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Item#: N82E16813128704

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

  • Intel Z97
  • Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1150)
  • DDR3 3300(OC)/3200(OC)
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GA-Z97X-SOC Force

 
  • Supports 4th and 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors
  • Premium 4-way CrossFire™ support with OC Brace
  • Precise digital CPU power design
  • SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • Exclusive GIGABYTE OC Features
  • Killer™ E2200 gaming networking
  • 2x copper PCB design
  • Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in rear audio amplifier
  • New Heatsink design with 8 onboard fan connectors
  • Long lifespan Durable Black Solid caps
  • APP Center including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

GIGABYTE 9 Series Overclocking Motherboards

Following the success of the GIGABYTE Z87X-OC motherboard, the #1 most overclocked motherboard on HWBOT.org in 2013, GIGABYTE has unleashed 2 new Z97 based overclocking motherboards, the Z97X-SOC FORCE and Z97X-SOC. With a host of unique OC features and bleeding-edge hardware design, GIGABYTE 9 series overclocking motherboards will allow even novice users to Overclock Like a Pro.

 

OC Ignition

OC Ignition maintains power to the motherboard and connected components while the system is shut down. This means that system fans will continue to provide airflow in cold bug situations, while i-ram drive users will not lose installed data. OC Ignition also allows users to pre-test water cooling setups, and allows case mod demonstrations without having to turn on the PC.

  • Fans continue to provide airflow in cold bug situations
  • Perfect for pre-testing water-cooled system setups
  • Case mod demonstrations without having to turn on the PC
  • Retains i-ram data
 
GA-X99-SOC Champion
GA-X99-SOC Champion

OC DIMM and OC PCIe Switch

OC DIMM Switch:

Manually turn on or off each channel of installed memory DIMMs, allowing users to effortlessly disable memory DIMMs from the system without the hassle of physically removing.

OC PCIe Switch:

Overclockers can manually turn on or off each installed PCIe lane of the motherboard, allowing users to disable individual graphics cards without physically removing. This is especially useful when overclocking on LN2 and water cooled systems.

 

OC Brace

GA-X99-SOC 

Champion

OC Brace allows extreme overclockers and system testers to safely install up to four graphics cards in an open case or test bed without risking PCIe slot damage or preventing cards not showing up in the OS due to poor contact with PCIe slot. OC Brace is a simple and elegant way to give robust installation support to full sized graphics cards in extreme multi-GPU configurations.

 

OC Touch


GIGABYTE OC Touch includes a range of hardware overclocking buttons directly on the motherboard, making overclocking on the fly extremely fast and easy.

 
GA-X99-SOC 

Champion
GA-X99-SOC 

Champion

Premium Graphics Support

GIGABYTE 9 series overclocking motherboards feature optimized support for AMD CrossFire™ in 4 way configuration plus support for Nvidia SLI technology in 2-way setups. This extreme design allows a more optimized multiple-card overclocking experience where the first 3 slots have the data bandwidth available from trace paths direct from the CPU and the fourth slot taking PCIe lanes from the Intel® Z97 PCH.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion GA-X99-SOC Champion

OC PEG

OC PEG adds auxiliary power to the PCIe slots of your motherboard, improving system stability in extreme configurations. This is especially useful in power-hungry 4-way graphics configurations.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion
GA-X99-SOC Champion

OC Connect

OC Connect positions two USB connectors on the near side of the motherboard facing the overclocker. This makes it easier to save data, flash the BIOS or install software in open bench testing platforms whether for extreme overclocking or simply pretesting the PC before final component installation inside a case scenarios where accessing the rear panel I/O can be an inconvenience.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

SATA Express Connector

GIGABYTE motherboards feature an onboard SATA Express connector which provides performance far superior to that of current SATA technologies. SATA Express features data transfer rates of up to 10Gb/s, considerably higher than SATA Revision 3 (6Gb/s), which won't bottleneck faster NAND flash technologies in cutting edge SSDs. SATA Express combines the benefits of PCI-Express and SATA to provide much higher bandwidth, allowing SATA Express based drives to perform at similar speeds as PCI-Express based drives.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

Realtek ALC 1150 115dB SNR HD Audio

GA-X99-SOC 

Champion

The ALC1150 is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec that delivers an exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.

