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GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Why don't more people buy this?? 08/31/2014

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Orange happens to be my favorite color so this board goes look great to me! It offers all the features that I want to see in a high end gaming board. Three way Crossfire and SLI capable

The board is very nicely constructed. For the motherboard install (and this install only) I did it on carpet, with socks, and not tethered to the power supply with an anti static wrist strap which is the worst possible way to install the motherboard. The rest of the components I did safely with all countermeasures taken. The board performs flawlessly. No issues from ESD that I can tell.

I really like that this board has a built in LED debugger; not just lights mind you, an actual code display. Any issue you run into on POST will be displayed here, and you can cut your time spent finding and fixing issues in half easily. Also, the power button built into the board is a godsend! This makes it so easy to boot your machine when building on a test bench, awesome addition Gigabyte!

I was up and running in about an hour (took me a bit to figure out the mouse and keyboard issue, see cons). The apps included by Gigabyte for their motherboard are very nice. They have a visually appealing user interface and all the settings you need are easy to find. Take for instance the EasyTune app, which allows you to overclock the CPU, RAM, and Graphics cards all from the same control panel. It has several tabs from Quick Boost to Advanced OC so you can test out your settings from within your OS (there is a con to this, it’s outlined in the con section).

@BIOS is a nice app that lets you easily flash, save, and update the BIOS right from your desktop.

Smart Recovery 2 is a pretty cool app that lets you create backups of whole drives. I used this to create a backup of my SSD on my larger external HDD. Simple user interface and works quite quickly. You can also browse network locations so if you have a server you can place a backup of your main drive to an external location!

I like the CloudStation app in particular, it allows you to share files (over WiFi or 4G), Remote control the computer (WiFi only), and remote OC (WiFi only). Pretty nifty, a little buggy, but totally usable.

An LED strip runs from the bottom of the external IO ports to the very bottom of the board between the PCI ports on the case, and the PCI slots on the motherboard. I think this is a VERY nice touch and adds a certain aesthetic appeal to the board.

HD Audio - Controls are very nice, sound quality is VERY good - testing with Bose AE2 headphones. The rear ports offer an amplifier which makes the sound loud, crisp, clear even at a low volume (seriously my headphones are at 20% and it is LOUD). Unless you are a complete audiophile, you won’t need an external card with this mobo.

Cons: Does not come with an AMD Crossfire bridge. I hate it when manufacturers include an SLI bridge, but not the AMD bridge. For a high end motherboard, I'd like to see both in there.

Issue arose during installation of windows where no USB devices were recognized. This was very odd, as the keyboard and mouse worked in the BIOS, but once the windows installation came up I was unable to use either device. I made sure that they were plugged into the only two USB 2.0 ports, but I also tried using a 3.0 port for kicks. Long story short, I had to go and find an older optical mouse and a PS/2 to USB adapter to get mouse control, and then use the onscreen keyboard for any inputs needed. Once Windows was installed I ran the Gigabyte CD that came with the motherboard and installed the USB drivers. This seemed to fix the issue.

Per the manual (as well as internet sources) if you are using an M.2 device OR the SATAe port, the SATA ports 4 & 5 will not be functional. This means you will not be able to use the ports if you plan on using one of those devices. Not a huge deal, it makes sense for the SATAe since both ports will be plugged in. The M.2 must use the same lanes as those SATA3 connectors. Most people aren't going to be connecting that many drives, even if you are using one of those devices, you will still have access to 6 SATA3 ports.

Using the EasyTune utility, I ended up in a boot loop on my first try using the “Light” setting. I thought there would be a notification on the OS desktop saying the overclock failed, as I have seen in other utilities. This was not the case; I had to reset the bios to optimized defaults and then reconfigure my boot settings to get back into the OS. It would have been nice if they added a feature that resets the OC settings in case of failure.

Overall for the price and the features you get the cons aren't that bad. I decided to dock one egg in total for the cons.

Other Thoughts: Overall this board is very nice, it offers a lot of features that enthusiasts will want to see and is easy to use so anybody who wants the option to overclock in the future can start. I would absolutely recommend this board to a friend! Especially if that friend is coming over from AMD.

I was previously running an AMD setup: Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 Gen3 coupled with an overclocked FX 8320 (4.4Ghz), 16GB DDR3 1600, 248GB Seagate SSD, and dual Asus HD Radeon 7850 in crossfire. This board helped me convert to Intel and I would recommend anyone considering the switch to start here. This is NOT a top of the line board that will set you back hundreds of dollars and it still offers many of the SAME features my Sabertooth (which is a top of the line AMD board) does. The nice part is that I used many of the same parts in my old computer and only had to upgrade the processor and motherboard to make the switch. I decided on the Intel Core i7 4790k which is the best 4th generation i7 so I could really max out the board.

For this build I am running an Intel Core i7 4790k, 8GB GSkill DDR3 1600MHz, dual Asus HD Radeon 7850s in Crossfire, and an OCZ Agility 80GB SSD. It’s all housed in a Corsair Obsidian 750d with two 140mm front intakes, one 120mm bottom mounted intake, one 140mm rear exhaust, and one 120mm top exhaust. Overall it is slightly positive pressure (should help keep the dust out). My last machine was loud, but this one is nice and quiet, all the fans are running on low so it’s nice and quiet!

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Linksys WRT54GL Wireless Broadband Router 802.11b/g up to 54Mbps/ Compatible with Open Source DD-WRT (not pre-load)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: These may be an older model, but in my opinion it is still one of the best for commercial applications where speed is not of the utmost importance. This client was looking for a cheap way to implement a wireless network for two non-mission critical PCs and the employees phones.

The pricepoint and stability of this router makes it an excellent choice for these applications. I was able to get two of these for less than the price of a decent AC router and create a WAN that is scalable and sturdy.

Also completely supports DDWRT which is a much more powerful firmware than the stock Linksys.

I highly recommend this router to anyone looking for a good b/g router

Cons: Does not offer wireless bridging. Knew that going into it so I'm not taking off an egg. But if you need that function can still get this and then install DDWRT.

Other Thoughts: Purchased these to install in a customers business which is in a commercial building (concrete walls, raised roof).

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WD BLACK SERIES WD5000BPKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Purchased this as a replacement HDD in my laptop. WD black drives are the best! Overall performance increase compared the older 5400RPM drive that was failing. Made a one to one clone of the drive using a utility and was back up and running in a matter of minutes.

One of the best things about this drive is the 5 year limited warranty on it. If it fails in that timeframe WD will replace it. I have replaced drives through them before and it is a painless process. Just make sure you register it first.

This was on sale when I purchased it so it was a great price point.

Cons: Nothing

Other Thoughts: Nothing

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Greg V.'s Profile

Display Name: Greg V.

Date Joined: 07/11/10

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  • First Review: 02/17/11
  • Last Review: 08/25/14
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