It is believed that the top-end motherboards from leading brands created only to strengthen the image. We hasten to deny – some of them are also very nice to use.
As you may have guessed, today we will focus on the motherboard GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK. During its development in the GIGABYTE tried to combine the product as much as possible interesting pieces that can catch not only avid gamers, but also fastidious overclocker.
For it was enough to give the target audience the freedom in the choice of high-performance components and their quantities. Judge for yourself: not on each card can hold up to four graphics cards and up to ten drives.
This is not in any way would not help the board to get a place in the market, if not a great opportunity to further increase performance by overclocking. Here our guest speaks on equal terms with many “pure overclocking” models, offering a complete set of tools for configuring, monitoring and diagnostics.
In addition, the audio path is available to users from Creative, which used only the highest quality “audiophile” components. If the character of the sound someone to go overboard, there is the possibility of replacing the operational amplifier. For other details, please proceed further.
Specifications of Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK
|GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK|
|Processor||Processors Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
by LGA1150 (fourth, updated fourth and fifth-generation microarchitecture Core)
|Chipset||Intel Z97 Express|
|Memory Subsystem||4 x DIMM DDR3 (non-ECC) unbuffered memory up to 32 GB;
support 1600/1333/1066 MHz;
support XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) 1.3 / 1.2
|Graphical interface||The integrated graphics processor core is able to use the ports HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort.
Supports resolutions up to and including 4K2K
|Audio||5.1-channel HD-Codec with Content Protection (Creative Sound Core3D);
support of all the technologies available Sound Blaster Recon3D;
exchange operational amplifier (set TI Burr Brown OPA2134)
|Network interface||Network controller Gigabit LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit):
1 x I217V (Intel);
1 x Killer E2201 (Qualcomm Atheros)
|Connectors for expansion boards||Slot 2 x PCI Express x16, mode x16 / x8, Gen 3;
Slot 2 x PCI Express x16, operation x8, Gen 3 (PCIE4);
X 3 slot PCI Express x1, operation x1, Gen 2
|Scalability of the video subsystem||AMD 4-Way / 3-Way / 2-Way CrossFireX;
NVIDIA 4-Way / 3-Way / 2-Way SLI
|Interfaces drives||Chipset Intel Z97 Express:
4 x SATA 3, the capacity of up to 6 Gbit / s;
1 x SATA Express, throughput up to 10 Gb / s (compatible with 2 x SATA3).
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug.
Controller Marvell 88SE9172 (two)
4 x SATA 3, the capacity of up to 6 Gbit / s.
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1,
|USB interface||Chipset Intel Z97 Express:
8 x USB 3.0 (6 on the back panel through a hub, 2 ports are connected to the appropriate connector on the system board);
8 x USB 2.0 (2 on the back panel, 6 ports are connected to the appropriate connector on the system board)
|Internal connectors and buttons on the system board||1 x plug USB 3.0 (2 ports);
3 x plug USB 2.0 (6 ports);
10 x SATA 3;
1 x SATA Express;
1 x audio connector on the front panel;
1 x plug buttons / LED housing;
2 x 4-pin connector for the CPU fan;
5 x 4-pin connectors for case fans;
1 x 24-pin ATX-connector;
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V;
1 x 15-pin video card power connector (SATA);
1 x jumper CLEAR CMOS;
Button 1 x Power;
1 x button Reset;
Button 1 x Clear CMOS;
2 x changeover gain headphones;
1 x switch BIOS SELECT;
1 x switch Dual BIOS (on / off)
|Connectors and buttons on the back panel||1 x PS / 2 port (combined);
Port 6 x USB 3.0;
Port 2 x USB 2.0;
Port 1 x HDMI;
Port 1 x DVI;
Port 1 x DisplayPort;
2 x RJ-45 port;
5 x 3,5 mm audio jack (3,5 mm minijack);
1 x optical output S / P-DIF-interface
I / O-controller
|IT8620E and IT8790E|
|BIOS||2 x 128 Mbps UEFI BIOS with graphical user interface (SD / HD / Full HD)|
|Proprietary features, technologies and features||Support for APP Center;
ON / OFF Charge;
Smart Recovery 2;
System Information Viewer;
Support for Q-Flash;
Support for Smart Switch;
Support for Xpress Install
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8.1 / 8/7|
|Form factor, dimensions (mm)||ATX, 305×244|
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Box of the motherboard, which is positioned as a game, is obliged to draw attention to himself. Someone uses a catchy graphics, someone bright colors, but in this case it was decided to make the design as closely as possible.
Huge, not afraid of this word, inscription BLACK EDITION takes up almost the entire front side, flooded entourage appropriate color. Enough after watching it, after a while you’ll notice that it is a payment from GIGABYTE, but not simple, but a series of G1 Gaming.
