Friday, July 19, 2013

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Intel Z87 'Haswell' Motherboard Review

Legit Motherboard Reviews

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Intel Z87 Motherboard Layout

It's here, the much anticipated Intel 'Haswell' launch has finally arrived! To honor the launch of the latest and greatest Intel desktop processors we are going to be posting up multiple reviews today. This particular article is on one of GIGABYTE's Intel Z87 LGA1150 motherboard. The GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H is going to be one of many Intel Z87 motherboards from GIGABYTE and, at first look it might just be a winner! Though would we expect much else from GIGABYTE? Before we start delving into the features of the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H, it's worth noting that it will hit the streets with a MSRP of $179.99. The GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H isn't at the top of the GIGABYTE Z87 product stack,  but that doesn't mean that it wont be a great board.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

As you can see, the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Intel Z87 motherboard has a lot going on. We will certainly be covering these in more detail as the day progresses, but for starters some of the key features of the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H are; Durable Black Solid Caps, 15u Gold Plated CPU Socket, Intel LAN with High ESD Protection, All IR Digital Power Design, 2X Copper PCB, Quick Buttons, Debug Dislplay, OC-PEG (PCIe Power supplied by a SATA Power Connector), Eight (8) SATA 3 6Gbps ports, 10 USB 3.0 ports, New Heat Sink Design, On/Off Charge 2, Exclusive UEFI DualBIOS, SLI/Crossfire Support, and a Gaming Headphone Amplifier.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

The GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Intel Z87 motherboard is part of the Ultra Durable 5 Plus series. Last year GIGABYTE brought us the Ultra Durable 5 technology with the Intel Z77 motherboards

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

One of the changes to the Intel Z87X-UD3H over the previous generation is the heat sinks. The Ultra durable 5 Plus features an 'Ultra Cool' aspect. The newly designed heat sinks on the Z87X-UD3H will according to GIGABYTE 'offer uncompromisingly efficient cooling on key areas of the motherboard including the PWM area and chipset'. Hopefully the new heat sinks on the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H LGA1150 motherboard will live up to the expectations offered by GIGABYTE, if nothing else they'll look good in your system.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

Once again GIGABYTE is taking advantage of the all digital power delivery on the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H. The PowIRstage controllers from International Recifier that GIGABYTE uses supply the CPU and Memory with power that comes with a high amount of precision control. This will aid in fine tuning the CPU vCore and DIMM vCore while overclocking, giving us the ability to squeeze out all of the potential from the fourth gen Intel Core processor.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

If you have ever created a paper weight out of a motherboard due to corrupted BIOS (guilty on several occasions), you know how important this next feature can be.  GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 5 Plus motherboards offer the 'Ultra Safe' UEFI DualBIOS. Having UEFI DualBIOS will protect you in a number of situations, anything from a power failure during a BIOS flash (learned the hard way not to flash during a thunder storm), to a virus, or even corrupting the BIOS during a failed overclocking attempt. If any of these circumstances occur the secondary BIOS can be used to repair the primary UEFI BIOS.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

The new Ultra Durable 5 Plus uses a new black solid capacitor. The new black caps on the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H are guaranteed to perform at peak efficiency for a minimum of 10K hours! If you don't feel like doing the math that's ~14 months straight! In addition to the 10K hours, they offer an ultra-low ESR regardless of the CPU loading.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 5 Plus motherboards offer 10 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports per board. Each of the ports also features its own fuse, this way if one fuse fails we don't lose the entire stack of USB ports, only that particular port.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

GIGABYTE has totally revamped their UEFI BIOS, it is quite different and it certainly took some getting used to. Beyond that it's great. We're going to dedicate a page to the new UEFI DualBIOS shortly so we wont spend to much time on it here. In the slide above, while it's a little tough to make out due to the size of the slide, the edges of the UEFI BIOS feature current settings, frequencies, temps, and fan speeds. Overall a really sharp new look to the UEFI from GIGABYTE. More on it later though.

GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Performance Review

While the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H LGA1150 motherboard isn't a gaming board per se, GIGABYTE knows that it will be used by gamers since not everyone will want a board out of the G1 series of GIGABYTE Gaming motherboards. The engineers and design team have implemented a built-in gaming headphone amplifier. The amplifier is a high-capacity amp with the ability to drive loads up to 600 Ohms with a fuller range of dynamic sound. It should also deliver crisp details with less distortion than traditional motherboards. While it may be specifically designed for gamers, it is also ideal for professional audio usages according to GIGABYTE!

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What's the Best Way to Quickly Chill Coffee?

In the heat of summer, hot coffee just won't do. If you properly plan ahead, you can have the cold stuff sitting in your fridge when you wake up. But if you forget to prep ahead of time, it's time to brew and chill quick. Stack Exchange users provide a few tips on getting a cold fix, fast.

I brew coffee using a french press. After I've pressed it, how can I make it chill fast?

See the original question.

Brew it strong and then add ice. Alternately, freeze some coffee in ice cube trays and use those frozen coffee cubes to chill the new batch without diluting it. Agitation (shaking) with cubes is a good substitute for crushed ice—both ensure that the hot coffee meets the cold surface of the ice quickly. If you sweeten your iced coffee, using chilled simple syrup will help cool the brew and avoid problems getting the sugar to dissolve (sugar doesn't dissolve well in cold liquids).

