Gigabyte announced this week a new technology which it calls Ultra Durable 3, promises that motherboards featuring the new technology will achieve better overclocking, reduced heat and increased energy efficiency. The premise of the new technology is actually rather simple; increasing the amount of copper used in a motherboard will lower the impedance, reduce heat and improve signal quality.
According to Gigabyte, Ultra Durable 3 motherboards will be the first consumer desktop motherboards to feature 2-ounces of copper for each power and ground layer, doubling that of traditional motherboards. A bit like how a larger copper heat sink often works better than a smaller one, having more copper throughout the motherboard allows for more efficient spreading of heat. As such, heat created by critical components on the motherboard will spread out across the entire motherboard more effectively, which Gigabyte claims can deliver 50°C cooler working conditions than traditional motherboards. Somehow that claim seems to be a bit misleading, but it should be interesting to see in tests how much cooler the motherboard components actually do get.
Doubling the amount of copper should also help to reduce the amount of impedance, which Gigabyte says is lowered by a factor of two. Impedance is like resistance in that is opposes the flow of electrical current, so reducing the impedance will also reduce wasted power. Less wasted power means less generated heat, cooler components and a lower power bill. Gigabyte claims the extra copper cuts the total amount of PCB electrical waste in half, which probably still does not amount to actually a whole lot, but every bit helps.
One last aspect in which the added copper apparently comes in handy is with improving signal quality, which results in a more stable system and greater overclocking margins. Of course, all these claims still need to be substantiated, but the theory behind adding extra copper looks sound enough. For some users, the need for extra copper in motherboards may not be really all that important or necessary, especially if it comes at a premium cost. For serious overclockers and enthusiasts however, the little extra copper found in those motherboards will likely be welcomed, even if the effect turns out to be minor.