The launch of the new Intel platform is always a significant event, which will eventually affect the entire computer industry. It is especially encouraging, when everything comes together OK, when the first processors and chipsets for them make only positive impression. We already know that the new LGA1155 processors are almost flawless. I believe you have already checked out our Intel Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture Preview, where we talk about theoretical prerequisites for high performance, low power consumption and other distinguishing features of the new platform. Our second article called Intel Core i5-2500, Core i5-2400 and Core i5-2300 CPU Review already had some numbers and demonstrates using real examples why LGA1155 processors may become a preferred choice in most applications. As for the new chipsets and the new mainboards built around them, checking out their features and performance is still something we haven’t yet done.
The launch of the new core logic sets is a great reason for all mainboard makers to remind the world about themselves by launching new product lineups. As for us, it indicates that a new series of articles is about to hit the pages of our site. The top flagship models are particularly interesting for review, because they have the most extensive functionality; these mainboards boast all the features that are available to the manufacturers today. However, in practical terms, low-end and mainstream products seem to be of greater interest for the end-users, because these solutions will be the most popular ones in the market anyway. Therefore, we decided to start our new review series with two inexpensive, but definitely unique mainboards for the new processors - Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3 and GA-PH67A-UD3. These two boards are very similar, the major differences lie primarily in the chipsets, however, we end up having two products with very different functionality. In fact, it would be fair to say that we are going to discuss three mainboard models, because there is one more mainboard, which is very similar to the ones we will discuss today. However, you are going to learn all the exciting details in just a minute, so let’s get started.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging design is a classic example of Gigabyte’s style. There is a mainboard photo on the back of the box accompanied by a brief description of its features and supported brand-name technologies. The front panels of both boxes are almost the same: besides different mainboard names, you can also notice that GA-PH67A-UD3 is missing the “Unlocked Performance” slogan, though we didn’t pay any attention to this at first.
Inside the box you find the boards as well as the following items:
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- User manual;
- A booklet with brief assembly instructions in 18 languages;
- DVD disk with software and drivers;
- “Gigabyte” logo sticker for the system case.
GA-P67A-UD3 mainboard also comes bundled with four SATA cables with metal connector locks: two with L-shaped locks and another two with straight ones. Gigabyte GA-PH67A-UD3 has only two of those cables.