GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Motherboard Review
Features and Motherboard Layout
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
- Supports 4th Generation Intel® Core™ processors
- GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 5 Plus Technology
- All IR Digital Power design
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
- 15µ gold plated CPU socket
- Multi-GPU Support
- Durable black solid capacitors
- GIGABYTE On/Off Charge™ 2 for USB devices
- Intel® LAN with high ESD Protection
- New Heatsink design for better cooling
- Realtek ALC898 with High Quality 110dB SNR HD audio
- Onboard Quick Buttons
- Supports CFOS speed Internet Accelerator Software
- 10 USB 3.0 ports
GIGABYTE kept the design of the Z87X-UD3H to their standard two color scheme, in this case flat black with blue accents on the board's heat sinks. The layout is spacious and well thought-out with no real tight areas as well as some innovative placement choices.
The back of the Z87X-UD3H is clear of large power components with some small circuits just under the onboard VRMs. Behind the CPU socket area is completely free of any obstructions, making for a completely un-impeded space for your cooler back plate.
The following ports are integrated into the Z87X-UD3H's rear panel assembly: a PS/2 keyboard and mouse port, 6 USB 3.0 ports controlled by the Renesas controller, 2 6Gb/s eSATA ports controlled by the Marvell controller, an Intel GigE NIC port, an HDMI video port, a DisplayPort video port, a DVI video port, a VGA video port, an optical audio output port, and 6 analog audio ports.
The Z87X-UD3H is designed with a total of three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, three PCI-Express x1 slot, and a PCI slot. Yes, you saw that right - GIGABYTE decided to include a PCI slot in the board's design for all those legacy PCI components that are still around. The board supports full x16 bandwidth with a single card, x8 / x8 bandwidth with dual cards, and x8 / x8 / x4 in a tri-card configuration. However, all PCI-Express x1 slots are disabled with a card in the tertiary PCI-Express x16 slot. Notice that there is more than enough space between PCI-Express slots for the use of dual slot card coolers. Further, you remain able to use the PCI-Express x1 slot in a dual card configuration.
To the right of the primary PCI-Express x16 slot (and in close proximity to the first PCI-Express x1 slot) are the CMOS batter and a system fan header (SYS_FAN1). The placement of the CMOS battery allows for easy access to it without having to remove video cards or other components with the exception of any card installed in the first PCI-Express x1 slot.
In the upper left quadrant of the Z87X-UD3H are the front panel audio header, the S/PDIF input header, the S/PDIF output header, a system fan header (SYS_FAN2), and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header.
Near the lower left edge of the tertiary PCI-Express x16 slot are the serial port header and the onboard USB 2.0 headers.
In the bottom left corner of the board are the Renesas controlled USB 3.0 header, the front panel header, the CMOS clear jumper, and a system fan header (SYS_FAN3).
The Intel Z87 Express chipset is covered by a large aluminum, low profile heat sink just below the PCI-Express x16 slots. The heat sink is flat black with a chrome and blue inlay embossed with the GIGABYTE logo.
The eight on-board SATA 6Gb/s ports and the ATX4P auxiliary power connector are located just under the chipset cooler. The six Intel controller SATA ports are the black colored ports to the right of the port assembly with the two Marvell controlled ports to the left, colored grey. The ATX4P power connector can be used to provide extra power to the PCI-Express x16 slot when using the board in multi-card mode. Simply plug in a female SATA power connector from your PSU. Its placement at the board's edge is masterful, removing it from interfering with the PCI-Express card seating and rotating it 90 degrees so the cable lays flat while engaged..
The four on-board DDR3 memory slots are located in the board's lower right quadrant. According to the GIGABYTE specs, dual modules can be placed in either set of like colored slots to enable dual channel memory mode with neither set favored over the other. The board supports up to 32GB of memory running at up to 1600MHz per GIGABYTE board specs. To the lower right of the DIMM slots are the Intel controlled USB 3.0 header, a system fan header (SYS_FAN4), the 24-pin ATX power connector, and the 2-digit diagnostic LED display. The diagnostic display is useful for troubleshooting system boot-related issues by cross-referencing the displayed code with the table in the user manual.
To the lower right of the DIMM slots are the voltage measurement points, the power, reset, and BIOS reset buttons, the Dual BIOS switch (SB), and the active BIOS switch (BIOS_SW). The active BIOS switch is used to switch between the primary and backup BIOS. With the switch set to the 1 position (default), the main BIOS is active. In the 2 position, the backup BIOS is activated. The Dual BIOS Switch is set to enabled (the 1 position) by default. Dual BIOS is disabled with the switch in the 2 position. The voltage measurement points allow for direct board voltage measurement using a volt meter.
The CPU socket area is clear of any impediment close in with low profile capacitors used for those in close proximity to the socket. You show have no problem with us of the larger heat sinks with this board. GIGABYTE designed the Z87X-UD3H for most anything you could throw at it, powering the CPU via an 8-phase digital power system using IR manufactured PowIRstage™ ICs and PWM controllers.
The 8-pin ATX12V power connector is located in the board's upper right corner, just below the rear panel assembly.