- Category: Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Review
- Published on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 01:41
- Written by Mike-Editor
Box, Board, and Accessories:
The box is simple in design, while Z77 was white, GBT has used black here. You can see that they really push on their quality, and honestly it really is upgraded from last generation, we will go over the specifics later.
The accessory package is similar if not identical to that of the UD4H as well as the previous generation UD3H. You get:
- 4x SATA6GB/s Cables
- IO Backpanel Shield
- SLI Connector
In my opinion that is really all you need, I would rather costs go into hardware than accessories, as you can’t upgrade the motherboard hardware but you can always buy more accessories.
Here is the whole board, the first thing you will notice is the color scheme which is truly improved along with the heatsinks. The capacitors have a very nice black finish (they are also extreme high quality 10K custom made capacitors: http://www.chemi-con.co.jp/e/tech_topics/pdf/new_cp_201304.pdf , if you compare to even ASUS, they only use this kind of quality on their ROG line, their normal “Z87 gold” line is only 5K)
Here is the backpanel, it isn’t very amazing other than it features all USB 3.0 ports. This might pose an issue for XP/Vista users as Intel USB 3.0 don’t support those two OSes. There are also only hubs and not controllers used on this board and all these ports go through hubs, for those users they must disable xHCI in the UEFI to make the USB 3.0 ports all USB 2.0 ports. GBT’s use of hubs for all backpanel ports was first due to user demand, but there is also a secondary usefulness, and that is that ports that go through hubs should be immune to the Intel USB 3.0 bug that everyone talks about.
- 6x USB 3.0 Ports
- 2x eSATA6gb/s(Marvell SE9172 shared internally)
- Display Port
- S/PDIF Digital
- PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse
- RJ-45 1GBit LAN
- Audio ports
Here we have the top half of the board, and you can see how big these VRM heatsinks are. A huge complaint with Z77X-UD3H was that the it didn’t have total VRM heatsink coverage (not that it needed it), so for aesthetic value “super-size” heatsinks have been added. They not only cover all the VRM phases, but also they are longer than needed covering one of the NEC hubs and even the PWM, this board is over engineered in the hardware side which is a good thing. This board has an 8 phase VRM, and its true 8 phases as well so it should run pretty cool because of it. You also get a bunch of OC features and fan headers(total 6, with control over 5 with 3 controls). Also notice the USB 3.0 on/off port which is new.
You will notice this board has three full sized PCI-E slots, however only the first two are hooked to the CPU’s PCI-E controller. The last is hooked to the PCH. You might also notice the eight SATA ports, the 6 black are Intel controlled and the 2 gray are from Marvell’s SE9172. The gray ports are shared with the eSATA on the backpanel so you can only use either/or. You might also notice that there is an extra PCI-E power plug in the form of a SATA power receptacle. One USB 3.0 internal header also exists at the bottom, I think that this header is direct connected to the PCH, and doesn't go through hubs while I am pretty sure the on/off port goes through one of the hubs.
The picture above is self-explanatory, but what is interesting/ awesome for you is that GIGABYTE kept all these features. The Voltage read points are one that can be important, because now that all the voltages are integrated one cannot find these read points on their own instead they have to be routed to pins and vsense techniques are used to gather precise voltage to different CPU domains, like a PWM would vsense its output. The position of the POST code is rather inconvenient, but it is there which counts. GBT also added another OC feature: Single BIOS mode(otherwise known from the Z77X-UP7 as the dual BIOS disable switch). This is useful for faster OC recovery as well as trouble shooting issues due to Dual BIOS.
Just another shot of the SATA6G ports and PCH heatsink.
This motherboard uses a 6 layer 2oz copper true black matte PCB. I have gone over the port allotment above, Notice that the bottom 4x slot shares 2 of its PCI-E lanes with those other two 1x slots.