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  • Gigabyte X99 SOC Force Overclocking Motherboard Review
  • Gigabyte X99 SOC Force Overclocking Motherboard Review


    Board Layout and Features

    The motherboard features a matte black PCB with orange expansion slots and color accents on the various heatsinks.   Like on previous OC series motherboards the X99 SOC Force is designed for mutli-GPU applications and features a slot layout to support up to four GPUs either in SLI or Crossfire.

    Looking at the back of the motherboard we can get an indication as to how the PCI Express slots are wired and determine which slots are primary and secondary in terms of bandwidth.  There are a few surface components found on the PCB and one rather large heatspreader directly under the VRM.  Given that X79 suffered from performance problems related to VRM heat having a heatspreader here makes total sense.

    Another thing you will notice is that the memory sockets have lost their traditional solder connections and no longer pass thru the entire motherboard.  This is a new feature designed to further enhance signal stability between the memory modules and processor.

    On the X99 SOC Force you will find a total of eight power phases for the CPU.  This might be one of the smallest PWMs we have seen on any high-end X99 motherboard but, there is a reason for that.  The OC uses the new PowIRstages which can supply more power to the CPU, with less heat and better efficiency.  While 32 phases would be pretty impressive the smaller number of traces also helps with signal integrity and stability at high frequencies.

    Behind the VRM cooler you'll find the CPU Power connection made up of a single 8-pin connector.  Given the location the cables they should be easy to hide in any modern chassis and easy to remove given the space between the power plug and I/O panel.