Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Review

RHKCommander959 - 2013-09-07 12:15:11 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: RHKCommander959   
Reviewed on: October 23, 2013
Price: $190

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!

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Closer Look:

The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H motherboard is fitted with the Intel Z87 chipset and Intel CPU socket LGA 1150 in an ATX form factor. Four DDR3 memory slots support frequencies up to 3000 MHz with overclocking according to Gigabyte. The socket layout is very open so mounting large water blocks, heat sinks, or more exotic cooling (and its insulation) should be no problem. The board provides two PWM fan headers for the CPU cooling, a nice feature to see as many manufacturers have overlooked this and many advanced coolers use dual fans. At the top near the memory slots are the Quick Buttons — Power, Reset, Clear CMOS buttons, and Dual BIOS DIP Switches, plus some Voltage Read Points for serious enthusiasts who like to monitor voltages with their own meters. Two USB 3.0 pin-headers are also provided, one by the two-digit seven-segment Debug Display and the other next to the front panel headers. Next to the bottom USB 3.0 header is a CLR_CMOS header intended for installation with a normally-open button for quick resets after a failed overclock.

Three USB 2.0 headers, one Serial COM header, one TPM (Trusted Platform Module) header, and front panel audio and SPDIF input and output headers round out the expandability options. For slot expansion there are three PCIe x16 3.0 slots (one in x16 when alone, the second in x8 and forcing the first into x8, and the third is wired x4), three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, and a PCI slot. Six of the eight SATA 6Gb/s connectors are provided by the Intel Chipset, an additional two are from a Marvell 88SE9172 chip that also provides the I/O eSATA; only two matching (eSATA vs internal SATA) of these four ports can be propagated at once. The chipset provides two USB 3.0/2.0 ports through an internal header and six USB 2.0/1.1 ports through headers, while both the Chipset and two Renesas uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs provide six I/O ports and another two through a second internal header. The USB ports are individually fused so if there is a failure in one port only that port dies instead of all that are on that hub. The USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet LAN port feature High ESD Protection filter to protect the system from electrical surges and even lightning strikes.

The back of the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H is standard stuff. To remove the heat sinks just unscrew the spring-retention screws. You cannot tell by looking at it but Gigabyte claims to use twice the traditional amount of copper in its PCBs (2x Copper PCB design).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back panel has a combination PS/2 mouse and keyboard port with two USB 3.0 ports, followed by D-Sub VGA and DVI-D ports with maximum resolution of 1920x1200 (side note: the DVI-D port does not support being adapted to D-Sub). The next hub has a TOSLINK connector for S/PDIF, HDMI 1.4a (maximum resolution 4096x2160), and DisplayPort 1.2 (maximum resolution 3840x2160) video connections. After this the hubs go back to data — USB 3.0 atop eSATA 6Gb/s ports, then Intel Gigabit LAN, and two more USB 3.0 ports. Lastly there's the 7.1 channel Realtek ALC898 Codec hub that can provide two channels of independent front panel stereo output. Users can also customize any of the audio ports to either input or output functionality for different tasks.

The motherboard has three PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (the top one is x16 unless the second is occupied, then both are x8 shared), and a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot wired for x4 that shares bandwidth with the second and third PCIe x1 slots. They are disabled upon a x4 or greater device being installed in this slot. There is also a PCI slot provided for legacy devices. Looking closely you can see printed next to the audio hub the words "Audio 110db"; this is as loud as a gas-powered chainsaw. Gigabyte also has a high capacity headphone amplifier for the front panel audio capable of driving 600 ohms for high quality headphones.

 

 

Along the bottom are all of the connectivity headers; there is also a fan header, number three. In order from left to right we have Front Panel Audio, S/PDIF input and output, fan header three, TPM module, Serial COM, and three USB 2.0 headers. Also in the first picture are the Dual BIOS chips, to the right of the second and third PCIe x1 slots. Continuing on in the second photo you see the three USB 2.0 headers again, then a USB 3.0 header, Clear CMOS jumper, and the Front Panel LEDs and Buttons header. Another fan header — number two — sits between here and the SATA ports.

