Motherboard Circuit Analysis
My favorite part of getting a new product is taking off the heat sinks so I can see what's underneath. In this process, the fruits of motherboard engineering are exposed for all to see, and here at TweakTown, we do it so you don't have too. If there are any secrets, then they are immediately revealed. Let's see if the GA-X99-Gaming G1 is hiding any.
This is the routing diagram from the GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI; you can find it simply by opening the manual. Most everything is from the X99 PCH, and is branded Intel, except the secondary NIC (Qualcomm Killer e2201), Creative Core3Di, and the USB 3.0 hubs.
The most interesting hardware on the GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI resides in the audio section, so let's start there.
The main chip for the audio on the GA-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.
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 GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI also provides an amplifier for the front panel audio; the DRV632 from Texas Instruments provides that functionality.
A Texas Instruments TPS65130 provides up to +/- 15v for the OP-AMP socket. While we are on the topic of audio power, you should know I decided to also tie in the RT8288A, which provides clean 5v power to the USB DAC-UP ports that 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.
This board also has dual NICs. Some people have a preference for either Intel or Killer for their gaming network controller, and the GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI provides both.
For the first time, GIGABYTE has built-in their WI-FI/BT, and the Intel 7260NGW is the built-in AC WI-FI/BT M.2 card that is provided with the board. It provides dual band AC WI-FI, which is a feature many users are demanding.
Dual Renesas (NEC) D720210 are used to expand two USB 3.0 ports from the PCH to eight USB 3.0 ports for the backpanel.
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 SATA 6GB/s and SATA Express bandwidth to do it. A single NXP L04083B allows two SATA 6GB/s to give up their bandwidth (2x PCI-E 2.0) to the M.2 slot.
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.
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, and its purpose is to expand OC features and fan control.
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. It is another EC, and requires a lot more hardware, which can be found below.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.