Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H review – UEFI stands for User Extraordinary Feeling Interface

After the reviews of 2 Asus boards: Z87 Expert and Maximus VI Extreme, it's time to continue my Z87 'vendetta' by torturing a board from Gigabyte: Z87X-UD5H. Jumping to another manufacturer means new technologies, new UEFI interface and the curiosity of the performance difference. And that's exactly what I'll show you.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H set

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H is a direct competitor to Asus Z87 Expert, both being in the same price zone.



Support for Intel® Core™ i7, i5, i3, Pentium, Celeron processors

LGA1150 package


Intel® Z87 Express Chipset


4x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of Dual channel memory architecture

Support for DDR3 3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2500(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz memory modules

Support for non-ECC memory modules

Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor:

1x DVI-I port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200

2x HDMI 1.4a ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160

1x DisplayPort 1.2 port, supporting a maximum resolution of 3840x2160

Maximum shared memory of 1 GB


Realtek® ALC898 codec 7.1-channel

Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies

Support for S/PDIF In/Out


Two Intel® GbE LAN chips (10/100/1000 Mbit), with Teaming

Expansion Slots

1x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)

1x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)

1x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)

3x PCI Express x1 slots

1x PCI slot

Multi-Graphics Technology

Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFire™/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technology

Storage Interface

Intel Z87 Chipset:

6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices

Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Marvell® 88SE9230 chip:

4x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices

Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10


Intel Z87 Chipset:

Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)

Up to 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)

Chipset + 2 Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs:

Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (6 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

IEEE 1394

VIA VT6308 chip:

Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (available through the internal IEEE 1394a headers)

Internal I/O Connectors

1x 24-pin ATX main power connector

1x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector

1x PCIe power connector

1 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

1x CPU fan header

1x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)

5x system fan headers

1x front panel header

1x front panel audio header

1x S/PDIF In header

1x S/PDIF Out header

2x USB 3.0/2.0 headers

2x USB 2.0/1.1 headers

2x IEEE 1394a headers

1x serial port header

1x Clear CMOS jumper

1x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

1x power button

1x reset button

1x Clear CMOS button

2x BIOS switches

Voltage measurement points

Back Panel Connectors

1x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port

1x DVI-I port

2x HDMI ports

1x DisplayPort

1x optical S/PDIF Out connector

6x USB 3.0/2.0 ports

2x RJ-45 ports

6x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

I/O Controller

iTE® I/O Controller Chip

H/W Monitoring

System voltage detection

CPU/System/Chipset temperature detection

CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed detection

CPU/System overheating warning

CPU/CPU OPT/System fan fail warning

CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed control


2 x 128 Mbit flash

Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS

Support for DualBIOS™

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a

Unique Features

Support for Q-Flash

Support for Xpress Install

Support for APP Center



EZ Setup

ON/OFF Charge2

USB Blocker

Operating System

Support for Windows 8/7

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm





Build and features

The black box shows the name of the board along with some of its important integrated technologies. No product images.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H box

On the back side the situation changes as an image of the motherboard is right in the middle surrounded by details about the components.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H box back

Let’s dive inside and take out the motherboard. It is an ATX form factor with a black dominant color.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H

A shade of grey comes from 2 memory slots, the heatsinks and SATA ports. The radiators also bring a gold line in the equation. I will describe the features of the board by splitting it in top-half and bottom-half.

The CPU power comes from an 8-pin connector situated above the VR heatsink, near the SYS FAN header. The memory slots support maximum 32GB DDR3 at 3000MHz (with overclocking) in dual channel architecture.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H top-half

On the right edge there are 3 buttons: Power, Reset and CMOS_SW. The last one is for clearing the setup and reset it to factory defaults. There are 2 switches there also: one for selecting different BIOS for boot up (BIOS_SW) and the second to enable/disable the Dual BIOS function (SB). Each of them corresponds to a status LED, situated near the PCI-E 2nd and 3rd slots.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H measurement points

For overclockers, Gigabyte offers the voltage measurement area where we can find points for VCore0 (CPU cores), VDIMM (memory), VRING (cache), VIOA (CPU PLL analog), VAXG (integrated video controller), VSA (System Agent), VIOD (CPU PLL digital) and VRIN (CPU input).

To use them connect the red lead of the multimeter to the pin 1 (Power) of a voltage measurement point and the black lead to the pin 2 (ground).

Near the ATX connector there is another fan header (SYS_FAN5) and a 2-digit LED display that indicates the POST codes. Just below it is the USB 3.0 header with a red mark on it. This one supports ON/OFF Charge2 function.

The VR has 12+2 phases for CPU+RAM. The ones for the CPU are cooled by 2 heatsinks bonded by a heatpipe.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H VR

Below the socket we can find 3x fan headers: SYS_FAN2, CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT.

