Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force Review

Published by Hiwa Pouri on 10.06.14
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General   + -
The first impression of the Z97X-SOC Force from Gigabyte leaves us wanting for more. We like the individual design of this board, which actually follows the original X58A-OC, the Z77X-UD7 as well as the very famous Z87X OC.
The Z97X-SOC Force is a motherboard that really targets extreme overclockers, but nevertheless Gigabyte succeeded in crafting a product that is equally attractive to the guys handling LN2 as well as watercooling/aircooling setups. Both worlds will be able to squeeze the maximum out of their systems using this board. The next important thing is the price. At around 175 Euro you get a board that comes with an armada of features.
  - Design
- 4 x PCI-Express 3.0 Slots
- onboard standard USB ports
Layout   + -
Basically, the Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force features a layout that has been very well thought. Once more there are practical angled SATA connectors as well as the power- and reset-buttons. There is also a debug display which is very useful in case you should have issues with a component in your system or the board itself. Right next to the SATA ports you find two standard USB ports which are very practical during overclocking. Should you own a case where the front USB ports are connected with a standard USB cable instead of an onboard USB 3.0 connector, then you do not have to route this cable to the I/O panel anymore. Even the placement of the four PCI-Express x16 slots is well chosen. Between two slots there is always one empty slot. We think this is a good number of PCI Express x16 slots for an overclocking/gaming motherboard altough most gamers will never use four graphics cards in their build. But still it leaves you with plenty of options if you want to plug in other expansion cards. Overclockers will also like the voltage readouts as well as the OC Brace.   - Angled SATA connectors- Power/Reset-Button onboard
- Debug display
- Space around the CPU socket - Voltage readouts- OC Buttons
- No M.2 slot
Performance   + -
Calculating the average of all 3D benchmarks we ran, we see that this board is capable of scoring a new number one value. When taking the average of all 2D results, this board is achieving good seventh position. The performance of this board is really good and especially in case of 3D performance, Gigabyte did an excellent job. On another note, we had a look at power consumption and noticed that this board is about average. The slightly higher power consumption can be credited to the sheer amount of features on this motherboard.   - 3D Performance
- 2D Performance
BIOS   + -
As you might have expected from Gigabyte, you get an excellent BIOS which offers not only a boatload of tuning and tweaking options but is also very easy to use. Especially with the entry screen with which Gigabyte is trying and also succeeding to add elements which make the BIOS much easier to use for unexperienced users as well.   - Sheer amount of options
- Design
Recommendation   + -
With the Z97X-SOC Force, Gigabyte has a worthy successor for the Z87X-OC in its portfolio. Like its predecessor this board comes with lots of features as well as an attractive price point. For 181 Euro you get everything you need for overclocking and also gamers, enthusiasts as well as modders will be happy with this product. It is only the M.2 slot we are missing with this motherboard.   - Overclocking
- Enthusiast
- Gaming
- Modding
We give the Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force very good 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 14 - SiSoft Sandra 2
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 15 - UC Bench
Page 3 - Features Page 16 - Super Pi 1M / 32M
Page 4 - Layout Page 17 - wPrime 1024M Multi Core
Page 5 - Connectors and I/O Page 18 - Cinebench
Page 6 - BIOS Page 19 - Bioshock: Infinite
Page 7 - Test setup Page 20 - Metro Last Light
Page 8 - Preview / Gallery Page 21 - Sleeping Dogs
Page 9 - 3D Mark Page 22 - Power Consumption
Page 10 - 3D Mark 11 Page 23 - Performance Rating
Page 11 - 3D Mark Vantage  Page 24 - Price Comparison
Page 12 - PC Mark 7 Page 25 - Conclusion
Page 13 - SiSoft Sandra 1  

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Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force Review - Motherboards > Intel > Z97 - Reviews - ocaholic