The ALC1150 provides ten DAC channels that simultaneously support 7.1-channel sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs. Two stereo ADCs are integrated and can support a microphone array with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming (BF), and Noise Suppression (NS) technologies. The ALC1150 incorporates Realtek proprietary converter technology to achieve Front differential output 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality.

 

Build-in Rear Audio Amplifier

GA-X99-SOC 

Champion

Specially designed for gamers, GIGABYTE 9 series Ultra Durable™ motherboards utilize a high-capacity amplifier which is able to drive 600O loads, giving gamers a fuller range of dynamic sound with crisper details and less distortion when using high quality professional headphones.

 

Dedicated Audio Hardware Zone

  • Separation on the PCB layer protects the board's sensitive analog audio components.
  • Separate analog and digital ground to protect against Electromagnetic Interference (EMI).
 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

Locating the right and left audio channels on separate PCB layers, GIGABYTE X99 series motherboards are able to eliminate channel crosstalk and maintain the best audio quality.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

Killer Networking

NO LAG, JUST FRAG!

Select GIGABYTE 9 series motherboards feature the Killer™ E2200 from Qualcomm Atheros, a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and online media performance compared to standard solutions. The Killer™ E2200 features Advanced Stream Detect technology, which identifies and prioritizes all network traffic to ensure important applications that require high-speed connectivity are prioritized over less important traffic.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

All IR® Digital CPU Power Design

GIGABYTE 9 series overclocking motherboards use an all digital CPU power design from International Rectifier® which include both digital PWM Controller and industry-leading PowIRstage™ controllers. These 100% digital controllers offer incredible precision in delivering power to the motherboard's most power- hungry and energy-sensitive components, allowing enthusiasts to get the absolute maximum performance from their next generation Intel® Core™ processors.

 
GA-X99-SOC ChampionGA-X99-SOC Champion

GIGABYTE OPT Fan Support

Many of today's 3rd party water cooling systems require CPU fan power support for both the cooling fan and the water pump. GIGABYTE 9 Series motherboards feature OPT fan support, an additional CPU fan pin header that can be used to connect a water pump and configured for continuous full speed operation. The OPT Fan is also useful for high performance coolers employing two fans.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion
GA-X99-SOC Champion

10K Durable Black™ Solid Caps

GIGABYTE 9 series motherboards integrate the absolute best quality solid state capacitors that are rated to perform at maximum efficiency for a guaranteed minimum of 10K hours. Not only do they provide ultra-low ESR no matter how high the CPU loading, they also come in customized jet black from Nippon Chemi- Con and Nichicon.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion
GA-X99-SOC Champion

5x (15µ) Gold Plated CPU Socket Design

GIGABYTE 9 Series motherboards come equipped with a gold plated CPU socket, which means that enthusiasts can enjoy absolute reliability and longevity for the CPU socket overtime, without having any concerns about corroded pins and bad contacts.

 
GA-X99-SOC Champion

GIGABYTE App Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities

GIGABYTE APP Center gives you easy access to wealth of GIGABYTE apps that help you get the most from your GIGABYTE motherboard. Using a simple, unified user interface, GIGABYTE APP Center allows you to launch all GIGABYTE apps installed on your system.

 
GA-X99-SOC ChampionGA-X99-SOC ChampionGA-X99-SOC Champion

GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ with Dashboard Mode

GIGABYTE's UEFI DualBIOS™ has a redesigned user interface that offers users the chance to take control of their BIOS environment like never before.

  • Take control of how your BIOS looks and feels with a fully customizable UI
  • Adjust overclocking and performance settings in real-time
  • Smooth mouse control and shortcuts for fast navigation
 
GA-X99-SOC ChampionGA-X99-SOC Champion

2x Copper PCB Design (2 oz Copper PCB)

GA-X99-SOC Champion

GIGABYTE's exclusive 2X Copper PCBs design provides sufficient power trace paths between components to handle greater than normal power loads and to remove heat from the critical CPU power delivery area. This is essential to ensure the motherboard is able to handle the increased power loading that is necessary when overclocking.

