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Item#: N82E16813128701

GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

  • Intel Z97
  • Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
  • DDR3 3200(OC)/3100(OC)
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Learn more about the GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1

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  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years

Customer Reviews of the GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1

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  • Garrett A.
  • 7/27/2014 8:11:37 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Mobo

Pros: I put it in my computer and it worked great.

Cons: I tried to overclock the CPU using the Gigabyte software but it didn't work. That's okay I'm not an over clocker anyway.

Other Thoughts: I really thought I'd be busy with the computer all weekend resetting up Windows 8.1 and reinstalling all my software, and I didn't have to. I put in the new mobo, CPU, and RAM and Windows started right up, all I had to do was reactivate, and change the system drivers and I was done. I don't know if this was Windows or the mobo but I'm happy.

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  • Arthur D.
  • 7/23/2014 7:53:19 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGET THIS BOARD

Pros: This , or the "BLACK" pre-tested version. Gigabyte outdid's beautiful and you want for nothing in a Z97 board. Beyond this I'll simply be redundant!

Cons: thing..not really a con but you need to read. If you use HDMI video...ummm...strange issue with onboard Creative sound, as in the two cannot coexist without some tweaking. At least in my case. I have a ticket in at GByte right now... BUT there are plenty of work arounds!

Other Thoughts: Price , performance, and just an all around great board if this is the time for your next jump up. Get the "black" version if you want the WIFI and 168 hours of pre-testing. For me, this version is working fine! Try one!

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  • Peter L.
  • 7/3/2014 5:48:26 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsGigabyte Gaming G1 SLI performance

Pros: This will be a short review focusing on how the Gigabyte Gaming G1 performs in 2- and 3-way SLI (since its multi-GPU capability is one of the main reasons to buy this board). GTX 670s were the cards I tested with..

I used ASUS GPU Tweak to set fans at 100% (see Other Thoughts below for reason), core clocks at 1163MHz and memory at 1512 MHz. My 4790K CPU was at a mild OC of 4.6GHz on air.


Unigine Valley
2-way SLI - FPS 89.8, Score 3757, Min FPS 36.7, Max FPS 160.4
3-way SLI - FPS 112.7, Score 4714, Min FPS 39.5, Max FPS 183.4

Firestrike Demo:
2-way SLI - 11516
3-way SLI - 14073

Catzilla: I only have the 3-way SLI score for this (720p test) - 34802 (63rd out of over 7000 at time of writing, but to be fair this includes all configurations from integrated graphics to 4-way xfire/SLI)

Cons: Not really the motherboard's fault due to ATX space constraints, but as I noted in my first review, wide graphics cards, especially my ASUS DirectCu II cards with backplate and large fan shroud, are a problem to keep cool in 3-way or 4-way SLI due to crowding. Reference cards or water-cooled would be better.

Other Thoughts: Since my ASUS cards are so wide they almost touch my MSI GTX 670 PE in the middle slot, I rigged two case fans to blow cool air between the cards, and this plus fans at 100% kept temperatures stable in the mid to high 70s at full load.
Unlike my first review on 6/27/2014, I was able to get 3-way SLI functioning properly this time due to the extra cooling.

With my jury-rigged cooling setup, 3-way SLI gave reasonable scaling in the benchmarks above. Games vary in their ability to handle SLI, and until I upgrade my cards, and possibly add water-cooling, I'll be sticking to 2-way SLI in my gaming rig.
However, I was impressed once more with the Gaming G1's stability. I experienced no glitches of any kind, so my rating stands at 5 eggs.

Note: This is an EggXpert review of a board supplied by Newegg.

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  • Scotty A.
  • 7/1/2014 1:24:24 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDO NOT USE AUTO TUNE !

Pros: Looks

Cons: 1.Tried to use XMP profile for memory, but it would not read it correctly. tried to set manually, but tRC setting not in bios.
2. The CPU_OPT, SYS 1 and SYS 2 fan headers would quit working. Check in APP center and was reporting no fans were connected. Clear CMOS would bring back online.
3. Auto tune utility useless, set my cpu voltage to 1.5v to go to 4.6.

