So the time has come once again to take a look at what Gigabyte has to offer to the world with for the Z87 platform.
As most of us have seen over the past few months Haswell hasn't been a huge success and big hit like most had expected.
As many of you know from reading in these forums there seems to be a huge issue with heat like we all had with Ivy Bridge.
The main things that stand out to me with Z87 is amazing memory overclocking as we are seeing 4000 MHz or higher.
I know as well as most of you know the average user will never see 4000 MHz on Z87 and most will not even see 3000 MHz but it shows us what is possible.
With the Z87 lineup from Gigabyte we see a solid offering of motherboards to meet every perspective for all end users.
While the GA-Z87X-UD5H isn't Gigabyte's top tier motherboard it still fits in an area of upper mainstream motherboards for all users.
Some of the features of this motherboard are:
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 5 Plus
Ultra Cool All New Heat Sink Design
Ultra Performance All IR® Digital CPU Power Design
Ultra Safe GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
Ultra USB3.0+ 10 USB 3.0 Ports
GIGABYTE Exclusive Ultra Durable Technologies Durable Black Solid Caps
High ESD Protection for USB and LAN (USB 3.0 only)
Gold Plated CPU Socket
2x Copper PCB GIGABYTE's exclusive 2X Copper PCBs design
One Fuse per USB Port
Built-in Gaming Audio/Headphone Amplifier (Front Headphone / Rear line out)
GIGABYTE On/Off Charge™ 2
HyperDuo Technology-Automated SSD/HDD Tiering
Dual Intel® Gigabit LAN i210AT / i217v
Generous System Fan Support-7 Fan Connectors
GIGABYTE OPT Fan Support
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software suite
HDMI™-The Next Generation Multimedia Interface / DVI Support / Display Port Support
GIGABYTE App Center / GIGABYTE EasyTune / GIGABYTE @BIOS / GIGABYTE EZ Setup
GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
Checking the Gigabyte home page for offerings for LGA1150 we see there are 27 total motherboards offered and 14 in the Z87 lineup.
http://www.gigabyte.us/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=2&p=2&v=31Specifications & Features
Before we take a detailed look at the GA-Z78X-UD5H, let’s take a look at this motherboard's specifications, which can be found here
Packaging & AccessoriesLet's take a Closer Look at the GA-Z87X-UD5H
Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.)
Intel® Z87 Express Chipset
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)
Onboard Graphics Integrated Graphics Processor:
1 x DVI-I port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
2 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160
* Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
(Use either the DVI-I port or the HDMI port located below it at a time.)
1 x DisplayPort port, supporting a maximum resolution of 3840x2160
* Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB
Realtek® ALC898 codec
Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies
High Definition Audio
Support for S/PDIF In/Out
Two Intel® GbE LAN chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Support for Teaming
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX8 and PCIEX16 slots. When the PCIEX4 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode and the PCIEX8 will operate at up to x4 mode.
* When installing a x8 or above card in the PCIEX4 slot, make sure to set PCIE Slot Configuration in BIOS Setup to x4. (Refer to Chapter 2, "BIOS Setup," "Peripherals," for more information.)
(The PCIEX16, PCIEX8 and PCIEX4 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(The PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI slot
Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFire™/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
Storage Interface Chipset:
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Marvell® 88SE9230 chip:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)
Up to 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
Chipset + 2 Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs:
Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (6 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
IEEE 1394 VIA VT6308 chip:
Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (available through the internal IEEE 1394a headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
5 x system fan headers
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF In header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
2 x IEEE 1394a headers
1 x serial port header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x BIOS switches
Voltage measurement points
Back Panel Connectors
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x DVI-I port
2 x HDMI ports
1 x DisplayPort
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
iTE® I/O Controller Chip
System voltage detection
CPU/System/Chipset temperature detection
CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed detection
CPU/System overheating warning
CPU/CPU OPT/System fan fail warning
CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed control
* Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.
2 x 128 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology
Support for Windows 8/7
ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP SP1/SP2. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.
The Z87X-UD5H features a 16-phase all digital power design featuring International Rectifier PowIRstage ICs.
Black Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors rated at 10,000 hours at temperatures of 105c.
Consisting of Lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, 60A rated sealed ferrite-core chokes, and solid electrolytic capacitors.
More precisely, it has been outfitted with an 12+2+2 phase power design for the CPU, so 12 phases dedicated to the cores themselves,
two for the System Agent (SA), and two phases for the integrated GPU.
