Overclocking with Haswell is a tricky endeavour; it really doesn’t like to run hot, but quickly heats up when clock speed is increased. Also it doesn’t like a lot of voltage, but higher voltage is needed to increase clock speed past a certain amount. And as soon as voltage is increased past a certain point, heat becomes a major issue. Obviously this combination of issues is a ‘worst case scenario’ for overclockers. Many people can’t get Haswell past 4.4 GHz or so.
The Z87X-UD4H has its own overclocking software that offers just as much control over timings as the BIOS. It also has some pre-determined settings:
“Extreme” mode will attempt to clock this 4770K to 4.5 GHz. here are the settings it used:
If you want a super simply way to get 4.5 GHz, there you go. I would suggest this maybe as a starting point, as you will definitely want to lower the voltage from here.
Using the “Advanced” option, you get much more control over everything. Although you can’t set things like Load Line Calibration from here, most of the settings you want are there for you. In fact, this led to a successful 4.8 GHz overclock that was stable in OCCT! This is using a Noctua NH-U14S in dual fan mode. Temperatures were around 67-70 Celsius.
This is the highest I’ve been able to take this particular CPU, so there is a big feather in the hat of the Z87X-UD4H.
The Z87X-UD4H sits right in between the UD3H and UD5H, for about $180. In fact, it is nearly identical to the UD3H; the only difference is that this board goes WAY beyond what the Haswell platform needs in terms of VRM. If you want to be absolutely sure you’re not overworking your VRM while overclocking, look no further than the Z87X-UD4H. Its 16 phase fully digital setup will take your Haswell CPU as far as it can possibly go on air or closed loop, and will run cool while under load. Taking that into consideration, I am pretty sure we can consider both boards to be winners. The UD5H has some extra features and is more than either of these, so I will hold comment until we can evaluate it on its own.
Overall, the Z87X-UD4H delivered rock solid performance, great compatibility, useful software features, and no major headaches during our time with it. On top of all that, it gave us our best overclocking result with this Core i7 4770K – 4.8 GHz stable, at 1.3v.
The new BIOS interface has some useful features, such as custom menus, and a switchable UEFI. The mouse is still laggy though, so you may want to boot into classic mode. All the options are still there, minus the customization, but it is a much more enjoyable experience for me.
The Z87X-UD4H easily receives our highest recommendations for overclocking a Core i7 4770K or Core i5 4670K and will likely be our main testing board for this entire generation.