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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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Overclock like a pro with the GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SOC Force motherboard.

Based on the latest Intel Z97 Express chipset, the GA-Z97X-SOC Force works nicely with Intel Core ix and Pentium/Celeron processors in an LGA 1150 packaging. The top-notch build, including a precise CPU power design, durable black solid caps, gold-plated CPU socket, two copper PCBs, and an efficient heatsink design, ensure the legendary durability and stability you expect from Gigabyte. Aimed at overclocking enthusiasts demanding unlimited OC capability, this motherboard features a host of unique OC features that facilitate hardware tweaking and system setting, allowing both novices and veterans to overclock with ease and convenience. This motherboard also incorporates the latest SATA Express transfer technology, exclusive high-end audio features, advanced gaming networking, and scalable multi video cards support, making it the ultimate foundation for your next powerhouse.

  • 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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  • 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

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  • 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

Did you find this review helpful? 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.

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  • 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.

3 out of 3 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

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  • 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

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 9/9/2014 8:24:08 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsAmazing Mobo

Pros: This is an overall great mobo especially for over clocking on Devils Canyon chips (4.7 @ 1.28vcore). noticing others having issues with linux, i have loaded Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Mint 17 with no issues. also have w8.1 loaded on another drie. the on board usb's are a life save when you want to jump from BiOs to BiOs

Cons: havent had any issues yet, but im sure like every electronic component i own itll have its own bugs.

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

  • Vigasan G.
  • 9/4/2014 4:26:51 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsWas good for 3 months.

Pros: Was good for about 3 months

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 so 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.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Ly N.
  • 8/26/2014 1:35:32 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsDishonest Company

Pros: none

Cons: Do not buy this product. I have turned in my RMA and they did something to it and made false statements in order avoid the warranty.

DO NOT BUY GIGABYTE.

1 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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