Other Thoughts: These are just some of the problems with I experienced with this board. It seems to have a half-bake bios. Tried new F6, didn't help. Have built many pc's over the years, and this by far is the worst experience I've had. Expected more for my 300 bucks. I have always used Asus, but liked the looks of this and gave it a try. Never again. Junked it and went back Asus.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at with the case number 111445 in the e-mail subject line. We will provide personalized service and analysis to help solve your issue ASAP. If the matter is urgent, please send us your contact number, and we will contact you.


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  • Philip A.
  • 6/30/2014 9:45:29 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggsSECOND part of my REVIEW

Pros: Pros very well built pcb board is sturdy. Allows for a nicer spacing of 2 cards then many other companies.

If you have a big case and run 2 gpus using Prolimatech PRO-MK-26-BK MK-26 Black Series GPU Cooler's they will space far enough apart to run as sli and quietly .

A very big pro to run top notch cards in sli with no heating or sound issues.

It handles everything I do well. But I do not game much…..

Has 2 ethernet jacks very nice. Very good sound options. I can't find much flaw.

It also is the first board I have used that works with my ram .

Has physical bios switches .
Has better op amps you can swap out.
Has an internal power button.----------------------I really like that in a board.

I had two sticks of

AMD Radeon R9 Gamer Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model R938G2401U1K

this ram did not work in any motherboard. And I have tried 5 other boards . well it works fine with this mother board.

Cons: Could have a sys fan jack in one more spot.

My rear exhaust fan went across my gpu's to plug in.
For me it was okay due to the custom after market cooling on the pair of hd7970's I used. but if you have standard fans an issue.

Other Thoughts: High mobos are personal taste items.

Gigabyte, Asus ,Asrock and Evga , Intel boards Have all been in my home.

Gigabyte has consistently had two advantages zero failures everyone

worked. Two I like the spacing of the gpus better on gigabyte then any other mobo.

I am used to the bios so I don't complain about it. I also over clock gpus more then cpus or ram. I use msi afterburner.

Should you buy this sure why not.

It is close to the Asus z97-ws in price and quality. I really prefer the gigabyte's power button location over the asus's alot.

the rest and the power button on the asus are next to each other and a gpu can hide them causing you to press the wrong buttton. not the case with the gigabyte. trust me resetting your mobo when you do not want to is a hassle. most likely to happen with the asus not this board.

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  • Peter L.
  • 6/28/2014 9:57:05 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsGIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 - follow-up review with i7-4790K installed

Pros: Note: Please see the review I posted on 06/27/14 regarding this board's overall features such as audio, build quality, UEFI, and my original opinion of included software. I have since installed an Intel i7-4790K, received yesterday from Newegg. This review will focus mainly on how the Gaming G1 performs with the i7-4790K. Previously I was running an i3-4130, which was all I had to test with at the time, but does not do this board justice.

Installation and testing went as smoothly as I could hope for.
After dropping in the i7-4790K I booted into Windows 8.1 (regular non-Pro version) without problem, and no driver updates needed.
BIOS version is F6, which I previously updated from the original F5.

With my now unlocked CPU, Gigabyte's APP Center opened up a whole new set of options under the EasyTune section's sub-menus:

- Smart Quick Boost, allowing one-click ability to under/overclock, such as Energy Saving at 0.8GHz, Default at 4.4GHz Turbo, plus Light, Medium, and Extreme with 0.2GHz increments for each i.e. 5.0GHz at Extreme. Also an Auto Tuning section (I have read that it may boost core voltage a little higher than needed, but have not tried it yet).

- Advanced CPU OC, which has more granular control of overclock settings such as per-core frequency. BCLK, and voltages.

- Advanced DDR OC for control of memory frequency, timings, and XMP profile.
- 3D Power for control of Phase, Voltage, and PWM frequency for CPU and RAM.

