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Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion Review

rakesh_sharma23

In the zone
Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion Review
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Today we are having a look at an Overclocking focused X99 motherboard offering from Gigabyte, the X99-SOC Champion.


Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion comes with some top notch feathers for stable and higher overclocking, like 8 phase digital VRM with server grade chokes, long life durable black capacitors and a special OC Socket (2083 Pins) for added CPU Stability. The CPU Socket, Memory Sockets and even the PCIe x16 Slots are plated with 30 microns of Gold (double the industry standard on high end motherboards).A great overclocking board in a budget price, what else an overclocker wants.


Now let’s see what this Intel X99 chipset based board have for us.


Package
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Looking at the front of the box, we see gigabyte logo with OC F1 car graphics and motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that Gigabyte goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard.


Inside the box
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Looks
Board is a solid build in a black and Orange colour theme.
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Features

  • Supports New Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition
  • Support for DDR4 XMP up to 3400MHz
  • Genuine All Digital Power Design with IR Digital PWM & IR PowIRstage® ICs
  • Exclusive GIGABYTE OC Features
  • Server level Chokes
  • Gold Plating for CPU socket, Memory DIMMs and PCIe slots
  • Extreme 4-way SLI™ and CrossFire™ support
  • Turbo M.2 connector for up to 20 Gb/s data transfer
  • SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • Intel gaming networking
  • 2x copper PCB design
  • Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in rear audio amplifier
  • Long lifespan Durable Black™ Solid caps
  • APP Center including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ utilities
  • Thunderbolt™ Ready
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™