 
GA-X99-SOC ChampionGA-X99-SOC Champion
  • newegg OC Ignition OC Ignition maintains power to the motherboard and connected components while the system is shut down. This means that system fans will continue to provide airflow in cold bug situations, while i-ram drive users will not lose installed data. OC Ignition also allows users to pre-test water cooling setups, and allows case mod demonstrations without having to turn on the PC.
  • newegg OC DIMM and OC PCIe Switch The OC DIMM Switch allows users to manually turn on or off each channel of installed memory DIMMs, so you can effortlessly disable memory DIMMs from the system without the hassle of physically removing them. With the OC PCIe Switch, overclockers can manually turn on or off each installed PCIe lane of the motherboard, so you can disable individual graphics cards without physically removing them. This is especially useful when overclocking on LN2 and water-cooled systems.
  • newegg OC Brace The OC Brace allows extreme overclockers and system testers to safely install up to four graphics cards in an open case or test bed, without risking PCIe slot damage or preventing cards not showing up in the OS due to poor contact with PCIe slot. The OC Brace is a simple and elegant way to give robust installation support to full-sized graphics cards in extreme multi-GPU configurations.
  • newegg OC PEG The OC PEG adds auxiliary power to the PCIe slots of your motherboard, improving system stability in extreme configurations. This is especially useful in power-hungry four-way graphics configurations.
  • newegg OC Connect The OC Connect positions two USB connectors on the near side of the motherboard facing the overclocker. This makes it easier to save data, flash the BIOS, or install software in open bench testing platforms, whether for extreme overclocking or simply pretesting the PC before final component installation inside a case scenarios where accessing the rear panel I/O can be an inconvenience.
  • newegg SATA Express Connector GIGABYTE motherboards feature an onboard SATA Express connector which provides performance far superior to that of current SATA technologies. SATA Express features data transfer rates of up to 10Gb/s, considerably higher than SATA Revision 3 (6Gb/s), which won’t bottleneck faster NAND flash technologies in cutting-edge SSDs. SATA Express combines the benefits of PCI-Express and SATA to provide much higher bandwidth, allowing SATA Express based drives to perform at similar speeds as PCI-Express based drives.

Learn more about the GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SOC Force

Quick Info

Warranty

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


Customer Reviews of the GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SOC Force

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  • Jon S.
  • 4/9/2015 6:56:15 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsGreat Board but see CONS.

Pros: Onboard HDMI and display ports. Amazing OC features. Everything is very clearly labeled and the book explained what everything is and does.

Cons: The board has F_USB1, F_USB2, and F_USB3. The problem is that F_USB 2 and 3 are actual USB 2.0 ports that you could plug a flash drive into for BIOS and OC features. F_USB 1 is the 9 pin connection to power the USB ports that come built into your tower.

The issue is that since only the F_USB1 can support the 9pin connection to power usb ports, and my tower has 2 9 pin connection wires for built in usb ports, that I cant use all the USB ports that come on my computer.

Also keep in mind, if you buy a water cooler, for instance the Corsair H80i - it comes with a USB wire that is powered by that very same 9pin F_USB1 connection.

The other issue I had with this board was that the screws to attach the motherboard to the case stand offs were not big enough..or they were already stripped. I know it wasnt the case standoffs because I used extra screws I had from a previous build and they fit nice and snug.

Other Thoughts: The only other thing I would like to mention is in reference the the 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports. Look on the board where the SATA connections are, you will see a longer grey connection and to the left of it, a smaller black connection. The larger grey connection is SATA express, and has 4 SATA connections on it, and the black one has 2 SATA connections for a total of 6, HOWEVER, on the larger grey SATA connector, the fact that its SATA express means that it can do either SATA or PCIe. IT CANT DO BOTH. If you choose to do PCIe on the SATA express, you can not do SATA and will lose 4 SATA ports.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at newegg-support@gigabyteusa.com with the case number 121270 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.

GIGABYTE VIP Support Team

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Vigasan G.
  • 3/16/2015 12:21:58 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsPlease don't waste your money

Pros: Was good for about 3 months.

