The Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK is a high-end socket LGA1150 motherboard based on the new Intel Z97 chipset, supporting the fourth and the forthcoming fifth generation Core i processors. It brings high-end network and audio interfaces, four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, ten SATA-600 ports (allowing one SATA Express connection), and eight USB 3.0 ports. Let’s take a good look at it.

The “new” Intel Z97 Express chipset is a rebranded Z87 chipset for marketing reasons. They are identical and, therefore, have the exact same specifications. Some motherboards based on this chipset support the new SATA Express and M.2 (sucessor to the mSATA) connectors, but these are mechanical features provided by the motherboard, and not by the chipset.

Like the Z87, the Z97 supports six USB 3.0 ports, six SATA-600 ports, Smart Response (installing an SSD as a cache for the main hard drive), Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while in sleep mode), and Rapid Start (faster boot times) technologies.

The Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK is part of Gigabyte’s G1 Gaming series, which, as the name suggests, is aimed at the gamer customer. It is also a “Black Edition” motherboard, which means each one of those motherboards was tested under stress for 168 hours (seven days) in order to assure the best reliability.

You can see the Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK motherboard in Figure 1. It uses the ATX form factor, measuring 12” x 9.6” (305 x 244 mm).

Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI0BKFigure 1: Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK motherboard


Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.