 

 

At the bottom left you can get a better look at the System Fan two header next to the Marvell 88SE9172 SATA 6.0Gb/s ports numbered six and seven. Intel provides the SATA 6.0Gb/s ports from zero to five. Immediately following this is a SATA power connector labeled ATX4P, it is there to provide auxiliary power to the PCIe ports for increased stability when running multiple cards and/or overclocking. Up and to the right just a little, next to the heat sink and memory slots, is the second USB 3.0 header. The next photo shows it from another perspective, and to the right is the Debug LED and System Fan header four. Next to this area is the 24-pin ATX power connector that delivers the majority of the power to the board. On the other side of the memory slots are two CPU fan headers, both PWM. The white one is intended to be the primary while the black one is labeled optional. This is a nice feature for those planning on using a tower-style heat sink with dual fan capabilities and makes wire management much easier as well. Next to these is the CMOS battery.

 

 

At the end are the Quick Buttons — Power, Reset, CMOS Clear, and the Dual BIOS switches used for toggling between both or either chip. Position one on BIOS SW is for Main BIOS, the other for Backup BIOS. SB switch position one is to disable Single BIOS, two is to enable it. Next to this area is a strip of empty header spots where users can use a voltmeter to see how much voltage is being delivered: from left to right we have VCORE, VDIMM, VRING, VCCIOA_L, VAXG, IMC, VIOD, and VRIN. The 8-pin ATX power connector is near the keyboard/mouse headers, at the corner of the PWM heat sinks. Next to it is the System Fan header one; this is the last fan header on the board. The heat sinks are very stylish and short enough that they shouldn't interfere with even the largest CPU cooling solutions available.

 

 

The features on this board seem very promising; this package should deliver great performance for this price range. The new color scheme looks great and has come a long way from past designs. Everything looks great on the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H but nothing is for sure until testing has been done!

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Closer Look:

Most motherboard manufacturers have gotten into software development in an attempt to increase the amount of features they can provide. Some of these attempts have worked flawlessly while others are buggy at best. Gigabyte has a slew of programs bundled together into a simple interface. Inserting the DVD and opening the Auto Play option brings about the Gigabyte Xpress Install program. This disk comes packed with extra programs from other companies: Google Drive, Chrome, and Toolbar are bundled. Norton Internet Security is included for antivirus software. Users can select which programs to install with a check box; some programs are bundled in the Chipset Drivers section.

The Application Software tab has the Gigabyte programs bundled together; here is where you get the in-house Gigabyte software. EasyTune is for the overclocking/fan controls, @BIOS is an automatic BIOS updating program, and EZ Setup checks for the latest software updates and utilizes three Intel technologies — Intel Smart Response, Intel Rapid Start, and Intel Smart Connect. USB Blocker does as the name suggests; users can select specific types of USB devices to deny or allow access to. Double clicking on the type and setting up a password is all that is required. Lastly for the Gigabyte software is the On/Off Charge 2, this is to optimize cell phone and device charging speeds.

The second tab under Application Software is for software from other vendors. Norton is linked again and Adobe Acrobat reader is also included here. The Intel software is included here separately from the Gigabyte EZ Setup program. CFosSpeed is intended to enhance Internet connections and Splashtop Streamer is for remote desktop connections to other Splashtop users. Several Cyberlink programs are paired up for different media management activities such as shrinking videos to fit on phones, video playback, and editing photographs and home videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third tab is the Information page. This lists all of the different things included on the disk, organized by purpose. The disk includes files not necessarily used on this motherboard such as the Bigfoot LAN Driver. On this same tab there is a Contact sub-tab where Gigabyte's address, phone, fax, and website address are listed. The last two main tabs are for installing Google Chrome and Google Toolbar. Since most are familiar with Norton and Google products (and can download at any time, free of charge) I will instead focus directly on the Gigabyte software.