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Layout
Detailed layout of board.
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1. Intel LGA2011-3 / OC Socket (2083 Pins) supporting New Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition.
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2. 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory with XMP up to 3400MHz
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3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)
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4. 13. Exclusive OC Buttons to help enthusiasts and overclockers not only get the most performance from their hardware, but also the absolute most enjoyable OC experience.
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5. 6. ATX CPU Power Connector(4-pin ATX12V) & (8-pin ATX12V_2x4).
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7.OC PEG adds auxiliary power to the PCIe slots of your motherboard, improving system stability in extreme configurations. This is especially useful in power-hungry 4-way graphics configurations.
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8. Back Panel Connectors - 1 x PS/2 keyboard port, 1 x PS/2 mouse port, 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports, 1 x RJ-45 port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
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9. 10. 11. 12. 24.1 x CPU fan header, 1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT), 3 x system fan headers.
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14. 1 x SATA Express connector, 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
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15. M.2 Socket 3 connector. Thanks to the unique design from the X99 chipset, 4 PCIe (Gen.2) lanes can be allocated to the M.2 socket, unlocking up to 20 Gb/s of bandwidth. Turbo M.2 offers considerably faster storage performance than current mSATA and even SATA Revision 3 (6Gb/s) storage devices.
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16. Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio
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17. Intel x99 Chipset cooled with Solid aluminum and copper heat-pipe heatsink.
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18. . Front panel Audio connector and S/PDIF Out header.
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19. Thunderbolt™ add-in card connector and OC Panel connector (for future expansion).
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20. 21. Serial port and USB 2.0 Connectors.
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22. 23. Front USB 3 Port. Connector and System Front panel Connector.
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25. Expansion Slots.
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GIGABYTE X99 motherboards feature a unique PCI Express design that utilizes 100% of all 40 lanes from the CPU when in a 4-Way or 3-Way graphics configuration. Standard designs limit all 4 main PCIe lanes to x8 (64Gb/s) bandwidth, but thanks to the onboard external clock generator combined with the direct connection of one of the x16 lanes to the CPU (switchless design), GIGABYTE X99 motherboards can unlock the full bandwidth available and provide the best graphics bandwidth possible to the user.
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Removing Heat-sinks
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Component Layout
Let’s now see what all components Gigabyte have planned for this board.
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1. 2. 8-phase digital power, server level Cooper Bussmann chokes coils and Durable Black solid capacitors. IR3580 is IR (International Rectifier) 8-phase single output PWM Controller IC. IR3556M (Integrated PowIRstage) is a synchronous buck gate driver co-packed with a control MOSFET and a synchronous MOSFET with integrated Schottky diode with output current capability of 50A DC each.
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3. 4. Two 2-Phase digital memory power supply section (separate for each side DIMMs). IR 3570A is IR (International Rectifier) Dual output 4+1 and 3+2 phase PWM Controllers. IR 3553M is a synchronous buck gate driver co-packed with a control MOSFET and a synchronous MOSFET with integrated Schottky diode with output current capability of 40A DC each
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Back side of the board have four POSCAP Tantalum-Polymer Capacitors for each side DIMMs.
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5. 12.Fan control ,Voltage monitoring and managing Debug display is performed via ITE IT8792E the system controller.
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6. 7. Array of Switching MOSFETs and RT9018B chips are a high performance positive voltage regulator for memory voltage reference and tweaking control.
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8. Renesas Electronics YET-D720210-0004 Usb 3.0 4-Port Hub Chip.
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9. Intel X99 Express Chipset.
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10. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.
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11. ITE IT8620e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.
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13. The ICS 9DB633 is a PCI-E 3.0 six output differential buffer, clock generator.
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14. NXP L04083B . NXP Semiconductors a 4 differential channel, 2-to-1 multiplexer / demultiplexer switch for PCI Express Generation 3
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15. Intel i218v one Gigabit Ethernet controller chip.
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16. Gigabyte AMP-UP Audio is powered by Realtek ALC1150 (under the EMI shield) is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec that delivers an exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.
The ALC1150 provides ten DAC channels that simultaneously support 7.1-channel sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs. Two stereo ADCs are integrated and can support a microphone array with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming (BF), and Noise Suppression (NS) technologies. The ALC1150 incorporates Realtek proprietary converter technology to achieve Front differential output 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality.
A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. Audio section is having premium Nichicon Gold Capacitors 100uf/6.3v for audio filtration. In addition Gigabyte used one N5532 Op-amp for rear audio amplification. So licensing under Stereo mode produces high audio quality with excellent dynamic range.
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RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing Gigabyte x99 AMP-UP High Definition audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by AMP-UP Audio.
RMAA Asus Xonar DX
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RMAA AMP-UP Audio
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Testing
Test system configuration - Intel i7-5960X, 4 x 4 G.Skill RipJaws4 F4-3000C 15Q DDR4 RAM, Corsair H100i cooler, Samsung 830 SSD 256GB, Corsair RM 1000 PSU, Asus HD-7750, Asus Xonar DX Sond Card, WD 1TB Green, HP DVD RW Drive.
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Benchmarks
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Enabling G.Skill RipJaws4 DDR4 RAM XMP profile with 3000MHz
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Overclocking
With H100i cooler I manage to OC Intel i7-5960X up to 4.5GHz
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OCing given a good increase in CPU performance
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Extreme overclocking. Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion is designed for overclocking and need little more OC treatment that an AIO cooler. So I pulled out my single stage Phase change and Installed the board. Manages to OC till 5.2 GHz on -26C.
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Power Consumption
Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS. Phase changer unit is powered via different source and its power consumption is not listed under.
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Pros

  • Affordable X99 OC board
  • Great Overclocking
  • DDR4 up to 3400Mhz by XMP
  • Built-in M.2 and SATA Express support



Cons

  • EasyTune OC software limited to a 4.1GHz OC



Conclusion
Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion is a great x99 chipset base board with an excellent design and well implemented feature set for overclocking in mind with a great price too. Oveclocking is an expensive hobby, but with this slight lower coast OC board Gigabyte tried to give overclocking fun to everyone. However with most AIO liquid cooling or custom overclocking, I do not think this motherboard’s true talent going to shine through. Need to go extreme OCing for this board.
At the conclusion, for users going into X99 CPU Oveclocking, the Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion is great board to start with.


Manufacturers Info
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