SO FAR WE’VE seen Gigabyte’s high-end boards and a couple of entry level models, but now we can give you the lowdown on just about every model they’ll be launching for Sandy Bridge. We’re going to cover the H67 boards in this article and we’ll be following up with a second article about the P67, as yes, there really are that many boards coming that we can’t properly cover them all in one article.
Starting from the bottom and working our way up we have the mATX H67M-D2 which is the most basic board that Gigabyte will be offering. It has a pair of x16 PCI Express slots, although we presume the bottom slot is only connected with four PCI Express lanes to the H67 chipset. The board also has two x1 PCI Express slots and as this is the most basic model, it only has two memory slots. Around back it has no less than eight USB 2.0 ports, two PS/2 ports, a D-sub and a DVI port, an Ethernet port and three audio jacks.
Onboard connectors consist of six SATA ports of which two are SATA 6Gbps thanks to built in support in the chipset. There are also three USB 2.0 headers for an additional six USB 2.0 ports, of which two support Gigabyte’s On/Off charge. Finally there are two headers for a pair of serial ports. There’s no fancy heatsink on the MOSFETs and the board has a fairly basic six phase PWM design. This board doesn’t carry all of Gigabyte’s more advanced board features either, but we wouldn’t expect this on an entry level model anyhow.
Next up we have the H67MA-D2H and this is quite a step up. It has the same slot and memory layout, but it’s around the back that the big changes have taken place. Two USB 3.0 ports have been added, one of the PS/2 ports have been replaced with a pair of USB 2.0 ports, although this time around there are only four USB 2.0 ports, in total, around the back. An HDMI port and an eSATA port have also been added. This board has full 7.1-channel audio support with optical S/PDIF out. One of the internal SATA ports is missing due to the inclusion of an eSATA port. There’s an additional internal USB 2.0 pin header in favour of the second serial port pin header. The PWM have been boosted to what appears to be a 6+1 design and a small heatsink has been fitted to at least part of the MOSFETs.
The third and final mATX model is the H67MA-UD2H and now things are starting to look really interesting. The PCI Express slot layout remains the same, but as this is a slightly wider board it now sports four memory slots. A DisplayPort connector has been added to the rear I/O and there are now five internal USB 2.0 pin headers. This is also the only Ultra Durable 3 board of the three mATX models and it has a much more advanced PWM design, we’d guess on a 12 phase design, but it’s hard to tell as the PWM area is obscured in the picture by two very large heasinks.
Finally we have a full size ATX model, the H67A-UD3H which adds some additional functionality as the extra size allows. The slots consists of two x16 PCI Express slots, although again we believe the second slot only has four lanes worth of bandwidth. There are two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots, the latter thanks to an ITE PCI Express to PCI bridge. The rear I/O consists of four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a PS/2 port, D-sub, DVI, HDMI and a DisplayPort connector, a FireWire port, an eSATA port and 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out.
There are five pin headers for an additional 10 USB 2.0 ports and again two of those support Gigabyte’s On/Off charge. There are also two pin headers for a pair of additional FireWire ports and one for a serial port. There’s a total of five SATA ports on this board as well, as again one of the ports have been relocated to the duty of eSATA. This board also has what appears to be a 12-phase PWM with rather large heatsinks on the MOSFETs.
Overall this looks like a pretty decent selection of boards for anyone that’s looking at taking advantage of the built in graphics in Intel’s upcoming Sandy Bridge processors, but we would’ve hoped for a slightly more high-end model considering that all of the LGA-1155 processors come with integrated graphics. This would allow for a better upgrade path for some users, but it’s likely that anyone that are looking at these boards isn’t going to be overly concerned about any additional features.S|A
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