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Aug 30, 2014

Gigabyte's X99 Motherboard Line Includes Eight Different Models




Motherboards are the basis for all computers. Sure, most people probably choose the CPU before they decide on the mainboard, but the platform determines everything else. That's why the new X99 series from Gigabyte is such a big deal.

Not that Gigabyte is the only one releasing motherboards powered by the X99 chipset. That would be strange considering the impending release of Intel's Core i7-5000 series Haswell-E central processing units. What does set Gigabyte apart from all other companies is the sheer number of different such motherboards that are, or soon will be, available for order. There are eight of them to be precise, called GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI, GA-X99-Gaming 7 WIFI, GA-X99-Gaming 5, GA-X99-SOC Force, GA-X99-UD7 WIFI, GA-X99-UD5 WIFI, GA-X99-UD4, and GA-X99-UD3. Gigabyte has set up a specific section on its website where you can find all the information on each model, from bare specs to perks the others lack.

For our part, we'll take a gander at the most important common denominators, the things they have in common that are most relevant, figuratively speaking. For one thing, all the newcomers use an all digital CPU power design from International Rectifier, which includes digital 4th Generation digital PWM Controller and third-generation PowIRstage controllers which power even the most energy-sensitive and demanding components precisely. High-end chokes are another asset, providing server-level reliability and high-current capacity, plus less heat from power loss. The CPU VRM is also more efficient. The feature list continues with solid capacitors, and 3-way or 4-way multi-graphics setups (SLI for NVIDIA, CrossFire for AMD, up to 320 Gb/s bandwidth).

Furthermore, the new mainboards have Dual M.2 technology, meaning that there are two m.2 slots where you can install new SSDs, for 1.8 GB/s performance (on a good day) instead of 500-600 MB/s. Turbo M.2 tech ensures 20 Gbps bandwidth. SATA Express is also available, as is Creative Sound Core3D audio technology (driven by a Realtek ALC1150 controller) and a LED-equipped heatsink. Everything is held together by a copper PCB (2X Copper PCB design with power trace paths that withstand great power loads) and gold-plated CPU socket, PCI Express slots and DIMM slots (8 RAM modules supported). These and many other features were integrated by Gigabyte. The press release below has all the details, although it may prove a rather dry read. The PR veers most verbose, if you know what we mean. Sales should begin soon, for a price of around $400 - $500 / €400 - €500. Image gallery below, click for larger image.





Gigabyte X99 Motherboard
Images credits to Gigabyte

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