GIGABYTE Z87X-UD4H Motherboard Review
With the 14nm Broadwell K-series chips not expected until late 2014 or early 2015, the current LGA1150 platform is going to be hanging around for a while. Intel is expected to release some faster Haswell chips early next year, but we're probably talking about parts that are only clocked 100MHz higher than what's currently on the market. As a result, if you're in the market for an upgrade there is little reason to procrastinate at this point.
Back in August we reviewed the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD5H, and we came away impressed with its clean design, sleek new UEFI BIOS, overall feature set, impressive overclocking capabilities, and strong performance. Therefore, today we are going to be taking a look at another model in GIGABYTE's extensive Z87 motherboard lineup: the slightly more affordable $185 Z87X-UD4H. Compared to the aforementioned UD5H model, you will be saving around $35, but giving up one gigabit LAN port, one HDMI port, two SATA 6Gb/s ports, and the front USB 3.0 panel accessory output. On the plus side, you do gain a VGA port and two eSATA 6GB/s ports, both of which are lacking on the higher-end model.
In most other respects, the two models are very similar. The UD4H features an all-digital 3D 16-phase power design, three PCI-E x16 slots (x16/x8/x4), 2-way SLI and 2-way CrossFireX, six USB 3.0 ports, two internal USB 3.0 headers, 8-channel HD audio codec, a dual-mode UEFI BIOS with two physical BIOS chips, and a revamped software package. The neat additions are the distinctive red onboard power button (a great addition for a board priced under the $200 mark), voltage measurement points, POST code display, onboard BIOS switcher, ON/OFF Charge USB feature, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header, and a full complement of VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort outputs.
On the software side, this model will allow us to revisit the new user-friendly Dashboard Mode in the updated UEFI BIOS, as well as the revamped software suite which is spearheaded by the comprehensive EasyTune utility that allows users to tweak and monitor system clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, fan rotation, as well as enable automatic overclocking features.
With so many similarities, let's see if the Z87X-UD4H can live up to the legacy of its higher-end siblings.
|Latest Reviews in Motherboards|