Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H ReviewRHKCommander959 - October 23, 2013
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Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Introduction:
Gigabyte has long been a popular name in the motherboard business, known for durability, reliability, and quality — garnering the company a good reputation. The old rainbow color scheme is long gone, as all of its new motherboards are black with one or two other colors. If the prior quality is still there, then these new motherboards will be a big hit when combined with the sharp designs. This is the first socket 1150 Gigabyte motherboard OCC has had the opportunity to test; as socket 1150 continues to mature more motherboard manufacturers will step up and provide more options. In this article the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H is up for review!
The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H is priced around $190, and appears to offer many features of high end boards without the higher price tag. Some of these features include ten USB 3.0 connections, all SATA ports are 6Gb/s, and out-of-case overclocking/test-bed features including power, reset, CMOS reset switch, and Debug LED. Each USB port has its own fuse so if one port is damaged it doesn't disable the rest. The LAN and USB 3.0 ports feature High ESD filtering protection to protect against high electrostatic discharges and even lightning strikes! The CPU socket is 15µ gold plated, and is powered by International Rectifier Digital Power Design 16 Phase PWM controllers and ICs. The board features Gigabyte UEFI DualBIOS — two separate BIOS chips to keep the board from being disabled due to a bad BIOS flash, virus, or other possible damages. Of interest to capacitor aficionados is the Nippon Chemi-Con solid state capacitors that are used on the motherboard, considered some of the best by enthusiasts. The motherboard is built on 2x (thicker) Copper PCBs for better thermal and electrical performance.
This list of features on the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H just scratches the surface; it goes on so read further to discover this new offering in detail!
Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Closer Look:
The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H comes packaged in a glossy box that is primarily black and red, reflecting the color scheme on the motherboard. The front of the box has the board right in the center, easy to see. The Gigabyte company name is on every side of the box in a metallic-rainbow material. At the bottom are some of the primary features: Ultra Durable 5 Plus, new heat sink design, IR Digital Power Phase Design, UEFI DualBIOS, and ten USB 3.0 ports. The front also clearly shows that this board is based on both an Intel chipset and for Intel processors in socket LGA 1150. Flipping the box over to show the back, things get much more busy in an attempt to highlight more of the features.
The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H is very feature-rich, as can be seen. Some features that the front left out include: durable black solid capacitors (Nippon Chemi-Con), 15µ Gold Plated CPU Socket pins, Intel Gigabit LAN with High ESD Protection, 2x Copper PCB, Quick Buttons — Onboard Power, Reset, Clear CMOS buttons, Dual BIOS DIP Switch, and Voltage Read Points, six fan connectors, Debug Display (two-digit seven-segment display), and OC-PEG PCIe SATA Power Connector (Auxiliary PCIe power for multiple graphics cards and overclocking). The bottom left has the specifications laid out to highlight details on the hardware. The PCIe x16 length slots are one PCIe 3.0 x16 plus one PCIe 3.0 x8 (when both are used they are both x8) and one PCIe x4 slot. This is because this platform provides 16 PCIe lanes plus eight from the chipset making this the most efficient way to offer three slots for multiple-graphics card configurations. The only way to add more lanes is expensive PLX Bridges, but you only find those on high end motherboards anyway. The SATA 6Gb/s ports support RAID 0,1,5, and 10. For onboard video connectivity there is HDMI, DVI, D-SUB VGA, and DisplayPort.
The first side lists the features in 18 different languages, all of which are listed in English for those of you who are curious what Arabic, Polish, or the other languages look like. The other main side has the barcodes on it, and the other sides are the same logos moved around slightly.
Opening the box and inner lid gives us a first glimpse at the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H beneath the antistatic bag. Lots of black, some silver and red coloring — very nice looking. No more rainbow components! Underneath everything is two manuals, driver disk, four SATA cables, one SLI cable, and the I/O plate.
Overall a standard, good package. It sounds like it has the performance after reading the box plus the first peek makes this look very promising. Let's get a better look at the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H!