I left a review before, this is an edit.

Cons: The first board I got was DoA but newegg was good about it and sent me a new one. The new one worked for three months and now it has the same problem the first one did. It wont start up and all that happens is that the power led on the board flashes on and off. I've already troubleshooted with someone from gigabyte over the phone and paid long distance fees and now I have to file a ticket. Save yourself some time and get a different board. I wish I had got the Formula or the Hero.

EDIT: I tried emailing Gigabyte but it takes them about 6 business days to reply to emails, after a few emails back and forth I decided to call them instead. So after spending time on the phone with customer service (in the U.S. by the way so I had to pay long distance fees), I had to pay to ship the board to Gigabyte in the U.S. (because they don't have a Canadian office) and to ship I had to pay $55. Two weeks later I got a new board (they told me it was new but it looked used and came in a plain white box with no cables or manual included) which did not work yet again, so I sent it back (was free this time) and got another new one (again plain box and looked used) which finally worked.

All in all this process took about two months. Being a university student, having no computer for that long sucked! Please save yourself the time and buy from a company with actual customer service.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at newegg-support@gigabyteusa.com with the case number 120341 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.

GIGABYTE VIP Support Team

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Matthew G.
  • 3/14/2015 12:27:34 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsVery nice

Pros: Worked right out of the box. All the configuration settings you could want in the Bios.
-2400 mhz ram speed achieved easily w/gskill 2x4gb trident x
-Impressed with the software apps and tools included. ( plan on using the personal cloud app with my android)

Very impressed with the board. I hope it lasts as long as my GA-X38-DQ6(still works after 7 yrs and many upgrades).

Cons: My i4790k defaulted to 1.258 vcore on auto settings which causes high heat and potential damage to the cpu. No problem, Set the core ratio and multiplier manually and it dropped vcore to 1.05. My 4790 is idling at 32 c and hasn't gone over 72 at load on stock heatsink and fan.

Other Thoughts: Not Newegg's fault= I was a little displeased with the shipping. The shipment sat 30 miles away from destination for 2 days in FedEx's possession then handed off to the post office for another day before final delivery. Weather was a factor before it reached the 30 mile point but I sense some dereliction of duty with the USPS and FedEx. Oh, well. Everyone can't be scientists. If you really want it fast go with the 3 day and not the egg saver.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Peter M.
  • 2/25/2015 4:10:37 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsUnderwhelmed by Customer Service

Pros: Worked as intended for 6 months; easy to configure.

Cons: Took almost a full week before Gigabyte acknowledged customer service request; RMA process is onerous; instructions for return are outdated and ambiguous - these guys, "don't get service"!
Several weeks is too long to wait to replace (maybe... subject to rules and conditions...) a MB and recover system.

Other Thoughts: Only reason I gave a "one egg" rating is because "zero egg" rating isn't accepted.
MB failed - would not power up or boot.
Purchased EVGA replacement MB while we go through Gigabyte's RMA process... and wait...

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at newegg-support@gigabyteusa.com with the case number 119710 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.

GIGABYTE VIP Support Team

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Robert G.
  • 2/9/2015 4:10:38 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsHorrible product

Pros: Just like "Vigasan G.", I had exactly the same problem, my mobo wouldn't activate standby mode when I powered on my PSU.

Cons: Please, do not buy this product, because I've already sent in my mobo once, and now I have to send the same board in again for the exact same problem. If you already have this product, treat it well, because it probably won't last unless you do. Don't frequently power on and off your PSU (once a day) or else you'll have to send it in twice in a 3 month period.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at newegg-support@gigabyteusa.com with the case number 119105 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.

GIGABYTE VIP Support Team

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Alexander G.
  • 2/6/2015 6:41:09 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat board

Pros: This board is an over clockers dream! I got this board because I wanted to get the most out of my new 4790K. The BIOS is amazing. It has so many features I don't understand half of them.

