GIGABYTE Z87X-UD4H LGA 1150 Motherboard Review

The GIGABYTE Z87X-UD4H looks to be a solid bargain and a good value for the money. While this motherboard looks great on paper the devil is in the details and all it takes is one or two quirks to knock a product out of the running in a market literally filled with excellent motherboards. So how did the Z87X-UD4H fare?


Motherboard Overclocking Software

As with all enthusiast class motherboards, overclocking and hardware monitoring software is included with the Z87X-UD4H. For this generation GIGABYTE seems to have scrapped the old EasyTune software creating a new version from scratch. There is literally no design element that is even vaguely familiar about this software compared to the last. In fact it’s actually much closer to Intel’s XTU or even ASUS AI Suite III than it is GIGABYTE software from ages past.

In general I think this is one of the easiest to use and most capable software packages out there being bundled with motherboard’s today regardless of vendor. While the AI SUITE III and to some extent Intel’s XTU software are certainly more robust in terms of what these can do, this one is easier to use than either of those. In days past GIGABYTE’s EasyTune software didn’t always work but I’ve yet to experience any issues with this generation’s software. While software working shouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, this particular type of software functioning as advertised is actually less common than you might think. As I pointed out GIGABYTE’s last EasyTune 6 software package worked on some models and not others. MSI’s Control Center has similar flaws.

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This software sports the familiar window pane layout of many other software packages out there. Navigation is accomplished primarily utilizing the left hand categories. Individual settings are found in the larger window pane on the right most pane. At the bottom you’ll find constant hardware monitoring data. The system information window gives us little more than baseline information such as CPU, BCLK, multiplier, memory speeds, motherboard model, BIOS version and some information about the installed CPU.

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The Smart QuickBoost option is a simple tool for overclocking. This lets you choose from four existing presets or allows for manual control with the advanced option. The advanced option is nice in that it highlights any and all changes in orange ensuring any changes made stand out. From the advanced menu we can adjust our BCLK and memory frequencies. These require a reboot, while most changes do not. The processor graphics clock can be adjusted, along with turbo ratios for each CPU core. Voltages and DDR timings can be tuned as well.

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The smart fan menu lets us auto-calibrate the fans, select predefined fan profiles, or manually tune our fans through the advanced menu. Manual tuning allows for the fan speed to be adjusted by temperature ranges set via the points on our graph. This can be done for only some of the fan headers such as the CPU fan and OPT fan headers. RPM fixed mode is also available. System alerts allow us to configure warnings for undesirable system events such as fan speeds below a certain threshold or temperatures in excess of what we’d like to see.

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The 3D Power menu is where we control our motherboard’s power phases. Specifically we can control the duty cycle of our power phases (setting for performance, or reduced heat, and power usage) or we can adjust current protection for aspects of the motherboard’s voltage hardware. Specifically voltage regulation inputs for CPU, load-line, and DDR CHA/B voltage inputs. Hardware monitoring is viewable everywhere in the utility as it’s always found in the bottom window pane. However an additional hardware monitoring graph can be brought up for trending purposes.