Gigabyte's new X99 board is an overclocking champion

Gigabyte has introduced another high-end Haswell-E motherboard aimed at competitive overclockers. During its CES press conference today, the firm revealed the X99-SOC Champion, which managed to set nine world records in only a week.

As one might expect, that kind of pedigree doesn't come cheap. The Champion is slated to sell for a whopping $400—and it doesn't even have eight DIMM slots.

The quad-DIMM setup is actually by design. Having only one slot per channel allows for shorter traces to the CPU, which improves signal quality and overclocking potential. Gigabyte also gets a signaling boost by mounting the slots using an SMT process instead of the usual through-hole soldering. In-house overclocking specialist Hicookie managed to crank Corsair DDR4 memory up to an impressive 4184 MT/s using the board.

Along with a tweaked memory configuration, the SOC Champion has an upgraded CPU socket with extra gold plating. The socket also contains extra pins meant to raise the CPU's overclocking headroom, much like the "OC Socket" that on some of Asus' X99 boards.

What else? The SOC Champion sports four PCIe x16 slots with quad CrossFire and SLI support. All the usual ports are present, and the M.2 slot is a "Turbo" variant that promises 20Gb/s of bandwidth, likey via a four-lane Gen2 connection to the chipset.

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