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Pros: BIOS - Dual boot for testing BIOS Updates. Within the bios, there is an advanced view, and a non-advanced view. Surprisingly enough, the GUI or non advanced view seemed to offer more functionality and configurations in my opinion.
HARDWARE - everything was easy to read, and was labeled accordingly. There is a really cool audio feature where you can toggle the audio amplification. That compensated negated the non-solid caps egg I was going to dock the board on.
The SATA Express is a pretty cool feature too. I tested that, and man did it fly! Although I could reach the maximum 10Gbps, I did get up to 7.8Gbps.
Also, the SATA Power port for the PCI slots was pretty slick. This provides that extra bit of power for those higher end graphics cards.
OS FEATURES - Although the CPU I was utilizing did not offer any auto overclocking, there were tons of features to be able to auto overclock straight from the OS. Also, like most gaming boards, it offered ways to configure power settings and cooling.
RUNNING - I found that this board ran a little hot during testing, maybe on the higher side of normal, but nothing that I thought would be dangerous
Cons: BIOS - It seemed cluttered to me. The rolling text at the bottom in ST Mode was too squeezed together to read fast enough, not that it was already moving fast enough to begin with. While configuring settings and going through, testing the different features, I noticed that once you accessed certain areas, you couldn't go back without exiting the BIOS and restarting (1 EGG).
HARDWARE - This is the first gaming board that I have seen that does not have all solid capacitors. The audio capacitors, although cool looking, are not solid and thus prone to leaking. I have big beefs with that.
All but 1 of the 4-pin system fan ports were at the bottom. That I thought was really, really mean. It really does limit the amount of fans that the motherboard can directly support, as most gaming boards are typically placed in ATX Full towers or bigger. So, the fan cables might not reach unless you go over the CPU and what not. But then, you are starting to create cooling issues.
OS FEATURES - Some of the applications, although luxurious, did not like running. For example, the Killer Network Manager would not run without Flash, even after I deliberately installed Flash (1 EGG).
RUNNING - It ran a little warm. But like I said before, it was nothing to be concerned about.
I had a 4GHz Processor installed on this setup, and I discovered that the integrated graphics still had a hard time playing BF4 on LOW settings.
Other Thoughts: Testing Environment:
8Gb DDR3 1600
Intel Quad Core 4GHz CPU
For $300.00, I personally think that Gigabyte could have done a lot better with the hardware in terms of giving it all solid caps. They also could have made the UEFI BIOS a little more understandable. Furthermore, before they integrate software, they should make sure it actually recognizes that Flash is installed.
Pros: Low wattage
Cons: Considering the reason I bought it for, there are no cons.
Other Thoughts: This is not a K model, so it shouldn't be able to support any "automatic" overclocking. It must be done manually.
Anyways, I didn't test this to the extent I would with an advanced gaming processor, as I bought it strictly for the purpose of testing other equipment. A necessary expense for testing LGA 2011 boards.
Pros: Looks cool and and sleek. Has some great features like the LED lights.
->BF4: it runs this on maximum settings and has below average FPS ( I consider 35FPS to be about average for gaming)
->I have not overclocked it, and probably won't until later down the road when it begins to lag behind the competition.
->Runs cool, but compared to others, it doesn't seem to get anywhere close to a danger temperature.
->The LEDs are great for a quick glance of how the card is running if you set them up right.
->The software is a breeze to use.
Cons: ->Shadow Play: I won't drop an egg for this, since I consider Shadow Play a luxury. But, when I used it for some games, it seemed to not record the graphics as I see them. Kind of disappointing, but not a big deal to me.
Other Thoughts: Computing Environment:
ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition
Intel Core i7 4820k (Overclocked to 4.6GHz)
G.SKILL Ripjaw Z Series 32GB DDR3 2133
Corsair AX1200 PSU
Corsair H100i CPU Liquid Cooling Radiator
Intel 530 240GB SSD