Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5 Motherboard Review

DSC_5549There is no doubt that the Haswell-E and X99 are high-performance computing platform parts. With 40 lanes of PCIe available on all but the lowest Haswell-E CPU, quad x8 SLI or Crossfire becomes a reality so does a large(ish) case in order to fit all the components. In contrast, there are quite a few consumers that want a smaller footprint for their PC; others enjoy the challenge of building small form factor PCs such as mATX or mITX.  One of the major draw backs with the Intel Extreme platform (Haswell-E & x99) is the price. Typically, a CPU can cost $500.00 or more and motherboard prices range from about $250 to $500.

Gigabyte’s version of the mATX x99 platform is part of their Gaming Line. These motherboards feature top notch power delivery, dedicated audio circuitry,  Killer gaming NIC, and a UEFI BIOS that boasts ease of use. Pack all of that into a smaller package of the mATX form factor, and you’ve got one high performing small PC in the Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5.

Review Sample Provided by: Gigabyte
Product Name: Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5
Price at time of review: $ 249.99 USD
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

Gigabyte’s packaging features the Gigabyte “Eye” on the front of the box with simply the name. On the back side however, Gigabyte expands on the specification and features of this motherboard as well as a diagram of the board and the I/O panel connectors.

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A close up view of the motherboard is available if you lift up the front flap on the box. Internally the motherboard is separated by a cardboard divider. The accessories are on top and the motherboard wrapped in an anti-static bag is on the bottom.

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The accessories included with the kit are a 2-way SLI bridge, I/O Shield, four sleeved SATA cables, a user manual and a quick installation guide.

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CPU
  1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors in the LGA2011-3 package
  2. L3 cache varies with CPU

(Please refer “CPU Support List” for more information.)

Chipset
  1. Intel® X99 Express Chipset
Memory
  1. 4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
    * Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
  2. 4 channel memory architecture
  3. Support for DDR4 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz memory modules
  4. Support for non-ECC memory modules
  5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
  6. Support for RDIMM 1Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)

(Please refer “Memory Support List” for more information.)

Audio
  1. Realtek® ALC1150 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  4. Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN
  1. Qualcomm® Atheros Killer E2201 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots
    1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIE_1/PCIE_2)
      * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIE_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIE_1 and PCIE_2 slots.
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIE_3)
      * When an i7-5820K CPU is installed, the PCIE_2 slot operates at up to x8 mode and the PCIE_3 operates at up to x4 mode.
      (All PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
    1. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
      (The PCI Express x1 slot conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  1. 1 x M.2 Socket 1 connector for the wireless communication module (M2_WIFI)
Multi-Graphics Technology
  1. Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFire™/NVIDIA® SLI™ technology
Storage Interface Chipset:

  1. 1 x M.2 PCIe connector
    (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA & PCIe x2/x1 SSD support)
  2. 1 x SATA Express connector
  3. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5)
  4. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
    * Only AHCI mode is supported when an M.2 PCIe SSD or a SATA Express device is installed.
    (M2_10G, SATA Express, and SATA3 4/5 connectors can only be used one at a time. The SATA3 4/5 connectors will become unavailable when an M.2 SSD is installed in the M2_10G connector.)

Chipset:

  1. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (sSATA3 0~3), supporting IDE and AHCI modes only
    (An operating system installed on the SATA3 0~5 ports cannot be used on the sSATA3 0~3 ports.)
USB Chipset:

  1. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
  2. 10 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

Chipset + Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hub:

  1. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
Internal I/O Connectors
  1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
  2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  3. 1 x M.2 Socket 3 connector
  4. 1 x SATA Express connector
  5. 10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  6. 1 x CPU fan header
  7. 1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
  8. 3 x system fan headers
  9. 1 x front panel header
  10. 1 x front panel audio header
  11. 1 x S/PDIF Out header
  12. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
  13. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
  14. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  15. 1 x power button
  16. 1 x reset button
  17. 1 x Clear CMOS button
  18. 1 x audio gain control switch
  19. 2 x BIOS switches
Back Panel Connectors
  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  2. 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  3. 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  4. 6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  5. 1 x RJ-45 port
  6. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  7. 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
  8. 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connector holes
I/O Controller
  1. iTE® I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring
  1. System voltage detection
  2. CPU/System/Chipset temperature detection
  3. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed detection
  4. CPU/System/Chipset overheating warning
  5. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan fail warning
  6. CPU/CPU OPT/System fan speed control
    * Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.
BIOS
  1. 2 x 128 Mbit flash
  2. Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS
  3. Support for DualBIOS™
  4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
Unique Features
  1. Support for APP Center
    * Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
    @BIOS
    Ambient LED
    EasyTune
    EZ Setup
    Fast Boot
    Game Controller
    Cloud Station
    ON/OFF Charge
    Smart TimeLock
    Smart Recovery 2
    System Information Viewer
    USB Blocker
    V-Tuner
  2. Support for Q-Flash
  3. Support for Smart Switch
  4. Support for Xpress Install
Bundle Software
  1. Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)
  2. Intel® Smart Response Technology
Operating System
  1. Support for Windows 8.1/8/7
Form Factor
  1. Micro-ATX Form Factor; 24.4cm x 24.4cm
Remark
  1. Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors’ website or 3rd party website.
  2. Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website.


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