Monday, June 2nd 2014

Gigabyte Z97X-SLI Offers Supreme Bang-for-buck

Gigabyte may have struck a superb price-features sweet-spot with the Z97X-SLI, which the company unveiled at its Computex wall. This board, we're hearing, will be priced around $125, and has a feature-set to rival boards much pricier. To begin with, the socket LGA1150 board is based on Intel's Z97 Express chipset. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it using a simple 4-phase VRM, that uses 60A chokes. The VRM area is clad with heatsinks all around. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, which run at x8/x8, when both are populated. This is also among the few motherboards in its price bracket to support NVIDIA SLI, apart from AMD CrossFire.

Apart from the two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and a couple of legacy PCI slots make up the expansion area. Its storage area is where the package gains tons of value. You get six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, from which two can convert into a SATA-Express 10 Gb/s port; and an M.2 slot. The board features high-grade audio, including a Realtek ALC1150 HD audio CODEC, which offers SNR as high as 115 dBA; with ground-layer isolation, and a headphones amp. Networking is care of an Intel-made GbE controller. Display outputs include dual-link DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI. Legacy connectivity includes LPT and COM (by headers), and PS/2. AMI Aptio UEFI BIOS, backed by dual-UEFI redundancy, is at this board's helm. For around $125, you can't get this board's feature-set wrong.
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6 Comments on Gigabyte Z97X-SLI Offers Supreme Bang-for-buck

#1
Dj-ElectriC
This products is actually being sold for quite some time...
Unfortunately, it is not much cheaper than GIGABYTE's own Gaming 3 or Gaming 5 boards.
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#3
THE_EGG
I'm surprised at ALC1150 at this price-point. Normally I'd see that on $180AUD+ boards.
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#4
Dj-ElectriC
ALC1150 is available now in many 100-130$ boards, and generally becoming much more common. The circuitry around it though, that's another story.
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#5
THE_EGG
by: Dj-ElectriC
ALC1150 is available now in many 100-130$ boards, and generally becoming much more common. The circuitry around it though, that's another story.
I should have probably clarified that ALC1150 with all these other features is pretty good for the money. Even Z97 boards here at around the $170AUD mark still use 887 or 892 and that's without SLI support too.

EDIT: This board is $195-229AUD depending on which local store I go to. So actually it isn't that great of a price point after all (for here at least).
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#6
AmineBouhafs
ECS L337 GAMING MACHINE GANK (Z97-MACHINE) is best price/performer atm but nothing beats my ASUS Maximus VII Ranger (90MB0IE0-M0EAY0).
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