Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force Mainboard Review

Gigabyte Z97X SOC Force Mainboard Review
bossmac 13 May 2014

This article was first published on Back2Gaming.com

Z97X-SOC Force

The new 9-series chipset from Intel are now officially launched and with every chipset generation comes an entire salvo of motherboards. This time around though, there isn’t an accompanying processor to coincide with the chipset launch as was the norm for processor launches for the past years.

This time around, we will be seeing a refresh of the existing 4th-generation Core series processors dubbed Haswell Refresh later after the chipset release. One of the main feature of the 9-series chipset is that it will support the upcoming Broadwell generation of Intel processors. This continues the trend that Intel has started with its Socket LGA1155 being compatible with both 2nd-generation and 3rd-generation Core processors. With the release of the 4th-generation Core processors, Intel has released the new LGA1150 socket and 9-series board owners will rest easy knowing their boards will accept the upcoming processors readily.

Intel 9-Series Specification

The Intel 9-series will see the arrival of the enthusiast-oriented Z97 and H97. Both boards will support Haswell and Haswell refresh processors in the LGA1150 package. The upcoming Devils Canyon variant of the Haswell Refresh is rumored to be compatible only with Z97. The Z97 Express chipset offers x16/NC/NC, x8/x8/NC, and x8/x4/x4 PCI-e bandwidth for multi-GPU configurations. Both chipset introduces M.2 SATA and SATA Express, new high-speed storage interfaces for modern storage devices that offer 67% more bandwidth than existing SATAIII connection.

GIGABYTE 9-Series

Gigabyte 9 series will debut the new look of the G1 GAMING series of motherboards and Black Edition series boards. Continuing on their successful path are the Ultra Durable line and OC line of products.

For this review we will be looking at the flagship overclocking motherboard from the OC series from GIGABYTE. Brandishing the company’s signature OC Orange scheme, we check out the new hotness in this GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC FORCE review. Taking on the best that the Z87X-OC FORCE had to offer, the new OC series is now dubbed the SOC series for Super Overclocking which the company aims to do as the most used OC board in HWBOT in the past year.

Features

  • Supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • Premium 4-way CrossFire™ support with OC Brace
  • Precise digital CPU power design
  • SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • Exclusive GIGABYTE OC Features
  • Killer™ E2200 gaming networking
  • 2x copper PCB design
  • Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in rear audio amplifier
  • New Heatsink design with 8 onboard fan connectors
  • Long lifespan Durable Black Solid caps
  • APP Center including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™