When I first heard of Gigabyte’s Black Edition motherboards I said, “Ok they are black, what else?” Well I was pleasantly surprised when I started researching these motherboards. Gigabyte Black Edition motherboards have been tested for an extra 168 hours (7 days) to ensure premium quality. During the 168 hour test, each motherboard needs to pass rigorous, full system validation testing for 1 full week. GIGABYTE has built a custom testing facility at their Taiwan (Nanping) factory. A Certificate of Validation is included with every board, issued by the GIGABYTE factory and signed by the manufacturing VP & GM to indicate that each board has passed their highest test standards. Some might call this a marketing ploy, but at the same time it shows Gigabyte is committed to producing quality motherboards.
Gigabyte has really nailed the matte black on the PCB of this board, they are one of the few companies to really get a true matte black right on a motherboard PCB. The gold accents are also a great touch and being from Pittsburgh I really cannot like anything that is black and gold. The layout of the motherboard is good and everything is positioned for good cable management. A few things missing from the PCB are power and reset buttons as well as a DEBUG LED. Also on the rear I/O there is not a clear CMOS button, instead you have a jumper on the motherboard. This is the lower end Black Edition motherboard so it is acceptable that this things are missing. The Z97X-UD5H-BK does have these features.
Like most other Z97 motherboards you have features like SATA Express, M.2, internal USB 3.0 and more. This board has pretty much everything that you would want. As far as overclocking goes this board took our i7-4790K from 4.0 GHz all the way up to 4.6 GHz. This seems to be the stopping point temperature-wise for our setup. This overclock does show that the quality components that Gigabyte has packed this board with are doing their job.
Gigabyte’s BIOS approach is a rather weird one. They have a quick option menu that will first pop up that has some of the most used settings that you can change. Then you have the classic UEFI BIOS and the new Tweak HD BIOS. What I do not understand is that some of the options that are in the classic BIOS are not in the Tweak HD BIOS. So I have to switch between the two to change all of my settings. I wish Gigabyte would just do away with the classic BIOS and just have the quick option menu and Tweak HD BIOS.
At the end of the day you know that this motherboard has been put to the test and that it is going to last. Gigabyte also backs it up with a 5-year warranty so you know they stand behind their product. Right now you can pick up the Z97X-UD3H-BK motherboard for $156.99 at my favorite online retailer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H-BK Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– 168 hour (7 day) testing period and certification
– 5-year warranty
– SATA Express & M.2 support
– Sleek styling
– Intel Gigabit Ethernet
– 3 different BIOS implementations are a little confusing
– No clear CMOS button