Did you even look at the mention of an additional 168-hour test of reliability, successful completion of which extends the warranty to an impressive five years.
A lot more to tell us the reverse side. In addition to the specifications, which is given to very tiny plaque on it to place the image of the board and the interface board, literally dotted with arrows that help to see a particular feature of the product.
The most important (from the point of view of the manufacturer) displayed in a separate column: there settled four points, reporting very, very characteristic features of a series of G1.
Left without a beautiful wrapper, GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK appears to us in a more rigorous cardboard box, the front side of which is covered with plastic.
To open a second account on the packaging, we can see the motherboard and is located underneath the package. About him we describe in detail very soon, but for now note that the board looks very nice – in the GIGABYTE found a middle ground between too much pretentiousness and completely useless in this category modesty.
The last line of defense becomes again a cardboard frame. As you can see, the heroine of this review are hidden behind three layers of protection. Reliably and safely – you can safely order online stores delivery.
The accessories mentioned just above, had accumulated enough. Without fail mandatory cap on the rear panel of the interface, this time a little emphasize: in our unique set of equipment (read – an engineering sample), they turned out just two: chrome – from WIFI-BK-version and matte – from the “usual” Gaming G1.
Paper and electronic component, too, can not specifically comment on. Much more interesting to see the three bridges to organize SLI-array (2-WAY, 3-WAY and 4-WAY) and one for CrossFireX.
More – more. What are, for example, eight lovely braided SATA-cables? Or plug into the bay with a pair of 3.5-inch USB 3.0? The latter, however, goes only to holders more expensive version Black Edition, along with the corresponding PCIe-in card, a USB 2.0 cable for internal needs and cute antenna on a stand. By board we arrived without a wireless module, so the pictures you will not see it.
It’s time for a careful study of the board. This time is difficult to know where to start, because of unusual enough. Throwing doubt, the starting point will make the number of full-height PCI Express – as many as four.
This causes the appearance of the bridge and the additional heatsink for it under the CPU socket, which is connected to the heat-conducting pipe chipset cooling system – the second notable features. The cooling system of the power converter, apparently, is not deprived of the opportunity to connect to the NWO – is also interesting.
In the lower left corner was isolated audio subsystem with gilded screen and bright green different-sized capacitors. Buttons, LEDs, switches, and pads for measuring find themselves only on closer examination, let alone the SATA-power connector on the right side and can not speak.
As you can easily make space for M.2 not find (thanks SATA Express is present), not to mention the good old PCI.
The reverse side of the board is not less remarkable. Again, start with the PCIe. A total of seven – no longer put a standard ATX. Two of them have sixteen lines, two of eight – looks promising. The remaining slots – typical representatives of the x1.
Unusually large number of mounting screws can be easily explained complex cooling system. Well insulated track empty PCB again mention: if you strongly look closely, you can see it distributed along the backlight LEDs.
Let’s go back to our regular program of inspection. The board has four slots DDR3, and latches are equipped with only one of the parties. It is not presented as some unique features (than usual deals ASUS), and is done in order to be able to easily change the memory module with built-in video card.
You remember that it takes the top slot? But under it, you can install three more. By the way, do blocks for units as on the boards already mentioned competitor, production LOTES, that is absolutely identical. Total support for up to 32 GB unbuffered memory at up to 1600MHz. Do not pay attention to this value – it is only a maximum certified platform. The board can make modules work much faster.
Right next to the slots are located so overclockers favorite buttons, LED POST-codes and the site for the measurement of stress. Large and comfortable power button is pressed very gently, without unpleasant clicks than once has to frequent use.
Besides its light indicates the power connected, which should save the system from the permutation of components “on the hot.” Two smaller buttons – blue and black Reset Clear CMOS – such tactile sensations do not give, but also to use them as an example have not less.
Lucky color of the “Reset”, reflecting the light of the power indicator light, makes it easy to find it in the dark. About the usefulness of the display that shows the error codes that can not speak. The only remark concerns the fact that after the operating system in any useful activity, he is not involved.
Finally, a platform for measuring voltages are in the center of small holes through which the test leads with the meter they do not slide off. For continuous monitoring will obviously have to fluster him, or are busy with both hands.
Expansion Slots on GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK enough for everyone. In addition to the four connectors PCIe x16, anticipated for the installation of video cards, the user can use three PCIe x1, if they are not blocked by cooling the graphics array.
The reader probably already asked yourself the question, is it necessary to four video platform LGA1150, has only sixteen lines PCI Express Gen. 3? Indeed, most motherboards are satisfied with a pair of slots x8, flaunting beautiful inscriptions Quad-GPU SLI or CrossFireX in their specifications.
It is easy to guess that they are obtained only by the use of rare and excessively expensive dual-GPU graphics cards. In this case, engineers have used the help PEX8747 chip from PLX, “converting” 16 physical lines in 32 logical.
