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Z97X-Gaming 5 Firmware

Intel Z97 Express: Five Enthusiast Motherboards, $120 To $160

This is just my opinion, but Gigabyte’s new firmware GUI has become nearly useless to enthusiasts. Fortunately, a click of the keyboard’s F2 key brings up all the familiar settings of “Classic Mode”.

Switching from our locked Core i7-4790 to an unlocked Core i7-4770K gives us all the options we need to reach 4.5 GHz at 1.25 V core. There are, of course, several menus to jump through.

The board also supports our DDR3-2800 samples, even at 4 x 8 GB. Primary, secondary, and tertiary timings are adjustable in dual-channel (manual mode) or per-channel (advanced manual mode) arrangements.

If you’re like us, you might be tired of jumping through submenus only to find that the Advanced Voltage Settings menu is nothing more than a list of submenus. But we’re almost through!

Leaving other settings at motherboard defaults, we found our 1.25 V CPU core and 1.65 V DRAM core voltage targets approximated at 1.22 and 1.62 volts, respectively. The actual DRAM voltage was measured at 1.644 V, but the Z97X-Gaming 5 only supports increasing that setting in 20mV increments. The 1.64 V setting pushed our RAM to nearly 1.67 volts!

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