Gigabyte GA-Z87X-SLI

Gigabyte GA-Z87X-SLI Motherboard Review

This is the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-SLI board, which is slightly different to the previously reviewed Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 7 board. For starters, it’s an older Z87 chipset, which means it’ll be able to support the fourth generation of Intel processors on an LGA 1150 socket. It has four DDR DIMM slots for a maximum of 32GB at 3000MHz (overclocked, again), four SATA 6Gbps ports, six USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports on the back panel with a further two USB 3.0 and six USB 2.0 through the internal connectors.

There’s support for a dual graphics SLI/CrossFire setup through the two PCle 16x slots (one running at 8x if populated), with three PCIe lx slots and a pair of legacy PCI slots thrown in for good measure. Since this is a simple dual graphics SLI/CrossFire affair, there’s more than enough room for a pair of large cards to sit on the board without them interfering with each other’s airflow. Admittedly, you won’t be able to use one or two of the other PCI slots on the board with a couple of big cards in place, but at least you won’t have to attack the case with a dremel for a spot of MacGyver-like enhancements for additional cooling.

Obviously, this is a board that’s not aimed at the gaming fraternity, but it still offers the capability of multi-GPU gaming. It lacks the flashy red and black designs that the Gigabyte Gaming range has to offer, instead opting for a more subtle Ultra Durable labeled all-black design. That doesn’t mean, though, that this board is lacking in features.

All solid caps, dual UEFI, electrical discharge protection on the USB and LAN ports and a feature whereby the USB ports are connected by individual fuses, so if one port blows up, the others aren’t affected and can still operate. There’s also UltraHD 4K resolutions available through the on-board graphics, and you still get access to the Gigabyte App Centre and Easy Tune software.

In fact, the only features you’re missing is the extra PCIe slot, the advanced audio features, the Killer LAN technology and the more up-to-date Z97 chipset. There are one or two other extras not included with the GA-Z87X SLI, but at less than $140, you’re getting a very good deal.

As with the closing statement of the other Gigabyte board we featured (it’s whether the brand name floats your boat or not), in this case it’s whether the extra dollars and flashy gaming design lures you in.

Otherwise the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-SU is a perfectly adequate board for some excellent multi-GPU system building, regardless of whether that’s for gaming or not. We found it in some ways to be a far better option than the more modern Gaming 7, but that’s mainly due to us having more legacy hardware available.

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