Gigabyte X99-Designare EX Motherboard Review
Posted by Heath Coop on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 7:54am
With the release of Intel’s Broadwell-E processors motherboard manufactures have been refreshing their X99 lines to meet demand for the newest features on the almost 2 year old platform. At the same time, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, Gigabyte renewed the iconic blue color scheme. The marriage has resulted in Gigabyte’s new X99-Designare EX motherboard, which is a part of the new Designare series, aimed at content creators.
The Designare EX adds a few new features along with many features that have become common place on Gigabyte’s new motherboards. First up is a new customizable RGB ambient lighting system. Not only does this offer full RGB lighting to the motherboard, but a header allows case mounted RGB lighting strips to be added and controlled as well.
Next up is dual U.2 ports. U.2 is the newest storage interface. It’s allows NVMe protocol which takes advantage of the fast bandwidth of PCIe Gen3 x4 lanes (32 Gb/s). Intel has already released drives using this protocol and by the looks of it, this will more than likely replace the still-born SATA Express protocol.
All of this has us at Pro Clockers pretty excited, so let us get started.
Gigabyte's take on the X99-Designare EX motherboard
Ambient Surround LED
Set the Color that Matches Your Style
Now offering more LED customizations than ever, users can truly adapt their PC to represent their lifestyle. With full RGB support and a redesigned Ambient LED application, the user has complete control over the LEDs which surround the motherboard.
Light Up Your Case to Match your Motherboard
With an onboard Pin Header for aftermarket LED Strips, users now have the ability to sync the lighting in their computer case with the lighting on their motherboard. By using the Ambient LED Application, included in GIGABYTE APP Center, users are also able to specify the lighting modes available and ensure that everything is illuminating their system in harmony.
NVIDIA® QUADRO® Professional Graphics Supports
NVIDIA® QUADRO® 3D Workstation Professional Graphics Solutions designed and built specifically for artists, designers, and engineers, NVIDIA Quadro GPUs power more than 100 professional applications across a broad range of industries. Professionals trust them to enable their best work using applications such as Adobe® Creative Cloud, Avid Media Composer, Autodesk Suites, Dassault Systemes, CATIA and SOLIDWORKS, Siemens NX, PTC Creo, and many more.
Premium 3-Way PCIe x16 Multi-Graphics Support
Optimized support for 3-Way NVIDIA SLI™ or 3-Way AMD CrossFire™ On 28 lanes Processor
2-Way SLI™ / CrossFire™ Multi-Graphics
Multi-graphics configuration offers better graphics performance for gaming enthusiasts who demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.
Intel® USB 3.1 + Power Delivery 2.0
The Intel® USB 3.1 controller utilizes four PCIe Gen3 Lanes, offering up to 32 Gb/s total bandwidth, for uncompromised transfer speeds of up to 10 Gb/s per USB 3.1. With twice the bandwidth compared to its previous generation, and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 and 3.0, the much improved USB 3.1 protocol is available over the new reversible USB Type-C™ and the traditional USB Type-A connector for better compatibility over a wider range of devices.
Dual U.2 Onboard (NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4)
The new Intel 750 series SSDs offer an incredible increase in performance over SATA drives. Using the NVMe protocol which takes advantage of the fast bandwidth of PCIe Gen3 x4 lanes (32 Gb/s), the drives are a clear advantage for users looking to boot their OS faster, load their games in a flash and access large files without waiting. By implementing the U.2 port onboard to support the 2.5” Intel 750 Series drive, GIGABYTE ensures that the users can benefit from the best performance.
Fast Onboard Storage with NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 110mm M.2 (Up to 32 Gb/s)
GIGABYTE’s M.2 solution offers considerably faster storage performance and support for both PCIe and SATA interfaces for M.2 SSD devices.
Ultra Durable™ PCIe Armor
Never worry about your heavy graphics card damaging your motherboard again. GIGABYTE’s proprietary Ultra Durable PCIe Metal Shielding reinforces the PCIe connector to prevent slot damage due to heavy graphics card. The DIMM and PCIe metal shield also provides extra strength for when you forget to release the lock while replacing your component, adding a fool proof option which can save your PC’s life.
Ultra Durable™ Memory Armor
GIGABYTE’s exclusive one piece stainless steel shielding design prevents against PCB distortion and twist (Plate bending) in addition to preventing any possible ESD interference.
Support for DDR4 XMP Up to 3400MHz and Beyond
GIGABYTE is offering a tested and proven platform that ensures proper compatibility with profiles up to 3400MHz and beyond. All users need to do to attain this performance boost is to ensure that their memory module is XMP capable and that the XMP function is activated and enabled on their GIGABYTE motherboard.
There are so many features, that we simply can list them all here. Let us take a look at the product packaging and full specifications next.