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GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5H Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give you a taste of the Z87X-UD5H's overclocking abilities, we set out to see the how far we could push the board with minimal tweaking. I was able to get the board running stable for over 4hrs at a 4.65GHz CPU speed, a 1770MHz memory speed, and a 3.98GHz ring bus speed at a 166MHz base clock. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.

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Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.

Performance

GIGABYTE did a good job with the Z87X-UD5H's design, as proven by its stellar performance in the benchmark tests. The board remained stable and performed well no matter what was thrown at it. It even showed decent overclocking potential approaching that of its big brother - the Z87X-OC Force.

Pricing

As of October 11, the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5H motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $209.99. The board was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $209.99 with Prime shipping and TigerDirect.com for $219.99.

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Conclusion

Before continuing with the review wrap-up, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at GIGABYTE a hearty “Thank You” for allowing us the opportunity to review the Z87X-UD5H motherboard. In designing the Z87X-UD5H, GIGABYTE took the design of the UD3H and enhanced it with added features and for optimal enthusiast-centric performance. The board layout and design was well thought out with some key design decisions differentiating the board from the competition. The inclusion of the CMOS battery and three fan headers to the left of the CPU socket was pure genius, giving better access to components and ports normally designed-in as more of an after-thought. The fan header location is especially nice for fan cable routing, giving the capability to customize cable size with enough ports provided for use with multiple air cooler fans or even a water cooling pump. The flat black coloration of the board adds to its mystique with the gold and chrome accents enhancing its looks even further. Performance-wise, you couldn't ask for more. Its 16-phase digital power delivery system gives the board the punch needed to take it to the next level of overclocking, all without busting the bank.

There were a few issues encountered with the board, one taking the form of a questionable design decision and the other a BIOS oddity. Design-wise, the board is perfect except for the fact that GIGABYTE chose to exclude WiFi and Bluetooth functionality from the board. However, you do get dual Intel GigE NICs and you have an always-accessible PCIe x1 slot that can be used for a WiFi card if desired. The only complaint with the BIOS was a hard lock encountered when attempting to capture screens while in Windows Mode. This hard lock did not occur on every screen, but seemed to be confined to those with enhanced graphical capabilities. In any case, this issue is most likely addressable by GIGABYTE via a BIOS update.

Strengths

  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking potential
  • Full 16 digital power phases dedicated to the CPU
  • CMOS battery placement
  • Board layout and design
  • Accessible PCI-Express x1 slot with all PCI-Express x16 slots filled
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Motherboard manual information

Weaknesses

  • No integrated WiFi or Bluetooth controller
  • Lockups when attempting to take screen captures of BIOS in Window Mode
November 3, 2013 | 02:37 PM - Posted by SirWithrow

Any idea on how to get Secureboot enabled, im getting the stupid watermark on my desktop in Windows 8.1- Secureboot isnt configured correctly?

November 4, 2013 | 09:04 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

I ran into the same isssue on my desktop.  See the MS Technet post for information:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn441535.aspx

In the above Technet post, there is a link to a hotfix that MS just released to remove the watermark entirely.  I installed this on my system and it worked like a charm (I'm currently running with a GIGABYTE Z87X-OC FORCE board).

Good Luck...

November 6, 2013 | 05:11 AM - Posted by SirWithrow

it Worked perfectly!! Thanks

November 4, 2013 | 04:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is a PetaByte bigger than a GigaByte ?

November 4, 2013 | 04:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Will this support Broadwell ? Or is Intel changing the BGA again ?

November 4, 2013 | 10:50 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Unknown at this point, but if Intel follows there typical patterns, broadwell will most likely be released with a new type of socket.  But again, that is pure speculation at this point on my part...

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