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GIGABYTE X99-SOC Champion (Intel X99) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Apr 6, 2015 2:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Test Setup


We would like to extend a big thank you to Corsair for sponsoring our case, fans, SSD, USB drive, and PSU!


We would also like to extend our gratitude to Seekfor sponsoring the Thermal Camera. You can find my review of the camera here.





This is the new test bench, and it is designed to test every aspect of the motherboard and I/O. I have designed it so that the motherboard sits in a case and is cooled by fans that are always on at a constant rate to keep the conditions similar for all tests. I have cut out part of the case behind the motherboard so I can get thermal images of the back of the PCB where the VRM heat spreads. System and CPU power measurements are now digitally logged.


I am also using a Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 for our network tests, including wireless AC. The latest M.2, SSD, and USB technologies are also utilized to test the maximum potential of the motherboards that are being tested.



Overclocking Results


In this section, I will explore the overclocking process and results of this board.


CPU Overclocking


Max CPU Overclock is found by setting the VCore to 1.5v, input voltage to 2.1v, and cache voltage to 1.15v; booting with a CPU multiplier of 45x; and disabling any features that would result in CPU frequency fluctuation. Then, proceed to Windows and use software to increase the multiplier; in this case I opted to use GTL.




The maximum of our CPU on this board, and other X99 motherboards, is 5.0GHz. It is clear that CPU overclocking is pretty good for high frequency.


Maximum AIDA64 Stable Overclock (BIOS settings for this are below):




I was easily able to pull off 4.5GHz on the CPU with 3.2GHz cache, and a 2400MHz overclock on my memory by manually tuning the UEFI.



Uncore Overclocking


I usually don't cover cache/uncore overclocking since it really doesn't help users who overclock on air or water, and on the majority of boards the uncore speed maxes out at 3.8GHz which is enough for above ambient overclocks. This maximum can be overcome with a modification to the CPU itself, but not many people are going to solder the pads on the bottom of their CPU.




However, the LGA2011-V3 socket with the extra pins such as ASUS's OC Socket and GIGABYTE's LGA2083 socket provide the ability to overclock the uncore way above what other boards without the socket or CPUs without the mod can do. Up to now every board I have reviewed can only overclock the uncore to around 3.8GHz, that includes the SOC Champion's big brother the SOC Force. The X99 SOC Champion can do 4.5GHz Uncore.

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