up
en ru ua
menu


chieftec_ban_160.gif

logo minifile

::>Motherboards > 2014 > 05 > GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

Print version
Republish review

04-05-2014


rss

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK motherboard review and performance testing

Along with models based on chipset Intel Z97 Express, GIGABYTE has introduced a new series of gaming motherboards named GIGABYTE G1.GAMING. “G1” on the analogy of the previous line G1.Killer, and “GAMING”, as the embodiment of the game direction. The first representative of a new series is GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK, which has quite an impressive list of advantages and proprietary features. The major benefit is increased number of PCI Express 3.0 lines (up to 32), which was achieved by PLX PEX 8747 chip-switch. This fact gives more opportunities for the organization of the graphics subsystem of two or four cards. But first let's look through the detailed characteristics of new item.

 

The specs:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97 Express

SPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th and 5th generation: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

800 / 1066 / 1333 / 1400 / 1600 / 1800* / 1866* / 2000* / 2133* / 2200* / 2400* / 2600* / 2666* / 2800* / 2933* MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with the support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (CPU)

х16

х16+х16

х16+х8+х8

х8+х8+х8+х8

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Expansion slots

Intel Z97 Express chipset supports:

6 x SATA 6 GB/s (4 standard + 2 compatible with SATA Express)

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 GB/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

two Marvell 88SE9172 controllers support:

4 x SATA 6 GB/s

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2,4 and 5 GHz) based on Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.0

LAN

1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 (10/100/1000 MB/s)

1 x Intel WG1217V (10/100/1000 MB/s)

Audio subsystem

Creative Sound Core3D codec

5.1 –channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

24-pin ATX main power connector

8-pin ATX12V power connector

Socket of additional power PCI Express

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

5 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on the elements of processor power subsystem connected by heat pipe.

Aluminum radiator on the chipset connected by heat pipe with radiator on the PLX PEX 8747 chip-switch

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-I

1 x DisplayPort
1 х PS/2 (for mouse and keyboard connection)

2 x LAN (RJ45)

6 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

5 x audio ports

1 х optical S/PDIF Out

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

8 x SATA 6 GB/s

1 x SATA Express with ability to connect two SATA 6 GB/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 х power button

1 х reboot button

1 х CMOS

1 x LED-indicator

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS jumper

2 х BIOS switch

2 х audio amplifier switch  

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 x 128 MB

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver and utility disc

6 x SATA cables

2 x 2-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge

1 x 3-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge

1 x 4-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge

1 х module of wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interfaces

1 x joint Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna

1 х removable panel with two USB 3.0 ports

1 х faceplate of interface panel

Form factor,

Dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Packaging and content

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

The motherboard is shipped in a rather large carton box. The design has quite moderate black printing. Most of the front side is taken by the name of the manufacturer and model, as well as mention of the fact that the product refers to the Black Edition and G1. Gaming series. The box has a convenient carrying handle and flap lid on the backside where you can find  the description of the key advantages:

  • Extreme Gaming 4-Way Graphics Support - thanks to PLX PEX 8747 chip-switch it became possible to support up to four graphics cards with the distribution lines for the following schemes: x16 / x16 + x16 / x16 + x8 + x8 / x8 + x8 + x8 + x8.
  • Long Lifespan Solid Capacitors – black solid capacitors with improved life are used for all power circuits of the motherboard.
  • Precise Digital CPU Power Design - the product has precise digital power subsystem processor.
  • SATA Express is implemented by port SATA Express that supports data transfer rates up to 10 GB/s.
  • Creative Sound Core 3D - model is equipped with high quality quad audio codec of Creative company as well as a set of proprietary software.
  •  Swapable OP-AMP - pre-installed operational amplifier of OPA2134PA can be easily replaced by any other which will match musical tastes of the user.
  • Nichicon High End Audio Capacitors - special high grade audio capacitors, produced by Nichicon are used.
  • Dual DAC-UP USB Ports the interface board has two special soldered USB 2.0 ports with gold plated connectors which are designed to connect an external sound card or amplifier. They are powered not by the USB 2.0 controller integrated into the chipset, but through a special converter directly from power lines. Therefore it provides a more stable and less noisy output voltage.
  • Audio Noise Guard with Trace Path Lightning is PCB area where sound system is soldered and shielded with a special metal strip including LED red lightning.
  • Gold Plated Audio Ports - high quality gold-plated audio jacks resistant to signal interference are installed on the motherboard.
  • Killer E2200 Gaming Platform / Intel GbE LAN - motherboard has two network controllers: one of Intel Company, and the second “gaming” of Qualcomm Company.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 + 867 Mbps 11AC Dual Band WiFi Card - Wireless Interface Module Bluetooth 4.0 and IEEE 802.11ac are supplied together with motherboard. It operates on two frequency ranges (2.4 / 5 GHz) and is capable to transfere data at a maximum speed up to 867 MB/s.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

On the reverse side there is a schematic representation of the motherboard, its interface panel, and the description of the key benefits of new item:

  • Gold Plated CPU Socket - processor socket contacts are covered with 15 micron layer of gold.
  • Quick Buttons & Debug Display - PCB as power, reboot and reset buttons and CMOS, LED-indicator for quick and efficient to establish the cause arasing faults.
  • Gaming Headphone Amplifier – there is a separate amplifier to support studio headphones with an impedance of 600 O.
  • Water Block Thermal Design - radiators responsible for cooling of the power supply subsystem are made according the hybrid technology, which allows to connect them to a liquid cooling system that will be useful during extreme overclocking.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

In the box you’ll find the most necessary accessories. Scope of supply includes:

  • User’s manual
  • Warranty description booklet
  • Driver and utility disc
  • 6 x SATA cables
  • 2 x 2-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge
  • 1 x 3-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge
  • 1 x 4-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge
  • 1 х module of wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interfaces
  • 1 x joint Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna
  • 1 х removable panel with two USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 х faceplate of interface panel

Design and features   

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

The product is made on matte black PCB of ATXB format (305 х 244 mm). Primary its design is attractive by a scarlet color of radiators of cooling system with perfectly matches with black color of the board. On the radiator we had found a logo with eye picture. In general, the appearance of the tested model can be written to its advantages.

