Gigabyte Z97MX-Gaming 5 – mATX Gaming Muscle from Gigabyte

Our Final Thoughts

Award_GoldGigabyte really revamped some things with the Z97 series and I’m happy to see that the new UEFI is solid and sleek, the board layout is nice and even the board styling looks pretty awesome.

The new devils canyon chip feels like we returned to Sandy Bridge as I mentioned in the CPU/Chipset article and as so these chips seem to simply wall at a certain speed regardless of settings so I think it will take a lot of binning or huge luck to push it further.

The Gaming 5 with a 4 Phase VRM had no problem running the CPU sample from intel at its limit 4.8GHz without even breaking a sweat which tells you just how efficient this board is and that the chips simply don’t need huge power circuitry to do the job. Obviously there is a counter to that in that if you want to bench at extreme or subzero levels I think you would want to aim more at a OC version with more OC options and a stout VRM

The audio upon testing was really nice and very clear sound, however with most codecs being ALC1150 now it is tough to say it is a complete head and shoulders above everyone else, but it is definitely good.

The Killer NIC allows for some great packet control which is a welcome addition for any gaming build and the price point is something that is easy to swallow for even the tighter budget gaming builds.

Gigabyte did a great job putting together a tight package in the little Gaming 5 and it did so at a price that basically leads the Z97 gaming board market.

The Pro’s: Cons
  • Excellent Value
  • solid performance
  • Excellent audio playback
  • OP AMP capability
  • Gain Switches
  • Nice New Styling
  • Wish it offered WiFi
  • Onboard buttons would be nice

 

Review Overview

Performance - 8.5
Value - 9.5
Quality - 9
Features - 8.5
Innovation - 8

8.7

The Z97MX-GAMING 5 is a stout board in a small package with features that make it a great buy at a excellent price.

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