Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK Board Review
With every new chipset launch we see couple of motherboards standing apart from rest of the crowd; in terms of features, innovation, and performance. Gigabyte's Ultra durable Z97x-GAMING G1-WIFI Black Edition board is one of such board. Based on the Intel Z97 Express chipset , with more conservative heatsinks with Custom Water-Cooling support, better multi-GPU capabilities, and true overclocking features, one can safely assume that the Gaming G1 WIFI-BK resembles an OC board just as much as a pure gaming board.
Package - Inside the box
Looking at the front of the box, we see gigabyte logo with Ultra durable and Black Edition graphics and motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that Gigabyte goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard. Opening the box gives a glimpse of the actual product.
Moving into the bundle, we've actually got a fair bit included. Since the Gigabyte Z97x-GAMING G1-WIFI is capable of 4 way SLI, Gigabyte has provided nearly all the options available for SLI but only 1 Crossfire bridge alongside a front 3.5 bay USB 3.0 Connector, PCI-e Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band card with antennas , rear I/O, SATA cables, drive disk, manual and last a Certificate of Unmatched Stability and Reliability indicating that the board has passed an extra 168 hours of stress testing. Cool.
Board is a solid build in a black and red colour theme.
- Extended server level 168 hour durability Test
- Supports 4th and 5th Generation IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢ processors
- Onboard Creative Sound Core3Dâ„¢ quad-core audio processor
- AMP-UP Audio technology with exclusive Upgradable OP-AMP
- Audio Noise Guard with LED path lighting
- Dual DAC-UP USB ports
- Gold plated display and audio ports
- High end Nichicon audio capacitors
- Killerâ„¢ E2200 and Intel gaming networking
- Bluetooth 4.0+867Mbps 11AC dual band WIFI card
- Extreme gaming 4-way graphics support
- SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
- Water block thermal design with G1/4 threaded fittings
- Long lifespan Durable Black Solid caps
- APP Center including EasyTuneâ„¢ and Cloud Stationâ„¢ utilities
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOSâ„¢
Detailed layout of the board
1. Intel LGA 1150 socket, supporting current 4th generation and 5th generation CPU.
2. 4 x DIMM slots supporting maximum 32GB of 1600/1333MHz DDR3 or up to 3200(O.C.) DDR3 memory.
3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)
4. ATX CPU Power Connector (8-pin ATX12V).
5. Back Panel Connectors : 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 1 x DVI-I port, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI port, 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 2 x RJ-45 ports, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
6. 7. 11. 13.1 x CPU Fan, 1 x CPU OPT Fan and 5 x System Fan Connectors.
8. USB 3 Port.
9. 1 x SATA Express connector, 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
10. System Front panel Connector
12. 3x USB 2.0 Connectors
14. Front panel Audio connector
15. Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1~2) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1~2) * The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated. (All PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots (The PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
Removing Heat sinks
Heatsinks are made up of dense aluminum with big heat pipe, at both end we have G1/4 fittings for custom water cooling solution. Heatsinks base is having thermal pad installed, giving great passive / WC cooling to VRM MOSFETs.
Let's now see what all components Gigabyte have planned for this board.
1. 2.CPU voltage regulator circuit has high end 10K Durable Black solid capacitors. IR3580 is IR (International Rectifier) 8-phase single output PWM Controller IC, controlling Vishay SiRA12DP MOSFETS (each package limited to 25A . It's a 4-phase x 2 VRM where IR3598 is being used as a doublers IC.
3. 2-Phase digital memory power supply section. IR 3570A is IR (International Rectifier) Dual output 4+1 and 3+2 phase PWM Controllers.
4. . Asmedia ASM 1442K chip managing output display ports.
