GIGABYTE has one of the largest X99 motherboard fleets in the retail market. Instead of leaving just a few models to satisfy their customers, they tend to tailor their segments to better target their end users' needs. GIGABYTE has come out with G1 Gaming, SOC Overclocking, and Ultra Durable lines. While each type of board is specifically targeted towards gamers, overclockers, or power users, all of the boards cross over into each other's domains.
GIGABYTE's overclocking boards carry upgraded audio, and their gaming boards carry overclocking features; their main series carries both. However, as you get deeper into their product structure, certain products offer features that don't exist on other lines, and the X99-SOC Champion is a perfect example of that.
There has been a lot of debate over the socket GIGABYTE is using. It isn't the standard Intel recommended socket, but at the same time, it is. GIGABYTE has added a switch to switch over from the LGA2011-V3 grid to the LGA2083 grid. The benefits of this socket are really only applicable to extreme overclocking, as the extra pins coupled with the right settings only really help increase settings that are beneficial to those using sub-zero cooling. To avoid confusion, I will refer to this new socket as the LGA2083 socket, and I will cover how to use it and what it improves later on in this review.
Here are the manufacturer specifications. The X99-SOC Champion and X99-SOC Force are the only two GIGABYTE motherboards that carry 4x PCI-E 2.0 for the M.2 slot, and like all other GIGABYTE boards, the X99-SOC Champion carries the same PCI-E layout capable of 4-way SLI/CF. There is one thing that this board doesn't have, and that is GIGABYTE's USB BIOS rescue; however, Dual BIOS is still present.
The X99-SOC Champion is only $300 on Amazon at the time of this review, which is cheaper than the X99-SOC Force was. The Force seems to be moving out in favor of the Champion. The Champion board is built to break records.
For $300, it is a very attractive motherboard since the other options for world-record capable boards are closer to $500. You really have to be an overclocker to recognize the value of this motherboard; otherwise, just looking at the specs won't do you any good.
PRICING: You can find the X99-SOC Champion for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The X99-SOC Champion retails for $299.99 at Amazon
Australia: The X99-SOC Champion retails for $539.00 at PLE Computers.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the X99-SOC Champion]
- Page 3 [X99-SOC Force Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 5 [Test Setup and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [Temperature and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]