Gigabyte Z97X G1 Gaming 5 Motherboard Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 Review


We're all waiting patiently for the new 18nm Intel CPUs and, like you, we're growing impatient as the days tick by. We know that many of you are holding off getting one of the new Z97 motherboards until those CPUs are upon us. However, it is perfectly possible that many of you are taking the opportunity of the new hardware to upgrade to a Haswell CPU. There is never a better time to buy and it brings great value too. So perhaps you're interested in a motherboard that will support your current CPU and, in time, still be capable of slipping a new one into it.

Enter the Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5.

"But OC3D, all the Z97 motherboards support the current generation of Intel CPUs" we can hear you cry, and certainly they do. However the Gigabyte Gaming 5 is, through the combination of the specifications and pricing, the perfect bridge between the old and the new. It isn't so bristling with the latest technologies that you'll have to start your whole build from scratch, yet neither is it such a dinosaur that you'll be crippled once the 5th Generation CPUs are upon us.

Did we mention that amazing price tag?

Technical Specifications

The Gaming 5 is somewhat of an inbetween motherboard. It has all of the new features available with the Z97 chipset, including the enormous XMP Memory speeds, but at the same time it has plenty of hardware which is probably part of your system already. So there are 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports, an M.2 socket and SATA Express support, but on the other hand we have a VGA port and more USB 2.0 ports than USB 3.0. There is a fan header dedicated to water cooling, but two PS2 ports for keyboard and mouse. It's a little schizophrenic.


  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU
  1. Intel® Z97 Express Chipset
  1. 4 x DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
  2. Dual channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR3 3200(O.C.) / 3100(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
Onboard GraphicsIntegrated Graphics Processor:
  1. 1 x D-Sub port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60Hz
  2. 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60Hz
    * The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
  3. 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24Hz or 2560x1600@60Hz
    * Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
  4. Support for up to 3 displays at the same time
  5. Maximum shared memory of 1 GB
  1. Realtek® ALC1150 codec
  2. Support for Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3
  3. High Definition Audio
  4. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  5. Support for S/PDIF Out
  1. Qualcomm® Atheros Killer E2201 LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
      * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
    2. ??
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
      * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.

    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
      * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with all PCI Express x1 slots. All PCI Express x1 slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed.

    1. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
      (The PCIEX4 and PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

  1. 1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
Storage InterfaceChipset:
  1. 1 x M.2 PCIe connector
    (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA & PCIe SSD support)
  2. 1 x SATA Express connector
  3. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
    (M.2, SATA Express, and SATA3 4/5 connectors can only be used one at a time. The SATA3 4/5 connectors will become unavailable when an M.2 SSD is installed.)
  4. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
  1. 6 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
  2. 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x M.2 PCIe connector
  4. 1 x SATA Express connector
  5. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
  8. 3 x system fan headers
  9. 1 x front panel header
  10. 1 x front panel audio header
  11. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  12. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
  13. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  14. 1 x serial port header
  15. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  16. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  2. 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  3. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  4. 1 x D-Sub port
  5. 1 x DVI-D port
  6. 1 x HDMI port
  7. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  8. 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  9. 1 x RJ-45 port
  10. 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
I/O Controller
  1. iTE® I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System/Chipset temperature detection
  3. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed detection
  4. CPU/System overheating warning
  5. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan fail warning
  6. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed control
    * Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.
  1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Unique Features
  1. Support for APP Center
    EZ Setup
    Fast Boot
    Game Controller
    ON/OFF Charge
    Smart TimeLock
    Smart Recovery 2
    System Information Viewer
    USB Blocker
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Smart Switch
  4. Support for Xpress Install
Bundle Software
  1. Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
  2. Intel® Rapid Start Technology
  3. Intel® Smart Connect Technology
  4. Intel® Smart Response Technology
Operating System
  1. Support for Windows 8.1/8/7
Form Factor
  1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 22.5cm


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Most Recent Comments

19-05-2014, 12:16:40


Today we're reviewing the first of the Gigabyte Z97X motherboards, the Gaming 5. How does it stack up?

Continue ReadingQuote

19-05-2014, 13:11:41

gigabyte need to bring back green boards Quote

19-05-2014, 13:35:22

Definitely green ties in so well with the Nvidia stock cooler.Quote

19-05-2014, 14:10:37

You were right! We need those green and black stuff back...
I also like the blue and black ones too... Theres a lack of those boards to.
If i were in the place of Gigabyte i would push out a white and black stuff as well... I think it might be working... Quote

19-05-2014, 14:17:34

I have to say, with the last two motherboards i purchased, I bought my motherboards based on their colour.

My Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 was all black, because i wanted all-black, and I recently purchased a Gigabyte Z87-G1 SNIPER because it was green.

I think Gigabyte will miss out on the many users that want green systems, then again red is much more mainstream and could attract more users to Sniper series boards.