The above settings can also be accessed from the UEFI either via Gigabyte's "modern" interface, or the Classic interface which I prefer as I am used to it and already know where things are located.

Since I would not consider myself an advanced overclocker, I decided to try out the one-touch settings in Smart Quick Boost, which turned out to work surprisingly well. For my test setup I was air cooling with an HTPC-style Noctua NH-C12P. Better than stock, but not equal to the H100i AIO water cooler I will be using in my final build.

The system was stable, no crashes or glitches, at up to 4.8GHz, which amazed me on air.
However, it performed better in the benchmarks at 4.6GHz, which I attribute to thermal throttling. It also gave better results with the XMP profile (16GB Mushkin DDR3-1600) turned off - possibly because of lower latency/tighter timings at 1333 MHz.

See Other Thoughts below for my benchmark results.

Cons: Basically the same as my previous review, although I am more appreciative of the APP Center utilities now that I have an unlocked processor.
Minor point - there are options under advanced overclocking in the UEFI which pertain to the i7-4770K. Since the i7-4790K is so new, Gigabyte probably hasn't has time to accommodate it yet, but I hope they will in a future BIOS update, and that it proves useful.

Other Thoughts: My rig:
Open air case for testing purposes.
Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 (item reviewed)
CPU - Intel i7-4790K
Cooling - Noctua NH-C12P (horizontal cooler with a Corsair SP120 Quiet Edition non-PWM fan set at 100%)
Boot drive - Samsung EVO 240GB with Rapid Mode on (enables a RAM cache)
Games drive - Striped dynamic volume of 3 Intel 330 180GB SSDs
Other Programs/Benchmarks/Downloads drive - Striped dynamic volume of 2 Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe 240GB SSDs
RAMDisk using 8GB of memory - used here to run benchmarks from for faster loading.
RAM - 32GB of Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3-1600
PSU - Seasonic X850 850W Gold

Testing and Benchmark results:

Firestrike demo -
Previously, with 2 GTX 670s in SLI on a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H with an i5-4570K OC'ed to 4.2 GHz, my best Firestrike demo score was 8617.
With no overclocks on this new board/CPU combo and the same GTX 670s, my score was 10570.
Adding a 4.6GHz overclock to the i7-4570K plus medium GPU OC pushed it to 11393.

Cinebench -
For a pure CPU benchmark, Cinebench R15 gave a score of 916 for the i7-4790K @4.6GHz (vs 335 with my i3-4130 @3.4GHz on this same board).
Note: the example score in Cinebench for an i7-4770K OC'ed to 4.4GHz is 822.

Of course, these results are mostly due to the SLI graphics cards and CPU rather than the motherboard, but underlying all that is this motherboard's ability to support them. In this respect, the G1 has turned out to be very capable and stable, even with a less than top-tier cooler.

Final Thoughts: It isn't cheap, especially considering the added cost of multi-way SLI or Crossfire this board is deigned to be used with. However, having seen how this motherboard performs with the type of processor it was designed to work with, and its stability with overclocking and in general, I'm revising my final score - 5 Eggs.

Note: This board was sent to me by Newegg for an EggXpert review.

Peter L. 06/28/14

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  • Peter L.
  • 6/27/2014 2:09:39 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggsGIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 - Excellent quality and features for those who can use them

Pros: Excellent build quality and components. I researched this board on several websites -- some of which were over my head in their level of technical detail -- and the consensus was that Gigabyte and another manufacturer (not supposed to name them here, but you may have A SUSpicion as to their identity) -- tend not to skimp on the quality of low level components such as power delivery and controller chips.

