up
en ru ua
menu


chieftec_ban_160.gif

logo minifile

::>Motherboards > 2014 > 09 > GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Print version
Republish review

10-09-2014


rss

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3 motherboard: review and testing

Not very long ago we introduced you a relatively affordable solution of the middle class - the motherboard платой GIGABYTE GA-Z97-D3H, which made quite good impression thanks to a decent ratio of money and capabilities. This time we will touch on a similar model - GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3, which is offered at a slightly more reasonable cost, because of its lesser functionality. For greater clarity we specify a small comparison of the two models:

 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-D3H

USB 3.0

External/internal

4/2

4/2

USB 2.0

External/internal

2/6

2/6

RAM

4 x DIMM

 Up to 32 GB

 4 x DIMM

Up to 32 GB

PCIe x16

2

x16

x16+x4

2

x16

x16+x4

PCIe x1

2

2

PCI

2

3

Video outputs

HDMI

DVI-D

D-Sub

HDMI

DVI-D

D-Sub

Audio outputs

6

6

SATA 6 Gb/s

6

4

SATA Express

No

1

eSATA

No

No

M.2 (NGFF)

No

1

Thunderbolt 

No

No

LAN

Realtek RTL8111F

Intel WGI217V

Audio codec

Realtek ALC887

Realtek ALC1150

Wi-Fi

No

No

Bluetooth

No

No

Power supply phase

4

4

Format

ATX

ATX

As you can see, the novelty does not have the support of interfaces SATA Express and M.2, and one expansion slot PCI. Note the use of a network controller from Realtek, while GIGABYTE GA-Z97-D3H uses solution from Intel, as well as more than a plain sound system. As for the difference in cost, the hero of our review is 5-10 dollars cheaper. But let's move on to the review of new item and find out some differences between two models.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

The specs:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-Z97-HD3 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

SPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron Celeron 4th nad 5th generation: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

1333 / 1600 / 1800* / 1866* / 2000* / 2133* / 2200* / 2400* / 2500* / 2600* / 2666* / 2800* / 2933* / 3000* / 3100* MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slot with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (CPU)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (PCH)

х16

х16+х4

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Realtek RTL8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX main power connector

8-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on power elements of the processor

Extenral I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D
1 х PS/2 (for mouse or keyboard connection)

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

6 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 х COM port

1 х LPT port

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 x 64 Мbit

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver and utility disc

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 190 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Packaging and content

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3 is shipped in thick and high-quality cardboard box, decorated in printing of dark yellow colors. The front side is given to the logo of branded concept Ultra Durable, which includes the following features:

  • Cool - power circuits use high efficient field-effect transistors with low heat release and radiators with effective design.
  • Performance - the novelty has support technology AMD CrossFireX, three video outputs and gigabyte Realtek network controller.
  • Durable - involves the use of long-life solid capacitors and gold-plated CPU connectors.
  • Safe - this model is equipped with two chips with firmware BIOS (main and backup) that will allow you to avoid a visit to the service center in the event of damage of the main chip. Here is a presence of additional protection of USB and LAN ports. Each LAN and USB-port is paired with a special protective filter that can withstand electrostatic discharge, which protects the system from power surges, even during a thunderstorm. Also here is the availability of protective circuits that protect internal components from overvoltage as well as improved laying of fiberglass on the PCB thus reducing the negative effects of moisture.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

On the reverse side there is a schematic representation of the motherboard, its interface panel, and the description of the key benefits of new item.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

In addition to CD with software and interface panel plug in the box we found two SATA cables.

Design and features

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

The heart of new item is a brown printed circuit board of ATX format with reduced to 190 mm width, which affected the shift of mounting holes on the right side. So the user should careful during connection of drives, main power cable and remote panel with USB 3.0 ports, as excessive force may damage the PCB.

As for the design, it is worth to note a bright design of radiators, and in particular the original form one of them, which is responsible for cooling the power components of the power supply subsystem of the processor. In general, the appearance of new items is consistent with its price positioning.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

On the reverse side of the PCB is the base plate of the CPU socket, as well as plastic mounting clips of the radiators.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, S/PDIF Out, COM, LPT and TPM ports, front panel connection module (with color detection to simplify the cable connection) and CMOS. Also here are three leading-in sockets for activation USB 2.0 ports. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: six are internal and two on the interface panel. As we can see, in contrast to the previously discussed GIGABYTE GA-Z97-D3H, the novelty instead of port TPM has a connector LPT, which makes it a little more interesting solution for office application.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

The organization of disk subsystem is presented by six SATA 6 Gb/s ports which are realized by chipset Intel Z97. There is a support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

The tested model is equipped by four DIMM-slots for memory modules of DDR3 standard operating in dual-channel mode. The plates must be installed either in the first and third or second and fourth slots. Modules operating at frequencies up to 1600 MHz in the nominal mode and up to 3100 MHz in overclocked mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity can reach 32 GB, which is sufficient for almost all tasks.

Leading-in socket on a remote panel with USB 3.0 ports is also located on the right side of the PCB. Total number of USB 3.0 ports is six: two internal and four on the interface panel. All of them are operated due to set of system logic.

 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Cooling system of the product includes two radiators: one provides heat removal from chipset Intel Z97, while the second is responsible for the cooling of power subsystem elements. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 43.5°C;
  • radiator for cooling of processor elements power – 41.3°C.

