Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard Review

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Overview
Gigabyte didn’t simply take the Z97X-UD3H and put it through a 168 hour durability and call this new board the Z97X-UD3H-BK. They have changed the colors to truly make it a Black Edition motherboard. So you have an all black PCB with black heatsinks that have gold accents and black and grey accents throughout the board. Gigabyte has really nailed the matte black look of the PCB and and being from Pittsburgh I can’t not like the black and gold design of this board.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Starting at the CPU socket we have the Intel LGA1150 socket that supports Intel’s 4th and 5th generation Haswell processors. The board has an 8+2 power phase design with 8 phases going to the CPU and the other two going to the memory. We can see Gigabyte is using ferrite core chokes and the board also has lower RDS(on) MOSFETS for maximum durability and energy efficiency. Towards the top left corner of the motherboard is your 8pin EPS connector.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Moving over to where your memory slots are we can see both the CPU fan and CPU fan optional connectors, these are both 4pin connectors. Moving on to the CPU slots we have four slots that are color-coded for dual-channel DDR3 operation. This board can run DDR3 memory with speeds of up to 3100 MHz (OC). On the side of the motherboard we also see the 24pin ATX power connector and USB 3.0 header.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Moving down to the storage ports that are arranged at a 90 degree angle you have four SATA 6GB/s ports and a single SATA Express port. If you happen to not want to use the SATA express port that opens up two more SATA 6GB/s ports. All of these ports are controlled by the Z97 chipset and offer RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 support.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Moving down to the bottom of the board we have the rest of our headers. From left to right you have your front panel connections, two USB 2.0 headers, 4pin fan header, TPM header, COM port header, 4pin fan header and front panel audio header. Things that are absent on this board that we have seen on many boards is a DEBUG LED and power and reset buttons.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Looking at expansion slots you have three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots and a legacy PCI slot. The first PCI-Express 3.0 slot is the only real x16 slot as the second slot is x8 electrical and the third slot is x4 electrical. So if you have two cards installed in the top two slots they will both run at x8 mode. You also want to keep in mind that the last PCI-Express slot (x4) shares bandwidth with all of the PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. So if you have a graphics card installed here it will disabled all of the PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots or if you have a device installed in any of the PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots it will disable the third PCI-Express x16 slot. On the far left side of the board you will find your audio components. Gigabyte’s audio solution is based on the Realtek ALC1150 codec. 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. The audio components are completely isolated from the rest of the motherboard via PCB isolation.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Above the top PCI-Express connector is a M.2 10 Gb/s port, which can be used with the latest M.2 solid state drives. One thing to mention is that the M.2 port is connected with the SATA Express port and SATA ports 4 and 5. So if you want to use the M.2 port you cannot use the SATA Express or SATA ports 4 and 5 or vise versa. Also above the top PCI-Express slot is a 4pin fan connector that can be used for an exhaust fan in your case. That gives you a total of three 4pin fan connectors on the board not including the CPU fan and CPU fan optional connectors. I really would have liked to have seen a fan header on the right side of the board.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

Moving on to the rear I/O we have PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, DVI, VGA, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, four USB 2.0 ports, Intel Gigabyte Ethernet, two more USB 3.0 ports and your audio connections.

Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard

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