GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force Motherboard Review


GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force Overclocking

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force Intel Core i7-4770K CPUz

The Intel Core i7 4770K runs at a non-turbo speed of 3.5GHz and turbo will ramp the processor up to as high as 3.9GHz under a lightly threaded load as we can see above. Since we are using a K series processor which has an unlocked multiplier we will be able to increase the default x35 multiplier to achieve our overclock today. This is the easiest way to overclock K series processors and should provide us with some great speeds.

GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force CPU Performance Upgrade

The Legit Reviews test system takes advantage of some pretty solid hardware. The Intel Core i7-4770K is quite a capable overclocker and we have plenty of cooling with the Corsair H100i water cooler. I decided not to waste time with the lower settings of the GIGABYTE Performance upgrade, I decided to go for broke and give the 100% Upgrade a shot and see how it would turn out.

GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force 100% Overclock

Once I selected the 100% upgrade, I saved the settings and rebooted the system, within moments I was sitting in Windows 8.1 without an issue. Opening up CPU-Z to see where the Intel Core i7-4770K was sitting, and found it sitting pretty at 4.7GHz! The only aspect of this overclock that has me worried is the CPU VCore, it’s sitting at 1.42Volts. The Intel Core i7-4700K ES I use doesn’t require that high of a voltage to overclock typically.

GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force 100% Upgrade Overheating

In order to check for system stability I fired up the AIDA64 System Stability Test, much to my dismay the 1.42 Volts on the CPU VCore was a little to much for my particular piece of Silicon, within seconds of starting the AIDA64 Stability test the Intel Core i7-4770K was being throttled back due to temperatures.

GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force Intel Core i7 4770K 4800MHz

I dialed back the voltage and found that I was able to increase the CPU multiplier to x48 without an issue. At only 1.3 Volts on the CPU VCore the Intel Core i7 4770K was rock solid and was able to chew through the stability test for 30 minutes without hesitation.

FutureMark Firestrike Overclocking Benchmark Results

Firing up 3DMark Firestrike to see what kind of performance gains the GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force will see when overclocked, we hit an overall score of 6139. That’s not a huge gain since at stock speeds we hit 6105, where there is a significant gain is the Physics score. At the stock CPU profile the Physics score was 11208, running along at 4.8GHz, the Z97X-SOC Force physics score jumped to 13653! That’s a gain of 2445 points, or gain of nearly 22%!