Impressions & Conclusions
The Gigabyte GA-G1975X has all the elements to make a great enthusiast motherboard: fancy cooling, extra power for overclocking stability, great onboard audio, and even some killer light effects if you have an open side panel. But just because you have all the right ingredients, it doesn’t mean the cake is going to taste any good. There are a few issues I ran into with the G1975X which by themselves wouldn’t have been bad, but unfortunately takes away from the final product.
Issue 1: Memory Voltage
The board we received did not have a working memory voltage. Regardless of how we set this voltage and which BIOS we used, it refused to go beyond the default voltage programmed on the RAM. Seeing how this is an overclocking motherboard, a working memory adjustment is critical to achieving its goal. I’m confident that Gigabyte will address this issue (it’s too big to just leave it), but for now it’s a let-down.
Issue 2: TurboJet
When tested, TurboJet did improve CPU temperatures when used alone, and it did improve overclocking when used with a case fan. However, the fans on TurboJet displaces many of the ports commonly located on the rear I/O of a motherboard and onto expansion brackets. So if you use more than 1 video card or any PCI device like a RAID controller or sound card, you can’t use all the expansion brackets, thus reducing the G1975X’s functionality. Not to mention the additional noise and installation hassles.
In my opinion, the cooling should be kept to a single exhaust fan to allow for extra ports on the back. Otherwise you will have frustrated users who have to decide whether or not their USB 2.0 bracket is more important than their SATA or Firewire.
I understand that the enthusiast market is very comeptitive and players need features that make them stand out, but I hope Gigabyte re-evaluates their TurboJet design to come up with something more practical and functional.
Crossfire and SLI
Though I did not test Crossfire in this article, the GA-G1975X supports ATI’s CrossFire technology. SLI may potentially be supported in the future and Gigabyte is betting on this fact by including an SLI bridge and SLI retention bracket. If multi-card gaming floats your boat, then the Gigabyte GA-G1975X may be worth looking at!
While there are some BIOS and design issues with the GA-G1975X, it is a very solid motherboard. It overclocks extremely well and has a lot of great features like SB Live, dual BIOS, dynamic graphics boosting, and more. As long as Gigabyte can fix the memory voltage issue, there shouldn’t be any reason for you not to consider the GA-G1975X as your next LGA775 solution.
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