Such configurations are rare in the market, partly due to lack of demand, partly because of the high cost of said multiplexer. But the fact remains: GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK allows you to split the bandwidth between the video card does not once and for all, leaving each with a quarter of the channel, and is very flexible, depending on the needs of each.
More precisely, we need two pairs of graphics cards. Of course, in the worst case peak load we get the same four lines on the adapter, and even seasoned delay introduced PEX8747, but it seems to us that the game is worth the candle.
Note that switches ASMedia ASM1480 eight pieces – four on each pair of x16 / x8-slots. If you have two video cards, they remain uncommitted, but when a third or fourth line is increasingly divided between neighboring accelerators.
To the user it clearer how to allocate available bandwidth, the instruction gives a very visual flowchart.
The use of multiple graphics cards imposes certain restrictions. In this case they are in need for an external power connector OC-PEG, located directly below the terminal block 24-ATX. It’s nice that it is necessary to connect to the most ordinary power cable SATA, and not out of date Molex.
Surely seen between slots PEX8605 chip from all of the same company PLX, you could peek in the block diagram, provides performance “short” PCIe-slots.
The disk subsystem of the motherboard does not seem too “bottleneck.” In the extreme case, you can connect up to ten drives with interface SATA 3. Six connectors provided by the chipset Z97 Express, so that they can form RAID levels 0/1/5/10.
Of course, have not gone away, and proprietary technologies Intel: Rapid Start, Smart Response. Two ports in combination are part of the connector SATA Express, so that the use of fast SSD with the appropriate interface will reduce the total number of supported drives to nine.
Ports not only directed parallel to the board, which eliminates the possibility of a conflict with the video card, but also numbered from the corner. Perfectionists will be satisfied.
Another four port added by means of chip Marvell 88SE9172. For couples drives connected to these controllers, the possibility of RAID levels 0 and 1
USB 3.0 port on the motherboard is not that much, but enough. On the back cover removed six pieces, two more can be obtained by connecting to the terminal on the board. Additional controllers will not, a pair of “extra” ports obtained using chip-hub uPD720210 from Renesas.
Older USB 2.0 in a ready to use on the board, only two, but they are quite uncommon. It consists in the fact that they are connected to high-voltage supply, which virtually eliminates noise and ripple. Feel where this is going?
GIGABYTE called these ports DAC-UP and strongly recommends them for external digital-to-analog converters with an appropriate interface. Even as many as six (already usual) connectors can be obtained from the relevant conclusions on the board.
RJ-45 port on the card is detected two, therefore, network adapters as well. Neighbor to the slot for graphics card interface manages the widely known in computer related circles Killer E2201 solution from Qualcomm Atheros.
Firstly, it’s just one of the fastest network controllers on the market. Secondly, to him comes bundled with a utility that allows you to flexibly configure traffic prioritization to your taste. A second network interface served by chip I217V from Intel, which is also about the recall only the good: excellent performance and high reliability.
Very interesting GIGABYTE engineers were received with reservation system BIOS. Underlying all is based on two 128-megabit chip production 25L12873F Macronics. Looking ahead, let’s say that this level is used not by chance that the place is not wasted.
Using the switch located on the bottom of the board, an active chip can be selected manually. Far away from each of them is a LED to let you know what kind of chip is used at the moment. Another selector includes a time-tested technology Dual BIOS, which automatically restores the firmware image from the second chip in the event of a failure.
As part of the sound GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK also caused a stir, because on it uses a proprietary development company – AMP-UP. Debuting last year with the motherboard on which the user is allowed to replace the op-amp, GIGABYTE will continue to use this successful idea.
By default, the board comes TI Burr Brown (OPA2134), however, if desired, the user can replace it with any compatible, get the color of sound, which is like to him. Moreover, there is even a set with a selection of the OS from the manufacturer.
All these tricks would be lost in vain, if some other unit of the sound channel was weak, but the engineers tried to incorporate all. Began, as usual, with the isolation of high-frequency interference.
This will not surprise anyone, as well as the diversity of tracks left and right channel in different layers of the board.
Similar considerations of the path that goes up to the sound (gold-plated, by the way) connectors, the maximum was reduced: the analog signal is required to pass at least fifteen centimeters. On his way he meets only Japanese quality “audiophile” (the page on the board, the manufacturer refers not only to the gamers, but also to audiophiles) capacitors production Nichicon.
The codec itself, the role of which went to Sound Core3D from Creative, is a dedicated audio processor of four cores covered with electromagnetic protection with gold plating. Supplied SBX Pro Studio Audio Suite allows you to fully discover its potential on the part of the supported audio effects and “betterizers.”
