Gigabyte Technology has introduced a new Intel X99-based mainboard that is specifically designed for overclockers. The motherboard is not the most feature-rich X99 platform available, but when it comes to overclocking potential, the X99 SOC Champion could offer numerous breakthroughs thanks to redesigned LGA2011 socket with additional pins as well as all-new memory sub-system.
The Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion motherboard sports a special LGA2011-3 socket, akin to Asustek Computer’s patent-pending OC Socket, which activates pins that Intel uses only internally and which are not enabled on commercial products. The additional pins let overclockers to better tweak of voltages in BIOS, which should help those, who plan to use extreme cooling methods (liquid nitrogen or liquid helium) and set various benchmark records.
Unlike other Intel X99 mainboard, the X99 SOC Champion features only four DDR4 DIMM memory slots in a bid to further improve overclocking potential. The slots are SMT mounted for improved signal quality and located closer to the CPU socket. The DIMM’s shorter trace path enables the DDR4 memory to communicate faster with the CPU, enabling the overclocker to reach never achieved before DDR4 memory frequencies.
Like other enthusiast-class mainboards from Gigabyte, the X99-SOC Champion uses high-quality components for CPU voltage regulator module, including International Rectifier PWM controllers and new PowIRstage controllers.
The X99 SOC Champion mainboard from Gigabyte also sports four PCI Express x16 slots for 4-way multi-GPU graphics sub-systems, M.2 slot for SSDs with up to 20Gb/s of bandwidth as well as SATA Express port with 10Gb/s bandwidth.
Pricing of the mainboard was not announced, but since it lacks advanced RAID controllers or high-end audio solutions, it is unlikely that the platform will be very expensive.
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KitGuru Says: If you are in the market for a motherboard that offers great overclocking features, but is not too expensive, the Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion is clearly a platform to consider.