Review: Intel Z97 Express chipset in Black Edition
The Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK Black Edition delivers an excellent out-of-the box user experience which comes as no surprise.
The Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK Black Edition motherboard is aimed at the upper-mid range market. It is an LGA 1150 board based on Intel’s Z97 chipset. Of course, owners of 4th generation Core (Haswell) desktop processors can use their workhorses inside on Z97 motherboards. The new 5th generation Core (Broadwell) CPUs is also supported.
Note that the 9-series chipset has two versions - the Z97 is tailored towards enthusiasts and gamers, while the H97 aims at business and general purpose desktops. Gigabyte offers an incredible 26 different models based on the Z97 chipset.
Our test sample, the Z97X-UD5H-BK Black Edition, offers the M.2 onboard interface (for thin and narrow M.2 SSD drives) that provides extra bandwidth (it tops out at 1GB per second). This is possible due to native PCIe-based storage, but be careful, not all Z97 motherboards come with an M.2 interface. Also SATA Express drives are supported, although the drives are not available yet, but the new standard promises twice the bandwidth of M.2. Both new storage interfaces use multiple PCI Express lanes as a pure PCI Express connection to the storage device.
The Z97X-UD5H-BK Black Edition is listed online as a part of the UltraDurable series. As a Black Edition product, it was subjected to extended server level 168-hour durability tests and is backed by 5-years warranty.