Overall Score 4.2  

The colour scheme is welcome, it has been a long time since we have seen beige or green motherboards and this black and grey offering will look at home in most builds. There are plenty of ports at the back of the motherboard as previously stated, so you won’t even need a graphics card to get this up and running.

VGA, HDMI and DVI included. No display port included which will not impress some people, but this should not be enough to put you off.

The Z97M-DS3H has Realtek ALC887 HD Audio which is becoming a standard for mid range motherboards. There is a Realtek GbE LAN chip also, this is a welcome addition, and if you have the router and cabling to support, means you will have no issues with this motherboards LAN bandwidth.

Also included, one PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 and PCI Express 3.0, with two PCI Express x1 slots and PCI Express 2.0.

Unlike a lot of the gaming motherboards, there is no clumsy M2 Wi-Fi header, keeping some clutter from this motherboard. There is enough room around the CPU socket for most coolers, or maybe a water-block.

Most manufacturers include long life caps and Gigabyte are no different, Long lifespan Durable Solid caps everywhere! More Long lifespan Durable Solid caps and plenty of CPU socket clearance. Next, motherboard overall layout.

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Consumer Experience