Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI
- CPU: AMD FX 6350
- Cooler: Corsair H115i GT - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: G.Skill TridentX (2x8GB) 3200MHz - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - Boot Drive: Samsung 850 Pro 512GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - SATA6G Drive: Corsair Force LS 240GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - USB Drive: Corsair Voyager GS 64GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
- BIOS: F1
- Drivers: Audio: PG431, Intel LAN: 20.7, VIA USB 3.0: V4.90A, ASmedia USB 3.1: 184.108.40.206
The motherboard looks good inside of a case, and the red LEDs provide a nice glow.
The new test bench is designed to test every aspect of the motherboard and IO. I have designed it so that the motherboard sits in a case and is cooled by fans always on at a constant rate to keep the conditions similar during 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 (including wireless AC) tests. The latest M.2, SSD, and USB technologies are also being utilized to test the maximum potential of the motherboards that are tested.
The 970-Gaming SLI is a sub-$100 motherboard, and I don't want to set a bad example by showing you guys a nice overclock. To overclock 125W CPUs over 4.2GHz on this motherboard requires very strong airflow over the VRM heat sink, and that isn't normal.
I would look into the 990FX-Gaming from GIGABYTE if you want a motherboard like this one with better overclocking. The 970-Gaming SLI is a gaming motherboard and not an overclocking motherboard.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and 970-Gaming SLI Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup and Overclocking]
- Page 7 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 10 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]