- Packaging, Contents and Specification
- Closer Look
- Component Overview
- CPU Air Cooler, Memory Kit and GPU Clearance
- BIOS Layout and Options
- Test Bench and Testing Methodology
- Futuremark Benchmarks
- Memory Benchmarks
- USB 3.0 Transfer Test
- SATA III Performance Test
- LAN Performance Test
- Boot Comparison Test
- Overclocking and Performance Difference
- Online Purchase Links
Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK is a very feature rich motherboard that will keep a lot of users happy. Then again, this would appeal to users that want a lot of expansion options and will be more hands-on when it comes to overclocking.
For those who really need a reliability certificate for any reason, this is one of the motherboards they can look at. Another motherboard manufacturer that provides such reliability certificates is Asus with their Sabertooth lineup. There are few lines of work who will need this promise on paper rather than marketing words on the box. Then again, it doesn’t look to be all that difference from the standard version of Z97X-UD5H except the colour option and many hours of server-grade testing. For worse case scenario, this motherboard has a 5-year warranty period. For few, the price difference is deemed negligible.
Oh yeah, then there are memory overclock profiles, however for those who need such motherboard with plethora expansion options will prefer the good old fashion manual overclocking.
Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK takes advantage of all the features that Intel Z97 provides, including M.2 and SATA Express. What’s more is that Gigabyte did (silently) post about NVMe support based BETA UEFI in its press release, and also provides support for the upcoming 5th Generation ‘Broadwell’ processor lineups. It’s another discussion that we’ve not heard or seen SATA Express drives around.
The layout and spacing is just right. Fan header placement could have been better, at least for the rear system fan header placement. Gigabyte should consider using angled USB 3.0 headers as a norm.
With SSDs, Marvell SATA III controller is not fast compared to its native Z97 SATA III support. But there’s hardly a performance difference in regards to boot and mechanical drive use. It’s a no-brainer that users should use native option first. That said, there are other SATA III controller manufacturers out there, such as ASMEDIA. The second Ethernet port could have been using Intel I1217V and provide teaming support. It’s strange not to see that for a motherboard with server level components and testing.
- Good PCIe Layout
- Uses all features from Intel Z97 Desktop Chipset
- Special memory specific overclocked profiles
- Support for NVMe and upcoming 5th Gen Broadwell CPUs
- Provides enough PCIe clearance for large tower CPU coolers
- Tested for 168 hours to ensure reliability
- 5-years warranty.
- Awkward sys_fan header placements
- No identical LAN controllers provided to allow NIC teaming
- Marvell Controller cannot take advantage of transfer throughput from Solid-State Drives