Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard Review

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Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK ATX Motherboard

The Intel Z97 chipset’s life is getting ready to come to an end as the next generation of Intel processors are due for an update soon, which means a change in chipset and socket.  That doesn’t mean that the Z97 motherboards and socket 1150 chips become useless, they’ll be available and popular for a few more years.  There are so many different Z97 motherboards available, it can be confusing which one is the best option.  Many times it comes down to the value added features.  Gigabyte has their Black Edition motherboards that go through a more rigorous testing process, a 168 hour server level durability test, typically ensuring the best quality and robustness.

Gigabyte-Z97X-UD3H-BK-Layout-Angle

One of Gigabytes Black Edition motherboards is the Z97X-UD3H-BK ATX motherboard which was released in the second half of 2014.  Being over six months out from release, it still has some of the most impressive features available on Z97 motherboards.  At a quick glance, we can see that for $139.99 plus shipping at both Newegg and Amazon, you are getting a motherboard capable of using up to four 8GB DDR3 memory modules up to 3100 (when overclocked), 7.1 audio,  up to six SATA 6.0Gb/s storage devices, Gigabit LAN connection, support for 3-way Crossfire or 2-way SLI, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and a M.2 slot.

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In my opinion, the M.2 slot is one of the most impressive features of the Z97X-UD3H-BK, it is capable of running a PCIe M.2 drive up to 10Gb/s, although the trade off is losing two of the six SATA 6.0Gb/s connections.

What exactly makes Gigabytes Black Edition motherboards different from normal motherboards?  Since 2006, Gigabyte has been adding the highest quality components to their Ultra Durable motherboards.  The Black Edition has each of the motherboards going through a 168 hour full system test.  Gigabyte has a great video that shows what goes into the testing and manufacturing of these motherboards.

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK Features:

  • Extended server level 168 hour durability Test
  • Supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel Core processors
  • SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • M.2 for SSDs drives with up to 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • 2x copper PCB design
  • Highly efficient MOSFET design
  • Long lifespan Durable Black Solid caps

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Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK Specifications
CPU
  • Support for Intel Core i7, i5, i4, Pentium Celeron processors in the LGA1150 Package
  • L3 cache varies with CPU
Chipset
  • Intel Z97 Express Chipset
Memory
  • 4 x DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • Support for 3100(O.C.) / 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
Onboard Graphics
  • 1 x D-Sub port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200@60Hz
  • 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200@60Hz (does not support D-Sub connection by adapter)
  • 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@24Hz or 2560×1600@60Hz
  • Support for up to 3 displays at the same time
  • Maximum shared memory of 512MB
Audio
  •  Realtek ALC1150 codec
  • High Definition Audio
  • 2/4/5.1/7.1 channel
  • Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  •  Intel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
  • 1x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
  • 1x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
  • 1x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
  • 3x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 1x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  • Support for 3-Way / 2-Way AMD CrossFire and 2-Way NVIDIA SLI
Storage Interface
  • 1x M.2 PCIe Connector
  • 1x SATA Express connector
  • 6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
USB
  • 6x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
  • 8x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 x M.2 PCIe connector
  • 1 x SATA Express connector
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
  • 3 x system fan headers
  • 1 x front panel header
  • 1 x front panel audio header
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  • 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  • 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  • 1 x serial port header
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
Back Panel Connectors
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port
  • 1 x D-Sub port
  • 1 x DVI-D port
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
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
BIOS
  • 2x 64 Mbit flash
  • Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
  • Support for DualBIOS
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Unique Features
  • 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
    Fast Boot
    ON/OFF Charge
    Smart TimeLock
    Smart Recovery 2
    System Information Viewer
    USB Blocker
  • Support for Q-Flash
  • Support for Smart Switch
  • Support for Xpress Install
Bundle Software
  • Norton IInternet Security (OEM version)
  • Intel Rapid Start Technology
  • Intel Smart Connect Technology
  • Intel Smart Response Technology
  • cFosSpeed
Operating Systems
  • Support for Windows 8.1 / 8 / 7
Form Factor
  •  ATX Form Factor, 30.5cm x 22.5cm
Warranty
  •  3 Years

Now that we know what the Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK can do, let’s take a look at the retail packaging before taking a close look at the motherboard.

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