Finally, the owners will be delighted vysokoimpendansnyh headphones that specifically for them on the board put the two switches, allowing you to select the gain between the notional value – 2.5 and 6 times. Signal / noise ratio is stated at 115 dB. Note that all above mentioned true for the primary audio output on the rear panel.
For ease of reading, all the things that we so carefully described the words found in the presentation of this wonderful picture with the personal pages of the board.
And just like that, thanks to the numerous LEDs on the back of the PCB, things in the dark. Technologically and stylish.
The duo chipset IT8620E and IT8790E from ITE provides control functions voltage, temperature and rotation speed control of all connected to the motherboard fans. For this is available for seven four-contact pads: five for system fans and steam under a CPU cooling system.
Unusual, that one of these connectors is claimed to be designed to connect specifically to pump CBO: asked him full speed and not worry about overheating. Little marketing never hurt, right then? Not forgotten and the combined PS / 2 port.
A set of interfaces on the rear panel contains the most common connectors: combination PS / 2 and two USB 2.0 (DAC-UP); DisplayPort and DVI; HDMI and two USB 3.0; RJ-45 (i217V) and even USB 3.0; RJ-45 (Killer E2201) and another pair of USB 3.0; optical audio output, and five 3.5-mm minijack.
On that critical the audio and video are covered with a layer of gold, a lot of talk will not. We restrict ourselves to mention the fact that it extends their lives and improves the contact.
The user can expand the communication capabilities of the board, connected to the internal terminals are located along the bottom side of the board. In this case, the AAFP, three USB 2.0 blocks in a row and multi-colored comb control buttons and indicators of the housing. USB 3.0 internal connector was found between the memory slots and additional power connectors for video cards OC-PEG.
For the work of graphic interfaces meet once two chips: well known to us from ASM1442K ASMedia and PTN3360DBS production NXP Semiconductors.
The power converter of the processor is configured to vosmifaznoy scheme. Extra power is supplied via a standard for this level of Eight-board connector EATX12V.
Manage link helpful PWM controller IR3580 from International Rectifier, which supports up to eight phases.
Behind him are four driver IR3598. It is not known whether they are configured to operate independently or simply double phase. Given the support PWM controller for all eight phases would like to believe in the autonomy of each.
Finally, as the power of the act pair PowerPAK MOSFET SiRA12DP manufacture Vishay Siliconix. They are designed for currents up to 25 A at an operating temperature up to 125 degrees Celsius. Data on their effectiveness is not found, but a low resistance path in the open state suggests that it will be at least decent.
The power subsystem memory controlled multiphase PWM controller IR3570A, followed by the familiar driver IR3598. A second difference from the CPU VRM is to use transistors SiRA18DP, operating currents up to 20 A. Presumably, implemented two full phase.
Cooling system board consists of two pairs of radiators. Those that are smaller, connected thermally conductive tube and the need to remove heat from the chipset and chip PEX8747. In fact, it appears that both the radiator used to cool the latter – too ardent in his temper.
Larger bunch though looks like heat pipes connected, is a variation on the waterblock.
In order to consider the radiators better, remove them from the board. Such a possibility is we get immediately after the spring-loaded screws to unscrew ten. A bunch of chip-multiplexer had only 130 grams of weight, while on the VRM area set aside as much as 370 grams of metal.
For more reliable contact with the heat sources in the GIGABYTE used three types of thermal interfaces: unrecognized thermal grease for PEX8747, slightly different to the consistency of thermal grease for Z97 Express and standard thick thermal pads (picture not shown) for the power components of the power converter.
Thermal pads have been removed to show the interesting design radiator VRM. It is clear that the traditional water-block such a decision can not be, so it was decided to resort to partial disassembly.
Once we have twisted a few screws before us is the following picture. It turns out that within the radiator laid hollow tube of small cross section, which is using the flow-through of water and close contact with the metal “plates” should improve the heat dissipation. It is very easy to manufacture and to the best of elegant solution will help relieve excess temperature, but definitely lose the full waterblock with “a rich inner world.” Curious, but here we will have a fourth embodiment of the thermal interface.
|Mode||Temperature, ° C|
|Near-socket space||Large radiator VRM||Small VRM heatsink||Radiator Z97 Express||Radiator PEX8747|
In order to know how well the radiators to cope with the heat load was conducted stress testing VRM. The measurement results using an infrared thermometer (at ambient temperature ~ 27 ° C) given in the table above.
We distinguish two main points. When non-extreme overclock (4.3 GHz, 1.2 volts) VRM temperature is in a very comfortable range, that is his personal cooling system to cope with this task perfectly. Associated with one chain radiators chipset and multiplexer shown themselves a little worse: PEX8747 warms both heat exchangers, simultaneously increasing the temperature of the chipset.
You will notice how the testimony PCH Temperature, studying screenshots BIOS, so do not be surprised so atypical for Z97 figures. Potential owner should be aware that without a discrete graphics card heating PEX8747 not reduced.
