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  • Gigabyte Z87X OC Overclocking Motherboard Review
  • Gigabyte Z87X OC Overclocking Motherboard Review



    We mention this quite often but as overclockers we often demand more from our hardware and want something that is specially built to help us reach insane levels.  Sometimes those levels include getting a SuperPi record while others might be simpler like running two monster video cards so we can relax in front of a 30" monitor and play our favorite game.  Regardless of your plans having a good base to build your system on is really important.

    The GA-Z87X-OC has come a long way when you look back on the rocky past of the OC line from Gigabyte.  Some boards came with helpful features like WiFi while others took a more functional approach with expensive capacitors for easier board insulation and extremely large PWMs.  While options like this may have been trivial in nature the underlying message has always been clear, these motherboards are designed for the computer enthusiast and extreme overclocker.
    Motherboard layout is rather straight forward and doesn't deviate much from what we have seen on other OC boards like the X79, Z77 and X58.  Slot layout will support up for four graphics cards but only supports 2-way SLI given the lack of an onboard PLX chip.  Hardware based overclocking controls are located in the upper right corner of the motherboard in a feature bundled called OC Touch.  A driver is required to access many of the features from inside windows so be sure to keep your driver disk.

    The Z87X-OC comes with a completely redesigned UEFI interface that overlays the classic/advanced menu system.  The new Dashboard design is designed to help system tuners configure the UEFI and monitor key aspects of the system including real-time CPU and Memory clocks, voltage and temperature.  Much to our disappointment this enhanced dashboard is only usable for those with a monitor that will do native 1080p.  

    Overclocking the GA- Z87X-OC is extremely easy and supports a wide variety of different scenarios from straight BCLK adjustments to BCLK Strap and CPU Multiplier.  Those looking to overclock memory will like all of the available memory options along with a few pre-defined defaults for some of the more popular kits.  The Z98X-OC does comes with a smaller eight phase PWM but is backed by PowIRstages which can supply more power to the CPU, with less heat and better efficiency.

    In this review we experimented with a variety of different overclocking methods including air, water and phase.  While the Single Stage Phase cooler rendered the best results your actual performance gains will be determined by the quality of your CPU.  Some chips run cooler than others, some support higher BLCK Straps and some respond better to cold.  The nice thing about the Gigabyte Z87X-OC is that Regardless of your CPU quality there are options available to get the most from your CPU, video card and memory.
    Good Things
    4-Way GPU Support
    Voltage test points
    Matte Black Finish
    Efficient Heatsink Design
    SATA 6
    Internal USB Plugs
    OC Touch Controls
    OC Ignition
    Onboard Video
    Power IR Digital PWM
    Gold Plated CPU Socket
    New UEFI Dashboard
    Bad Things
    New UEFI dashboard monitor support
    Debug LED behind power socket
    Ninjalane Rating
    Gigabyte Z87X OC Overclocking Motherboard Review

    Furious 5 of 5