...boards such as the Z97X-Gaming 5 represent a straightforward choice for performance users seeking familiar looks and a range of gamer-optimised features.
Intel's Z97 chipset can be considered a minor upgrade over the existing Z87, yet it's a chance for partners to spruce up their wares and Gigabyte is taking the opportunity by revamping its G1 Gaming Series product line.
For better or for worse, the manufacturer is withdrawing the green-on-black colour scheme that had become synonymous with G1 boards and has instead reverted to a tried and trusted combination of red and black.
As a result, the new range targets mainstream appeal as opposed to individuality, and with keen pricing in tow, boards such as the Z97X-Gaming 5 represent a straightforward choice for performance users seeking familiar looks and a range of gamer-optimised features. These include CrossFire and SLI capabilities, Killer networking, amplified Realtek ALC1150 audio and, new to Z97, support for the emerging high-speed M.2 and SATA Express storage standards.
We'd have liked to have seen Gigabyte stick to a full-size ATX PCB, and the addition of a debug LED would have been a nice touch, but for £110 with a solid BIOS and a free four-year warranty, the Z97X-Gaming 5 is a solid effort that gets very little wrong.
CrossFire and SLI capabilities
SATA Express and M.2 support
Well-stocked and multi-mode BIOS
Four-year warranty available in UK & IRL
Lacks DisplayPort output
19mm narrower than full ATX
No onboard debug LED
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5
The Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5 motherboard is available to purchase from Scan Computers*.
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