The award winning IR Power Stages, these are the IR3553M and are capable of 40A per phase with up to 1MHz switching frequency.
They have excellent characteristics, and run pretty cool and as seen on the X79 lineup where they required no heatsink.
They are basically a driver and two MOSFETs in one or they are called a powerstage.
Here we get a good look at the adequately-sized chipset heatsink, which is held down by two metal screws.
I'm enjoying the look of the new heat sinks as they do blend in nicely with the rest of the motherboard's matte black.
Hats off to Gigabyte for thinking outside the box on color and design.
As far as cooling goes there are no issues since the TDP of the Z87 Express chipset is only 4.1W.
Haswell processors support 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes for graphics purposes. The first PCI-E x16 slot will operated at full x16 speed when only one graphics card is installed.
In in a dual graphics card configuration, the first and second PCI-E x16 slots will operate at the x8 speed (x8/x8).
The bottom PCI-E x16 slot is supplied by the Z87 chipset and operates at x4, it also shares bandwidth with all the PCI-E x1 slots, so when in use the x1 slots will be deactivated.
The GA-Z87X-UD5H is certified for 2-way CrossFire and 2-way SLI.
The four DDR3 memory slots are fed by a standard 2-phase power design, and support overclocked memory frequencies up to DDR3 3000.
While use average users will never see this it just shows how insanely capable Haswell processors are at handling memory frequencies.
To get 3000 MHz or higher will take a few things. First would be some good memory, some patience in overclocking and some luck.
In the above picture we have the 24 pin power, Voltage read points, On / OFF USB 3.0, Power button, Rest button, Clear CMOS button, Bios switches and Post code debug LED.
We have a Marvell 88SE9230 PCI-E controller that supplies the four grey SATA 6Gb/s ports, which are RAID 0/1/10 capable.
The six black ports are native SATA 6Gb/s, and support RAID 0/1/5/10 courtesy of the Z87 chipset.
Like most all of Gigabyte's motherboards now a days we have the DualBIOS feature is still present and there are two individual BIOS chips,
Ensuring instant recovery in the case of an improper BIOS update or a particularly nasty virus. As you can see in the above picture you can also use the bios switch which allows users to choose Which BIOS chip to boot from.
Here we have the he VIA VT6308P, which is a IEEE1394 and the FireWire controller.
The Realtek ALC898 is an eight-channel High Definition Audio Codec that supports X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity and EAX® Advanced HD 5.0 technologies.
All channels are 110dB includng all rear channels and front headphone and rear headphone with the ALC898.
When it comes to audio Gigabyte didn’t do much to innovate. Essentially it stuck with the same ALC898 CODEC that most of last generation’s motherboards used like the Z77X-UP5 TH.
The only real improvement is the onboard headphone amplifier. It’s rated at 600ohms by way of a Ti DRV632 AMP/Line Drivers.
Ti DRV632 Info:
Stereo DirectPath Audio LineDriver
2Vrms Into 10k ? With 3.3-V Supply
High SNR, >90dB
600-? Output Load Compliant
2-VRMS Audio LineDriver With Adjustable Gains
For more info please see
The Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 is a nice addition and works well as many of you are probably already aware of. I'm by no means an audiophile but it's tons better than what I've got now
For information on The Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 please see
There are also two Renesas uPD72021 USB 3.0 hub controllers for the six USB 3.0 ports on the I/O panel and as well one of the internal USB headers.
The WGI210AT and WGI217V are both high quality Intel GbE LAN controllers.
The NXP PTN3360DBS controllers supplies the DisplayPort.
The ASMedia ASM1442 controller is one of the two responsible for the HDMI and DVI ports.
The ITE IT8728F is a Super I/O chip which is responsible for voltage and temperature monitoring.
Last but not least is the ITE IT8892E chip which is an PCI-E x1 to PCI bridge controller responsible for the lone legacy PCI slot.
The Z87X-UD5H has a very impressive connectivity on its rear I/O panel.
Starting from left to right we have a combo keyboard/mouse PS/2 port, two USB 3.0 ports, DVI port, HDMI port, optical S/PDIF Out connector,
another HDMI port, DisplayPort port, two Gigabit LAN ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and the six audio jacks.