It has an exchangeable audio op-amp (it sounds fine to me, and 99.99% of users will just leave it alone) and a Creative Sound Core 3D chip plus supporting software (Sound Blaster Studio) for optimizing audio in movies, games, music etc.. For example, you can enhance dialog in movies, increase bass, enhance the surround effect, and there's something called Scout Mode which boosts faint sounds like approaching enemy footsteps in games. I found the last a bit over the top as I have sensitive hearing, but some may find it useful, as well as movie dialog enhancement.
There is more than enough power to drive high impedance headphones such as my Sennheiser 600, and it has dual DIP switches on the motherboard to boost audio even further - I found the default setting adequate. In any case, the audio quality is excellent, comparable to the HDMI sound output to my Pioneer receiver.
Another audio plus is the two USB ports dedicated to deliver a clean signal to an outboard USB DAC, should you use one.

4-way SLI or Crossfire is supported (with caveats, see below).
There are ten SATA III ports (6 via chipset + 4 via Marvell controller.
One SATA-Express port (which will disable 2 of the Intel chipset's SATA ports, 4 and 5, if used).
For serious overclockers, there are voltage measurement points for multimeter readouts, also featured on the GA-Z97X-UD5H board, as are two LAN ports (Intel NIC + Atheros E2201 Killer).

I like how the Debug LED is near the onboard power switch instead of hidden behind the USB3.0 header like on the UDH5.

Under-board switchable bling feature where you can highlight the PCB audio separation layer with a built-in red LED strip.

The utility APP Center gives you access within Windows to Fast Boot (which also lets you reboot straight into UEFI/Bios), EasyTune (overclocking), and Live Update (for BIOS, driver and utility updates).
APP Center is also how you get to the easily overlooked, but useful, System Information Viewer, within which is Fan Control (auto and manual), and System Information, which gives access to a realtime Hardware Monitor (showing system temps etc.), subtly hidden behind an obscure button on the top right of the screen) - a Pro that it is present, but a Con in that it is so hard to find, as is the ability to boot into UEFI via the Fast Boot menu instead of hitting reboot and mashing/holding the Delete key.

Cons: See last entry in Pros - The menu system is poorly laid out, both in the Windows utilities and the default UEFI. I always go to the Classic mode when in BIOS/UEFI. I mentioned this in my review of the GA-Z97X-UD5H on 06/02/14.

For some reason, the PCH heatsink on this board seems excessively hot. Not dangerously so, but it is consistently around 55-57C even at low/mild loads, whereas the UD5H heatsink was comfortable to touch. The G1 does have a heatpipe coming from the VRM heatsink, unlike the UDH5, so it may be transferring some excess heat from there.

There is no M.2 port - understandable due to space needed for four PCIe 3.0 slots, but it would be nice to have.

I'm not keen on the new design with the ubiquitous "gaming red" theme, especially the PCH cover "Eye" logo - why even use it when it will inevitably be covered by a graphics card? Best to leave it plain. Black, with maybe white or more subdued accents, so as not to interfere with your build color scheme, would be my choice.

Probably true of most boards with a PLX chip and four PCIe 3.0 slots - there is no way to cram three or four non-reference cards in without crowding and serious heat build-up. You either have to go with reference (and noisy) cards, or an expensive watercooling setup.
I tested 3-way SLI with two ASUS 670 DirectCu II and one MSI 670 PE card. There was less than 1mm between the fan shroud of the middle ASUS and the exposed backplate of the MSI.
I expected clearance problems going in, due to aftermarket coolers, but they did install ok. However, the heat generated (over 91C on the middle card) caused serious throttling, and benchmark results were even worse than two-way SLI - 7546 vs 8408 on 3DMark Firestrike demo.
Not only that, due to PLX overhead, as it actually mulltiplexes the 16 PCIe lanes available rather than physically doubling them, 2-way SLI is worse than on a board without a PLX chip.
My previous score on 3DMark Firestrike Demo was 8617 on the UD5H board at PCIE x8 x8, vs 8408 at (supposedly) x16 x16 on the G1.

Other Thoughts: This board has great features, and is very well built. Software/UEFI is a bit cumbersome. At $100 more than the more mainstream enthusiast boards, you do get added value like excellent audio features such as the Creative 3d chip + software, removable op-amp and upgraded USB ports for external DAC.

