Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Socket 1150 Motherboard Review

Posted by on Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 7:41pm

As stated above, this motherboard is intended for the new Haswell series of processors. On launch there was several processors released but the two most popular amongst enthusiasts and overclockers are the i5-4670K and the i7-4770K processors due to their unlock multipliers. We will take our newly purchased i7-4770K and this new Gigabyte motherboard and see just how capable in overclocking this motherboard can do.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Socket 1150 Motherboard Review



Today, we got our first look at a motherboard strictly for the Intel Haswell processors using Intel's newest socket 1150 platform. The motherboard would be the Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H. If you are familiar with Gigabyte, you would know that any UD3H model falls under their mid-range category with a pretty solid performance and a better-than-good overclocking capability. It is a decent motherboard for any entry to mid-level enthusiast build that will not break the bank.

As stated above, this motherboard is intended for the new Haswell series of processors. On launch there was several processors released but the two most popular amongst enthusiasts and overclockers are the i5-4670K and the i7-4770K processors due to their unlock multipliers. We will take our newly purchased i7-4770K and this new Gigabyte motherboard and see just how capable in overclocking this motherboard can do.

Gigabyte’s take on the 8 Series Motherboards

GIGABYTE 8 Series motherboards support the latest 4th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, bringing together a unique blend of features and technologies that offer the absolute ultimate platform for your next PC build. From high current capable digital power delivery, performance-enhancing caching technologies, exclusive high-end audio features, advanced networking and device charging, gold plated hardware connectors and of course, killer good looks, GIGABYTE 8 series motherboards are in a class of their own.


  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU

(Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.)


  1. Intel® Z87 Express Chipset


  1. 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.
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor:

  1. 1 x D-Sub port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60 Hz
  2. 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60 Hz
    * The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
  3. 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24 Hz
    * Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
  4. 1 x DisplayPort port, supporting a maximum resolution of 3840x2160@60 Hz
    * Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.
  5. Maximum shared memory of 1 GB


  1. Realtek® ALC898 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for S/PDIF In/Out


  1. Intel®GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Expansion Slots

  1. 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. 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. 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.)


  1. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
    (The PCIEX4 and PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  1. 1 x PCI slot

Multi-Graphics Technology

  1. Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFire™/NVIDIA® SLI™ technology (PCIEX16 and PCIEX8)

Storage Interface


  1. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  2. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Marvell® 88SE9172 chip:

  1. 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.
  2. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1



  1. Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)
  2. Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)

Chipset + 2 Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs:

  1. 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. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x PCIe power connector
  4. 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  5. 1 x CPU fan header
  6. 1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
  7. 4 x system fan headers
  8. 1 x front panel header
  9. 1 x front panel audio header
  10. 1 x S/PDIF In header
  11. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  12. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  13. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  14. 1 x serial port header
  15. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  16. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
  17. 1 x power button
  18. 1 x reset button
  19. 1 x Clear CMOS button
  20. Voltage measurement points
  21. 2 x BIOS switches

Back Panel Connectors

  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
  2. 1 x D-Sub port
  3. 1 x DVI-D port
  4. 1 x HDMI port
  5. 1 x DisplayPort
  6. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  7. 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  8. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors
  9. 1 x RJ-45 port
  10. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

I/O Controller

  1. iTE® I/O Controller Chip

H/W Monitoring

  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/Chipset/System temperature detection
  3. CPU/CPU_OPT/System fan speed detection
  4. CPU overheating warning
  5. CPU/CPU_OPT/System fan fail warning
  6. CPU/CPU_OPT/System fan speed control
    * Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.


  1. 2 x 128 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a

Unique Features

  1. Support for Q-Flash
  2. Support for Xpress Install
  3. 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.
    EZ Setup
    ON/OFF Charge2
    USB Blocker

Bundle Software

  1. Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
  2. Intel® Rapid Start Technology
  3. Intel® Smart Connect Technology
  4. Intel® Smart Response Technology
  5. cFosSpeed

Operating System

  1. Support for Windows 8/7

Form Factor

  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm


  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
  2. Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP SP1/SP2. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.


