Gigabyte Z87X-UD5 TH LGA1150 Motherboard

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The Z87X-UD5 TH has a relatively traditional ATX layout with accommodations made to keep interference issues at a minimum. The heatsinks take up a substantial amount of real estate but they aren't particular tall and all the major connectors are located on the edges of the board for easier access.

A top-down angle gives us a good view of the layout. Notable features include the somewhat limited three PCI-E 16x slots (8x/8x configuration with two cards, 8x/4x/4x configuration with three cards), a mini PCI-E slot near the center populated by a wireless NIC, and a total of seven fan headers littered around the board.

The CPU socket is surrounded by some solid-state capacitors and two neat rows of chokes underneath a sizable two piece VRM heatsink connected with a heatpipe 33 mm in height. The board uses a sophisticated 16-phase power regulation design.

The top right of the board is home to a few enthusiast friendly features. There's diagnostic LED readout, a couple of dip switches for toggling Dual/Single BIOS mode and booting from Main/Backup BIOS, and hardware power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons. There are also voltage measuring points you can check with a multimeter if you don't trust the software readings.

The wireless module is a Broadcom dual band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 adapter.

The wireless antenna is the same one included with most of Gigabyte's recent motherboards. It can swivel 180 degrees, the base is magnetic to keep it in place, and the cable is quite lengthy, about 80 cm long.

In front of an expansive PCH heatsink are eight side-mounted SATA 6 Gbps ports, two of which are connected to a Marvell controller. There's also a spot to plug in a SATA power connector which Gigabyte recommends when running multiple graphics cards.

A premium board means no pushpins — all the heatsinks are secured to the PCB with spring-loaded screws

At the back are six USB 3.0 ports (two powered by a Renasas controller), DVI-I and HDMI outputs, connectors for the wireless antenna, an RJ45 gigabit ethernet jack, two Thunderbolt ports, and S/PDIF and analog audio connectors.

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