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GIGABYTE Z87X-OC (Intel Z87) Motherboard Review (Page 2)

By Shawn Baker from Jul 10, 2013 @ 8:08 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE Z87X-OC Motherboard


Taking our first look at the motherboard you can straight away see the black and orange color scheme that has been present on other OC based models. Again we're a huge fan of it as it's different to what other companies offer and looks great. Let's move in a bit closer, though, and find out just what exactly we're dealing with today.


You can see we've got two legacy PCI slots along with a single PCIe x1 slot. We've also got a total of four PCIe x16 slots. If you're using one slot, your card will run at x16. Move to two and both will run at x8. If you move to a three or four slot setup then we move to an x8/ x4 / x4 or x8 / x4 / x4 /x4 configuration. Above the top most slot you can see a small 6-pin PCIe power connector. This is what GIGABYTE has labeled as OC PEG. If you're going for intensive three or four GPU setups, it's recommend that you use this power connector to make sure the power continues to be stable throughout the PCIe slots during your benchmarking session.


Moving across the bottom it's a fairly standard affair. You can see the front panel audio header, along with the COM header. We've got two USB 2.0 headers, along with a single USB 3.0 header. Along with a couple of fan headers, you can see the main front panel header connector on the far right.


Turning the corner we can see six SATA ports. All six are SATA III and all six run off the Intel Z87 chipset. To the left of them you can see we've got two USB 2.0 ports that GIGABYTE has labeled OC Connect. The idea with these is they're two easy to access USB ports for overclockers. Doing things like saving screenshots, flashing the BIOS or anything that just generally requires a USB port is what they're used for. Also here we've got a Clear Battery button to the left side, again another handy and easy to access feature for overclockers.


Heading to the top right we've got an absolute ton here. We've of course got the standard bits and pieces including four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR ranging from 1333MHz DDR to 3000MHz DDR via overclocking. We've also got the main 24-pin ATX power connector and to the top left of that we've got a second USB 3.0 header. Moving away from those regular items I think the image below from GIGABYTE helps cover the OC Touch features rather well.


Looking above you can see a good run down of what exactly we're dealing with when it comes to the OC Touch buttons. For a really in-depth look, we highly recommend you check out the YouTube video that resident GIGABYTE OC guru Dino made. It sure beats reading through the manual.


Heading up to the CPU area you can see we've got the standard 8-pin CPU power connector. Along with that, though, you can see we've also got a 4-pin CPU power connector for people who are going to be doing heavier overclocking. Moving back and looking at the CPU area, you can see it's extremely clean with the heatsink on the left side. The all black caps look great on the motherboard and make them barely visible.


Finishing up with the I/O side of things you can see we've got two USB 2.0 connectors to start us off. Next to that we have the new OC Ignition switch -it is designed to power up the whole system, except the CPU. This is useful in situations where the CPU may have a "Cold Bug" issue when using LN2 or helpful in the instance that you want to test your water cooling loop.

Continuing across you can see display options come in the form of two HDMI connectors and a single DisplayPort. We've got a total of six USB 3.0 ports along with a combo PS/2 port located in a more unusual spot, the middle of the board. Along with Gigabit networking via the Intel GbE LAN chip, we've got an optical out and six auxiliary ports that run off the Realtek ALC892 audio codec.

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