Once booted into Windows the first thing to do with this piece of kit is to run to the manufacturer’s website to download the latest bios (F10 at time of writing).
Flashing the BIOS was quick and easy with the Q-Flash utility, similar to the EZ Flash feature found on Asus boards.
The BIOS main screen lists various categories containing different settings and options, the most relevant section for us being the “MB Intelligent Tweaker”, which contains overclocking/enthusiast options.
Everything in this section is really well organised and easy to follow. The CPU clock settings are in a labelled section, with an option to move to a more advanced screen opening up options that allow you to further tweak your system in order to improve overclocking stability.
The section below details memory related settings with more detailed timing options on hand in the advanced section.
Below that we have a section devoted to voltage settings, with subcategories splitting up the options in a logical manner. The board has plenty of range in the voltage settings to serve its purpose and is flexible for a board of its price.
In the other screens we can see some of the less exciting options along with a huge plus for this board, the ability to save eight different overclocking profiles to quickly switch between. The EIST and C1E options located on one of the pages above must be enabled to use the dynamic energy saving feature as they regulate the CPU’s core frequency and voltage.
Overall the bios had plenty of options for a board of its price and managed to provide offerings that will appeal to enthusiasts while also boasting a great user experience.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WiFi-BK vs. MSI Z97 Gaming 5 vs Asus Maximus VII Hero
It is probably fair to say that Intel don't stealth launch their products... sure they have NDAs but by the time those expire we know pretty much everything about a new product. Part of this is of their own...