Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review

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Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review

Up Close

In keeping with a board aimed squarely at the enthusiasts, rather than someone wandering past a shelf, the Z87X-OC comes in a very simple box, dominated by the model name.  One very cool feature for anyone who is looking to push their system hard is the inclusion of the PCI bracket. Nearly everyone who is in the pursuit of records runs on an open bench table for ease of access. This has the downside of meaning that your GPU isn't secured, and this becomes ever more of a problem the more cards you install. By providing a bracket to keep the cards stable, up to four, it's a small feather in the cap of the Gigabyte, albeit on that most of you will never use.

Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review     Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review  

The Z87X-OC itself is a little bit of a mixed bag in looks. The black and orange obviously looks lovely, but the heatsinks are extremely plain and uninteresting. The MSI Gaming has set the bar high and it's up to everyone else to keep up.

The area around the CPU socket is kept as clean as possible to allow for easy use of exotic cooling solutions.

Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review     Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review  

It's nice to see the CMOS battery below the second PCI slot. There are some things that are best cured by the old school battery removal technique, and it's nice to know we don't have to take out the GPU to do so. The PCIe x1 slot would be better at the bottom of the 'board for those with a modern sound-card. Where it is it's pretty useless unless you're not running a GPU, and who has a sound card but no graphics card?

Tucked away by the RAM slots are all the important buttons that allow you to easily overclock. We'll cover the buttons in detail on a subsequent page, but below those are a switch for the OC Trigger button that's found at the rear of the Z87X-OC, BIOS selection switches, the amazing Settings Lock button which remembers your previous settings even after a CMOS clear, memory safe and CMOS clear buttons round out the set.

Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review     Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review  

With a lot of cool add-ons available for the front of our cases, it's nice to see some proper USB ports available at the front of the OC. It's worth noting that these support the On/Off charge which enables you to swiftly charge your mobile devices, and most of us have a phone or MP3 player plugged in at all times.

At the rear we have, from left to right, USB2, OC Ignition, USB3 and display outputs, PS2, GigaLAN and the 8 channel audio.

Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review     Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review  

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Most Recent Comments

19-07-2013, 07:07:46

mArTyN
Beautiful board Quote

19-07-2013, 07:16:20

AverageNinja
Yay! Finally!
I've been looking out to this review!
I'm going to read it nowQuote

19-07-2013, 08:04:02

Etlar
Sorry to say it TTL, but no Movie ? :O Need some thing to do, when i wait on my parts ! Quote

19-07-2013, 08:49:29

GoogalyMoogaly
Disappointed you didn't cover RAM voltages. I've read in other reviews how many manufacturers (except Asus) don't accurately report RAM voltages in the BIOS. I was wondering fi this board is the same?
Also I believe they dropped the high end audio they've used on some of their OC boards in the past. I see no mention of anything audio related in the review.

The board also annoys me that I'd be paying all that money and if I put it in a case I can't use it. For example the PCI bracket, the overclocking buttons and the internal external USB ports. Would rather it was cheaper and didn't have these. They could make a "Z87X-OC TestBench" version for those that want to use it on a test bench and give the rest of use the other features at a lower price tag.

It's also a little disappointing that they went with a black PCB. They used to be rare, but have become more common in recent times. Pity Gigabyte didn't try to be different and come up with something new, if they're trying something new with could schemes.

That said this board is on my very short shortlist of Z87 boards (along with the Asus Z87 Maximus VI Gene and Hero boards) so it's good to know that it's ok.Quote

19-07-2013, 09:12:21

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoogalyMoogaly View Post
Disappointed you didn't cover RAM voltages. I've read in other reviews how many manufacturers (except Asus) don't accurately report RAM voltages in the BIOS. I was wondering fi this board is the same?
If we haven't mentioned it you can assume it's fine.

Quote:
Also I believe they dropped the high end audio they've used on some of their OC boards in the past. I see no mention of anything audio related in the review.
There is only one previous OC board, the X58. That used the ALC889 codec, this uses the ALC892. Everything uses the ALC892 which we mentioned in the technical specifications and is so ubiquitous that further mention (when there are many other features) was pointless.

Quote:
The board also annoys me that I'd be paying all that money and if I put it in a case I can't use it. For example the PCI bracket, the overclocking buttons and the internal external USB ports. Would rather it was cheaper and didn't have these. They could make a "Z87X-OC TestBench" version for those that want to use it on a test bench and give the rest of use the other features at a lower price tag.
Rather nit-picky. Sure you don't use the bracket in a case, but as this is the same price as all the mid-price boards that don't come with one then it's not costing any more. The buttons exist on nearly every motherboard (as power/reset ones at minimum) and yet nobody complains. Again it's not costing more so if you don't use them, ignore them. The internal USB ports were mentioned and explained that if you have a front panel device that utilises USB then it's a compact and simple to use solution.

You're implying that these features somehow make the board expensive, whereas it costs the same as most and so these elements aren't impacting the cost.

Quote:
It's also a little disappointing that they went with a black PCB. They used to be rare, but have become more common in recent times. Pity Gigabyte didn't try to be different and come up with something new, if they're trying something new with could schemes.

That said this board is on my very short shortlist of Z87 boards (along with the Asus Z87 Maximus VI Gene and Hero boards) so it's good to know that it's ok.
I'm so glad you're annoyed that Gigabyte use a black PCB on a black and orange motherboard. It's especially nice to see that the black PCB on all the ASUS motherboards don't dissuade you. Nothing like impartiality. Surely a blue PCB with black and orange plastic would be worse..?Quote
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