Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the X99-Gaming 5P motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. While the board was not able to stabilize at the known upper limits of the processor used for testing (4.5GHz), we were able to get the processor stable at 4.3GHz at a 125MHz base clock speed in conjunction with a 2333MHz memory speed and at 100MHz base clock speed with a 3200MHz memory speed. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 16GB (4 x 8GB) of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-3400 memory modules were used for the 3200MHz memory overclocking tests. 32GB (4 x 8GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 memory modules were used for the 2333MHz memory overclocking tests at the 125MHz base clock speeds.

4.37GHz CPU at 125MHz base clock, 2333MHz memory speed

4.3GHz CPU at 100MHz base clock, 3200MHz memory speed

Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.

Performance

At stock speeds, the GIGABYTE X99-Gaming 5P motherboard performed well in comparison to the other tested board with its performance exceeding expectations in most cases. Overclocking-wise, the board seemed to hit the wall with the test CPU just shy of our expected speed settings. However, we were able to pair up the high speed Corsair Dominator Platinum modules with the board, running at an impressive 3200MHz.

Pricing

As of May 19, the GIGABYTE X99-Gaming 5P motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $309.99 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $309.99.

Conclusion

The X99-Gaming 5P lives up to the lofty expectations set by GIGIBYTE for this board by including it in their newly minted Champion Series. This board is almost perfect from the aesthetic and design perspective with its gamer-centric red and black theme and clean board layout. GIGABYTE also included redesigned heat sinks to better sync with the color scheme, going so far as to include red glow effects integrated into the chipset sink. The integrated components were carefully picked to appeal to its target audience with several of the normal overclocking-friendly components left off in favor of the more gamer-friendly components. This includes the inclusion of the Creative 3D audio chipset, socketed OP-AMP, and audio gain switch, while leaving off integrated power and overclocking buttons as well as the 2-digit debug LED normally used by overclockers. Don't get me wrong though, GIGABYTE in no way short changed any of the included power components. The power circuitry integrated into the board matches specs with the other overclocking-enthusiast boards in their line-up.

The actual overclocking experience was one of the more challenging points with this board. While we were unable to stabilize the board at the targeted CPU speed settings, the board did manage a respectable 4.3GHz overclock at both a 100MHz and 125MHz base clock. It even managed to stabilize with the high-speed Corsair memory modules runnning at an impressive 3200MHz.

Strengths

  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking potential
  • Board aesthetics
  • Illuminated rear panel shield
  • Board cooling and heat pipe design / layout
  • CPU socket layout and spacing
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • CMOS battery placement
  • Quality of integrated Creative Labs Core3D chipset and audio subsystem design
  • Performance of Qualcomm Killer GigE NICs
  • Design and placement of mPCIe and M.2 ports

Weaknesses

  • Complexities encountered with dial-in of base overclock
  • Odd ATX12V power connector implementation requiring 1-to-3 power adapter

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