You also get the ability to implement 3 or 4-way SLI or crossfire, but to use this feature you must be prepared to either use reference cards, with the added noise (and heat) that entails, or implement a custom water loop, which will add greatly to the cost.
Heat and crowding are too much of an issue with non-reference cards.

2-way SLI scales pretty well in most cases - 3- and 4-way much less so, and at significant cost and inconvenience. A large case with high airflow is also advised,
If money (and enthusiasm) are no object then go for it. I'm not knocking those who like to choose this route, but for my budget and needs I would rather stick with 2-way SLI, or a high end single card, and avoid the heat, noise, and implementation issues.

Due to the relatively high temperatures I noted on the PCH and VRM heatsinks
I believe The G1 would benefit from the watercooling option available on its more expensive GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK sibling.

Note: This board was supplied to me by Newegg for an EggXpert review. I tested it with an i3-4130, but should have an i7-4790K in a day or so and will post an update regarding its overclocking potential and any effect on benchmarks.

Peter L. 06/27/14

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  • Philip A.
  • 6/24/2014 8:16:43 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggsFirst of a two part review

Pros: I am an eggspert reviewer


It comes in a nice box complete with a handle has a good look to it.
It has a very sturdy thick pcb board.
Has lots of quality caps.

Cons: None since this is the first part of the review and testing it has not started yet.

This is the reason for a 5 star review. the second part is the more accurate reivew I hope to have done it by the 1st of july

Other Thoughts: I plan to use an intel 4790 i7 cpu.
I will test it with an hd7970 gpu
I will test it with a pair of r280x visiontec cards
I will test it with an asus r290 card.
this will use a 1tb samsung ssd as the only drive
it will use mushkin silverline 8gb sticks of ram
and I have a pair of 4gb gamer sticks that I reviewed a while ago they failed to work in 3 different z87 boards maybe they work here.

I will put all of this into a fractal design 4 midsize case.

I will use a fractal 1000 watt platinum psu to power this.

I will use a decent usb dac and attempt to decide if I like the sound.

I will use an asus dvd player to load software and play some cd's dvds etc.

I will also use a new windows 7 ultimate os which arrives tomorrow.

Every once in a while I make a build that is to game and do htpc.

This has that goal in mind.

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  • Patrick H.
  • 6/21/2014 3:26:24 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggsGood board, mediocre software

Pros: OK, the first thing you notice about this motherboard is the box and that tells you it’s important and expensive. Why, because it has a handle! Only elite, expensive computer parts come in a box with a handle. Even more impressive is that you can remove the outer box to reveal an inner box with the same handle. I’m impressed.
Actually this motherboard does come in a large, elaborate box with a plastic handle. It does the job because the unit arrived intact. The board actually comes in a cardboard tray covered with a plastic lid and not in an anti-static bag. Underneath are the accessories, manual and DVD and other stuff. Really all you get are some black SATA cables and three SLI/Crossfire bridges. The manual is thick and complete. The only time I referenced it was to find out which slots to use for my SLI setup.
The motherboard itself is black with red highlights including an ugly heatsink with a stylized eye on it. To my eye it looks like a rip-off of the ASUS ROG boards but that just might be me. The board is heavy and obviously well made. Strangely enough it does have one SATA Express port but no M.2 like it’s cheaper cousins. No M.2 love seems a curious omission at this rarified price point. I’d like to sing the praises of SATA Express but there are no device s that use it currently so it’s kind of a tease at this point.
But man you have to see the metallic green Nichicon caps that come with the Soundblaster Sound Core 3D chip. It even has a gold cover on it. This is properly high end bling. I will say the audio was sublime so maybe it’s worth it. My avicii True album in FLAC never sounded so good. I don’t own a headphone but for those types there’s a replaceable amplifier chip. Plus the audio outputs are done in glorious gold. Too bad they’ll be on the back where you can’t show them off.
There are 2 NICs, one an Intel unit and the other one a Killer NIC. They both work for me equally well although the Killer NIC has lots of options for shaping your on line gaming experience and wants to do a speed test first thing. I’m not an on-line gamer so I’m afraid it’s all lost on me.
I can’t forget to mention the two orange USB 2.0 ports on the back. These supposedly have a separate and clean power supply coming to them so you can use a DAC which is short for Digital to Analog converter. This mostly means if you hook up a USB headphone it will sound like angels singing. I don’t have a USB headphone but the ports work fine for my mouse and keyboard since there are no other USB 2.0 ports on the back.
The board has 4 PCI-e X16 slots and utilizes something called a PLX chip to feed them. You get X16 bandwidth with one video card and X8 X8 or X8 X8 X8 or X8 X8 X8 X8 if you use 2 or 3 or 4. That is a lot of X8s. I don’t know about you but I can’t afford 4 video cards so I’m afraid I can’t testify to whether those configurations work or not. I did splurge and but a second ASUS 760 card so I could test 2 way SLI and it s