We go down to the bottom-half and observe that all slots are black no matter they are PCI or PCI-E. There are 3x PCI-E 1x, 3x PCI-E 16x and 1x PCI. The first PCI-E is 16x, the second works at 8x and the third is 4x only. For a SLI/Crossfire configuration the first two slots will work at 8x/8x.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H bottom half

The bottom edge offers multiple headers like: Audio_SPDIF, 2x Firewire (controlled by a VIA VT6308P chip), TPM interface, 2x USB 2.0 extensions (coming from a Renesas uPD720210 hub), one COM connector, 2x fan headers and a USB 3.0 expansion interface. Gigabyte also put there the Clear CMOS jumper.

The chipset is cooled by a big passive heatsink, situated near the 10x SATA 6Gbps ports.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H SATA

The first 6 ports are driven by Intel Z87 chipset, the other 4 came from a Marvell 88SE9230 controller. All the ports support RAID 0,1,10. Intel ones sports RAID 5 also.

For additional power to PCI-E, an auxiliary connector (ATX4P) is provided. Gigabyte chose a SATA power connector for this job. For SLI/Crossfire configurations, it is recommended to use it.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H sports 6x USB 3.0 connectors, 1x PS2 combo port, 1x DVI-I, 2x HDMI 1.4a, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x optical SPDIF out, 2x Gigabit Intel network interfaces and 6x analog jacks.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H interfaces

Triple-display configurations are possible with the on-board graphics solution. During boot only 2 displays will be available.

The network cards are Intel Gigabit i210AT and i217v, and supports teaming.




Gigabyte added a software panel to control all the apps related to the motherboard: APP Center. You can launch from there or update. All comes in a new, user-friendly tabbed interface.

Gigabyte Easy Tune

EasyTune has a new aspect that completes the UEFI one. It brings the BIOS options into the OS, through a user-friendly interface. The utility is divided in 5 tabs and the bottom side where we can find the temperatures and voltages values.

1. The System Information tab provides information on the installed CPU and motherboard.

2. Smart Quick Boost provides you with different levels of CPU frequency to choose to achieve desired system performance. After making changes, be sure to restart your system for these changes to take effect. The Advanced menu allows you to change specific clock/frequency/voltage settings.

3. The Smart Fan tab allows you to specify a Smart Fan mode. The Calibrate menu displays the detected linear fan speed for the fans on the motherboard from the fastest to the slowest. The Advanced menu allows you to set temperature thresholds, based on which the fan speed can be changed linearly.

4. The System Alerts tab allows you to monitor hardware temperature, voltage and fan speed and set temperature/fan speed alarm.

5. The 3D Power tab allows you to change power phase and voltage settings.

A Hardware Monitor window can be opened to keep an eye on the sensors.

Gigabyte Easy Tune HW Monitor



GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 5 Plus debuts on GIGABYTE 8 Series motherboards, with a range of features and component choices that provide excellent performance, cool and efficiency, and extended motherboard lifespan.

1. Ultra Cool comes with modern heatsinks and supports passive, active and water cooling solutions for extreme torture of the motherboard.

2. Ultra Performance is supported by a complete Digital Power design that ensures extreme precision to the power delivered to the CPU.

3. Ultra Safe means UEFI DualBIOS technology, built to ensure motherboard protection against failure due to hardware malfunction, improper overclocking settings or power issues. A main and a backup BIOS work together for user’s peace of mind.

4. Ultra USB3+ brings a dedicated fuse for each USB 3.0 port, ensuring that a malfunction will affect only one of the ports, protecting the others from damage.

5. Durable Black Solid Caps are used in Gigabyte motherboards for extreme stability and lifespan. They are also capable of an ultra-low ESR (Equivalent series resistance) that makes them very stable over time.


GIGABYTE's 2X Copper PCBs design provides sufficient power between components to handle higher power loads and removes heat from the critical CPU power delivery area. This ensures the motherboard is able to handle the increased power loading for overclocking.

The Marvell SE9230 controller supports HyperDuo Technology which makes the SSD become the cache of the HDD and delivers SSD-like performance.

ON/OFF Charge2 automatically detects your mobile device and displays it on the screen. If your equipment does not support data sync, select Fast Charge/No Sync to enable a quick charge.

GIGABYTE USB Blocker provides you with an easy-to-use interface that allows you to block certain USB device types on your PC. Devices classes that are blocked will be ignored by the operating system.

The Realtek ALC898 sound card is capable of 7.1 channels and supports Creative’s Software Suite and EAX effects. Gaming sound enhancement technologies for gamers are included.