 

 

 

After installing the Gigabyte software and restarting, users will find a small black and blue icon in their taskbar. This icon pops up the APP Center when clicked and gives access to the other programs that are installed. Here users can also click the gear to change colors from blue to orange or green. First is @BIOS; this program lists the BIOS chip type, size, BIOS version, and BIOS vendor. Clicking Update from Server will automatically start downloading and installing the latest BIOS if it isn't already installed. It is usually a good idea to get the latest BIOS because the one installed is probably pretty old and may have some bugs. Users can also manually download the BIOS files from the Gigabyte website and update it manually, and save their old BIOS as a backup. These features can also be done from within the UEFI BIOS (except for server updating) with a thumb drive. USB Blocker is a simple program. Double click the individual status to change the type of USB device from unblocked to blocked or vice-versa. Once you click OK it will prompt you to input a password to keep these settings secure. This is mainly for commercial areas where data theft can be a problem.

 

 

EasyTune is probably the most complex looking program in the Gigabyte arsenal. Looks are deceiving as most of this stuff is just like the BIOS, and most of the stuff is information rather than settings. The first tab is System Information, which lists four separate hardware categories. The Clocks category lists CPU and BCLK frequencies, and CPU Multiplier Ratio. The Memory category has four options to select — memory slot 0 - 3. Each slot will list the memory type, module size, maximum bandwidth (not X.M.P.), manufacturer, and manufacturing date. The Motherboard category lists the model and BIOS version. Last is the Processor category, which lists the processor and architecture names, socket, fabrication technology used, specifications, and core and thread count. Along the bottom of EasyTune is the clock speeds, voltages, fan RPMs, and system temperatures. This information stays around for every EasyTune tab.

The second tab is the Smart Quick Boost feature. Here users can select four different CPU clock frequencies — Light (4.10GHz), Medium (4.30GHz), Extreme (4.50GHz), Energy Saving (0.80GHz), or run at default clock rates (3.90GHz). These options require a restart to take effect. Auto Tune attempts to overclock automatically through a flash app that tests stability, restarts, and pushes until it detects instabilities. This program doesn't load the processor down as much as Prime95 or other tools as the temperatures at 4.8GHz were only in the 50 °C range. At 4.9GHz the system BSOD'd; the instructions say this is part of the process and to ignore it. After the reboot and manually opening Auto Tuning back up it asked me to wait 30 seconds. After this it told me that my score was 4.80GHz for the CPU, up 37.14%, and for the onboard GPU 1600MHz, up 6.67%. It will then ask if you want to save these settings.

There is also an Advanced page where users can customize settings similar to the BIOS and even save or load their custom profiles. This program worked well, except it would sometimes hang after applying the changes with the version off the disk. Updating it fixed this and the program worked perfectly. I was even able to overclock the graphics card through this software, and have it remember the settings!

 

 

EasyTune has a Smart Fan page with a Calibration feature to find out what the relative minimum and maximum RPMs are for each fan installed, and three profiles to choose how fast to run those fans. Each fan is different so it is a good idea to calibrate so the software knows how to properly treat the fan! Clicking Advanced lets you specify how the fan speeds ramp up according to temperatures. You can also turn off fan throttling and lock the RPMs at a specific amount on the second tab.

 

 

System Alert is a page that can be setup to alert you of unusually low fan speeds or high system temperatures. Scan interval length can be changed to scan more or less frequently, or disabled altogether. Scan intervals default at three seconds, but users can choose between disabled or 1-60 seconds. 3D Power allows users to change current protection, CPU phase control, voltage ramping, turbo voltage response rates, and voltage protection for the CPU and memory. Thermal protections are locked out at 130 °C. PWM switch rates are locked at 300KHz for the CPU VRING and 250KHz for memory. At the bottom left is Hardware Monitor; clicking this brings up a new window for it. It shows voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds over time. Hardware Monitor can be left up on its own since it is in its own window.