Cons: Now we come to the software and BIOS and I think this is where Gigabyte falls down. Let’s start with the BIOS because that’s what you’re going to encounter first. The initial time you go into the BIOS you’re presented with a 3 X 3 grid effect of gray and orange. Get used to orange and gray because they’re done to death in the UEFI BIOS. The Startup Guide is sort of a BIOS for Dummies and doesn’t seem appropriate on this board because it’s obviously designed for people that know their way around a BIOS. But it’s inoffensive and is a gateway to the more advanced screens of the BIOS. It lets you set the Boot order and security and make sure the SATA controller is turned on and configured right. I suppose if you are BIOS adverse then you’d never have to go any further.
The Smart Tweak screen is where the action is. To be honest this is a mess to me. It’s all orange writing and graphs on an ugly gray background that’s meant to emulate lava. There’s a central screen and it has lots of almost illegible graphs and writing around it. Voltage, Fan speed and Temperatures are across the top and for some reason squeezed together where you can’t read them. Honest, you have to see this to believe it. It’s like… It’s a mess. The information is there and accessible but why make the presentation so ugly?
I actually can make more sense out of the Classic Dual BIOS screen even though it can’t decide whether or not it likes the mouse. It’s not orange and gray and if you don’t mind hitting enter when the left mouse button won’t work then you’ll be OK.
Alright, the BIOS works. It’s hard to follow sometimes and not pretty most of the time but all the options are there and they work. My personal opinion is that it’s a royal mess but you might like it. To me it’s a letdown however.
The next piece of software is the App Center, which is on the Drivers DVD. Well actually an older version is on the DVD. It prompted me to download and install a new version which was relatively quick and painless. The App Center itself is a symphony of blood red and gray and black. I wish I could say it was elegant or at least good looking but it’s not. It’s pretty plain, bordering on ugly. But it’s at least functional. There are a number of apps but be sure to install the one cryptically called ‘SIV’. This is the System Information Viewer and it installs the rudimentary fan controls. There’s nothing to tell you this when you install. As a matter of fact there’s no information on what you’re installing except what you can glean from the titles.
As for the fan controls, I say rudimentary only because they appear that way. They work and they work well. The problem is that unless you know they’re there you might never find them. Gigabyte needs to do a better job of telling its users what they’re installing.
I installed the BIOS updater, which worked when installing a BIOS update I downloaded from the Gigabyte site but couldn’t find that same update on its

Other Thoughts: OK, bottom line. This is an expensive board obviously designed for well-heeled gamers with lots of video cards. If you just have a dual SLI system or one video card this board is overkill plain and simple. That PLX chip adds a lot of dollars to the cost and if you don’t need tri or quad SLI then why pay for it? The audio subsystem is great and you have to love those apple green metallic caps but for gaming a high end Realtek codec is adequate. But I have to admit those metallic green caps are just kewl.
The board is stable and there are no glaring deficiencies or anything placed in a wrong position except the 2 CPU fan headers. It’s black of course and that seems to be the de facto color for high end boards now. It’s not too gaudy except perhaps the tasteless eye motif on the one heatsink but even that is palatable. That said this is a nice board with tons of high end features. It’s way too expensive but those PLX chips and green caps effect the bottom line no doubt.
Ultimately, the trouble is the hardware is let down by mediocre software. I know you mostly don’t see the software but it’s lurking there, all red and orange and gray and you keep thinking how much better it could have been done.