There are no VRM components on the backside of the motherboard. There are also no push-pins to be found on this motherboard,
metals screws are used to secure both the MOSFET and chipset heatsinks which has become the common choice with Gigabyte.UEFI
I'm not going to bore you all with 80 pictures of the bios as I'm most certain by now we all know what the UEFI looks like.
I can say this, with a HD 6970 Lightning installed Full HD is not supported.
I used the HD Graphics 4600 on the i7 4770K and Full HD was supported in the UEFI.Test Setup
In the above pictures you see my setup before installing my EK water block but this is a good time to pay special attention to the CPU FAN / CPU OPT / SYS FAN2 headers...
The fan header next to the 8pin ATX power is SYS_FAN1 header..Overclocking Results
Some people will tend to use the auto overclocking feature in Easy Tune and while it does work and works well it over volts vcore a tad much.
I went and loaded the Extreme Profile and it applied, rebooted and all was good... Until I saw the vcore applied.
My i7 4770K can do the applied 4502.0 overclock with 1.25v while the auto overclock applies 1.399 vcore. This is entirely too much vcore and heat became an issue quickly.
And we all know how easy these Haswell chips are to kill and degrade. So, I hope that everyone will take the time and tweak the bios yourself and not use the auto overclocking features.Stock IdleEasy Tune Extreme 4.5GHz OverclockStockEasy Tune Extreme 4.5GHz OverclockManual OverclockEasy Tune Extreme 4.5GHz OverclockEasy Tune Extreme 4.5GHz Overclock
Small note on this 3DMark06, These settings were a higher score than my last submission on a 2600K @ 4,903.7MHz and the HD 6970 @ 965/1,475MHz
Just shows you how efficient Haswell can be. Power Consumption
Idle stock volts were slightly higher than I expected considering the Z87X-OC has an idle voltage of 4 Watts.Final Thoughts
So what do I think about this GA-Z87X-UD5H?
Honestly I love the looks and colors, that was the first thing that made me step back and smile.
Gigabyte going all out and doing something different with the entire LGA1150 platform.
I looked at so many other motherboards and they all seem to follow one thing.....
They all seem to follow one color design.
There are a couple caveats that I must mention that were very odd to me.
The placement of the CPU FAN / CPU OPT / SYS FAN2 headers are in a strange place on this motherboard.
Being below the socket and in the center of the motherboard throws off cable management for a lot of people.
I know the layout is meant for AIO water cooling systems or a push/pull air cooler but for cable management aspect for most
It means running a fan header(s) across the center of the motherboard.
The next caveat was the stock bios F5 and the UEFI,
I use a Microsoft laser mouse and for 45 minutes I couldn't get this mouse to work in the UEFI.
Which wasn't really an issue since I prefer to use the old school way and use the arrow keys and keyboard.
I rarely even with the new UEFI use the mouse.
Speaking of the mouse.... I can 100% say that the mouse is NOT jittery and jumpy like it was on the GA-Z87X-OC.
I must say thought while going from F5 to F7 I was unable to flash the bios from a flash drive in the UEFI,
5 times the system locked up solid and required a restart. I had to press F2 and use Classic Mode to flash the bios.
The amazing thing about this motherboard is whatever I set overclocks to or memory clocks to the motherboard booted every single time.
It was a pleasure to go through this entire GA-Z87X-UD5H and once all the small details were fixed it was a rock solid performer.
After having a month or so to play with the Z87X-OC I found this motherboard to be just as enjoyable.
I know with the "OC" motherboards the BIOS support is quick and very active with updates.
I just hope that Gigabyte continues to support all Motherboards with UEFI/BIOS updates like they do with the "OC" Series motherboards.Pros
- Solid performance.
- Clean black-on-black design with nice heat sink colors.
- Decent layout.
- Comprehensive SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 connectivity.
- Front panel USB 3.0 bracket.
- DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort outputs.
- 2-Way CrossFire & 2-Way SLI capability.
- Voltage measurement points.
- Excellent manual overclocking.
- Capable automatic overclocking.
- Awesome voltage regulation & output.
- LED Post code display.
- Two physical BIOS chips with switches.
- User friendly UEFI BIOS with Classic Mode.
- Comprehensive software suite.Cons
- Large CPU coolers used with tall memory coolers will cause installation issues.
- Auto Tuning feature still needs a little work.
- Location of CPU FAN / CPU OPT / SYS FAN2 headers for some.Special Thanks:
special thanks to Gigabyte for making this review possible.
A special thanks to everyone for the support.