Cons: Only one, not enough USB 2.0 Headers for my case. It only has one and I have three I need hooked up. Had to by NZXT adapter to get more.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

5 out of 5 eggsLots of Bang for the Buck

Pros: I reviewed the Gigabyte Model GA-Z97X-SOC Force motherboard with an Intel Socket 1150, Rev 1 configuration for NewEgg. Note SOC stands for Super Over-Clock. This model is primarily aimed at serious gamers who like to over-clock their hardware to obtain the best possible performance from their Intel processors and memory.

Since a motherboard is just foundation piece for a desktop system, the following additional parts were installed to complete the final system: Intel i7-4790S APU, rated 3.2-4.0 GHz (Turbo), with a TDP of 65 Watts and with built-in i4600 graphics. For the DRAM we used G. Skill Ripjaws X-series DDR3-2133, P/N F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL DRAM, rated CL11-11-11-30, at 1.5 to 1.6 Volts. The boot drive was a PNY 240 GB SATA-III 6GB/s SSD drive we got on sale from NewEgg. For power a new Rosewill Capstone 750 Watt, 80 Plus, Gold rated power supply, with a 7-year MFR warranty, was pressed into service. These are nice, quiet, and reliable power supplies. An LG Black 16X SATA Blu-ray Burner model WH16NS40 was our choice of optical drive. This drive can also burn archival quality M-Discs. I plan to use Blu-ray (BR) disks to backup our Centos Server OS.

Also feel free to copy the recipe of parts I used in this project to build your own Windows desktop or Centos Linux server system. Extreme gamers may wish to add a high-end graphics card and a water cooler.

Other than wading through hundreds of potential BIOS tweaks, setup under Windows 10 64-bit Enterprise Preview was a breeze. Why Win10? Well for one it’s currently available as a free download and I thought NewEgg's customers would like to see a review covering a bleeding edge MB, running a state-of-the-art operating system. The only setup snag encountered involved the driver disk supplied by Gigabyte refusing to run under Windows 10. It gave some script errors and then crashed. Since Win10 is still in beta, this was not an unexpected issue.

Builders tip: Skip this driver disk altogether and go to the MB manufacturer's website and download the latest drivers from there. Typically these driver disks are pressed months before the motherboards have even been finalized, so they can be ready when the boards ship. As a result these included driver disks are frequently out-of-date before they hit the retail shelves. The Gigabyte website Windows 8 drivers seemed to work fine under Windows 10.

As far as the special features on this MB, there are simply too many to list in the space allotted for this review. I would recommend that potential buyers watch NewEgg's excellent video on the overview page. The Gigabyte rep on that video does a great job of explaining the many MB features.

Cons: None that I could find during my two-week testing period. One weird problem I ran into during initial testing was when the system was shutdown, the Windows 10 would shut down, but all of the fans, including the CPU fan, would keep running. Flipping the rocker switch on the power supply then killed the fans and when powered back on, they stayed-off. As a test we threw in a Centos Linux live boot disk, it had the same issue. When all else fails, reading the supplied MB manual from Gigabyte quickly cleared-up the mystery. There is a configuration button on the motherboard with a lightening bolt on it. It’s intended for over-clockers to use to keep the fans running in between O. C. sessions, to cool off any hot components. Toggling this switch allowed the MB to shut down normally, sans fans, under both Centos and Windows 10.

There is another switch that also proved very handy. The Rosewill server case we were using had a key-locked front door that covered-up the front power switch. Gigabyte has conveniently placed a lighted power on/off switch right on the MB, where it can be easily reached by a builder during setup and testing.

There are many other specialized switches for O. C. experts to use, as well as some short test leads that can be plugged into the MB. These test leads accept a standard voltmeter probe tip. These short lead extenders allow direct reading of memory and bus voltages for precise over-clocking. Another builders tip: Do not trust the voltage/temperature readings provided by BIOS menus and utility programs running in Windows. The most accurate method is to measure the voltages at test points on the MB, or at the power supply plugs. For MB temperatures use a good quality laser temperature scanner.

Again this is not a con, but while this MB has four PCI-X16 slots, only one runs at the full X16 bus speed. This is a limitation of the Intel PCI-Express version 3.0 bus standard. So if you install a graphics card, make sure you install it into the X16 slot closest to the CPU. The third slot down is rated X8 and the two remaining X16 slots run at X4 speed.

