Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 5
Gigabyte's latest series of motherboards
Published: 16th May 2014 | Source: Gigabyte |
The G1 range from Gigabyte has always been a well sought-after range of motherboards. The earliest G1 Sniper on the X58 platform was an incredibly high end board that came with a hefty price tag and with future generations such as the G1 Sniper 3 on the Z77 chipset following in the same footsteps, this seemed to be the kind of tier and prices of motherboards we should expect from the G1 series. However, with the Z87 line-up, this changed. We still had the expensive high performance boards, but Gigabyte expanded the G1 range and branding to more competitively priced boards such as the G1.Sniper Z87, and also the A88X Sniper on AMD's FM2+ socket.
Now the Z97 series is upon us, and it seems Gigabyte have expanded their range of G1 branded motherboards even further with the G1 gaming range that has a new colour scheme a ton of features, and is also very competitively priced.
The GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 comes in a red and black theme, unlike the previous black and green theme that we've been used to seeing on the Sniper ranges. They've continued with the matte black PCB but this time with red heatsinks which we do think look great. All the plastic components such as the PCI lanes and SATA ports are black except two of the memory lanes which are grey. We do think this is a bit of a shame since it would have been nicer if this kept the black theme across the entire board, but once you've installed memory into the lanes, this probably isn't going to be noticeable at all.
Like many boards we've seen over the past couple of generations, audio has been a big focus even on a relatively inexpensive board such as this. The Realtek ALC1150 chipset is a reasonable sound chip when it comes to on board audio on motherboards, and Gigabyte have added high end Nichion capacitors and gold plated connectors to ensure you get the clearest quality audio possible. We also see Killer networking which seems to be becoming the standard amongst many Z97 motherboards, and it should allow you to prioritise gaming traffic, and therefore minimise lag.
Along with the standard SATA3 connectors we see, we also find two new connections for hard drives. SATA express and M2 connections both allow up to 10GB/s transfer rates, and although devices to utilise these aren't readily available yet, it's good to know the Gaming 5 will support them in the future.
As we'd expect with any performance motherboard at this moment in time, the Gaming 5 comes with high quality black capacitors which promise to last far longer than other motherboards, and also comes with gold plated CPU socket pins which should aid in establishing a clearer contact between the CPU and the motherboard.
The Gaming 5 comes in at £117.99 which we think is very reasonable for what it has to offer. The full review will come shortly.
Thanks to Gigabyte for providing the GA-Z97X-Gaming 5. You can discuss your thoughts on the OC3D Forums.