5. The NXP Semiconductors PTN3360D HDMI / DVI level shifter s
6. Renesas Electronics YET-D720210-0004 Usb 3.0 4-Port Hub Chip.
7. The PLX PEX8747 chip is a PCI-e 3.0 48 lane /5 port PCI-E switch
8. Intel Z97 Express Chipset.
9. 10. Two Marvell 88SE9172-NNX2 controllers provide the additional SATA 6 Gb/s connectivity
11. ITE IT8620e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.
12. Fan control and monitoring is performed via ITE IT8790E the system controller.
13. PLX PEX 8605 device offers 4 PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) lanes, which supports up to four ports switch Chip
14. ASMedia ASM1480 are PCI-E 3.0 switcher which switch 2 lanes a piece and can provide 8x PCI-E 3.0 to the second 16x(8x real) slot.
15. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS
16. 18.Gigabyte Z97x-GAMING G1-WIFI-BK AMP-UP Audio is powered by Creative CA0132 Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor (under the EMI shield) , 4 channel 24-bit 101db ADC, 6 channel 24-bit 102db DACs, and headphone amp in a 56 pin package.
A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. Audio section is having high end Nichicon MUSE ES Audio Capacitors for audio filtration. In addition Gigabyte used one Upgradable OPA2134PA Op-amp with Gain boost selector switches for rear audio amplification and customization base on individual listening preferences. So listening under Stereo mode produces high audio quality with excellent dynamic range.
RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing Gigabyte Z97x-GAMING G1-WIFI-BK AMP-UP High Definition audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card.
RMAA Asus Xonar DX
17. Qualcomm Killer E2201 is a more integrated E2200 NPU. Providing the NPU, the PHY and all the other components in one 40-pin IC, a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and online media performance compared to standard solutions.
19. Intel i217v one Gigabit Ethernet controller chip.
20. The ICS 9DB633 is a PCI-E 3.0 six output differential buffer, clock generator. (most likely for PLX8747 chip)
21. Gigabyte Z97X-GAMING G1 WIFI-BK has some measurement points in an easily reachable location, with all critical lines available via a multi-meter. RESET, POWER, and Clear CMOS buttons with a dual-digit POST display for overclocking functionality.
Test system configuration - Intel i7-4790K, 2 x 4GB ADATA XPG V3 DDR3 PC3-23400 (2933MHz) RAM, Corsair H100i cooler, Samsung 830 SSD 256GB, Corsair RM1000 PSU, Asus HD-7750, Asus Xonar DX Sond Card, WD 1TB Green, HP DVD RW Drive.
Overclocking on Gigabyte Z97X-GAMING G1 WIFI-BK was very easy. Auto tuning feature of Gigabyte's EasyTune application took Intel i7-4790K from stock 4GHz to 4.4Ghz easy.
Further under advanced CPU OC feature we were able to overclock upto 4.8GHz stable with Vcore at 1.443v and VRIN at 1.677v
CPUz 4.4GHz, 4.7GHz and 4.8GHZ
W Prime v2.10
Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.
- Good VRM heat sink with water cooling option.
- Good and easy OC with Easy Tune
- Swappable OP-amp and Gain Boost
- Gold plated back I/O connectors
- Black sleeve SATA cables
- Support for up to four VGAs in SLI or CrossfireX
- With four GFX cards no space for WIFI support
- Idle power consumption a bit high
Gigabyte Z97X-GAMING G1 WIFI-BK is a great Z97 chipset base board satisfy both Gamers and Overclockers. While it lacks few features(M.2 connector) which are available in other boards, it still offer great features and looks awesome too.
Going for a gaming rig build with high-end three or four GPU, the Z97X-GAMING G1 WIFI-BK is the perfect option, with Killer NIC E2200 Lan, watercooling support and decent sound all build in.
In the end, there's a lot to like about this Z97 board, I can only say that the Gigabyte Z97X Gaming G1 WiFi-BK Motherboard is a well-designed, feature packed high quality motherboard. It is something I can recommend to everyone.
Gigabyte Z97X Gaming G1 WiFi Black Edition motherboard is a fantastic product for gamer and worthy of our PC TeK REVIEWS Excellence Award.