I knew that I was going to like the GigabyteZ77X-UD3H from the first thing I fired it up. The reason that I knew this was because it was able to run my G.Skill 2400MHz memory without an issue. This was something the Asrock Z77 Extreme6 was not able to do in its current status. And the rest was candy from that point on. Next, was the overclocking. I know that much of the overclocking results of the Ivy Bridge processor are mostly up to the CPU. But you have to have a motherboard that is up to the task. Our first attempt was at 4500MHz and it was no problem at all with this combination. And it just went up from there.
For a 'mainstream' motherboard this baby has a lot to offer. First, it begins with all the PCIe slots on the board. The UD3H has a total of three but only supports two card SLI and Crossfire configurations. This is more than enough for someone looking to spend not too much money on a motherboard. I don't think many people looking to spend $160 on a motherboard is looking to do triple or quad cards. Chances are they would just elect to get one faster GPU.
With the cost of solid state drives quickly dropping in price, the mPCIe slot in the middle of the board is a good idea. Making it much easier to take advantage of Intel's new cache features without taking up another drive bay or SATA port. The speed benefits will be seen in many areas.
The greatest safety feature for a motherboard is having an option if you happen to go wrong through the BIOS flashing process. This motherboard offers two BIOS, one being backup BIOS just for that reason. Many of us don't have that awkward feeling anymore but just in case it's there.
My only gripe about this motherboard was that when there was a failure during overclocking and the system failed to restart pressing the reset button would get you back in to the BIOS but it would freeze because it kept the same overclocked values. Like some motherboards the system reboots with default values but your settings remain the same overclocked ones.
This Z77X-UD3H is priced right at $160 and is ideal for a nice CPU like the i5 3570K. For under $375 you can have yourself a great little system.