Despite the large number of items, all of them are arranged optimal. DIMM-slots include a latch on one side. Due to this feature you won’t have problems with the replacement of memory with installed graphics card.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

The reverse side of the PCB is notable except has four mounting screws for cooling system radiator, as well as the standard support plate of CPU socket.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in sockets, four sockets for system fan, front panel leading-in socket (with color separation), switch between two chips responding for activation/ deactivation of DualBIOS mode. Also here are three sockets for activation of USB 2.0 ports. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: six are internal and two on the interface panel.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

The possibilities of organize a disk subsystem are presented by eight-SATA 6 GB/s ports and one SATA Express, which is compatible with two SATA 6 GB/ s. There is a support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10.

Actually all of these interfaces are implemented using the chipset. The only exception is four SATA 6 GB/s ports.

All interfaces are arranged parallel to the surface of the PCB, so even the longest expansion boards will not prevent the connection of drives.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

Upper right corner of the PCB is used for a number of very interesting elements which will be useful in case of usage the product as open bench for overclocking procedure. Here are: the power, reboot and CMOS buttons, LED indicator as well as points for voltage measuring on the key elements by multimeter.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

The system board has four DIMM-slots for memory modules of DDR3 standard. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. To implement the plates must be installed either in the first and third or second and fourth slots. Modules operating at frequencies from 800 to 1600 MHz in the nominal mode and up to 2933 MHz in overclocking mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity can reach 32 GB, which is sufficient for almost all tasks. Leading-in socket on a remote panel with USB 3.0 ports is also located on the right side of the PCB. Total number of USB 3.0 ports is eight: two internal and six on the interface panel.

Half of them operate through a set of system logic, while the other half is realized by the hub Renesas D720210 converting two remaining USB 3.0 chipset interfaces in four ports on the interface panel.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

Cooling system of the product includes four radiators, which are divided on the pairs and connected by heat pipe. The first group is hybrid and can be connected to liquid cooling system. The second pair is responsible for cooling of chipset and chip-switch PLX PEX 8747.

In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

• radiator for chipset cooling – 49.7°C;
• radiator for cooling of processor elements power – 38.3°C.

The received results are characterized as good.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

Processor power supply is performed via 8-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller IR 3580. The circuitry is made by high quality components such as: four solid capacitors and field-effect transistors with low channel resistance (Low RDS(on)) and chokes with ferrite cores. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding. Also here you can find additional PCI Express socket next to 24-pin power connector. It will be useful for building of strong graphics subsystem made from two or more graphics cards.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

To extend the functionality of GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK user has seven slots:

1. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 or x8 mode);

2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;

3. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8 mode);

4. PCI Express 2.0 x1;

5. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 or x8 mode);

6. PCI Express 2.0 x1;

7. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8 mode).

As you can see, the new product offers excellent opportunities for the organization of the graphics subsystem. Due to the support of PLX PEX 8747 chip-switch (converts 16 processor PCI Express 3.0 lines into 32) you can install up to four graphics cards in mode AMD CrossFireX or NVIDIA SLI. In this case the line will be distributed according the following schemes: х16 / х16 + х16 / х16 + х8 + х8 / х8 + х8 + х8 + х8.

The layout of the expansion slots allows you to easily install either four dual-slot graphics card, or two three-slot.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

If you decided to take advantage of the integrated graphics core, then you have three video outputs: HDMI, DVI-I and DisplayPort. The switching between them is realized by ASMedia ASM1442K and PTN3360DBS chips.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

Multi I/O capabilities are based on ITE IT8620E chip which controls the operation of the system fans, PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors. 

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

The problem with the lack of free chipset PCI Express 2.0 lines is solved using PLX PEX8605 chip-switch.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

Additional sixteen PCI Express 3.0 lines are implemented using PLX PEX 8747 chip-switch.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

The operation of four USB 3.0 ports on the interface panel is provided by Renesas D720210 hub.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK 

To support network connections there are two GB LAN-controller Intel WG1217V and Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201. The last has the set of hardware and software advantages to speed up the processing of gaming network traffic.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

The operation of four SATA 6 GB/s ports is realized by Marvell 88SE9172controller.

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK

The audio subsystem is based on the HDA-codec 5.1-channel sound Creative Sound Core3D. In this case we are not talking about “ordinary preset codec” but about considered design of the entire audio subsystem, each element of which is focused on achieving maximum efficiency. It includes special audio capacitors produced by Nichicon Texas Instruments OPA2134 company. According to the manufacturer's specifications, it has a neutral sounding for all genres of music. It is also possible easily replace it by more suitable one.

There is a presence of a protective gilded housing used for shielding of audio codec. Fans of modding will appreciate the screening the PCB audio subsystem by a metal strip with LED-lightning.


Социальные комментарии Cackle
Site Search
facebook vk YouTube
google+ twitter rss
top10

vote

Голосование