One last oddity that still remains a mystery; The MB simulates two generic flash drives that show up as empty drive letters in the Windows drive manager and the Windows File Explorer. I have not been able to figure out what the purpose is for these two simulated flash drives. The downside is that they waste two drive letters I would have preferred to have assigned to other storage devices. One guess is since flash memory is used for modern UEFI BIOS, and this MB has a dual BIOS feature, perhaps Windows 10 incorrectly identified the two flash BIOS as flash storage devices. One drive was listed as a Compact Flash drive. The second was listed as a "generic" flash device. If anyone knows what these are, please enlighten me?

Other Thoughts: As far as the onboard graphics is concerned, the Intel 4600 graphics system built into the i7-4790S processor had no problems running Windows 10. I did not have a 4K monitor available to test the 4K output from the MB. For our eventual file server purposes, the onboard graphics was more than sufficient.

The Gigabyte MB has an assortment of video output jacks including: VGA, DVI, HDMI-4K and Displayport 4K. Most non-gamer, or moderate game users will be able to skip installing an add-on graphics card.

A special thanks goes out to a friend of mine named JP who stepped-up to supply some of the more expensive parts required to complete this review system. JP originally wanted to go with a water cooler, but the lack of any rear 120mm fan openings on the Rosewill RSV-4000 4U rack mount server case he supplied, killed that idea. So instead I used the supplied Intel heat sink fan. This Intel Haswell processor ran so cool that a water cooler is really not needed for normal desktop usage.

When the Centos OS Live disk was booted-up, all of the MB hardware, including the Atheros e2200 Killer Ethernet NIC, worked fine except for the Realtek audio system. Since this is going to be a file server, an audio system is not necessary. If you want to run a desktop version of Linux like Mint, it should not be that hard to find a suitable Realtek audio driver.

Even with the relatively brief two week test session with this Gigabyte Model GA-Z97X-SOC Force motherboard, its solid stability was very impressive. Not once did it cause a Blue Screen, even using a beta version of Windows 10. I would expect even better results under Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, where the drivers are more mature.

When you sum up all of the features this motherboard has to offer and with the retail price dropping, I would have no problem recommending this to someone looking to build a gaming desktop, video editing station, home theater PC, or even a file server.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Raymond M.
  • 1/11/2015 4:35:50 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsGood board overall, but some serious drawbacks also

Pros: •4 full size PCI-Express slots
•Good On-Board Audio (no audible noise with decent speaker, due to high SNR)
•lots of fan connectors (but, see con below)
•pretty HD-BIOS, but you need to go to classic BIOS mode for some settings
•useful on-board buttons (even for non-overclockers - not having to short pins to reset stuff is nice)

Cons: •default BIOS applies way too much voltage at stock settings
•CPU is too close to first PCI-E slot to use the best air heatsinks on the CPU
•location of PCI-E x1 slot renders it useless with any decent GPU
•bad placement of SATA connectors - a large GPU will cover them
•fan controller is kinda bad - it can't control non-PWM fans (a downgrade from previous fan controllers) and manual BIOS fan control isn't easy to understand. On top of that, SpeedFan can't seem to see/control the fans
•Gigabyte's software is notoriously buggy

Other Thoughts: Be sure to update your BIOS ASAP if you get this board, before it fries your CPU. If you don't need 4 PCI-E slots, there are better boards in this price range. Because of the bad fan controller and layout of this board, I can't recommend it.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael G.
  • 12/22/2014 10:31:04 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsAmazing

Pros: very good oc mobo love all the buttons for my bench case low mhz switch to get into windows with high oc. this mob with rajintek triton is running my i7 4790k at 1.35 volts and 4.8ghz might could gets volts lower but highest temp ive seen is 74c with p95. will by new models when released.

Cons: none

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Matthew L.
  • 11/27/2014 8:46:08 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsFailed After 6mo

Pros: usb port count. pci slots are nice to have.

Cons: sata connectors too close to where video card extends. failed after 6 mo of usage.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your comments. We apologize for your difficulty with your GIGABYTE product. Please contact us at newegg-support@gigabyteusa.com with the case number 116489 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.


GIGABYTE VIP Support Team

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