However, it does not matter, because to buy a motherboard with the four full-length PCI Express, to stay on the integrated graphics, at least strange. It is worth mentioning that the tests were carried out on an open test bench without additional cooling: in the grave for hardware (without active cooling system) mode.
Firmware are on two independent 128-megabit chips Macronics 25L12873F. Screenshots of the interface have been removed in the latest available at the time of testing version F6 May 29, 2014. Settings previously been reset to the default. In some places, for clarity, is set to anything else.
When the system is started the user sees and logos GIGABYTE Ultra Durable. At the bottom of the screen is a list of keys, responsible for the launch of a particular function.
Thus, for example, looks very fast available information about the system.
We will not linger long on the old firmware version and update to a date using the Q-Flash. For this we need an external hard drive and, of course, the firmware file. It is possible to save an image directly from the chip.
Upgrading to a new version is very fast and easy. Algorithm reduces to just a few keystrokes: select a file, confirmed, received result. Power problems should not be afraid – Dual BIOS stands guard your peace of mind. If you for some reason, it occurred to disable this technology, the second chip with intact BIOS image will be a great insurance for a similar case.
Now that the UEFI BIOS updated successfully, you can start a full familiarity with its capabilities. The first time (more precisely, each time after the procedure Clear CMOS) member will greet greeting screen asking you to select the language interface.
Once you have selected the last you will be presented the so-called mode STARTUP GUIDE.
It allows you to configure the most commonly required functions without sinking into a sea of options. Small elements on either side of the main grid allow you to jump in Smart Tweak Mode (left) or Classic Mode (right). Felt a gradual shift towards support for touch input.
Total there are three types of interface, and with the permission of choice – even four. Choose the one that will be active immediately when you enter the BIOS, one can here, with only one caveat: if you reset, whether the choice of Load Optimized Defaults or press the physical button CMOS_SW, the procedure should be repeated.
Even the configuration profiles will not help – the information in them is simply not contained. Switch between modes is always possible by pressing F2.
Mode 1024×768 Smart Tweak does not look very interesting, but it just had to be present for compatibility with older monitors. Resolution can be switched to the right and Shortcuts in the fully repeating its menu, accessible by right-clicking.
We are nearing the end of 2014, in which even the screens of smartphones got permission QHD, so the main work will most likely be made in the mode of Smart Tweak HD. The first glance at the interface shows the advantages of using the resolution 1920×1080 – all the most important information is always on the mind for it given four panels around the main zone settings.
There are two kinds of interface, optimized for 1600 and 1280 pixels horizontally, but they will not be considered. You can also select a section and a tab that will open when entering the BIOS.
Note that when you first enter the Smart Tweak Mode, try to activate the card Smart Tweak HD and ask the user whether to keep a high resolution. After a few seconds, if the output device does not support high-definition signal (or if you do not have time to agree with such a tempting offer), the interface returns to normal mode.
In addition to the optimization for different resolutions, programmers and added support for themes. Looking around for a couple of years ago, you wonder how far they have come in this direction. “Out of the box” are four color schemes: Lava (the default), Obsidian, Nebula and Spacecraft. Option Select file clearly indicates that the list is not final.
In the vision, GIGABYTE CPU and memory frequencies are set in different locations. We have nothing criminal in that it does not appear that the more often on the unstudied “hardware” acceleration is performed separately.
It offers the user full three zone tips: directly below the list of values in the mouse to move around the auxiliary panel (in the screenshots, it is located in two places to the right of the list) and the ticker at the bottom of the screen.
It is necessary to say a few words about the work with the mouse. Firstly, when taking screenshots cursor disappears – just like in real desktop OS. Secondly, the mouse enabled a whole – pointer moves smoothly and without delay, present context (custom) menu “right button” and displays hints on that list you can scroll wheel.
At the moment, it is by far the best implementation of the work with this type of manipulator seen by the author of this material.
While you’re far away from this screen, and demonstrate local Help. From this small on the list view you can see that the keyboard is used no less active than the mouse. And that’s not counting the direct input of values in many fields: any non-numeric character will return to Auto, and the input will select a number of the closest value. Plus and minus keys traditionally change the selected value by the amount of the tick.
More keypad reveals itself in the search bar that is available when you click on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner. This feature not only searches among all the options and information fields, but also allows you to change on the fly and apply the settings.
It is realized with the help of small switches on / off to the right of some menu items. Activating this switch will allow the immediate, here and now, without rebooting and expectations apply the selected parameter value – worth just click Apply at the bottom of the window.
Of course, this is also true for multiple marked items. In our view, it is not only a great help in overclocking, but also a perfect example of what can modern UEFI BIOS.
