The front of the Z87X-D3H contains most of the internal headers and connection ports. Two USB 2.0 internal headers are aligned along the bottom edge of the board next to the color-coded front panel connectors. In addition to the color and markings identifying each set of pins, there is also a text label for each. Not having to dig out the manual to make these connections is greatly appreciated, kudos to Gigabyte! Two separate BIOS chips provide the main and backup configuration; in the event of corruption in the primary the user will hopefully be able to boot from the second default config.
A simple clear CMOS header is provided, albeit with no jumper, so the user will need to cross these pins manually to reset the configuration. Six SATA 6Gb/s ports are provided courtesy of the Intel chipset, along with two USB 3.0 internal headers, one provided by the chipset and the other one of two Renesas D720210 hubs. All three system fan headers and both CPU fan headers use four-pin PWM control ability from the BIOS or software.
The rear external I/O ports consist of two USB 2.0 ports, one PS/2 jack, D-Sub VGA and single-link DVI, HDMI, six USB 3.0 ports, Intel Gbe LAN, S/PDIF and HD audio courtesy of the Realtek ALC892. There are two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, capable of running either x16 singly or x8 + x8 dual configuration. In addition there are three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, one x16 (at x4) slot and a single PCI slot through the IT8892E bridge chip, any of which can be used independently, however the PCI and PCI-E x1 slots share bandwidth with the single x16 (at x4) slot, and only one or the other can be used at the same time. Voltage, fan and temperature sensors are provided by the IT8728F chip.
The external single link DVI connector does not support connecting to VGA, in fact it is pinned to prevent an adapter from being used. All three heatsinks found on the Z87X-D3H, two for voltage regulators and one for the south bridge, are held on with spring-loaded screws, not the cheaper and less sturdy plastic push-pins. Features notably missing from this board, but are found on its bigger sibling the Z87X-UD3H, are four additional SATA and eSATA ports, DisplayPort, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons and the upgraded ALC898 audio. The PCB on this board seems unusually thin and as you can see from pictures suffers from some slight bending / warping.
Let's get some hardware installed on the Gigabyte Z87X-D3H.