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GIGABYTE Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK Black Edition Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

Like many other manufacturers, GIGABYTE is using the launch of the Intel Z97 Express chipset to update its product line aesthetics and makeup. The Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK motherboard is part of GIGABYTE's Black Edition product line, differentiated from other GIGABYTE offers because of the enhanced validation criteria each individual Black Edition product is put through prior to leaving the assembly plant. Each board is put through a 168 hour stress test, consisting of both CPU and GPU-based Lite Coin mining, to prove its worth as part of the elite Black Edition product line. The Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK motherboard itself shares components and aesthetics with their Gaming line, featuring the line's black and red coloration and the GIGABYTE Gaming logo (the silver eye) on the Z97 chipset heat sink. With an MSRP of $349, the board is priced at a premium, more than justified by its enhanced feature set and Black Edition enhanced validation criteria.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE paired the Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK motherboard with an 8 phase digital power delivery system to ensure clean power to the CPU under all operating conditions. Additionally, the board's VRM heat sinks can be integrated into an existing water loop using the provided G 1/4" threaded ports. Note that the PLX and chipset heat pipe is physically separate from the VRM heat pipe and does not benefit by water cooling the board's VRM cooler. The Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK motherboard boasts the following integrated feature list: eight SATA 3 ports; one SATA Express 10 Gb/s ports; dual Gigabit NICs - an Intel i217V NIC and a Qualcomm® Atheros Killer E2201 NIC; an Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth PCIe adapter; four PCI-Express x16 slot; three PCI-Express x1 slots; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power, reset, and CMOS clear buttons; Dual-Bios and active BIOS switches; left and right channel audio gain control switches; Sound Blaster Core 3D audio solution; removable audio OP-AMP port; integrated voltage measurement points; hybrid VRM cooling solution; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE Z97X-Gaming G1-WIFI-BK motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the GIGABYTE website)

CPU

Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors / Intel® Core™ i5 processors / Intel® Core™ i3 processors / Intel® Pentium® processors / Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
(Go to GIGABYTE's wesite for the latest CPU support list.)
L3 cache varies with CPU

Chipset

Intel® Z97 Express Chipset

Memory

4 x DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 1600 / 1333 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Go to GIGABYTE's website for the latest supported memory speeds and memory modules.)

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor:
1 x DVI-I port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60Hz
1 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24Hz or 2560x1600@60Hz
* Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24Hz or 3840x2160@60Hz
* Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.
Support for up to 3 displays at the same time
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB

Audio

Creative® Sound Core 3D chip
TI Burr Brown® OPA2134 operational amplifier Support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di
High Definition Audio
2/5.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN

1 x Qualcomm® Atheros Killer E2201 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
1 x Intel® GbE LAN phy (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
* Teaming is not supported.

Wireless Communication module

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band
Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR Support for 11ac wireless standard and up to 867 Mbps data rate
* Actual data rate may vary depending on environment and equipment

Expansion Slots

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
* The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated.
(All PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

Multi-Graphics Technology

Chipset:
Support for 4-Way / 3-Way / 2-Way AMD CrossFire™ / NVIDIA® SLI™ technology

Storage Interface

Chipset:
1 x SATA Express connector
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5)
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
(SATA Express adn SATA3 4/5 connectors can only be used one at a time.)

2 x Marvell® 88SE9172 chip:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~9)
Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

USB

Chipset:
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)

Chipset + Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hub:
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
1 x SATA Express connector
10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
7 x system fan headers
1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x audio gain control switches
8 x onbaord voltage measurement points
2 x BIOS switches

Back Panel Connectors

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x DVI-I port
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone)

I/O Controller

iTE® I/O Controller Chip

Hardware Monitor

System voltage detection
CPU / System / Chipset temperature detection
CPU / CPU_OPT / System fan speed detection
CPU / System overheating warning
CPU / CPU_OPT / System fan fail warning
CPU / CPU_OPT / System fan speed control
* Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.

BIOS

2 x 128 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 2.0a

Unique Features

Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
  • @BIOS
  • EasyTune
  • EZ Setup
  • Fast Boot
  • Game Controller
  • Cloud Station
  • ON/OFF Charge
  • Smart TimeLock
  • Smart Recovery2
  • System Information Viewer
  • USB Blocker

Support for Q-Flash
Support for Smart Switch
Support for Xpress Install

Bundled Software

Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology

Operating System

Support for Windows 8.1 / 8 / 7

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm
May 12, 2014 | 08:34 AM - Posted by Angry

"Performance

The Z97X-Gaming G1-WiFi-BK Black Edition motherboard lives up to its elite moniker, performing well no matter what was thrown at it. I performs exactly as we've come to expect from high-end ---ASUS--- boards - flawlessly. At both stock and overclocked settings, the board took everything we threw at it with blinking."

High end Asus boards huh? Thought this was a gigabyte review....lol..
I can see your already getting buried in motherboards....haha

May 12, 2014 | 09:28 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for the heads up.  That has been corrected...

July 14, 2014 | 04:34 PM - Posted by Peter (not verified)

WOW i Want this

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