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GIGABYTE X99-Gaming 5 (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 28, 2015 12:10 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Circuit Analysis




This section will start off with a look at power regulation and then shift into general circuit selection and implementation.



CPU Regulator Analysis




The CPU VRM consists of 6 phases made up of six International Rectifier IR3556 which are 50A power stages. Six Coiltronics FLAT-PAC 76A high-current inductors are used for the output filter's inductor stage. The output filter consists of nine 560uF 10K capacitors from Chemi-Con. This VRM has very high power density. Instead of increasing phase count like many other brands, GIGABYTE decided to use higher current components in a smaller area.


The IR3580 from International Rectifier is an 8 phase PWM, however, GIGABYTE opted to only use 6 of the 8 phases. There is only a single 8-pin input, however, GIGABYTE provides an adapter to allow you to get past PSU OCP by combining up to three 8-pin connectors from your PSU.



Memory Regulator Analysis




The X99-Gaming 5 uses two IR3570A, which are 3+2 phase PWMs to drive a total of four IR3553, which are 40A power stages from International Rectifier. The main DRAM voltage and the VPP voltage each get their own power stage, which should be enough for DDR4 power.



General Circuit Analysis




Under that gold plated cover is a Creative CA0132, which is a Core3Di quad-core audio processor. The X99-Gaming 5 compliments the chip with a bank of Nichicon audio capacitors as well as a Texas Instruments DRV632 audio amplifier for the front panel audio output. The X99-Gaming 5 has an OP-AMP socket so you can replace the operational amplifier, there is also a gain switch to reduce or increase the gain depending on the output device.


Like the X99-Gaming G1, the X99-Gaming 5 has a Texas Instruments TPS65130, which is there to drive up to +/- 15v to the audio amplifier socket to support a wide range of aftermarket amplifiers. Two tiny operational amplifiers produce different lighting affects for the LEDs on the board.




A Bigfoot (Qualcomm) E2201 is provided as the NIC, I will test this later on in the article. The X99-Gaming 5 is using a NEC D720210 as a USB 3.0 hub to expand a single USB 3.0 port into four for the back-panel IO.




The X99-Gaming 5 carries dual 128Mbit BIOS ROMs, an iTE IT8620E Super IO, and an IT8792E (EC), which is an extra embedded controller in charge of random extra tasks. I usually only find the extra EC on high-end overclocking boards from GIGABYTE, I am not sure exactly what its use is here.




The X99-Gaming 5 utilizes a secondary clock generator, an IDT6V49322, for higher BCLK margins. The PCH is powered by a single phase Richtek PWM with drivers, and some Vishay PowerPAK MOSFETs. The X99-Gaming 5 has USB BIOS flashback through the use of the iTE IT8951E chip.

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