Ready and Ca­pa­ble

Gi­ga­byte GA-Z87X-UD7 TH

HWM (Malaysia) - - LAB TEST - Text // az­IzUl rah­Man ISMaIl

The Gi­ga­byte GA-Z87X-UD7 TH im­presses with a list that is filled to the brim with fea­tures. Amongst other fea­tures, the In­tel Z87 chipset moth­er­board of­fers 4-way graph­ics card sup­port and comes with wire­less-AC and Blue­tooth 4.0 card. But un­der­neath all that glit­ter, does the moth­er­board have what it takes where it counts most?

The GA-Z87X-UD7 TH comes with Dual Thun­der­bolt 2 con­troller from In­tel. The port is ca­pa­ble of sin­gle-chan­nel trans­fer speeds of up to 20GB/s. This al­lows high data trans­fer speeds when us­ing high-per­for­mance stor­age de­vices, and it also sup­ports daisy-chain­ing of up 12 de­vices and three dig­i­tal dis­plays.

For the en­thu­si­asts, Gi­ga­byte has in­cluded a plethora of OC fea­tures into this moth­er­board. With OC Ig­ni­tion, you can power up ev­ery­thing that is con­nected to the moth­er­board ex­cept for the CPU, for ex­am­ple, the fans and drives. This is es­pe­cially use­ful for hard­core en­thu­si­asts who use i-RAM drives to pre-test cer­tain hard­ware con­fig­u­ra­tions, such as wa­ter cool­ing. We would like to note that this fea­ture still con­sumes power and is not a silent op­tion. This, of course, also de­pends on your setup.

OC PCIe Switch lets you dis­able a con­nected PCIe card slot, in­stalled with a graph­ics card, for ex­am­ple, with­out re­mov­ing the in­stalled card. OC-PEG, on the other hand, adds aux­il­iary power to the PCIe slots of the moth­er­board, im­prov­ing sys­tem sta­bil­ity and is es­pe­cially use­ful in power-in­ten­sive 4-way graph­ics con­fig­u­ra­tions.

The most in­ter­est­ing pe­riph­eral that comes with the Gi­ga­byte GA-Z87X-UD7 TH is the exclusive IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi card that also sup­ports Blue­tooth 4.0. It is bun­dled with a 2.4GHz/5GHz du­al­band, 2T2R an­tenna. It is a novel ad­di­tion, and is cer­tainly use­ful in most sit­u­a­tions. How­ever, it will take up one PCI slot and gamers will still pre­fer us­ing Gigabit LAN to con­nect to the net­work.

An­other in­ter­est­ing fea­ture of the moth­er­board is its Gi­ga­byte On/Off Charge tech­nol­ogy. Avail­able on all Gi­ga­byte 8 Se­ries moth­er­boards, the tech­nol­ogy lets users charge their de­vices via the USB 3.0 ports up to three times faster than a stan­dard port even when the PC is turned off. It is a fea­ture we see as use­ful in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, and only in cer­tain oc­ca­sions. Over­all, this moth­er­board sup­ports 10 USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports.

The moth­er­board truly shines in our bench­mark test. Push­ing the GA-Z87X-UD7 TH it to its lim­its in PCMark 8, the moth­er­board scored an im­pres­sive 5,215 in the Cre­ative test. This means that not only will the moth­er­board han­dle games with stride; it is also ca­pa­ble of im­press­ing cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als. On PCMark 7, the GA-Z87X-UD7 TH scored high with 22,535 in the Com­pu­ta­tion test.

Over­all, the Gi­ga­byte GA-Z87XUD7 TH is def­i­nitely a high-end moth­er­board that is skewed to­wards the en­thu­si­ast with more fea­tures than you can shake a stick at. For those who are look­ing to take full ad­van­tage of the In­tel Z87 chipset and the 4th gen­er­a­tion Core pro­ces­sor, this moth­er­board is def­i­nitely a con­tender.

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