You could try the cold-infusion technique described by Harold McGee at the New York Times: You can improvise a cold-brewing system using a French-press pot or just a pitcher or bowl, with fine sieves, cheesecloth, or cloth or paper filters to strain out the grounds. Infuse coarsely ground coffee overnight in cold water, about 5 cups for every 1/2-pound of coffee, then press or filter the brew from the grounds. In my experience this can become tedious because fine particles clog the filters.

Make your coffee hot, then combine several easy methods to dissipate heat:

Pour your hot coffee into a metal cup (or a martini shaker), which has better heat transfer properties than ceramic or glass. For even quicker results, plan ahead by frosting the metal cup in the freezer.Put the full metal cup in an ice bath. For an even colder ice bath, add salt, which can lower the temperature due to an effect known as freezing-point depression.Dip a metal spoon in and out of the full cup. (Note: dipping is more effective than stirring.) If making hot coffee cold quick is what you're after, you'll have a hard time finding a more effective method than this.Find more answers or leave your own at the original post. See more questions like this at Seasoned Advice, the cooking site at Stack Exchange. And of course, feel free to ask a question yourself.

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Share Something on Your Friday Open Thread

It's Friday. That means it's time to share what you know, ask what you don't, and generally partake in some conversation. Right here, right now!

Same drill as always but with a new twist, open-threaders! Ask questions, offer advice, discuss productivity tips, or just chat about whatever's on your mind. This week, we're coming to you from Hackerspace, the commenter-run playground for Lifehackers. Drop by Hackerspace any time you want to share your tips, how-tos, or just talk it out with your fellow readers.

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KickSend Shares Your Photos or Prints them at Your Local Pharmacy

KickSend Shares Your Photos or Prints them at Your Local Pharmacy

Android/iOS/Web: Kicksend is a web service that lets you organize, upload, and share your photos with anyone, whether you just snapped it on your phone or you're going through saved photo albums. It also makes it easy to print those photos from your computer to your local pharmacy and pick them up when you're ready.

One of KickSend's biggest benefits is that you can quickly get your photos printed at your local pharmacy without having to leave your house. You don't have to go down to the kiosk with an SD card or USB drive, you can just select the photos you want printed, tweak them, choose your size, and print directly to your local CVS, Walgreens, or Target photo center. They'll be ready in an hour, and you can pick them up when ready. If you want to send those photos to a friend or relative somewhere else in the country, you can print to their local pharmacy so they can pick them up. If you'd prefer, you can even have those photos printed and mailed directly to your doorstep in the sizes and photo paper quality you choose (for an additional cost).

KickSend started off as a service that just made it easy to upload and manage your photos from your phone or your desktop. The service lets you send and share any of those photos to anyone you want to see them, regardless of whether they have a Kicksend account, and you don't have to post your photos publicly to Facebook, Google+, or any other social network. Your recipient gets an email and a link to view the photos, and you retain control over them (much like sharing via DropBox or other cloud services). With the addition of home and pharmacy printing services, it's much more useful.

For those of you who still print your photos (and we know there are plenty of you who do), KickSend makes ordering quality photo prints super-easy, and you don't even have to leave your house to get them. Prices vary depending on the sizes you want. You can check out their pricing here. The Kicksend mobile apps and web service are free to use—you only pay when you're ready to print.


How To Make a "Bulletproof" Polycarbonate Longboard!

In an incredible epiphany, our team at SPHS decided to make a longboard deck out of polycarbonate!  

Not only is the deck completely see-through, it is also bulletproof!  
*But please, don't quote on us on that.  We are not responsible for any liabilities involving injuries or death regarding the use of the deck as protection equipment.*

But anyway let's get to it!  

Onto the materials!

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Raised Planter Bed from Pallets

IMG_0229.JPGI recently saw a picture of a raised planter bed and though it was a really neat idea. I though this would be the solution for keeping rabbits out of my garden, only problem was they wanted $250 for it.

After looking at the picture for a few minutes I was able to construct it in my head, only problem was getting the wood for it would be costly. I was thinking about it while I was at work and saw a co-worker toss a pallet into a dumpster, it occurred to me that I had just found a source of free wood for this project.

It took me about 6 hours in total to build the raised planter bed and I was able to make it for about 10% of what it retailed for.

IMG_0199.JPGYou will need the following for this project:
3 to 4 Pallets - depends on the size of the pallets, you'll also want them similar in size. Hammer Vice Grips Pry bar/Crowbar Drill Staple Gun - 3/8 inch staples Skill saw, jig saw, or preferably a miter saw (something that will make 90º cuts and 45º cuts) Screws; I used 3 different lengths of wood screws: 1 inch, 1 1/4 inch, and 1 3/4 inch Landscaping Fabric Additional treated wood from a lumber store, unless you have planks that are the total length of the bed.  Additional note:
The Pallet wood you will need to use will need to be heat treated.  All pallets will have some marking or stamp on them indicating how they have been treated.  You will need to get some that have a HT (Heat Treated) stamped on them to make this safe for uses with a garden. Steer clear of pallets with MB stamped on them, they have been treated with Methyl Bromide and can be dangerous if used for this project, since plants will be in contact with the wood and any chemicals in it.

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