Acceleration can be achieved without extensive knowledge in this area. Performance Upgrade will increase the frequency of the CPU and increase memory performance and CPU Upgrade, obviously, make a suggestion only processor. Both of these options will be more fully considered by us in the “Overclocking and stability.”
Grouping sections performed very well (let alone the ability to create their own set, but not one at all is truly remarkable, but a little later). In the Memory tab, you can select memory multiplier in the range from 8 to 29.33.
You can set even higher frequencies, if we use the built-in memory for overclocking profiles.
The lack of controlled timings complain too is not necessary.
Voltage section offers us complete control over all voltages and logic of VRM. The table below shows the voltage available to change the values and ranges of adjustment.
|Voltage||Minimum value, V
||Maximum value, V
|CPU VRIN External Override||1,000||2,400||0.01|
|CPU Graphics Voltage (VAXG)||0,500||1,800||0,001|
|CPU Ring Voltage||0,800||1,800||0,001|
|CPU System Agent Voltage||-0.300||0.400||0,001|
|CPU Analog I / O Voltage (offset)||-0.300||0.400||0,001|
|CPU Digital I / O Voltage (offset)||-0.300||0.400||0,001|
To activate the Offset parameter CPU Vcore should be set to the value of Normal – not immediately guess. Selecting it, the user can add to the original Vcore voltage to 400 mV or take away from it to 300 mV.
Category Miscellaneous, as usual, contains items not found refuge in other places. His second tab, PC Health Status, as if ignoring common sense, no information on the components does not show. But it is possible to set the fan speed. By the way, at a resolution of 1024×768 here there are two nodes that contain information about the CPU and RAM (due to the fact that the side panel information available).
Section Home can truly be considered the most interesting: it consists of tabs, which can be assembled completely any menu items. To show the user the flexibility to customize in advance GIGABYTE accounted for two and the Performance Standard.
You can leave them as is, modify, or use one of the empty “blanks.” We just need to click Setup, and then in the interface, which consists of multiple columns, select everything you need. Fortunately, users can not only items removed and added (like you know who), but also to change their order. Opportunity to give a convenient tab name in this context is perceived as self-evident.
As a result of simple operations get exactly what they wanted. Note that the ability to instantly apply your changes and remain here.
Nearly as flexible, you can change the menu Shortcuts, taking into account that the number of elements is limited and less opportunities: a few simple actions and the transition to a specific page.
Agree that without the possibility of conservation profiles, all these “bells and whistles” would have been no need. Thinking the same way in the GIGABYTE added menu available anywhere Save Profiles, containing eight cells to store, you can define your own names. If that is not enough, you can use any external media. To access this menu, just press F3, as you will be constantly reminded running across the bottom row.
Loading of saved profiles assigned to the related menu Load Profiles, available at F4. In addition to his own saved configurations, can also benefit from the cells containing the previous settings, indicating the number of successful launches. Convenient.
Today, the trend is the word. Once the data are stored on the external drive, it is logical that there is a similar opportunity for them to download. This will help the user to compact the file manager.
Take a moment to “classic” mode, unjustly abandoned behind.
Time seems to stand still here. It would seem, most recently at the site ST Mode button located 3D BIOS, sockets had more legs, and solder processors under the hood … wait, what are we? Ah, yes. Here nothing has changed.
You can verify this, glancing at the screenshots. Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker contains all the necessary tools to improve performance.
Help maintain the stability of correction of stresses.
A good old PC Health Status, in contrast to analogue – Smart Tweak, show voltage, temperature and fan speed.
Screenshot of the other sections are for guidance only.
A little less effort to transfer Smart Tweak Mode – labels do not always fit as a whole, in addition there are small flaws.
The same can be said about the Classic Mode. Overall, however, the localization is successful, and if you are not comfortable using the English version of the interface, the translation can be very useful.
To work with a proprietary utility EasyTune we need to install at least brand GIGABYTE APP Center. Immediately accentuate your attention to the option Auto BIOS Language: if you do not want to reboot after each language UEFI BIOS switched to the system, be sure to remove her “tick.”
Freshly installed EasyTune meets us pretty Metro-like interface. Her initial screen offers several options to improve the performance, automatic acceleration and power save mode. Each of them will be discussed in the next section.
Advanced CPU OC, as the name implies, allows you to change the CPU multiplier and voltage (including RAM and chipset) without rebooting. If you change the Host BCLK to any value fee will require a restart of the system.
The user in a single click, you have two profiles, as well as support for saving and loading the add on an external drive.
Advanced DDR OC turned out more information: You can not change the timings (restrictions platform), and the choice of a frequency memory (the value specified here properly be called a factor) would entail an urgent request to reboot.
Section 3D Power allows flexible control of the adjustable CPU power.