  • Supports 4th Generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 5 Plus Technology
  • All IR Digital Power design
  • 15µ gold plated CPU socket
  • Multi-GPU Support
  • Durable black solid capacitors
  • GIGABYTE On/Off Charge™ 2 for USB devices
  • Intel® LAN with high ESD Protection
  • New Heatsink design for better cooling
  • Realtek ALC898 with High Quality 110dB SNR HD audio
  • Onboard Quick Buttons
  • Supports CFOS speed Internet Accelerator Software
  • 10 USB 3.0 ports

Closer Look

On the surface, the new Z87 chipset has a couple things to offer over the older but still very popular Z77 chipset. First would be the processors in which they support which are the new Haswell processors which uses a new socket as well. The Haswell is a socket LGA 1150 while the latter is a LGA 1155. Unfortunately, they are not interchangeable since they are two different platforms. As for the storage-minded individuals, you will be glad to know that the Z87 chipset does offer more SATA III ports which are six compared to four from the Z77 offering. This would eliminate the need for added controllers on the motherboard to support a larger number of faster drives. There are other aspects that make the Haswell worthwhile but we will talk about them at a later time.

The Z87X-UD3H supports the Haswell class of processors which have an integrated memory control that supports 1600MHZ natively without having to overclock the motherboard to get higher frequencies.

When it comes to power and how the motherboard uses it, Gigabyte has implemented their patented Ultra Durable™ 5 Plus technology. This technology is spread out all over the board but it begins processor and DIMM voltage regulators. Underneath the two-part heat sink, you will notice eight phases aimed directly at the CPU.

There are a total of three x16 PCIe slots on the Z87X-UD3H. This gives the motherboard full collaboration for 3-way Crossfire and 2-way SLI. Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t mention 3-way SLI. This is because NVIDIA doesn’t support PCIe lanes less than x4 bandwidth which would be the third of the three PCIe slots in the motherboard. But when all the longer slots are utilized, the bandwidth drops to x8/x8/x4. Of the three slots, only the top two are PCIe 3.0 compliant and the last is a PCIe 2.0 slot. There are three PCIe 1.0 slots the user can choose from.  The lone PCI slot is controlled by an ITE controller because Intel chipsets no longer support the legacy slot.

When it comes to memory support, not much has changed except for the bump in the IMC operating frequency. When it comes to the DIMM slots and the amount of memory supported, 32GB is still the maximum. But the overclocking frequency has jump quite a bit and has landing at 3000 MHz according to Gigabyte. Unfortunately we do not have memory modules in the lab to test the maximum attainable frequency as specified.

The Z87X-UD3H takes advantage of all the ports in which the chipset supports. This means the user can install six devices all running at the maximum SATA III speeds. For many, this is plenty but for those that need even more there is a Marvel 88SE9172 onboard to control two more SATA III ports. RAID 0 and is supported by both while 5 and 10 only by the Intel ports. The SATA power connector is to fuel more power to the PCIe lanes.

For the bench and the open-air tester, the handy onboard power, reset and CLR CMOS buttons are located on the top edge of the motherboard.

One feature that many love about Gigabyte motherboards is the dual BIOS chips. If your luck is not as good as the next person when it comes to flashing a BIOS, it is nice to know there is a backup available just in case. There are integrated USB 3.0 connections for the I/O panel of your case as well as voltage measuring point if you want the exact readings of the voltage traveling to your memory, ram as well as other areas.

  • 1x PS/2 port
  • 6x USB 3.0 ports (Intel Z87)
  • 2x eSATA (Marvell)
  • 1x LAN port (Intel WGI27V)
  • 7.1 channel audio (Realtek ALC898)
  • 4x Graphic ports (DVI, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort)


We have dealt with many motherboards since the UEFI invasion and we have seen many manufacturers add their own touches to it. Gigabyte is no different. After posting the board for the first time and going to BIOS I was thinking it was the same as the Gigabyte motherboards before, meaning boot and look for the M.I.T. tab. That is not the case with this board. Gigabyte has upped itself with its new UEFI layout, different from what the Z77 Gigabyte boards were using.

We won’t go through each page of it but we will point out some of the more interesting aspects. For example, as you flip through the various sections you will always have the more important CPU status available to the left side while you can keep a watchful on the system status on the right. The different sections offered are very self-explanatory and well laid out.