Despite the use of plastic clips for attaching heat sinks, they provide good cooling of critical components.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Processor power supply is performed via 4-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Chip ISL9582 is applied as PWM controller. The circuitry is made by high quality components such as: solid capacitors, MOS transistors with low resistance of open channel and chokes with ferrite cores. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

To extend the functionality of GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3 user has six slots:

  1. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  2. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х16);
  3. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  4. PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4);
  5. PCI;
  6. PCI.

Despite the support of technology AMD CrossFireX and the presence of two PCI Express x16 slots, it is unreasonable to talk about the installation of two graphics cards; only one is connected to the processor while the second uses only four chipset lines PCI Express 2.0. Therefore, if you will install two graphics cards, they will operate under the scheme x16+x4, which will not allow to reveal their full potential.

Also note that due to the lack of free chipset lines slot PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4) shares bandwidth with two PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots, so if you will use it for the board that requires all four lines, connectors PCI Express 2.0 x1 will be unavailable.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Since chipset Intel Z97 doesn’t support bus PCI, the functioning of the connector is implemented using PCIe-PCI bridge based on the controller ITE IT8892E.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

If you decided to take advantage of the integrated graphics core, then you have three video outputs: HDMI, DVI-I and D-Sub. The switching between them is realized by two chips PTN3360DBS and ASMedia ASM1442.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Multi I/O capabilities are based on ITE IT8620E chip which controls the operation of the system fans, COM, LPT and PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

To support network connections there is a GB LAN-controller Realtek RTL8111F and network resource sharing will provide the utility GIGABYTE LAN Optimizer.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Sound subsystem of model is based on the 8-channel codec Realtek ALC887 which supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 audio systems.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Interface panel of the model contains the following ports:

  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 4 x USB 3.0;
  • 2 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x PS/2  for mouse and keyboard connection;
  • 6 x audio jacks.

The configuration of interface panel is completely identical to described earlier model. It is quite good due to the presence of sufficient number of USB ports, three video outputs, as well as convenient connections of multichannel speakers. As for the differences, it is worth to remind the opportunity to put COM and LPT ports on the back cover.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

The means of organizing the cooling system inside the case of GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3 are quite standard. There are four 4-pin fan connectors, one of which is used for CPU cooling system, while the other three are designed for system fans.

UEFI BIOS

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Motherboard is equipped with modern UEFI firmware based on microcode AMI with the capability to operate in four modes: “Smart Tweak HD” (resolution 1280), “Smart Tweak” (resolution 1024, without a permanent display of the processor status, memory and system sensors on the sides), “Classic” (classic version of BIOS) and “StartUp” mode (mode of initial BIOS setting).

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

As you may have noticed that during operation in mode “Smart Tweak HD” there is no certain section responsible for monitoring of voltages and temperatures on main components. All this information is displayed on side faces. Here you can see the CPU temperature and fan speed, monitor the voltage on the memory module, processor, and power lines +12V, +5V and +3.3V, as well as a number of other important parameters. Note that all items in “Classic” mode are available in “Smart Tweak HD”.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

All settings related to key elements of the system are grouped in the respective sections.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

In the section «Frequency» it is possible to select one of the six types of automatic optimization of system parameters.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-2933MHz. Memory frequency over 2933 MHz can be started only with the appropriate profile memory.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3

If necessary, the section “Voltage” can provide the access the settings of voltage on all the key components of the system.

Adjustments required to optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu name

Range

Pitch

CPU multiplier

CPU Clock Ratio

8 – MAX

 

 

CPU Base Clock

80,00 – 266,66

0,01

 

Processor Base Clock

1,00 – 2,50

 

RAM frequency

System Memory Multiplier

800 – 2933

 

CPU voltage

CPU Vcore

0,500 – 1,800

0,001

Profiles of automatic overclocking

Performance Upgrade

Auto, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100%

 

CPU Upgrade

Auto; 4,3; 4,4; 4,5; 4,6; 4,7 GHz

RAM Voltage

DRAM Voltage

1,160 – 2,100

0,020

Chipset voltage

 

PCH Core

0,650 – 1,300

 

0,005

Processor Graphics Clock

Processor Graphics Clock

400 – 4000

50

 

Turbo Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

Core Current Limit

10 – 1000

1

 

CPU VRIN External Override

1,000 – 2,400

0,010

CPU Graphics Voltage

CPU Graphics Voltage

0,500 – 1,700

0,001

 

CPU RING Voltage

0,800 – 1,800

0,001

System Agent Voltage

CPU System Agent Voltage

-0,300 - +0,400

0,001

 

CPU I/O Analog Voltage

-0,300 – +0,400

0,001

 

CPU I/O Digital Voltage

-0,300 – +0,400

0,001

 

PCH I/O

1,050 – 1,900

0,005

Capacity of memory for graphics core

Intel Processor Graphics Memory

32, 64, 96, 128, 192, 224, 256, 320, 384, 448, 512, 1024

 

RAM timing

Timing Control

CAS, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tRRD, tWTR, tWR, tWTP, tWL, tRFC, tRTP, tFAW

 

 

Социальные комментарии Cackle
Site Search
facebook vk YouTube
google+ twitter rss
top10

vote

Голосование