We’ll pay some attention to our minor utilities. Supplied with the AC adapter program Killer Network Manager when you first start was asked to evaluate the speed of the Internet, to build on these data, a qualitative exercise its functions to prioritize the game (and not) traffic.
It is safe to give it at the mercy of automation, but no one stops to make adjustments manually.
In addition, you can view the current status of the connection and its various parameters: the distribution of traffic applications, the speed of downloading and uploading.
The audio subsystem is represented by AMP-UP, based on the solution from Creative, comes complete with a brand utility SBX PRO STUDIO.
Players can be useful Scout Mode, which helps to better hear the approaching opponents. To enable or disable this feature is the ability to assign your own keyboard shortcuts.
The other options are useful to fine-tune the sound to fans “for themselves.”
This result can be saved as a profile and exported to a file, to use it in the future.
Overclocking and stability
Overclocking can be done from the UEFI BIOS (with no extra reboots) and the operating system – with the proprietary utility EasyTune (only factor). Conditions for the same motherboard: Vcore is fixed at a value of 1.35 V, and CPU Input Voltage exceeds the 0.5 volts.
The only thing that all previous subjects were able to adjust the BCLK in Windows, which gave them a little, but the advantage. GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK, in turn, had to boot up at the same frequency.
With the standard value Strap on board managed to get BCLK 113,5 MHz. To the result shown ASUS Maximus Formula VII , it has not held only 2.5 MHz.
When the factor of 1.25 the maximum bus frequency 142.4 MHz was incomplete. Having established Strap greater than one, you notice that the BCLK now really is obtained as the product of frequency and multiplier. Everything seems to be logical, but immediately put the desired frequency is not: it is necessary or pre-calculate the required value, or look at the results change when entering new values.
In the third test charge us frankly surprised successfully starting after each increase BCLK. The result was significantly better than all previous test showed – 189.4 MHz with Strap 1,66. Unconditional first place in the ranking.
Once again, please note that due to limitations imposed by EasyTune, frequency exhibited not in Windows, but directly in the UEFI BIOS.
After this no more surprising that the GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK was the second board, won the multiplier 49 at constant Vcore.
This prompted us to carry out an additional test (as in the case of the ASRock Z97 Extreme6) at a voltage of 1.5 volts and a factor of 50, which (because that’s a surprise!) also completed successfully. Recall that the last two results show only a hypothetical possibility to work at high frequency and in any case are not designed for continuous use. In other words, both of these boards can do what others can not do.
Assessing the capabilities of the board, so to speak, with his own hands, trust in automation.
By default, the board will run the processor at its maximum turbomnozhitelem that gives the frequency of 3.9 GHz, is not reduced even in multi-threaded load.
Nevertheless, the first order of “predefined” worth mode Light, which can be found on the main screen EasyTune. After activation need to reboot the system, and the result would be the frequency of ~ 4100 MHz (and this is shown in the right top corner of the “tiles”). Memory frequency remains unchanged, and this observation is valid for all other profiles.
Middle Mode upconverts another CPU 200 MHz, but with this must increase the voltage at 200 mV, which causes overheating and throttling.
Selecting the “extreme” profile adds the next 200 MHz, bringing the CPU frequency to 4.5 GHz magnitude. Voltage remains the same, but Antek Kuhler 620, unable to cope with the 1.3 volts at 4300 MHz on the new frequency, and does not stand a chance of success. With a more efficient heat sink Extreme mode has the right to life.
Despite the fact that all the tiles look exactly the same, only the activation of Energy Saving does not require a reboot. But to return from an energy-efficient mode without it anymore.
The last menu item brings up a AutoTune. Unfortunately, she was not able to correctly change the frequency of the processor without restarting and stress tests “blindly”.
Let’s go back to intermediate between the acceleration in Windows and manual overclocking means UEFI BIOS – options to improve performance.
The first three profiles, referred to only as i7-4770K CPU 4.3GHz / 4.4GHz / 4.5GHz, are the same behavior EasyTune – even the voltage shall be exactly the same. Added only one “even” frequency 4400 MHz.
When you activate the profile i7-4770K CPU 4.6GHz comes another increase Vcore. New value – 1.36 volts. With our cooling system there is nothing to catch. Switching i7-4770K CPU 4.7GHz added another 100 MHz to the frequency, the voltage no longer changed.
Remember that all of these modes are selected in the menu, which was called CPU Upgrade?
And the fact that it has an extended version, called Performance Upgrade? So, 20% Upgrade corresponds i7-4770K CPU 4.3GHz, and 100% Upgrade – i7-4770K CPU 4.7GHz, with the only difference being that undergoes acceleration and memory.
The first two modes (20 and 40%) are satisfied with a frequency of 1600 MHz, which is much nicer than the 1333. On the first picture you can see the stress tests, which, unfortunately, lead to the inevitable throttling.
