Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
While mini-ITX is the “fashionable” small form factor of choice for most compact system builders, the micro-ATX form factor is still popular as it offers a better compromise between size, features and cost. Unlike mini-ITX motherboards micro-ATX motherboards require less R&D, encounter less technical challenges and are much cheaper to execute as a result. Enter Gigabyte’s latest Intel 9 Series based motherboard, the GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5. At just $130 this motherboard offers a great balance between size, performance and features – at least on paper. Today we will be putting this micro-ATX offering from Gigabyte through its paces to see how it shapes up in practice. As a Gaming series motherboard it comes with the usual beefed up audio implementation and Killer networking as well as support for multiple GPUs meaning it has most things a gamer could want in a motherboard. Being an Intel 9 Series motherboard there’s also support for the new storage options like M.2 and SATA Express. Below you can find detailed specifications on exactly what this motherboard offers:
Packaging and Accessories
As we’ve seen with Gigabyte’s latest Intel 9 Series motherboards the Gigabyte “eye” makes an appearance. Typically we only saw this on VGA products in the past.
The back details the features of the motherboard, much of the focus is on the audio implementation.
Once the box is opened up we get a little flap on the inside which details those key Gaming series features more.
Included is a variety of documentation, driver & utility DVD and case sticker.
Four SATA III cables, a black labelled and colour coded rear I/O and a SLI bridge make up the accessories.