup the Maximus V Gene has a lot to live up to, but with everything that Asus has thrown into it we are sure it can handle the pressure. So let’s dive into the Asus Republic of Gamers Maximus V Gene and see how it performs.
802.11ac wireless was introduced at CES 2012. Unfortunately when the devices were launched there were no adapters to support it. This meant that people were buying expensive wireless products without having any way to support the speeds they were capable of. Fortunately at CES 2013 a couple of manufacturers started releasing 802.11ac adapters. However, there are two schools of thought about how to implement these adapters. We will be taking a look at both in the next couple of weeks, but we will kick things off with a look at the USB 2.0 NETGEAR A6200 Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi Adapter. Let’s dive in and take a look.
Gigabyte (as we have told you) is working on remaking their image. They want to be known as a company that builds components for the enthusiast. They are, and have been, working very hard to reach this goal. Their Ultra Durable series of boards have received numerous awards and accolades from review sites and from people who have bought these boards. We have been fortunate enough to review a couple of these and have given you our thoughts on the GA-890FXA-UD7 and are working on a revised impression of the GA-P55A-UD7 as well. For now we are going to move from the big to the small. This is the H55N-UBS3 a Mini-ITX board that features the Intel H55 Express chipset, USB 3.0 and a few Gigabyte special features. Follow along as we dive into this $104.99 board and see if size does not matter.
As the devices we carry around with us get smaller and smaller there is going to be an increasing want (or need) for larger and faster portable storage devices. We have watched over the last few years as the storage capacity of USB flash drives (Pen Drives, Thumb Drives etc.) has grown rapidly. It was not that long ago that a 1-2GB drive was something to have. Now we have small flash drives in the 64, 128 and even 256GB range! Kingston has been one of the companies on the forefront if this charge into larger capacity and faster performance. We have tested out multiple products from them from encrypted storage devices to the hefty DTUltimate G2 32GB USB3.0 thumb drive. Now we have a new product on the bench from Kingston. This one is being sold under their performance name HyperX. The Drive boasts 64GB of storage and 225MB/s of read performance! If the paper is to be believed this is almost twice the performance of the DTUltimate G2, which topped out at around 116MB in our testing. Let’s dive in and see if the paper claims match the real world performance.
When wireless networking was first introduced it was a very cool concept and people bought into it. The problem was that it was also about as slow as dial-up internet was. The good news is that all technologies advance and wireless was non exception. Once the idea caught on we quickly ramped up in speed, but wireless was never quite able to keep up with a wired connection. We saw these connections leap ahead by a factor of 10 while wireless had small incremental speed jumps. All of that changed in 2011 when researchers built up the next specification for wireless speed, 802.11ac. This speed increase more than doubled what wireless was able to do previously. Suddenly wireless was just as fast as a wired connection (in theory). We have a few routers and adapters in the lab and will be taking a look at them. Today we are going to show you the TRENDNet TEW-812DRU AC1750 dual band wireless router.
Since its introduction there has been something of an internal battle with wireless. On the one hand it is very convenient; you just connect to an access point and you have freedom as long as you are inside the network rand. On the other the speed is not always that great and, if the signal is too weak, you can end up dropping packets, files and losing data. Over the years there have been great improvements in wireless speed, but no matter what it has never been able to match the speed of a wired connection. At least it could not until 802.11ac wireless arrived on the scene. This new specification offers a theoretical limit of 1.3Gbps over a 5GHz wireless connection. We have already taken a look at a router and USB 2.0 adapter, now we are going to look at what happens when you put USB 3.0 into the mix with the TRENDNet TEW-805UB adapter.