Gigabyte Z87X-D3H LGA1150 Motherboard
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 09-29-2013
Provided by: Gigabyte

The Gigabyte Z87X-D3H is, as far as Z87 chipset boards go, a pretty barebones style of motherboard. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the Intel Z87 chipset already does include some improvements over the previous generation Z77 such as six SATA 6Gb/s ports and six USB 3.0 ports, an increase of four and two respectively. But there are no extra SATA ports, even at 3Gb/s, and no rear-mounted eSATA either. You would need to step up to the Z87X-UD3H for example to get those features. The higher-priced sibling also includes display port, better audio and onboard power and reset buttons.

What you do get with the Z87X-D3H along with the standard Z87 chipset features are basic ALC892 audio, a single legacy PCI slot and PS2 port, and four extra USB 3.0 ports. Gigabyte also includes many of their signature features such as their Ultra Durable 5 Plus component design, ESD fused protection for USB 3.0 and LAN ports, On/Off Charge 2 for fast mobile device charging, dual UEFI BIOS, PWM fan headers all around and their easy to use App Center utility. It would be nice to see Gigabyte use a thicker PCB as our review sample did encounter some warping / bending, but there again you have to step up to the more expensive UD3H for the 2X Copper PCB.

I discovered that the i7 4770K overvolted up to 1.25v even at default settings when in Turbo boost. That seems unusually high when Intel's specification at 3.5Ghz should be around 1.1v stock. Using the EasyTune utility resulted in even more voltage supplied, up to 1.5v in this case, which seems a nearly suicidal amount of power to use, particularly with a 22nm core chip. As we found in our manual overclocking tests, a mild 1.2v was plenty capable of pushing up to 4.3Ghz of clock speed, and going higher was going to require some more advanced cooling. I also observed something peculiar when changing BIOS settings, in that after every manual adjustment I would save and restart, only to be thrown back into the UEFI BIOS again, where I would have to save and restart a second time for the settings to finally take. I'm not sure if this behavior is a bug or by design, but the UEFI interface could definitely use some tweaking as it also had some observable lag and twitchy menu selections.

I found the Gigabyte Z87X-D3H available online in the $140-$150 range, which isn't exactly bottom of the barrel for a Z87 board, but it's not as exorbitantly priced as the overclocking / enthusiast geared boards either. If all you need is basic, barebones LGA 1150 support, but don't want to step down to an H or B series board, the Gigabyte Z87X-D3H with its standard 3-year warranty is one option to consider. awards the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H our Bronze Seal of Approval.

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