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GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

BIOS Features

GIGABYTE includes the latest version of their UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS with the the Z87X-UD3H motherboard. The UEFI BIOS offers full keyboard and mouse support while using the BIOS pages with enhanced mouse navigation supported by right clicking the mouse - goes back to previous view if inside a settings pop-up or on a sub-menu page. GIGABYTE also includes a screencap utility, which generates a BMP 1024x768 image on an attached USB drive upon clicking the F12 function key.

While the GIGABYTE UEFI implementation was one of the most innovative I've seen out of all the Z87 board's, its stability left something to be desired. At one point, the primary BIOS chip destabilized to the point that I was forced to switch to the backup BIOS. Even after the switch over to the backup BIOS, the system would lockup on me seemingly at random while in the BIOS. The BIOS itself was a laggy in certain areas as well with mouse use in the Dashboard mode screens inconsistent, especially when attempting to go from the sliding bars to entry fields for direct keyboard entry. However, this is a very new BIOS implementation and can only get better over time. All the issues encountered could be easily remedied with future BIOS releases.

BIOS Notable Features

As I said previously, GIGABYTE's UEFI BIOS is by far the most innovative I've seen yet on a Z87-based board. The most obvious change is the revamping of their UEFI BIOS. GIGABYTE offers two different use modes in the BIOS - Dashboard Mode and Classic Mode. You can switch between the two using the shortcut menu or by pressing the F2 function key. The Dashboard Mode bios offers a prettier interface with both entry fields and horizontal sliders for every field with fields grouped by sectional pages similar to the Classic Mode grouping. Dashboard Mode also offers a high definition operational mode that uses the additional resolution space to show board specs along the outside of the configuration screens. You can click on the Resolution Toggle setting from the shortcut menu or hit the F3 function key to switch from standard to HD resolution. Additionally, a Home section housing customizable tabs has be added to house your favorite features.

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Dashboard Mode, Home section

The Home section offers the use a series of six customizable tabs for housing any settings within the BIOS. The first two tabs, named Performance and Standard, are pre-populated with settings appropriate to the tab name. Each tab contains a Setup button allowing for configuration of the settings shown with the tab. For settings with numeric configuration, like CPU ratio or voltage settings, have an entry field, a horizontal slider, as well as an on-off button to the right of the slider. You have the option of manually entering values or using the slider for selection. The On-Off button is the most intriguing though, allowing the user to enable real-time adjustment and enactment of the setting changes made.

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Dashboard Mode main screen, Home section, Setup User Options popup

When the Setup button is clicked, the Setup User Options menu displays. The user has the ability to select any setting from the BIOS for display as well as customizing the tab name. The options can be reorder from within this menu as well.

BIOS Walkthrough - Overlocking Settings, Classic Mode

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M.I.T. tab

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M.I.T. tab, M.I.T. Current Status page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Frequency Settings page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Frequency Settings page, Advanced CPU Core Features page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, DRAM Channel Timing Settings page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, DRAM Channel Timing Settings page, Misc Timing Control settings

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Memory Settings page, DRAM Channel Timing Settings page, Misc Timing Control settings continued

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, 3D Power Control page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, CPU Core Voltage Control page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, Chipset Voltage Control page

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M.I.T. tab, Advanced Voltage Settings page, DRAM Voltage Control page

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M.I.T. tab, PC Health Status page

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M.I.T. tab, PC Health Status page, Fan and Temperature Threshold settings

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M.I.T. tab, Miscellaneous Settings page

June 17, 2013 | 01:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"The board began to destabilize"
Abandon ship !
Man the life rafts !

June 17, 2013 | 02:32 PM - Posted by wizpig64 (not verified)

Typo on teh last page.

Just ordered this board on Saturday, glad there were no major hiccups in the review.

June 17, 2013 | 02:52 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for pointing that out, its been corrected.  Its a solid board, just be careful with the BIOS and make sure to update to the latest version...

June 18, 2013 | 12:26 AM - Posted by Panta

Ultra Durable Meaning (for me.)
"Don't worry Our capacitors wont blow up on you, again."

I wonder if that is true & since Ultra Durable, are the capacitors good?

i head GB board capacitors swollen & 3 times blown
back at the AMD XP 1800+ days.

Morry, could pcper do in the future heat stress test for the motherboards reviews?

June 18, 2013 | 06:19 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Good idea.  We'll see what we can do in our follow-up reviews.

Ultra-durable is the naming scheme GIGABYTE uses to collectively reference the board's power design which includes using solid Black capacitors rated for 10k hours, International Rectifier digital power circuitry, and enhanced PCB design.  You should not have any issues with blown caps on this board...

June 18, 2013 | 10:53 AM - Posted by Panta

Thank You.

June 18, 2013 | 07:39 AM - Posted by truk007

I'm glad you reviewed this board. I have been eyeing the UD5H lately and this review helped push me in the direction of a Gigabyte board. I'm glad they still have the legacy parts on the board as they were something I had been seeking.

June 25, 2013 | 09:39 AM - Posted by Walt1227

Would this be a good board to use building a Audio Production desktop PC? With a i7 intel processor and 16 gb of ram and 128 ssd to boot and run programs(main drive)plus two 7200 rpm 1tb or 2tb hhd drives for storing music and VST programs? Does it have wifi capability too?

July 1, 2013 | 07:01 AM - Posted by Lance Price (not verified)

Question,
Can anybody answer me on this? I have a Dell 8200 Tower I know I need all new components for this Motherboard but will it fit into this Dell 8200 case?

If anybody knows what is the biggest or type of new motherboard will fit in this tower or is it just Dell proprietary motherboard specific?

What I want is a new fast cpu as cheap as possible now it does not need to be blazing fast like this motherboard but what would anybody recommend? I will run Linux for free not Windows to save money. I am a CS BA just unfamiliar with building CPU hardware/configuring. Is it possible to get a decent CPU in this Dell 8200 Tower for < 300 $?

I really appreciate any help or links anything I need a CPU at home because work wont let me take home my sweet Mac Book Pro so I am stuck with no PC at home. I do have a Dell 24 inch monitor Flat panel and a small 15 flat panel so all I need to do is build a tower cheap.

I know Pricewatch.com is a good site but what to all buy to create a good PC. OK one more stupid question can I build a new CPU that will run OSX with a 64 bit chip?

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