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  • Patrick S.
  • 6/20/2014 5:15:43 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsGIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming G1

Pros: This board looks great. Red and black is a sure win color combination and the details in manufacturing are on par with Gigabyte's typical quality. The board is not crowded with components and is aesthetically pleasing A great feature on this board is the PLX PEX8747 Chip allowing 4 Way SLI or Crossfire. And all will run in PCI-E 3.0. However the chip is located right where the M.2 slot would be so no M.2 with this board. Easy switching between the Dual bios and completely separate BIOS to accommodate separate settings for over clocking. There is a sideways SATA power connector next to the SATA ports for additional power to the PCI-E slots with Crossfire. It's a nice touch that the Crossfire VGA power is from a SATA plug on the side rather a molex in the middle of the board.But you only need the SATA VGA power for 3 way or more Crossfire/SLI. Not needed for two cards.

The GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 is the high end Gaming board from Gigabyte. The Z97X has new features like SATA Express. It’s a new standard in fast transfer rates. It incorporates two lanes of PCI-E bandwidth for up to 10Gb. However using the PCI-E lanes in the chipset can take up lanes from the PCI-E cards. It switches between two SATA ports, USB 3.0 and PCI-E limiting one or the other. Also included is the PLX 8747 chip not only allows for 4 X SLI or Crossfire but will run two cards in 16X 3.0. Configuration are 16X/0X/16X/0X, 16X/0X/8X/8X or 8X/8X/8X/8X. This board has some great specs 15 micron gold in the socket and 10K black capacitors, 2X the copper in the PBC and more. Gigabyte Boards are now divided into two groups over clockers and gamers.
The component layout is typical for motherboards lately. Sideways SATA ports to accommodate SLI/Crossfire, Dram slots, PCI-E, USB 3.0, Front header, CPU and system fan headers and audio all the same as previous generations. They did move the CPU fan headers to the center of the board. To help you understand the SATA layout the darkest black two SATA ports 0 and 1 closest to the front header are the Intel 6.0 Gb ports. The next 4 ports with the SATA express are also Intel 6.0 Gb and the last four gray SATA 6.0 ports are Marvell ports. So gone is the SATA2 -3 Gb ports.

Audio has completely changed. The audio chip is a Creative sound core 3D and is shielded with gold platting. It supports Sound Blaster SBX Pro Studio. Green capacitors are Bi-Polarized audio CAPs (MUSE ES Acoustic) then finally we have two switches for OP-AMP gain boost. I tested it compared to my ASUS Xonar DGX and I can finally say the onboard audio is equal to a dedicated sound card. A big part of this is due to the shielding and separating of audio components from the rest of the board. There is also a swappable OP-AMP gain boost.

Overclocking on the Z97X-Gaming G1 actually is a very similar experience with the Z87 boards. The automatic over clocking is aggressive on the voltage limiting the Haswell chips with already high temps. Manual overclocking gave a 4.6 GHz

Cons: Really the only complaint is that there is no M.2 socket. They left it off because with the 4 GPU slots you will need the PLX chip and it is located where the M.2 would go. But they did include the SATA express. Now if you buy the GA Z97X Gaming G1 WIFI BK (Black edition) you get the WIFI card and the ability to water cool the VRMs.

Other Thoughts: This a beautiful board. Aesthetically pleasing with great features and layout. Audio is top notch with new features and is shielded from the rest of the components. Included is the PLX 8747 chip with a heat sink for added PCI-E lanes to accommodate 4 way cross fire or SLI. This is the main feature of this board allowing for 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (Running @x16) 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (Running @x8) Also Over clocking is good with a true 8-Phase VRM design.

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Item#: N82E16813128701
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