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GIGABYTE X99-Gaming 5 (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 28, 2015 12:10 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and the Board

 

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The box has a big eye on it, I am guessing to match their video card division's GIGABYTE eye. The board is well packed and sits in its own tray in an anti-static bag. It is well protected from the elements.

 

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The accessory package is one of the more plentiful. It consists of six sleeved SATA 6G cables, a 2-way SLI bridge, a 2-way CrossFireX bridge, two types of 3-way SLI bridges for different GPU spacing, a 4-way bridge, a power cable expander, a back-panel IO shield that lights up, and a special G1 Gaming sticker.

 

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I have circled the fan headers on the board. There is one PWM header and four voltage mode headers, all of them can be controlled through the UEFI or Windows software. I actually have the X99-Gaming G1 WIFI as well and I can barely tell the difference without up close inspection. The new red Gaming series have a sleek heat sink design, and the accent lighting is well pronounced if you like that kind of stuff. The back of the board is pretty much barren except for some LEDs.

 

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The backpanel IO features a Bigfoot NIC, six USB 3.0 ports (one is for BIOS flash-back), four USB 2.0 ports, two PS/2 ports, a gold plated audio TOSLINK with S/PDIF optical out, and openings for GIGABYTE's WIFI/BT antennas (which you get if you buy their card separately).

 

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The X99-Gaming 5 has a very straight forward PCI-E layout, the first and second PCI-E slot are wired directly to the CPU at 16x and 8x. The third PCI-E 16x slot gets 16x from the CPU, and if you place a card in the last slot, it will take 8x from the third slot and switch it to the fourth slot. You can run 2-way at 16x/16x, 3-way at 16x/16x/8x or 16x/8x/16x, and 4-way at 16x/8x/8x/8x. All the 1x slots get their bandwidth directly from the PCH.

 

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GIGABYTE utilizes all 10 SATA 6G ports from the PCH, which includes two ports for SATA Express, which are shared with the M.2 slot. The M.2 slot operates at 10Gb/s, which is standard M.2 operational speed.

 

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Extra power for the PCI-E slots might be needed for 4-way SLI/CF so there is an extra Molex power plug.

 

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GIGABYTE is providing the X99-Gaming 5 with the exact same audio subsection as their X99-Gaming G1 WIFI. The LEDs on the back illuminate the PCB isolation gap.

 

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The VRM is made up of 6 phases; these 6 phases are cooled by a decent sized heat sink.

 

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Removing the heat sink reveals good contact between the VRM power stages and the VRM heat sink. Metal screws are used for all connection points.

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