Personally, I'll miss the green colouring. It was something that ONLY a gigabyte Sniper board can give you. RIP Sniper green, you will be missed.Quote

19-05-2014, 14:25:45

One good thing about that board is that it has a standard PCI slot. I thought they were obsolete now? If I had known then I wouldn't have thrown my X-Fi elite pro sound card away Quote

19-05-2014, 14:30:47

Epic Conclusion Tom. A truly Dumbass move to put yourself into the crowd rather than standing out from the crowd. Could not agree more with what you said. Someone saw that ASUS and MSI had Red/Black "gaming" range and said "we want that money" Not gonna work peeps! Please 'O please bring back the green. Be proud, stand out, be yourself!Quote

19-05-2014, 14:44:08

As I said in the other thread about this board, it's a shame that Gigabyte have seen the success of red and black boards with a gaming suffix (MSI and ROG) and decided to copy it. The green sniper boards were awesome and the way everything is becoming more similar is disappointing from a consumers point of view.

Hopefully its a really bad seller so Gigabyte get the message that different is good and go back to the green colour.Quote

19-05-2014, 18:51:25

Dark NighT
Why o why is this black/red?

Gigabyte please bring back the black/green motherboards.Quote

19-05-2014, 19:13:23

Blue, Green, Black, Red, Yellow, Gold... It's just a colour, don't like it? Change it simples. Gigabyte ran with Green for a long while and everyone moaned they wanted Blue or Red, now everyone seems to want Green again, swings & roundabouts. Personally I'd like to see chromed heat sinks or gun metal grey.Quote

19-05-2014, 20:58:32

I think all companies should take a look at this and grow a pair... there should be more color choices and the more unique the better (for example the gigabyte orange is great)Quote

19-05-2014, 23:12:48

I am currently gathering parts for a green build. Nvidia gpus with the green lettering, green sleeving and coolant, shiny new Enthoo Pro case on order.

And in it will be a USED G1.Sniper because of this stupid, cowardly decision to abolish years of branding success and chase ASUS down the path.

I am tired of red and black builds, but I am NOT going to do a f'ing gold build.

Hey! Gigabyte Green with some lovely Nvidia graphics cards in SLI. Easy decision.

But why buy a Z87 board that won't support DC?

So, off to the classifieds for a used G1.Sniper and a sale lost for Gigabyte.

Sad, sad choice. Please Gigabyte Corporate, please bring back the green and black we all really truly love AND completely identify with YOU.

Go Tom! Great video.

- samwisekoiQuote

20-05-2014, 06:39:06

oh so many red choicees now, but i still wouldnt go beyond ASUS/MSI. while i didnt have a hankering for a green board, it was the only one worth getting, so..Quote

20-05-2014, 12:21:14

I'm really really glad to hear that I'm not the only one thinking that black and green should come back. I really liked that Gigabyte had the balls to pull of the (at that time) provocative color scheme and it did become popular.

I can understand the orange and black, it's not my cup of tea but it looks alright. But to go from a company who has worked hard to create a trademark for their gaming boards to this I mean come on not even your G1 black edition is all black.

The person or people that made the corporate decision to be F'ing up this badly should be sacked no questions asked and what is up with the copy cat of the ROG emblem ASUS has? I mean it is a little bit conspicuous in my opinion that it is so similar or maybe I'm just nitpicking here.

I was looking forward on doing a green and black build with a gigabyte board with the Z97 chipset which apparently won't happen now, gotta say I'm really disappointed in Gigabyte.Quote

20-05-2014, 20:03:30

You took the words right out of my mouth Tom. And yes I can say what you couldn't, with my money I wouldn't buy any of their gaming boards, they are far too plain looking, #1 on the list is the ROG Maxi 7 Formula, #2 would be the MSI Z97 Gaming 7. That is if I was in the market for a Z97 and wanted black and red. But at the moment, I am EXTREMELY HAPPY with my black and green Sniper M5. I hate to say it because I've liked and been using Gigabyte for 11 years but they are going to fall right on their asses with this one. I sincerely hope I'm wrong about that too. I want to see them be successful but not riding the wake of another companies success. They had their own color, logo, most importantly, identity. This nonsense spilled over into the UD boards too. They are using the same exact boring heatsinks (and I do realize you could whiz them off and paint them but why would you want to?) on every board now just anodizing them different colors. You had a choices with Z87, the blue UD3, the red UD4, the gold UD5 and UD7, the green G1 and orange OC. Each and every one was amazing looking. More choices than lots of others. Now it's lets do what Asus does but as little thought into it as possible. Please wake up Gigabyte.Quote

21-05-2014, 06:59:28

You guys need to bring back green. I have wanted to make a upgraded system for a while. once the new devils cpu's come out i want to make a really nice system with duel nivida grafic cards, with green being the main colour. if u stop making green borads i will need to get the new msi green board that has been leaked. i have been loyal to gigabyte but with this change i am questioning it.... atleast keep the green and black for the sniper assassin, g1 gaming boards. i currently have a g1 sniper 2 and i really like it.Quote

21-05-2014, 13:14:32

The green went with the corsair PSUs which meant you could have a lowish cost but still somewhat colour matched system. I hope they don't do it to their AMD line too.Quote

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