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It has been some time since we at Pro-Clockers have had the privilege of reviewing a motherboard. Thanks to Gigabyte, that dry spell is over. Gigabyte has been kind enough to send us one of their recently releases Z97 chipset motherboards, the GA-Z97X-SOC Force. The GA-Z97X-SOC Force is part of their OC (Overclocking) line. This line over motherboards have proven to be very capable and have been used to break numerous overclocking world records. Let us see what this motherboard can do as we review it today.
As stated above, this motherboard is intended for the new Haswell series of processors. On launch there was several processors released but the two most popular amongst enthusiasts and overclockers are the i5-4670K and the i7-4770K processors due to their unlock multipliers. We will take our newly purchased i7-4770K and this new Gigabyte motherboard and see just how capable in overclocking this motherboard can do.
A number of companies have released a series of motherboards based around the Trinity APU. Gigabyte is one of those companies who have released eight motherboards supporting the APU but only four of them are utilizing the A85X Bridge. One of those four is the micro-ATX GA-F2A85XM-D3H which we will be reviewing here today. This new motherboard offers all that was stated in the first paragraph at a very comfortable price range for those on a building budget.
The FM2A85X Extreme6 is the flagship motherboard from ASRock for the latest AMD APU products, which are based on the Piledriver core (updated Bulldozer architecture) and go under the codename of "Trinity". The motherboard is visually appealing to the eye and offers load of options from low wattage consumption to an 8+2 phase power configuration for increased stability while chasing down the higher overclocks. One impressive aspect about this particular ASRock flagship board, which we believe everyone in the market for a new Trinity-based system will love, is that the Extreme6 is being had for only $100 from Newegg!
But just when we thought they would not be able to top the feature rich X79 Extreme9 they up the ante with the granddaddy of them all with the Extreme11 featuring the same X79 chipset from Intel. The Extreme11 comes in at a very hefty price tag of $649 but ASRock did not hold out when it came down to packing the board with everything they had and more. Granted I could not fork over the money to obtain one of those off the shelf but there are many that can. So, is if worth it even to them? Lets check it out first.
And this is just what has happened, Gigabyte has update the technology and name its obviously Ultra Durable 5. Currently, it is offered on four motherboards: Z77Z-UP4/5 TH which both has Thunderbolt support and the X79S-UP5 Wi-Fi and the X79-UP4 which are based on Intel’s high-end Sandy Bridge-E processor. We will be taking a look at the latter today as part of this review.
There are a ton of electrical features that have been added to this Z77 OC Formula to help you succeed in your overclocking adventure, one which we will talk about in this review. However, it is not all about caps, VRMs and MOSFETs with this motherboard, nay, as ASRock recruited the aid of Gelid for the board’s cooling.