When selecting a 60% Upgrade motherboard recalls that the memory has XMP profile and then activate it. I wonder what will happen to us next?
Increase of 80% as well as i7-4770K CPU 4.6GHz, Vcore leads to the value of 1.36 volts. It’s getting hot, it’s super-cooler area, and not compact NWO.
Unfortunately, the screenshot for 100% Upgrade will not – instead we can only show it. Probably, the board does something incredible memory, because it is known that at a frequency of 4700 MHz processor system starts successfully.
|Method of measurement||Vcore voltage at a frequency, V
|4.3 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.6 GHz||4.7 GHz|
Will make a bit of clarity on the values obtained for Vcore. CPUz slightly underestimates the actual reading, so make the table corresponds to the voltage and frequency. As can be seen, the actual voltage are displayed above, so for continuous operation even with good cooling is better to restrict the frequency of 4.5 GHz or set a lower voltage independently.
It’s time to load the power supply system of the motherboard to see how she copes with the power of the overclocked CPU. The frequency of the CPU at the same time is set to 4300 MHz (43×100). Vcore voltage is 1.2 V, and the CPU VRIN – 1,7 V. The presence of voltage measurement points will allow us to see what will happen to the two voltages.
The measurements will be carried out in idle moments and the load created by the test LinX 0.6.4. Size of the problem is limited to the amount of RAM in the numerical representation is close to the value of 10 000 Values in Hard lines obtained with a multimeter, readings were taken from Soft utility HWiNFO64 (4.44-2300).
Immediately, we note that at a voltage Vcore 1,233 In, CPUz displayed the 1,198 volts. HWiNFO64 choice due to the possibility of simultaneous monitoring CPU VRIN.
|Measure the voltage at the output VRM motherboard (CPU VRIN)|
|LLC Level||Full Auto||Normal||Standard||Low||Medium||High||Turbo||Extreme|
|Measure the voltage at the output iVR CPU (Vcore)|
|LLC Level||Full Auto||Normal||Standard||Low||Medium||High||Turbo||Extreme|
It’s time for comments. First, regardless of the setting of energy saving, easy to Vcore falls below a preset level. Secondly, the Auto mode is the same for the obtained values with the regime Standard. Thirdly, the most preferred is the selection level High, as a simple delta stress and load in this case tends to zero.
The power converter of RAM coped with the task to “excellent.” When installed in the BIOS 1,57 volt meter showed 1,584 volts in a simple and 1,589 volts per load. Consider this slight overstatement. HWiNFO64 in both cases displayed the 1,572 V.
Bus frequency defaults to 100 MHz exactly. For testing on an equal footing factor was forcibly limited to values of 35 and 44 measurements of performance occurred after the installation of the firmware (APP center, EasyTune, SBX Pro Studio and Killer Network Manager), which could have an impact on the final results.
The equipment used during the tests is presented in the table below.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4770K (LGA 1150 3.5GHz; Haswell).|
|CPU cooler||Antek Kuhler 620 @ Arctic Cooling MX-4.|
|Memory||2 x 1024 MB DDR3 Apacer @ 1600MHz / 8-8-8-24 1T.|
|Graphics Card||ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU (ATI Radeon HD 5850, 1024MB; PCI-e x16; driver version 12.10).|
|Disk Subsystem||Crucial RealSSD C300 (64GB).|
|Power Supply||CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold (600 W, RS-600-80-GA-D3).|
|OS||Windows 8 Pro x64.|
Synthetic test results
Tests of application software
Versions and program settings used during the test (unless otherwise indicated on the graph):
- AIDA64 – v3.00.2500.
- Fritz Chess Benchmark – v220.127.116.11.
- Far Cry 2 – v0.1.0.1, Ranch Small, 1024 x 768, Default.
- World in Conflict – v1.0, 1024×768, Medium.
- Resident Evil 5 Demo – v18.104.22.168, 1024 x 768, DX10.
- X3 Demo, v22.214.171.124 – Default.
Once again, we get confirmation that the test results within the platform range rather weak.
The material turned out impressive, but even he could not contain all features of this board GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK. The same situation is with the conclusion – it does not turn out to describe and a small part of the positive sides of the board, but we will try.
GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK is definitely right for you if you want to get the maximum performance from the platform LGA1150, using a bunch of the latest graphics cards, overclocked processor and fast memory, not paying attention to the budget.
A nice addition is the ability to connect up to ten drives, the presence of two fast Ethernet controllers, great audio solution from Creative and researched UEFI BIOS with indecent features.
Paying a 50 dollars less, you can purchase a “normal” GA-Z97X-Gaming G1, but have to sacrifice the ability to connect to the CBO, very fast wireless adapter (802.11 ac + Bluetooth 4.0) and extended up to five years warranty. Is it worth all this fun $ 350? Decide, ultimately, you.
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