29 Apr, 2015   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews .  GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK Motherboard Review

Today we are taking a closer look at Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard, aimed at the upper-mid range market at Rs.18K price tag. Gigabyte Black Edition boards are designed focusing around durability and reliability. GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard with certified reliability means that the components has already passed high stress loading and testing.

Now let’s see what this new Intel Z97 chipset Ultra Durable board have for us.

Package

Looking at the front of the box, we see Gigabyte logo with motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that Gigabyte goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard.

Inside the box

Looks

Board is a solid build in the mate black and Gold colour theme.

Features

  • Extended server level 168 hour durability Test
  • Supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • Extreme multi graphics support
  • Precise digital CPU power design
  • SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • M.2 for SSDs drives with up to 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • Killer™ E2200 and Intel gaming networking
  • Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with built-in rear audio amplifier
  • 2x copper PCB design
  • Long lifespan Durable Black Solid caps
  • APP Center including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™

Specifications

Layout

Detailed layout of board.

1. Intel LGA 1150 socket, supporting current 4th generation and 5th generation CPU.

5x (15μ) Gold Plated CPU Socket Design. GIGABYTE 9 Series motherboards come equipped with a gold plated CPU socket, which means that enthusiasts can enjoy absolute reliability and longevity for the CPU socket overtime, without having any concerns about corroded pins and bad contacts.

2. 4 x DIMM slots supporting maximum 32GB of 1600/1333MHz DDR3 or up to 3200(O.C.) DDR3 memory.

3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)

4. ATX CPU Power Connector (8-pin ATX12V).

5. Back Panel Connectors 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 1 x D-Sub port, 1 x DVI-D port, 1 x HDMI port, 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 2 x RJ-45 ports, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)

6. 7. 11. 13. 1 x CPU Fan, 1 x CPU OPT Fan and 4 x System Fan Connectors

8. Front USB 3 Port.

9.1 x SATA Express connector, 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

10. System Front panel Connector

12. 2 x USB 2.0 Connectors

14. Serial Port and TPM Connector

15. Front panel Audio connector and SPDIF out port.

16. M.2 PCIe connector

17. Expansion Slots.

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 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) * 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 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4) * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX8 and PCIEX16 slots. When the PCIEX4 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode and the PCIEX8 will operate at up to x4 mode. * 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.) (The PCIEX16, PCIEX8 and PCIEX4 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.), 2 x PCI Express x1 slots (The PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.), 2 x PCI slots

Removing Heat-sinks

Gigabyte used dense aluminum heatsink in this board. Heatsinks base is having thermal pad installed.

Component Layout

Let’s now see what all components Gigabyte have planned for this board.

1. 2. CPU voltage regulator circuit has high end 10K Durable Black solid capacitors. IR3563 is IR (International Rectifier) 8-phase single output PWM Controller IC, controlling Vishay SiRA12DP MOSFETS (each package limited to 25A . It’s a 4-phase x 2 VRM where IR3598 is being used as a doublers IC.

3. 2-Phase digital memory power supply section. IR 3570A is IR (International Rectifier) Dual output 4+1 and 3+2 phase PWM Controllers.

4. Asmedia ASM 1442K chip managing output display ports.

5. The NXP Semiconductors PTN3360D HDMI / DVI level shifter.

6. Renesas Electronics YET-D720210-0004 Usb 3.0 4-Port Hub Chip.

7. Intel i217v one Gigabit Ethernet controller chip.

8. Qualcomm Killer E2201 is a more integrated E2200 NPU. Providing the NPU, the PHY and all the other components in one 40-pin IC, a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and online media performance compared to standard solutions.

9. Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK Audio is powered by Realtek ALC1150 is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec that delivers an exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.

The ALC1150 provides ten DAC channels that simultaneously support 7.1-channel sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs. Two stereo ADCs are integrated and can support a microphone array with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming (BF), and Noise Suppression (NS) technologies. The ALC1150 incorporates Realtek proprietary converter technology to achieve Front differential output 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality.

A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. In addition Gigabyte used one N5532 Op-amp for rear audio amplification. So listening under Stereo mode produces high audio quality with excellent dynamic range.

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing Gigabyte High Definition audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by Gigabyte High Definition audio.

RMAA Asus Xonar DX

RMAA Gigabyte High Definition audio

10. ASMedia ASM1480 are PCI-E 3.0 switcher which switch 2 lanes a piece and can provide 8x PCI-E 3.0 to the second 16x(8x real) slot.

11. Intel Z97 Express Chipset.

12. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.

13. ITE IT8620e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.

14. IT8892E is a single-function PCI Express to PCI bridge chip.

15. Marvell 88SE9172-NNX2 controllers provide the additional SATA 6 Gb/s connectivity.

Testing

Test system configuration - Intel i7-4790K, 4GB Kingston 1600Mhz RAM, Corsair H100i cooler, Samsung 830 SSD 256GB, Corsair RM1000 PSU, Asus HD-7750, Asus Xonar DX Sond Card, WD 1TB Green, HP DVD RW Drive.

BIOS

Bundled Softwares

Overclocking

Benchmarks

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

Pros

  • Good and easy OC with Easy Tune
  • Multi GFX support
  • Affordable price tag
  • Five Years Warranty

Cons

  • PCI Slot

Conclusion

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK delivers great out of the box experience, whether you opt for stock speeds or overclock your CPU. We were able to OC Intel i7-4790K up to 4.6 GHz stable with just one click on Gigabyte EasyTune App no need to mess around with manual overclocking for starters.

With its server-grade reliability certificate and comprehensive feature like multi GPU support, SATA Express and M.2 connector , the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard satisfies both Gamers and Overclockers, at a very affordable price tag of Rs.18K only.

At the conclusion I found Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard is one of the best-value Z97 motherboards you can buy.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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