 

 

 

 

EZ Setup lets users change what disk mode they use; using RAID is likely for the Intel Smart Response SSD and HDD teaming capability since that is the mode needed for that. True RAID had to be setup before the operating system is installed. Since EZ Smart Response isn't usable without an HDD, the option is blacked out and unable to be selected. EZ Rapid Start is an enhanced sleep mode. Here the program just shows the amount of memory installed and the first and only storage drive, listing it as SSD but at the bottom saying no SSD drives were detected. EZ Smart Connect is intended to refresh Internet features, such as email, periodically so it is up to date while the system is sleeping. Here you can choose which programs are to be refreshed. Last is Gigabyte XHD, this is for setting up a RAID 0 array. The option is also blacked out and not selectable. Clicking Live Update on the APP Center will get the latest BIOS, drivers, and software. This is not meant for unattended setup as you will have to click through the drivers to install them. This software worked perfectly and updated several drivers.

 

 

 

After this, it is time to take an in-depth look at the BIOS settings!

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Closer Look:

The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H has UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which replaces the older style BIOS. UEFI is much more advanced, like a miniature operating system; they can usually access thumb drives, and some have web support built in. They are also capable of being customized, and provide the ability to boot from storage drives larger than 2TB. The BIOS chips are both 128 MB and use AMI EFI BIOS. Features include Plug 'N Play (PNP) 1.0a, Direct Media Interface (DMI) 2.0, System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) 2.0, and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) 2.0a.

The Gigabyte UEFI has seven primary tabs at the relative top: Home, Performance, System, BIOS Features, Peripherals, Power Management, and Save & Exit. Many of these primary tabs have their own sub-tabs. Things start off at a customizable "Performance" tab located on the Home screen tab with a premade layout. CPU options are listed here by default. To the immediate right of this is the Favorites section for quick selection of BIOS features and boot order setting through icons. The second premade category is called Standard and has some basic display and SATA options. Three more tabs exist and are called Your Name 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each is empty save for a button to set the page up to your own styling. This is very nice because you can choose which options you want and where; you could set one whole page for SATA options, clock rates, voltages, or whatever categories you can imagine!

Setup is easy; there are categories to choose from and you can change the tab names and orders. At the left are CPU frequency, multiplier ratio, Vcore, VRIN and VAXG voltages, CPU temperature, and both CPU fan header speeds. The OCZ watercooling kit has integrated fan control so the CPU fan headers weren't used. Under that are memory statistics, frequency, voltage, and timings of both channels A and B. The top bounces between DRAM and CPU voltage, all fan header speeds, and different temperatures on the system. The right side continues to show settings: the host clock frequency, +3.3V voltage, +5V voltage, +12V voltage, system and PCH temperatures, and three system fan speeds. The bottom lists the motherboard and BIOS information, as well as CPU version and ID, and lastly total memory installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next primary tab is the Performance tab. Not to be confused with the Home Performance tab that can be changed, this tab is full of settings for frequencies and voltages. The first option is Performance Boost, which ranges from auto, medium, high, ultra, and extreme. Respectively these left the CPU at stock, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7GHz, while running the memory at its rated 2133MHz. CPU Base Clock can be adjusted but isn't able to provide much for CPU overclocking since it is tied to everything. Many other settings for frequency adjustments are found, including the onboard graphics and memory. There is also a feature called CPU Upgrade, which has the processor run at a different processor's level. The second tab is for the memory and has much more options than Frequency did for memory. Using the X.M.P. profile, the memory worked perfectly at 2133MHz. For those that want to tweak their memory further you can adjust voltage, frequency, and timings here.

 

 

After the Memory sub-tab under Performance is Voltage. Voltage is separated into four different pages accessed by clicking the Enter buttons. First is 3D Power Control; here you can adjust various protections for voltage, current, temperature, and PWM loading and switch rate settings. There is a picture to the right showing the various profiles and how voltage drop is affected. Intel specifies that as the processor consumes more amps (loading the CPU causes this) that the voltage is supposed to decrease. There are a few reasons to this including keeping temperatures lower and protecting the CPU. For overclocking this can cause instability, so this can be reduced or even negated for increased stability under load. The next voltage option is CPU Core Voltage Control; here there are several voltage options to adjust the voltages going to different parts of the processor. The list is comprehensive; those looking to push the onboard graphics will find the voltage for that here as well since the graphics processor is on the CPU on this architecture. Last is the DRAM Voltage Control; on this page there is only this setting, so not much to explain. By now it is becoming obvious that information here is redundant. At first the layout seems daunting, but really the options are available in multiple locations!

