GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 WIFI Motherboard Review
Overclocking and Conclusion
To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the X99 Gaming G1 motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. While we were able to get the board to boot into the OS with a base clock of 125MHz and the CPU running at 4.5GHz, the system remained stable while running the stability testing for little more than 2 hours. The system would not stabilize for over 2 hours unless the base clock was reduced to 100MHz and the CPU speed was brought down to 4.3GHz. The board remained stable for over 4hrs using the BIOS auto settings at 4.3GHz with memory using the XMP1 profile resulting in a 2666MHz speed. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 32GB (4 x 8GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR3-2666 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.
Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.
Update - December 24, 2014
After some discussions and a new BIOS from GIGABYTE, the board's overclocking issues seemed to have disappeared. The board was fully stable at the expected CPU speed of 4.5GHz, a ring bus speed of 3.5GHz, a base clock speed of 125MHz, and a memory speed of 2666MHz. Keep in mind that the CPU speed was with all cores running the same speed. Make sure if you get this board to apply BIOS F8 to save yourself some overclocking challenges.
The GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 board performed well at stock settings compared with the other Intel X99-based systems. However, the overclocking experience left a bit to be desired since the manual tweaking proved to be more complicated than expected.
The GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 WIFI motherboard is a well designed product, combining the Gaming series aesthetics with a wide assortment of integrated features. GIGABYTE tried to keep everything in-line with the board's Gaming series color scheme, adding red LEDs to the chipset heat sink as well as to the audio PCB separator line. Their was a lot of work put into the layout of the integrated components, most obvious with the CMOS battery location and design of the stacked mPCIe and M.2 slots. The heat pipe connecting all on-board heat sinks was a masterful stroke, alleviating overheating concerns when using the board with a CPU cooler without active airflow. Performance-wise, the board holds its own at stock speeds with seemingly untapped overclocking potential as well.
The actual overclocking experience was one of the more challenging points with this board. We were unable to stabilize the board at all with known voltage and speed settings that worked with other solutions. However, the board stabilized easily when using the GIGABYTE provided performance presets from within the UEFI.
Update - December 24, 2014
Newly released BIOS revision F8 seemed to have cleared up the overclocking issues encountered with this board, making it a truly stellar performer. Note that the overclocking testing done with the new BIOS and a single 8-pin ATX12V connector plugged directly into the board. Use of the 3-to-1 power adapter was unnecessary.
- Stock performance
- Overclocking performance and untapped potential
- Board aesthetics
- Illuminated rear panel sheild
- Board cooling and heat pipe design / layout
- CPU socket layout and spacing
- UEFI BIOS design and usability
- CMOS battery placement
- Quality of integrated Creative Labs Core3D chipset and audio subsystem design
- Performance of Intel GigE NICs
- Design and placement of mPCIe and M.2 ports
Complexities encountered with dial-in of base overclock
- Odd ATX12V power connector implementation requiring 1-in-3 power adapter