If you are not a fan of the new BIOS layout and I don’t see why you wouldn’t, you do have the option to revert back the ‘old-school’ version.

Testing Setup

Test Hardware:

1. Gigabyte Z87X-UD3HMotherboard
2. Intel Core i7 4770K Processor
3. Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 8GB (9-11-9)
4.Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5.ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. MicrocoolBanchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8.Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card

Test Software:

FuturemarkPCMark Vantage
SiSoftware Sandra 2011
Super PI Modded 1.5
MaxxMEM 2
Futuremark 3DMark 11
Square Enix Final Fantasy XiV

CPU-Z CPU and memory detection.

Overclocking Results

When it came time to overclock this motherboard with our new retail processor, we had no idea what we were going to be able to obtain. Many users have been reporting overclocks in the neighborhood of 4.4GHz to 4.7GHz using moderate voltage hikes. With our combination, we were able to get our i7-4770K to 4.8GHz stable using 1.35 volts. We were able to get the system to boot and post with clocks as high as 5.0GHz but stability was an issue.


Overall Testing

Geekbench 2.3.1
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

Futuremark PCMark 07
PCMark 7 Professional Edition is the only edition licensed for commercial use. The Professional Edition unlocks all features including custom testing options, unlimited test runs, automation and priority customer support. A commercial license enables you to use the benchmark for business purposes including testing for performance, conformance and stability, for research and development including component evaluation, burn-in testing and competitor analysis and for promotional use including trade shows, consumer events, overclocking competitions and other sales and marketing activities. If you are a member of the press please contact us for special licensing terms.

CPU Testing

Super PI Modded 1.5
In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.

Geekbench 2.3.1
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

Rarlab Winrar
WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format. You can try WinRAR before buy, its trial version is available in downloads.

Maxon Cinbench
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

Memory Testing

Geekbench 2.3.1
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand, Geekbench takes the guesswork out of producing robust and reliable benchmark results.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50
FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.

Storage Testing

A disk benchmark software.

Game Testing

Futuremark 3DMark Advanced
The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and desktop PCs. And it's not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too.

Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn
FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that invites you to explore the realm of Eorzea with friends from around the world.
Form a party and adventure with a multitude of players from across the globe. Forge friendships, mount chocobos, and board airships as you and your companions create your own unique stories in Eorzea.
Set out alone or enlist the aid of friends as you undertake epic quests, battle familiar FINAL FANTASY monsters, and acquire unique abilities and equipment. All the classic elements from the series that you have come to know and love are waiting!
Embark on the adventure of a lifetime to help reforge the fate of Eorzea!

Capcom Resident Evil 6
Blending action and survival horror, Resident Evil 6 promises to be the dramatic horror experience of 2012. Resident Evil favourites Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield are joined by new characters, including Jake Muller, to face a bioterrorist threat on a global scale, as the narrative moves between North America, the war-torn Eastern European state of Edonia and the Chinese city of Lanshiang.


The Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H is our first dip in the world that we call Haswell and we are glad that it was the UD3H that got us started. The Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H showed us just what the Haswell is capable of and to consider this is in a mid-range motherboard. We saw performance that was faster than the previous Ivy Bridge processors offer. How much faster? The performance number are worlds apart but the gap is in the range of what we have seen between generations in past times.

I have mentioned mid-range motherboard two times before now. But we did get a whopping 4.8GHz out of it with minimal overclocking tweaks. Now imagine what boards like the Z87X-OC also from Gigabyte would do with the same processor. This overclock was gone with a mere 1.35 volts making this speed and voltage capable of being ran 24/7 in a daily rig. This along with the increase in performance made the Haswell a winning combination.

The Z87X-UD3H with its many features has a very nice layout. The passive heat sinks are not terribly tall making the mounting of coolers less painful. The PCIe slot layout is another plus. Someone looking for a board like the UD3H probably won’t be looking to run more than two graphic cards. I say two would be the ideal number and the space between the two full length slots is plentiful and allows ample airflow between the cards. One small feature can be overlooked is SATA power to the PCIe lanes. Gone is the regular MOLEX-type making for less cables being plugged in the PSU.

I am liking everything about the Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H including the price. The board can be bought for a mere $160 from TigerDirect and Newegg.

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