In this section, I will test GIGABYTE's features, including EasyTune "Auto Tune", built-in OC profiles, power draw, and audio.
Test System Setup
The Crucial memory kit was only used for the stability testing, and the G.Skill for the overclocking maximums.
This board has some cool features. You will notice that it lights up like a UFO on a dark night. You can set the lights to pulse, react to music, or or just turn them all off if you enjoy the dark. The backpanel IO shield is lit up quite nicely as well. On the X99 SOC Force and X99 OC Formula, it was almost impossible to put a GPU in the first slot if I use the NH-D15; however, it actually is possible here, but it is a tight fit.
GIGABYTE's EasyTune and BIOS Overclocking
GIGABYTE offers overclocking profiles in both the UEFI and through the BIOS, the auto OC toggle button on the back of the board offers the same exact overclock as the 4.3GHz profile in the UEFI. You might notice that the OC profiles differ between EasyTune and the UEFI, in that the UEFI (BIOS) offers higher overclocks.
Auto Tune resulted in a 4.1GHz overclock with a 1.25v VCore. The 4.3GHz profile resulted in a 4.3GHz overclock, and a 1.25v VCore. The Auto Tune overclock resulted in a 1.9v VIN, and the 4.3GHz profile resulted in a 1.95v VIN. It is safe to say that you should probably use the 4.3GHz profile, as it offers more speed with the same voltages, and 1.25v seems like a good enough voltage for 4.3GHz.
Special OC Software
Apart from EasyTune, GIGABYTE provides their GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher program for in-Windows on-the-fly tuning, as well as MemTweak for memory timing tuning. These are real overclocking programs for hardcore overclocking. Make sure to use the latest GTL if you want to change multipliers in Windows with the latest GIGABYTE BIOS's.
I tested the power at the wall socket, and at the eight-Pin CPU power connector on the motherboard, which supplies the CPU power. Measurements were taken at 0% load for Idle and 100% load (at max spikes) using IntelBurnTest.
Windows power settings:
Power Saver: Optimized Power
Balanced: Stock, Auto OC (4.1GHz), 4.3GHz Preset
High Performance: 4.5GHz Manual
This is the testing done in RMAA5.5 with the audio; the results speak for themselves. I test with RMAA a bit differently than others; I make sure to disable all audio enhancements in packaged software, and in the control panel, and then I match bit rate and frequency before I finally run the test. Creative has their own guide on audio testing, so I try to follow that as well when I test Creative ICs. These results are in line with the Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI/BK I tested a few months back; the two boards have almost identical audio setups.
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