 

 

 

PC Health Status is the next subcategory under Performance. Here there are options for various warnings from fan failures to case open warnings, and fan speed control customization. The last subcategory is Miscellaneous, where you can set PCIe slot configuration manually and also set the board for better scores in older benchmarks with Legacy BenchMark Enhancement.

 

 

The next primary tab is called System. Here it gives options to set up languages, multiple BIOS users and passwords, swap to a low-resolution mode, view the BIOS in a classic look, change the wallpaper, and change how booting occurs. To the right is a calendar and clock that can be adjusted.

 

 

Peripherals is another tab with several complex sub-tabs. The first sub-tab is Device Config; here you can set the primary display, enable or disable LAN, adjust onboard graphics settings, set the Marvell SATA controller settings, and adjust a few other settings. The SATA Config sub-tab is for the Intel SATA ports; here you can set SATA mode to AHCI, RAID, or IDE. The SATA ports are listed separately and can be disabled or setup for hot swap individually. Device names are also listed so it is clear what you are changing. This is another page where you will need to wheel down to see everything. The Super IO Config sub-tab only has one option to be changed: the Serial port can be disabled or enabled. In the last sub-tab, Intel(R) Smart Connect Technology can be enabled and has options for notifications and network power controls.

 

 

 

The last Primary settings tab is Power Management. Here users can adjust wake-up settings, including by timers, alarms, LAN, and AC failure. Power button settings can be adjusted, as well as options for being powered on by keyboard or mouse. The end of the BIOS, Save & Exit, does as its name suggests. You can also do a Boot Override, Save and Load settings profiles that can be located in the BIOS, or external storage in HDD (and SSD), FDD (although there isn't a FDD header), and USB devices. This makes it easy to share overclock settings with others! System defaults can be loaded here if you want to start from scratch, and the BIOS can be updated here as well.

 

 

That about sums it up for the BIOS. The following page will explain the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H's features at length.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Specifications:

CPU
Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.)
Chipset
Intel® Z87 Express Chipset
Memory
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)
Onboard Graphics
Integrated Graphics Processor:
1 x D-Sub port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
* The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160
* Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 3840x2160
* Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB
Audio
Realtek® ALC898 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF In/Out
LAN
Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
(The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_2/3 slots. The PCIEX1_2/3 slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed.
* When installing a x8 or above card in the PCIEX4 slot, make sure to set PCIE Slot Configuration in BIOS Setup to x4. (Refer to Chapter 2, "BIOS Setup," "Peripherals," for more information.)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(The PCIEX4 and PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFire™/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
(PCIEX16 and PCIEX8)
Storage Interface
Chipset:
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Marvell® 88SE9172 chip:
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/7) or 2 eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel, supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
* Use either the GSATA3 6, 7 connectors or the eSATA connectors at a time.
Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB
Chipset:
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)
Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
Chipset + 2 Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs:
Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (6 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
4 x system fan headers
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF In header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x serial port header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
Voltage measurement points
2 x BIOS switches
Back Panel Connectors
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x HDMI port
1 x DisplayPort
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x RJ-45 port
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller
iTE® I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring
System voltage detection
CPU/Chipset/System temperature detection
CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed detection
CPU/System overheating warning
CPU/CPU OPT/System fan fail warning
CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed control
* Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.
BIOS
2 x 128 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Unique Features
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
@BIOS
EasyTune
EZ Setup
ON/OFF Charge2
USB Blocker
Bundle Software
Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology
cFosSpeed
Operating System
Support for Windows 8/7
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Remark
Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.

