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Gigabyte Z87-HD3 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £77
inc VAT

This budget ATX LGA1150 board is a little lacking in performance, but it has a good range of ports


LGA1150, ATX, Intel Z87 chipset, supports: 4th generation Intel Celeron, Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7

At just under £80, the Gigabyte Z87-HD3 is much cheaper than other ATX LGA1150 motherboards we’ve tested recently. That doesn’t mean it’s short on features, though, as its Z87 chipset makes it an attractive budget option if you’re looking to upgrade your processor to one of Intel’s fourth-generation Core models (Haswell).

With its six SATA3 ports, every drive can now run at the best speeds possible. This means you don’t have to worry about new drives not performing as well as existing ones, as they can all reach their full potential as soon as you plug them in.

Gigabyte Z87-HD3

Its four memory DDR3 memory slots can also hold a maximum capacity of 32GB of RAM at speeds of up to 3,000MHz when overclocked, giving you plenty of opportunity to install the fastest memory than you can buy.

For expansion, there are two PCI-E x16 slots available, but only one of them runs at the full bandwidth and conforms to the PCI Express 3.0 standard. The other runs at x4 and conforms to the PCI Express 2.0 standard, so you’ll want to install your primary graphics card in the first slot. You can run dual graphics cards in AMD’s CrossFireX configuration, although using the second PCI-E x16 slot means that you can’t use either of the two PCI-E x1 slots.

Gigabyte Z87-HD3

The rear panel’s range of ports isn’t quite as wide-ranging as more expensive boards, but the Z87-HD3’s selection will still suit the needs of most users. You’ll find four USB3 ports with another two available through its single USB3 header, two USB2 ports with another six available through its three USB2 headers, VGA, DVI-D and HDMI display outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a PS/2 port and six 3.5mm audio jacks. Its HDMI output can support a maximum resolution of 4,096×2,160 as well, so it’s compatible with 4K displays.

Gigabyte Z87-HD3

The Z87-HD3 began to show its budget roots when it came to desktop performance, as it struggled to match the same speed of its more expensive rivals. When we tested it with a Core i5-4670K and 4GB of DDR3 RAM running at 1,600MHz, it scored just 109 overall, which is a few points slower than we’d normally expect to see. Fortunately, its user-friendly BIOS makes it easy to overclock if you want to squeeze a bit more performance out of an unlocked CPU.

With its wide range of ports and expansion slots, the Gigabyte Z87-HD3 is a good alternative to more expensive LGA1150 boards if your budget doesn’t stretch to more than £80, but at this price, its performance just isn’t as good as the similarly-priced MSI Z87-G43.

Basic Specifications

Processor socketLGA1150
Form factorATX
Processor support4th generation Intel Celeron, Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7
Processor external bus100MHz
Chipset north bridgeIntel Z87
Chipset south bridgeIntel Z87
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory speedPC3-24000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory32GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information


Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots2
PCI slots2
Fan headers4
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports0
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel Z87 (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers6/8
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports1x PS/2, parallel header, serial header
Other portsVGA, DVI, HDMI
Cables included4x SATA
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment133MHz

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