Well well, it looks like we’re in for a treat! We have had the pleasure of reviewing the Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H Black Edition, and let us tell you it is an attractive board. Not only is it sleek looking, but Gigabyte’s Black Edition has more thAn just a coat of paint.
To be sold as a Black Edition board Gigabyte tests each board for 168 hours (7 days). And while the 168 hour test goes on, each motherboard needs to pass a very rigorous, full system validation testing for a full week. Gigabyte has built a custom testing facility at their Taiwan factory. Gigabyte is the only manufacturer of motherboards still in Taiwan. This is important because Taiwan generally manufacturers better quality products when it comes to electronics.
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.
UNBOXING AND PACKAGING
With a quick look at the box it is Black with silver lettering and they use a metallic looking font for the Black Edition namesake.
Here on the back of the box we get all of the necessary specifications as well as a nice look at the motherboard with a detailed diagram of all the ports and so on. The box is made out of a thick cardboard and should be more than enough to keep it from getting damaged.
Once we unwrap this bad boy we get to see the four included braided SATA cables, which is an addition we absolutely love, as well as a SLI bridge, the included driver disk (which you shouldn’t use if possible, get the newest drivers from here) a multilingual manual, and a certificate from Gigabyte proving its Black Edition testing
SPECIFICATION AND PRICING
Gigabyte looks to take on the mid to high end with this Motherboard. Being priced at the $150 mark is a solid spot to be in, since to us the high end Z97 boards seem like a bit of overkill. As for a bit more you can get a much nicer X99 System, to us anything over $160 is a bit expensive.
For those asking why spend the premium for the higher end Gigabyte motherboard? For us it has to be the peace of mind you will be getting knowing that this board has been put through the paces. With the Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H you will get a rock solid board that is reliable and should last longer than their warranty of 5 years.
This is an ATX form factor motherboard, featuring an all matte black PCB. We personally really like the matte finish, since glossier finishes don’t look as good with a bit of dust on them, and cleaning a motherboard is not a good way to spend an afternoon.