 

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Features:



 

All information courtesy of Gigabyte @ http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4488#sp

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Testing:

Testing the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H motherboard will involve running it through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and AMD Catalyst 13.6 drivers for the XFX HD 7970. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings making this point a valid concern so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Socket 1150

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

Overclocking the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H was a pleasurable experience. Leaving everything on auto except XMP on the memory and setting the CPU ratio multiplier to 48 let the system boot at 4.8GHz. Things weren't stable due to heat until 4.5GHz due to this CPU's stepping; this is where it hits a wall and needs extra voltage when going above. 4.6GHz and 4.7GHz were too hot due to this processor having one die that runs hotter (verified with dozens of reseating and multiple cooling solutions); it would throttle down unfortunately. Setting the memory to XMP speeds auto-set the correct voltage, timings, and multiplier automatically. I have come across many motherboards that don't get all three of those so it is refreshing to find one that does.

Using the CPU Upgrade worked easily to attain speeds between 4.4GHz and 4.7GHz (maximum). The Easy Tune software worked decently; the advanced feature even allowed live changes. The advanced feature always worked for the overclocking, but would freeze afterwards sometimes. Using the preset overclocking profiles required a restart, but they worked perfectly and stayed around the setting.

 

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the over-clocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  1. PCMark 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2013
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. Crystal Disk Mark
  7. iPerf
  8. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  1. 3DMark
  2. Metro: Last Light
  3. DiRT 3

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Testing:

PCMark 7 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular PCMark system performance tool. This version is designed for use on Windows 7 PCs and features a combination of 25 different workloads to accurately measure the performance of all PCs from laptops to desktops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

  

  

 

  

 

SiSoft Sandra 2013 is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the CPUs.

Overall Score

  

 

PCMark 7 had the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H motherboard trailing in the lower scores, with about half coming in dead last. Having a slower overclock didn't help. With Sandra this motherboard does about average even at the overclocked testing.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Testing:

Cinebench 11.5 is useful for testing your system, CPU, and OpenGL capabilities using the software program, CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

X.264 Benchmark: This benchmark is used to measure the time it takes to encode a 1080p video file into the x264 format. The default benchmark is used with an average of all four tests on each pass taken as the result.

  

  

 

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 3.0 is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the Cache and Memory benchmark tool to measure memory performance.

 

  

  

  

  

 

Cinebench has the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H scoring near the top at stock. In overclocking it slips behind; the less aggressive overclock is likely the cause here as can be seen by the ASUS Z87-PLUS, which is clocked closer to the Gigabyte. At stock in X.264 the motherboard comes close to the top boards;overclocking it falls a little behind. With AIDA 64 testing the Gigabyte did well, staying average or better in all of the categories.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Testing:

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H in Crystal Disk Mark had it come close to the top in several tests; in the rest it did average. Pretty great results considering the price point that it comes in at compared to some of these boards!

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Testing:

LAN performance will be tested via a pair of utilities to gauge the performance of the on board network solutions. The motherboard being tested will be connected via a Gigabit switch to another system with an integrated Gigabit network solution on board.

iPerf: is a small lightweight utility run from the command prompt and can be used to "measure both TCP and UDP performance on a network. IPerf is cross platform software and open source." The test is configured to run for 20 seconds with a window size of 256 KB and four simultaneous streams that should be able to saturate the TCP link on a good NIC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rightmark Audio Analyzer 6.25 is used to test the sound solution on board each motherboard. Nothing beats a good set of ears and headphones but this is a graphic representation of the capabilities of the installed hardware. Sampling mode is 24bit 44kHz.

 
Intel DZ87KLT-75
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
ASUS ROG   M6H
ASUS Z87-PLUS
MSI MPower MAX
ASUS ROG M6E
ECS Z87H3-A2X Gank Machine
Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
Frequency Response dB
+3.65,-2.33
+0.52,+ 0.30
+0.23,+0.12
-0.01, -0.07
+0.12,-0.10
+0.42-+0.03
+0.46,+0.04
+0.32, +0.12
Noise Level dBA
-91.3
-91.3
-91.5
-85.3
-93.6
-99.8
-94.0
-77.8
Dynamic Range dBA
91.3
91.2
91.5
85.4
93.5
99.6
94.0
77.8
Total Harmonic distortion %
0.481
0.131
0.436
0.0059
0.131
0.463
0.130
.131
Intermodulation distortion +noise
1.393
0.259
0.365
0.019
0.259
0.463
0.262
.258
Stereo Crosstalk,db
-69.7
-91.6
-89.2
-84.9
-91.2
-94.9
-.92.2
-77.5
Intermodulation distortion + noise (Swept Freq) %
0.465
.323
.311
.017
.324
.430
.323
.326
Frequency Response (Swept Sine), db
+1.3,-2.4
+0.1,-0.1
+0.0,-0.1
+0.0, -0.0
+0.1,-0.1
+0.1, -0.2
+0.1, -0.1
+0.1, -0.1