Entering new Gigabyte’s BIOS gave me a total mind-blowing experience. It’s the friendliest and best good looking interface I’ve seen.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H BIOS

All the options are where you can access them easiest. The interface is responding very fast and after making some settings, the Favorites windows on the right gives you the Save profile option and Save & Exit click right away. Brilliant! Excellent job, Gigabyte!


The BIOS is split into 7 sections:

1. Home = fast settings of the basic options;

2. Performance = advanced features, split by CPU, RAM, Voltage, PC Health and Miscellaneous;

3. System Information = self-explanatory

4. BIOS Features = options for BIOS direct-related features

5. Peripherals = on-board chips settings (GFX, SATA, I/O, USB)

6. Power Management

7. Save & Exit.

Here is the complete image set from the BIOS.


We have the option of upgrading BIOS from the Internet, directly from Gigabyte’s servers, but there are no settings for the connection, so the only way to upgrade is through a router.




First of all I have checked the highest frequency that Z87X-UD5H can do with all settings on AUTO, raising the multiplier only.

I saw the voltage going to 1.428V and the frequency to 4900MHz, where the temp went crazy and I stopped. This is fantastic, as you can overclock just from the multiplier. All you need to pay attention is the cooling system as the CPU will get pretty hot at some point.

The good news is I saw this behavior on all motherboards I have tested and I am pretty sure that the others are also capable of. Considering I had only high-end boards, I will update this info when mainstream will be here.


Now I am going to use my procedure and fix the voltage to 1.35V and LLC to Extreme. Deactivating all CPU’s power management I’ll raise the multiplier until unstable.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H is capable of sustaining a frequency of 4700MHz in due conditions, similar to Asus Z87 Expert.

Let’s see the performance bound.


Test Setup





Intel Core i7-4770K

Intel Core i7-3770K


 EKWB Supreme HF

Motherboard (BIOS)


Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H (F6)

Asus Maximus VI Extreme

Asus Z87 Expert

Intel DZ87KPL

Biostar Z77X Hi-Fi for Ivy Bridge


 16GB G.SKill Ares DDR3-1600


 Kingston SSDNow V+ 120GB


 Intel HD 4600


 Dell U2412M


 Antec HCP-1200


 Windows 8 Pro x64



Using different benchmark software I have tested most of the motherboard's capabilities and its performance. The results are divided by categories, so they can be easier read.

Because of the heat generated by the CPU, I‘ve decided to fill in a methodology to test the differences in overclocking between motherboards. I have set the CPU voltage to 1.35V and the LLC to auto or the highest value (whichever works better), so my liquid cooling could keep the CPU under 100C per core. Then the CPU is overclocked until becomes unstable. This way we will see the voltage regulator performance on each board from the highest frequency the CPU can get to.



PCMark 7

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H PCMark 7 


PCMark 8

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H PCMark 8 


Passmark Performance Test

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H PassMark 



Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H AIDA64 CPU  

For stock configurations, the memory worked at 1600MHz. For overclocking situations the frequency was 2133MHz. Any other value will be specified if necessary.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H AIDA64 memory 



Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H HyperPI



Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H Cinebench 




 Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H 3DMark



Batman: Arkham City

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H Batman AC 


Tomb Raider

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H Tomb Raider 



Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H has a big passive heatsink to cool the chipset. The VR influences the temperature by increasing/decreasing the voltages applied to CPU.

During the tests, the temperature of Intel Z87 chipset varies between 31 and 34 C (87.8 to 93.2 F) which is very good. Moreover there is no noise as no fan is present.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H Temperature

The graph shows some stock temperature a little higher than the competition’s. In overclocking, the CPU went to 105C (221F), only Asus Maximus VI Extreme going higher.


Power consumption

I have measured the power consumption of the system, and that will help us acknowledge the recommended PSU for this kind of configuration.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H Power Consumption

The maximum intake of 265.5W is the biggest so far, exceeding all other boards we’ve seen, yet for a small margin.



Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H is an excellent motherboard with the easiest UEFI interface. The almost-all black aspect is not the finest, but that depends on taste. ON the other hand, the performance is excellent and the integrated features, such as Ultra Durable 5, Dual BIOS, etc., are very useful.

The overclocking capabilities are extraordinary. Just by raising the multiplier, the CPU can reach 4.9GHz. The Haswell heating issue is preventing the frequency to go higher, as only LN2 is capable of fighting that temperature.

The value of $227.14 (224.33€ or £189.99) is pretty good for the capabilities and performance shown.



- nicest UEFI interface

- best performance

- best overclocking

- excellent power consumption

- accessories

- good price/performance ratio





Aspect & Build 9.0 9.07 Performance 9.2
BIOS 9.5 Overclocking 9.2
Features & Technologies 9.2 Power consumption 8.6
Accessories 9.0 Value 8.9



best-performance-9.2 best-overclocking-9.2 

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