Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the Z97X-UD5H motherboard's overclocking performance potential, we attempted to push the board to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. I was able to get the board running stable for over 4hrs at a 4.67GHz CPU speed, a 2340MHz memory speed, and a 4.0GHz ring bus speed with a 167MHz base clock. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.

Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.

Performance

The Z97X-UD5H motherboard offers solid performance under all operating conditions. While it may not be a top performer in the benchmarks, it is able to hold its own against the higher-price flagship boards.

Pricing

As of October 06, the GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H motherboard was available for purchase from Amazon.com for $177.89, as well as from Newegg.com for $174.99.

Conclusion

The Z97X-UD5H is a solid contender for GIGABYTE in the mid-range offering category. It boasts a well thought out design with more than enough room around the integrated components for easy access. Additionally, GIGABYTE integrated their higher end power components, giving the board an edge in terms of overclocking potential and stability. Aesthetically, it would look nice in most windowed cases with its matte black coloring. The dual network controllers was another nice touch that is normally not found in a mid-range solution with both controllers offering top-notch performance. Add in the M.2 slot and SATA-Express capabilities, and you have a well rounded product.

Strengths

  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking performance
  • Board layout and design
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Motherboard manual information
  • Usable PCIe x1 slot with all PCIe x16 slots in use
  • Dual network controllers
  • Integration and placement of PCIe-based M.2 SSD slot

Weaknesses

  • CMOS battery placement
  • Lack of integrated Wi-Fi controller

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