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Five Z97 Express Motherboards, $160 To $220, Reviewed

Results: SiSoftware Sandra 2014

Gigabyte’s deliberately-forced Turbo Boost ratios are behind those over-the-top scores in Sandra's Arithmetic and Multimedia CPU tests. Remember that this very same overclock is available on most boards, that it is often tied to XMP memory mode, and that we specifically chose not to use XMP mode in order to make this contest fair.

The Z97X-UD5H falls behind in Sandra’s bandwidth-hungry Encoding/Decoding test, and the Memory Bandwidth module shows why: Gigabyte triggers slightly less attractive memory settings, probably in an effort to improve stability with marginal kits.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.