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GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the Z97X-UD5H motherboard's overclocking performance potential, we attempted to push the board to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. I was able to get the board running stable for over 4hrs at a 4.67GHz CPU speed, a 2340MHz memory speed, and a 4.0GHz ring bus speed with a 167MHz base clock. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark 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

The Z97X-UD5H motherboard offers solid performance under all operating conditions. While it may not be a top performer in the benchmarks, it is able to hold its own against the higher-price flagship boards.

Pricing

As of October 06, the GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H motherboard was available for purchase from Amazon.com for $177.89, as well as from Newegg.com for $174.99.

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Conclusion

The Z97X-UD5H is a solid contender for GIGABYTE in the mid-range offering category. It boasts a well thought out design with more than enough room around the integrated components for easy access. Additionally, GIGABYTE integrated their higher end power components, giving the board an edge in terms of overclocking potential and stability. Aesthetically, it would look nice in most windowed cases with its matte black coloring. The dual network controllers was another nice touch that is normally not found in a mid-range solution with both controllers offering top-notch performance. Add in the M.2 slot and SATA-Express capabilities, and you have a well rounded product.

Strengths

  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking performance
  • Board layout and design
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Motherboard manual information
  • Usable PCIe x1 slot with all PCIe x16 slots in use
  • Dual network controllers
  • Integration and placement of PCIe-based M.2 SSD slot

Weaknesses

  • CMOS battery placement
  • Lack of integrated Wi-Fi controller

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October 13, 2014 | 07:10 PM - Posted by Topjet (John) (not verified)

As usual great review Morry, Like! Like! :)

October 13, 2014 | 08:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"For the PCI-Express x16 slots, the board supports full x16 bandwidth with a single card, x8 bandwidth with cards in the primary and secondary slots with two cards populated, and x8 / x8 / x4 in all PCI-Express x16 slots with three cards populated."

If I am reading the specs correctly, it is x8/x4/x4 with three cards rather than x8/x8/x4.

October 13, 2014 | 10:38 PM - Posted by Eddie (not verified)

What a strange way to go about it, a better way would be gen 3 x8, gen 3 x8, gen 2 x4 which is what my board does.

October 14, 2014 | 12:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know if that is better. I am assuming that socket 1150 boards are limited to one x16 connection to the processor. This gigabyte board connects through a pci-e switch (some plx chip?) such that all three cards are sharing the single x16 link direct to the cpu at gen3 speeds. With the x8/x8/(x4 gen 2) set-up you are describing, the x4 link probably comes from the PCH (southbridge), so this shares bandwidth with every other IO device (SATA, network, usb, etc.) instead of the other video cards. I believe the DMI link from the PCH to the cpu is similar bandwidth to x4, gen 2 pci-e. This is cheaper as it does not require a pci-e switch chip. The performance difference may be minimal since 3-card set-ups do not scale well anyway. Best to just run 2 cards with this board though. I have wondered if it would work to run a pci-e ssd in one of the slots connected to the switch.

October 13, 2014 | 11:00 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

You are correct, tri-card mode is x8/x4/x4.  Thank you for pointing that out....

October 13, 2014 | 10:01 PM - Posted by bburnham37 (not verified)

"GIGABYTE designed the Z97X-UD5H's rear panel with the following ports: ... an HDMI video port, a DisplayPort video port, a DVI-I video port..."

The photos do not show a DisplayPort video port.
I do not believe that the GA-Z97X-UDH5 has DisplayPort connectivity onboard.

October 13, 2014 | 10:57 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Fixed.  Thanks for pointing that out...

October 14, 2014 | 11:10 AM - Posted by lantian (not verified)

great review, but i prefer the looks of previsios z87x-ud5(which i have for my g3258)the heatsinks on this one are a bit to much golden yellow, on the old one they are more blacks in there which ads to the visual look a lot, makes it look a loth better in my opinion

October 25, 2014 | 10:59 PM - Posted by KingKookaluke (not verified)

Morry,

Thanks for yet another great review! I've a 4770K right in front of me that needs a cheap place to run! Your expertise, and experience it appreciated!!!

By the way, I really want to win that car!!!

KingKookaluke

October 25, 2014 | 10:59 PM - Posted by KingKookaluke (not verified)

Morry,

Thanks for yet another great review! I've a 4770K right in front of me that needs a cheap place to run! Your expertise, and experience it appreciated!!!

By the way, I really want to win that car!!!

KingKookaluke

October 25, 2014 | 10:59 PM - Posted by KingKookaluke (not verified)

Morry,

Thanks for yet another great review! I've a 4770K right in front of me that needs a cheap place to run! Your expertise, and experience it appreciated!!!

By the way, I really want to win that car!!!

KingKookaluke

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