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GIGABYTE X99-Gaming G1 WIFI (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 14, 2015 2:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Circuit Analysis

 

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The CPU VRM features a total of 8 phases; each is powered by an integrated power stage, the well-known International Rectifier PowIRstages. There are eight high capacity server grade inductors made by Cooper Bussmann. The FP1007R3-R15-R are 0.15uH Flat-Pac series power inductors, they feature 76A saturation current at 25C; this is an extremely high current rating, and will help reduce overall heat around the VRM area. The X99-Gaming G1 WIFI uses 9x Nippon Chemicon 10K can-type polymer capacitors each rated at 560uF for a total of 5040uF.

 

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The X99-Gaming G1 WIFI is using the International Rectifier IR3580, an 8 phase digital PWM, the latest one that is offered by International Rectifier. GIGABYTE has used the IR3556 for the power stages, each one can output 50A at about 10W and 90% efficiency. The IR3556 is a brand new PowIRstage, it replaces the IR3551.

 

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There are two sets of everything for the DDR4 power on X99, because there are two sets of DIMMs on every X99 motherboard. GIGABYTE chose to stay with digital PWM control for all four DDR4 VRMs; the International Rectifier IR3570 is a 3+2 phase digital PWM perfect for this. Two of these PWMs are in use, one on each side of the board. There are four DDR4 VRMs because each set of DIMMs requires a DRAM voltage of 1.2v and a DRAM VPP voltage of 2.5v. The 1.2v rail is the most important, and on this board each set of DIMMs get two phases, each a 40A International Rectifier IR3553.

 

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These are the VRMs that provide the 2.5v VPP supply for each set of DIMMs. They consist of a single phase made up of IR3553 40A PowIRstages which are controlled by the same IR3570 PWMs that are used for the main rail since the IR3570 has two separate sets of PWM outputs.

 

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A single RT8120 is a single phase PWM and it powers a single phase VRM using two Vishay SiRA14MOSFETs that control the PCH voltage rail.

 

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The main chip for the audio on the X99 Gaming G1 WIFI is the Core3Di chip from creative, the CA0132. It resides under the gold plated EMI shield. The entire audio section is separated from the main PCB where the analog and digital signals are mixed. This makes higher quality analog signals on the audio side easier to attain.

 

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GIGABYTE provides a replaceable operational amplifier; they call this system OP-AMP. The board comes with a Burr Brown (Texas Instruments audio subdivision) OPA2134, the CAP switch next to it reduces gain from 6x to 2.5x for both channels. Dual ASM comparators help with the LED lighting modes. The X99 Gaming G1 WIFI also provides an amplifier for the front panel audio, the DRV632 from Texas Instruments provides that functionality.

 

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A Texas Instruments TPS65130 provides up to +/- 15v for the OP-AMP socket. While we are on the topic of audio power, I decided to also tie in the RT8288A which provides clean 5v power to the USB DAC-UP ports, which are yellow on the back panel. These ports have the ability to work without any power or with clean 5v power. Some USB DACs don't need USB power, just data, and with this system you can cut the power without cutting the data so it doesn't cause unneeded input noise.

 

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This board also has dual NICs. Some people have a preference for either Intel or Killer for their gaming network controller - the X99 Gaming G1 WIFI provides both.

 

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The Intel 7260NGW is the built in AC WIFI/BT M.2 card that is provided with the board. It provides dual band AC WIFI.

 

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Dual Renesas(NEC) D720210 are used to expand 2x USB 3.0 ports from the PCH to 8x USB 3.0 ports for the backpanel.

 

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Four NXP L04083B switch 8x PCI-E 3.0 from the first 16x slot to the second 16x slot. GIGABYTE decided not to allocate CPU PCI-E 3.0 bandwidth to the M.2 slot as some other vendors have done, so they are using SATA6GB/s and SATA Express bandwidth to do it. A single NXP L04083B allows 2x SATA6GB/s to give up their bandwidth (2x PCI-E 2.0) to the M.2 slot.

 

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The board features two clock generators. The first is an IDT6V49332, which basically helps out with BCLK overclocking. The second is a common ICS clock gen used to generate the PCI-E signals.

 

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GIGABYTE is using a plethora of ITE branded ICs to control everything from SuperIOs to BIOS control mechanisms. First off, we have the ITE8620E, which is a super IO in charge of CPU fan control and PS/2, four NCT3941S are also used to expand fan control to the four fan headers. IT8792E is the first embedded controller (EC) we find on this board, its purpose is to expand OC features and fan control.

 

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Dual 128Mbit BOS ROMs are used on this motherboard, for the traditional GIGABYTE dual BIOS, however, GIGABYTE thought that users might like a way to update the BIOS ROM without needing to boot the system, so they added a feature they call QFlash+.

 

It is similar to other USB BIOS recovery tools, in that all you need is a USB drive with the BIOS in a specific USB port, and then BIOS flashing is triggered. To provide this type of offline BIOS flashing, GIGABYTE uses an ITE8951E, along with a bunch of other ICs.

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