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GIGABYTE X99-SLI (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Jul 21, 2015 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the GIGABYTE X99-SLI.

 

What's Hot

 

Solid Quality and Overclocking: GIGABYTE's attention to detail when it comes to quality is quite apparent. For example, the VRM is only a 6-phase VRM, but because of its high quality components, it's able to overclock the CPU core frequency as high as every other X99 motherboard I have tested.

 

LGA2011-V3 with 2089 pins: With the second round of X99 motherboards, most manufacturers now have extra pins in the CPU socket. These extra pins provide higher cache overclocking and better support for high speed DDR4 overclocking. The X99-SLI provides those extra pins and the hardware to go with it.

 

Solid Performance: The board performed very well compared to the rest of the herd. I didn't find any scores that were unusual or pointed towards a problem with bus bandwidth or tuning.

 

 

Great Power and Thermal Performance: Since GIGABYTE isn't using many third-party ICs, overall power consumption is pretty low. The high quality VRM components also help with reducing temperatures around the VRM area, and this is apparent through the thermal imaging.

 

Fair Price: I personally feel that for $250, you should get all the platform features and a some unique manufacturer features. On this front, GIGABYTE delivers with good value, all the features of the X99 chipset, and some new GIGABYTE features.

 

What's Not

 

No POST Code display: The lack of power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons isn't such a big deal since users can just hook up buttons to the motherboard jumpers, but one thing users cannot easily do is implement a POST Code display. I think that on a $250 motherboard there should be some type of POST code display to be used not only for overclocking, but overall diagnostics.

 

Standard M.2 slot: While something built to its standard isn't necessarily a bad thing, GIGABYTE could have gone above the M.2 standard like they did on their X99-SOC Force. The M.2 form factor has become increasingly popular because of its ability to provide huge bandwidth gains over SATA 6G and even SATA Express, and M.2 drives that can saturate the standard 2x PCI-E 2.0 M.2 slot are becoming more popular and affordable.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

This is an interesting board because of where it sits within the GIGABYTE X99 fleet. It's peculiar that GIGABYTE's X99-UD4P is only $20 more, as it only offers some extra LEDs and a different form factor. Looking closer, it becomes apparent that there are other differences, and the X99-SLI is designed for a slightly different case layout than the X99-UD4P.

 

For starters, GIGABYTE moved two of the USB 3.0 ports on the IO panel to an extra internal USB 3.0 header leaving only four USB 3.0 ports on the back panel, and they moved most of the fan headers from the right side of the board towards the left. It seems to me that GIGABYTE is trying to target everyone with their X99 fleet, and the X99-SLI is the birth child of consumer demand.

 

gigabyte-x99-sli-intel-motherboard-review_85

 

The X99-SLI is priced aggressively at around $250; it's a solid X99 motherboard that won't break the bank. The X99-SLI offers great overclocking and it's quite easy to use with the Corsair DDR4 3200MHz kit, even for 24/7 use. Overall, I was pleased with the X99-SLI, and while it might not have the most USB 3.0 ports or the fastest M.2 slot, it does offer good compatibility and performance because most if not all of its controllers are from Intel. GIGABYTE has done a nice job of providing a great variety of products for the X99 market, and if you are looking for a board in the $250 price range, you should give the X99-SLI a look.

Product Summary Breakdown

Performance (including Overclocking)90%
Quality including Design and Build93%
General Features88%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money90%
Overall TweakTown Rating89%

The Bottom Line: GIGABYTE's X99-SLI is a high-quality Intel X99 motherboard with a good number of chipset and unique GIGABYTE features all in an affordable package that is worth a look.

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