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GIGABYTE X99-SOC Champion (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 6, 2015 2:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Circuit Analysis

 

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In this section I will begin with a discussion of the voltage regulators, and then move to other important circuits.

 

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The VRM on this board is powered exclusively by International Rectifier, which is one of the preferred manufacturers for overclockable VRMs. An IR eight-phase digital PWM is utilized to its maximum coupled with IR power stages. The inductors are also interesting because they are capable of 76A saturation current; the Cooper-Bussmann inductors provide high-power density, which is very important with X99. There are ten Nippon Chemi-Con polymer capacitors rated at 10K that provide a total of 5600uF for the output filter.

 

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The IR3580 is an eight-phase digital PWM with IR's latest technology built into it. The PWM works well with IR3556, which are 50A integrated power stages. Using all International Rectifier parts allows certain International Rectifier technologies to be utilized, such as the Body-Breaking mode, to turn both internal MOSFETs off to increase overall efficiency.

 

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Each set of two DIMMs has its own IR3570, which is a 3+2 phase digital PWM. It is being utilized as a 2+1 phase PWM. The first two phases power the main DDR4 voltage rail, and the +1 powers the VPP rail. Both the main DDR4 voltage and the VPP are powered by IR3553, which are 40A integrated power stages.

 

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These are the IR3553 used for the VPP rails.

 

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On the left is the Intel i218v that is a common complementary chip to the Intel NIC in the PCH. On the right is a NEC D720210, which is a 1:4 USB 3.0 hub to expand USB 3.0 to the backpanel.

 

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The audio is powered by an ALC1150 that complements the Intel Azalia codec in the PCH.

 

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These are the dual BIOS ROMs, each at 128Mbit/16MB. The main Super I/O which handles temperature, voltage, and fan monitoring and control is located right above it. The Super I/O is an iTE8620E complemented by four nuvoTon NCT3941S chips for fan control and secondary and tertiary embedded controllers. I will cover this in greater detail very soon.

 

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These are the EC (embedded controller) chips responsible for OC functions. The first one is the one you typically find on GIGABYTE X99 motherboards that regulates fan control and basic OC features, but the second one is special for the socket and DIMMs.

 

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These are NXP 2x PCI-E quick switches; they switch 8x of PCI-E 3.0 bandwidth from the first slot to the second when needed.

 

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A secondary clock generator has been added to help BCLK overclocking, and this board seems to have extra linear regulators to help power the extra voltage rails for the extra pins in the socket.

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