After finishing up the testing with the mainstream Z97X-UD5H motherboard from Gigabyte, we were surprised how many features have been retained on this product from the high-end models. The BIOS has multiple modes which we can access depending on our mood, we have a slim but efficient cooling system for the VRM, plenty of space between the PCI-Express x16 slots and features both M.2 and SATA Express connectors for fitting next-gen storage devices. Of course, here we should also remind that Gigabyte has included a secondary BIOS backup chip, necessary switches for working with the Dual BIOS feature, but also measuring points which are great when performing different system tuning operations. We also have a hybrid Intel/Killer NIC solution, each chipset providing a port of its own but Teaming is not supported in this case.
The audio solution this time is based on the Realtek RTL1150 CODEC, which has not been proven to be as good as the Creative Sound Core3D which is to be found on the more high-end models, but we can always choose to use a separate audio card, on either PCI legacy slot or PCI-Express.
The software solution and its modules are very well built so we have most of the options available in UEFI at our little finger right into Windows. These are easy to adjust when testing for system stability and once this is found, we can apply the same settings inside the UEFI if necessary.
Gigabyte has also included some auto-tuning presets but sometimes these can lead to higher than optimal voltages, which could diminish the CPU lifetime.
We cannot help but to recommend this board to people which are not hardcore overclockers, but would like to get a decent 24/7 overclock without spending too much time fiddling with many settings.
The Z97X-UD5H board is now available online for about 155 Euros, quite affordable for what we have offered and is backed by a well-known first-tier manufacturer in the motherboard industry.
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H Motherboard is Recommended For:
We would like to thank again to Gigabyte for making this review possible!