Gigabyte Z87 Haswell Motherboard Round-Up

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Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The three Gigabyte Z87 boards that we tested performed solidly in our benchmarks, with the exception of a couple of softer scores in the gaming tests. The boards posted strong overclocks with excellent stability, and although overall they were a hair behind what the trio of ASUS boards were able to manage, it was encouraging to see that BCLKs on the G1.Sniper 5 and Z87X-OC Force had a bit of leeway, even with the CPU multiplier jacked way up on our particular processor.

Gigabyte's Z87X-UD4H, G1.Sniper 5 and Z87X-OC Force Motherboards

Gigabyte has been making quality motherboards for a long time, and this latest batch is more of the same. They boast high-quality components and carefully designed layouts to milk the best performance and durability out of them. However, unlike the last couple of generations of Gigabyte boards that were solid on the hardware side but lagged behind the industry on the BIOS side, the Z87 lineup enjoys a BIOS with a rich GUI and smooth navigation and performance. There are more than enough parameters to adjust to keep an overclocker happy for weeks on end, too.

Personally, I’m not in love with the fact there are two completely separate BIOS environments; it seems to me that if one isn’t sufficient then you’re probably doing it wrong (despite the fact that the new BIOS seems to be great by itself). It just seems like overkill, especially in light of the fact that you can also adjust system settings using software in the Windows environment, and in the case of the Z87X-OC Force, you also have a pile of buttons on the PCB dedicated to overclocking. Still, I can see how some might really like all the extra options.

Speaking of the software, Gigabyte deserves a nod for reworking all of its bundled software and utilities. Having almost everything centralized in one place with the Gigabyte App Center makes it easier to find what you need, and the unified UI is a refreshing change from the various looks of the different pieces of software on previous generations of Gigabyte boards.

Prices for the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H, G1.Sniper 5, and Z87X-OC Force vacillate a bit online. You can snag the UD4H for as low as $187.85 and as much as $229; the G1.Sniper 5 for $389; and the Z87X OC Force for $409 or so.

With full recognition that cost is only part of the equation and that if you really want a top-of-the-line gaming or overclocking motherboard price is no object, the Z87X-UD4H presents the best value here. That’s by no means a knock on the other two boards; it’s just that while all three are excellent, the UD4H is just about as good as the costlier motherboards if you don't need all the bells, whistles and expansion options. Despite the fact that the other two offer some additional features, those extra features are only going to be worth the extra dollars to certain types of users.

Removing cost as a factor, you’d be happy with any of these three Gigabyte boards in your system.

 Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H
 Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5
Gigabyte Z87X-OC Force

    

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