Gigabyte has launched its range of 8 Series OC motherboards with the Z87X-OC and Z87X-OC Force. They debut a number of interesting features that are advertised as being specifically designed to “help enthusiasts and overclockers get the most performance from their hardware, as well as the most enjoyable OC experience possible.”
Both motherboards include Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 5 Plus design philosophy that aims to extend the motherboard’s lifespan by providing features such as industry leading PWM controllers, ESD protection for USB and LAN ports, durable black solid capacitors and a gold plated CPU socket, power connectors, PCIe slots and DDR3 DIMMs.
|Chipset||Intel Z87 Express||Intel Z87 Express|
|Memory||4 x DDR3-1600 DIMMsMaximum of 32 GB||4 x DDR3-1600 DIMMsMaximum of 32 GB|
|Video Outputs||2 x HDMI1 x DisplayPort||2 x HDMI1 x DisplayPort|
|Audio Outputs||2/4/5.1/7.1 channelS/PDIF InS/PDIF Out||2/4/5.1/7.1 channelS/PDIF InS/PDIF Out|
|Networking||1 x Intel GbE LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit)||2 x Intel GbE LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit)|
|Wireless||None||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/nBluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR|
|Expansion Slots||1 x PCIe x16 (running at x16)1 x PCIe x16 (running at x8)2 x PCIe x16 (running at x4)1 x PCIe x12 x PCI||3 x PCIe x16 (running at x16)2 x PCIe x16 (running at x8)2 x PCIe x1|
|SATA Connectors||6 x SATA 6 Gb/s||10 x SATA 6 Gb/s|
|USB Ports||6 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0 / 1.1||6 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0 / 1.1|
Also included is Gigabyte’s new UEFI Dual BIOS, a fully customizable user interface that provides complete access to all motherboard data and real time adjustment of performance settings. This is complemented by a revised version of EasyTune, which allows users to fine-tune system settings and voltages in a Windows environment and removes the need to install additional software.
As one might expect, the 8 Series OC motherboards also have a number of features specific to overclocking including:
- OC Brace: Allows up to four graphics cards to be safely installed in an open case or test bed without risking PCIe slot damage or preventing cards from not showing up in the OS due to poor contact with the PCIe slot.
- OC Ignition: Hitting the OC Ignition button allows continuous, uninterrupted power to all the motherboard’s connected drives and system fans, without powering the CPU. This is cited as useful for testing water cooled systems and in ‘cold bug’ situations.
- OC PEG: OC PEG adds auxiliary power to the PCIe slots of your motherboard, improving system stability in extreme configurations.