All results were very close, but the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H produced the best results on LAN performance using iPerf. The Ethernet LAN port is an Intel Gigabit version with high ESD Protection; this is to help keep the system protected from electrical surges and direct lightning strikes according to Gigabyte. RightMark Audio Analyzer shows better than average distortion and good frequency response.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Testing:

3DMark: The just released version of Futuremark's popular 3DMark suite is designed to let a wider range of the user base the ability to make a comparative analysis of the gaming prowess of their systems from entry level PCs to notebooks and Extreme Gaming PCs.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DiRT 3 is the third iteration of this series. Published and developed by Codemasters, this game uses the EGO 2.0 game engine and was released in the US on PC in May of 2011.

Settings

 

 

Part first-person shooter, part survival horror, Metro: Last Light is the followup to the extremely popular game Metro 2033. Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, this game uses the 4A game engine. In this game set a year after the missile strike on the Dark Ones you continue on as Artyom as he digs deeper into the bowels of the Metro.

 

 

Settings:

 

 

 

Results for 3DMark don't vary too much except at the ends. The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H scores well here for both tests at stock, and despite being slightly lower on the overclock manages to do well in the overclocked tests too. DiRT 3 results vary only a couple of FPS, but the Gigabyte motherboard is closer to the lead than the end. Metro: Last Light has the least variance of the boards here. Obviously from a gamer standpoint the motherboard doesn't really matter for FPS when everything else is the same.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Conclusion:

The Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H operated flawlessly throughout testing. Performance was comparable to the other boards; the feature set was strong, the BIOS options were plentiful, and everything ran perfectly even using the automated features for overclocking! The Turbo Boost Ratio was at a full 39, allowing the CPU to operate as it should at stock default settings. The board is very capable of fulfilling even extreme enthusiasts' needs or those learning to push the boundaries. At the same time it is able to work right away straight of the box, keeping things simple for novices, plus with automated features an overclock is as easy as selecting an option and restarting!

Testing was done with the latest F7 BIOS as it gave me no problems. The F5 BIOS functioned perfectly except it wouldn't always change the memory multiplier. UEFI BIOS is quite a remarkable advancement compared to standard BIOS. Being able to customize is amazing; you can fine-tune things for faster access to settings you more frequently change. The only con I could really think of after everything is that the BIOS lacked scroll bars on pages that had more content that couldn't be seen without scrolling. Gigabyte updated this on the F7 drivers by changing the mouse icon to suggest that there is more content, but there is still no way to scroll other than by mouse wheel. This is a stretch; honestly there was nothing else I could think of.

For what the board is, it is virtually perfect. There is always room to want more, but this board didn't leave me feeling like I was missing out on anything. If there are any features you want that aren't provided, there are higher end Gigabyte motherboards that have them, but for a strong general purpose board this is hard to beat. The only things a user could realistically miss are: IEEE 1394 headers and Wi-Fi. IEEE 1394 isn't nearly as common as USB and Wi-Fi is a premium feature (that is offered on higher end Gigabyte boards). The software worked almost perfectly; it required an update but after that it worked without any problems! The only bug I noticed was incorrect memory frequency being reported but that didn't affect performance. The board was completely stable; the only time I ever had a crash was when the pushing the CPU with too low of voltages!

In the end this motherboard is another tribute to the reputation Gigabyte has been building over the years, and the looks match the performance!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: