Gigabyte Z87-D3HP Review
As the first of our Z87 motherboards we need to be a little cautious. After all, the Intel Core i7-4770K is a blistering CPU with immensely impressive performance in every test. Naturally this fantastic performance is only intensified when it is overclocked.
Equally we love the possibility for a native triple-screen desktop, we like the low power usage, and we are especially keen to have as many high-bandwidth ports as possible. But these are all things that aren't unique to the Z87-D3HP but part of the whole LGA1150 Z87 package.
So what does the Gigabyte Z87-D3HP bring to the party?
Quite a bit actually. Let's start with the looks. So often the lower-end Gigabyte motherboards have that bright blue PCB that is their trademark, and whilst that is good for branding it isn't great for those of us who have to put one in our system. A black PCB, regardless of your own personal colour favourites, looks more expensive and is easier to blend in with the colour scheme of your choice. Additionally by including black plastic nearly everywhere it isn't a mish-mash of odd bits and bobs from the parts bin.
Compared to the MSI GD65 the D3HP seems to be middling when it comes to getting an overclock, topping out at 4.6GHz. That's by no means a terrible overclock and given how thermally limited we are, and that all of our 3D tests indicate there isn't much to be gained from a gaming perspective with enormous clock speeds, then it's certainly enough for us. Overclocking is fun too thanks to the beautiful BIOS. To think merely two generations ago we were using keyboard BIOS' from the 90s, it's amazing how far things have come and the ability to customise it to your taste is the cherry on the top.
Stock and overclocked performance is very good across the board. Of course the encoding speed in PC Mark was excellent so if you're a media-heavy user then this might be just the chap. In fact the only thing we dislike is the vertical SATA ports which, regardless of price-point, are unacceptable.
All in all it's nothing particularly earth-shattering we know, but then you remember that the Z87-D3HP costs five pence shy of £115 but at launch Gigabyte are offering the board with a BeQuiet cooler worth £30. Problem is from our testing that cooler wont cope with our overclock and its an absolute arse to mount so we could give it to someone you dont like or ebay it and get yourself a decent cooler for anything above stock clocks. Usually the latest hardware comes with an early adopter price premium, so to find one that comes out the gate at a very affordable price with decent overclocking, a very attractive BIOS, and all the features you could reasonably expect to find is a definite bonus and for that reason we unhesitatingly award the Gigabyte Z87-D3HP our OC3D Value For Money Award.