Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review

Manufacturer: Gigabyte
UK price (as reviewed):
£217.16 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $309.99 (ex Tax)

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There's now a significant number of options when it comes to X99-based motherboards covering relatively low budgets to E-ATX monsters and we're even graced with micro-ATX and mini-ITX offerings too.

While Intel's lesser platforms look set to take much of the limelight for the rest of 2015, there's still plenty to shout about with X99 and Gigabyte has recently dropped a number of new boards into the market, including the X99-Gaming 5P.

However, while many of its new competitors offer tweaked designs and USB 3.1 support, the X99-Gaming 5P, which retails for a fair bit more than £200, lacks a number of features, including USB 3.1. Unlike the cheaper micro-ATX X99M-Gaming 5, it lacks overclocking and testing tools such as an LED POST code display and there are no power, reset or CMOS clear switches either.

WiFi is also absent and there's a pretty bare set of extras in the box too. It sports braided SATA cables and an illuminated I/O sheild, but we've seen far more included at this price. Thankfully, Gigabyte hasn't dropped a complete stinker. The X99-Gaming 5P has at least one big trump card - sound. Whether you're glancing at the overview, which is mostly filled with details of the onboard audio, or digging deeper into the specifications such as the independent right and left audio channel PCB layers, Quad DAC-UP USB ports, high-end Nichicon audio capacitors and a total hardware and software solution provided by Creative in the form of its Sound Core3D quad core audio processor, it's clear it means business.

Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review
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It's not a complete dunce in other areas either. It supports 4-way GPU setups and you're able to use the first and third slots in two-way setups to double-space the GPUs for better cooling. There are dual M.2 ports - one for an SSD and the other for a WiFi module, with an antenna mount on the rear I/O panel too, and as it comes under Gigabyte's Ultra Durable range, you get extras such as gold plated CPU, memory and PCI-E slots and long lifespan Black Solid capacitors.

Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review
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Cooling is decent too, with a large heatpipe linking the VRM heatsink at the top to the PCH heatsink further south, while the layout is generally excellent too, although once you start dropping in multiple GPUs, certain features such as the M.2 ports start to get blocked.

Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5P Review
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Specifications

  • Chipset Intel X99
  • Form factor E-ATX
  • CPU support Intel Socket 2011-v3 (Haswell-E, Xeon)
  • Memory support Quad-channel, 8 slots, max 128GB
  • Sound 8-channel Creative Sound Core3D
  • Networking Atheros Killer E2201
  • Ports 1 x M.2 (up to 2280/80mm), 1 x M.2 (WiFi module only), 1 x SATA Express, 10 x SATA 6Gbps, 8 x USB 3.0 (2 via header), 8 x USB 2.0 ( 4 x via header), 1 x LAN, audio out, line in, mic, Optical S/PDIF out
  • Dimensions (mm) 305 x 264
  • Extras Braided SATA Cables, illuminated I/O shield

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