Gigabyte Shows off Next-Gen X99 Motherboards Built For Broadwell-E Family – X99 Designare EX and X99 SLI Phoenix

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Apr 25, 2016
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As the launch of Intel’s Broadwell-E platform approaches, board manufacturers are prepping up existing and latest X99 motherboards to feature support for the upcoming family of HEDT processors. At PAX East 2016, spotted three new Gigabyte X99 motherboards which are equipped with a ton of features and powerful components to drive Intel’s Core i7 processor that will be compatible with the LGA 2011-v3 socket.

Gigabyte Showcases Three New X99 HEDT Motherboards For Broadwell-E Processors

The Intel Broadwell-E family of processors are aimed at the enthusiast market and hence feature insane specs. Based on the 14nm process node from Intel, Broadwell-E processors will feature up to 10 cores on the flagship Core i7-6950X CPU which will be a delight for enthusiast to test.

Intel Broadwell-E Family

Processor NameIntel Core i7-6950XIntel Core i7-6900KIntel Core i7-6850KIntel Core i7-6800K
Process Node14nm14nm14nm14nm
Cores/Threads10/208/166/126/12
Core Clock3.00 GHz3.20 GHz3.60 GHz3.40 GHz
Boost Clock3.50 GHz3.70 GHz3.80 GHz3.60 GHz
L3 Cache25 MB L3 Cache20 MB L3 Cache15 MB L3 Cache15 MB L3 Cache
Unlocked Multiplier (BCLK OC)Yes, Full Range OCYes, Full Range OCYes, Full Range OCYes, Full Range OC
ChipsetX99X99X99X99
SocketLGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3LGA 2011-3
PCI-E Lanes40404028
Memory SupportDDR4-2400 MHzDDR4-2400 MHzDDR4-2400 MHzDDR4-2400 MHz
TDP140W140W140W140W
Launch Price$1723 US$1089 US$617 US$434 US

The currently available X99 motherboards are powerful enough to support the processors and manufacturers have already shipped CPU-Ready BIOs to allow support of the upcoming family. This however doesn’t mean that we won’t get any new motherboards from the X99 stack. Motherboard makers have new designs geared up for the Broadwell-E family and the latest series from Gigabyte can be seen below:

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Gigabyte GA-X99 Designare EX Motherboard:

The Gigabyte GA-X99 Designare EX motherboard is a top-notch motherboard featuring some beefy specs and feature list. It’s fairly easy to tell that this board will be aimed at enthusiasts and would come at price that will put a dent on your wallet. The motherboard comes in a E-ATX form factor and is a big motherboard. I can note that there’s a 8+1 Phase PWM supply that drives the LGA 2011-3 CPU socket and power is provided through a single 8-Pin connector.

A total of eight DDR4 DIMM slots are featured on the motherboard (4 on each side) which will allow fast DRAM (OC) support. The whole motherboard features a large heatsink array that is fitted with heatpipe cooling which does help keep the temperatures down across the power delivery system and PCH. Gigabyte has went with blue and white color scheme for their Designare motherboard which looks pleasing although it does remind of the X99A-Deluxe from ASUS. Storage options include two U.2 slots, two SATA Express slots, 8 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and a Ultra M.2 (32 GB/s) slot hidden underneath the white shroud in the middle.

Expansion ports include five PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x16/x4/x16/x8 electrical). Given this many amount of PCI-Express powered connectors, we might see a PLX controller hidden underneath the PCH heatsink but that’s something we cannot confirm at the moment. If there’s no PLX controller, than that would indicate that the Broadwell-E series may increase total number of PCI-e lanes. The I/O was not pictured but we expect to learn more about this motherboard soon.

Gigabyte GA-X99 Phoenix SLI G1 Motherboard:

The Gigabyte GA-X99 Phoenix SLI G1 motherboard is technically similar to the X99 Designare except a few cut down features to offer a better value. The board comes with a white and orange color scheme, orange reminds us of Gigabyte’s own SOC Force series motherboards which are built for overclockers but this board is a G1 part so its aimed at gamers instead.

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The motherboard features eight DDR4 DIMM slots, expansion slots include four PCI-e 3.0 x16 and a single PCI-e 3.0 x1 slot. There are two M.2 slot where one is equipped with a WiFi LAN adapter card. Storage ports include a single U.2 port and 10 SATA III 6 GB/s ports. Some features of this motherboard include wireless connectivity and Gigabyte AMP-Up Audio support. You will note that all upcoming X99 motherboards from Gigabyte feature the metal shielded expansion slots which are more sturdier and look great.

Gigabyte GA-X99 Ultra Gaming Motherboard:

The last of the upcoming X99 boards from Gigabyte is the GA-X99 Ultra Gaming which is likely to be the most cost effective solution. Maintaining design similarities with the Phoenix and adopting a red/white color theme, the X99 Ultra Gaming features four PCI-e 3.0 x16 and a single PCI-e 3.0 x1 slot. The two M.2 slots are found in the middle and don’t feature any add-on card. There’s a single U.2, SATA Express and 8 SATA III GB/s ports for storage.

The Gigabyte X99 motherboard lineup designed for Broadwell-E will be launching soon. We know that Intel plans to unveil their new HEDT platform around Computex which starts on 31st May so we can expect to see event more motherboards by that time.

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