03 Nov, 2015   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews .  GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

Gigabyte has great Product line of Z170 chipset based Gaming Motherboard series for gamers and enthusiast with best performance and great gaming experience. We have already reviewed top of the line Z170 Gaming Motherboards for Gigabyte GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 Motherboard .

Today we are reviewing another top of the line Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard series, the Gigabyte Z170X GAMING 7 motherboard with a approx price tag of Rs.19K, about 50% lower that Gigabyte GA-Z170X GAMING G1 motherboard.

Now let’s see what this new Intel Z170 chipset gaming board have for us.

Package

Looking at the front of the box, we see Gigabyte logo with motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that Gigabyte goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard.

Inside the box

Looks

Board is a solid build in the same Gaming G1 Motherboard black , red and white colour theme.

Features

  • Next Generation 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt™ 3 - Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Certified Motherboard - Powered by Intel's own Thunderbolt controller the new Thunderbolt™ 3 protocol, which is available over a USB Type-C™ connector on the back I/O of the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7, brings an unprecedented single-wire bandwidth of up to 40 Gb/s -- twice more than the previous generation of Thunderbolt! This incredible increase in bandwidth is also accompanied with support for different protocols such as DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.1, which is backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, opening up a world of new possibilities.
  • Daisy-chain Multiple Devices - Support for DisplayPort 1.2 makes Thunderbolt™ 3 a must have for any enthusiast. The Z170X-Gaming 7 is able to support a display in 4K resolution at 60 FPS. In addition, Thunderbolt™ 3 over USB Type-C™ has revolutionary industry-first features such as Power Delivery 2.0, and the ability to daisy-chain up to 6 devices thanks to the Z170X-Gaming 7’s USB Type-C™ port.
  • Extreme Intel® USB 3.1 Controller - The Intel® USB 3.1 controller utilizes 4 PCIe Gen3 lanes, offering 32 Gb/s of total bandwidth, for uncompromised transfer speeds of up to 10 Gb/s per USB 3.1. With twice the bandwidth compared to its previous generation, and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 and 3.0, the much improved USB 3.1 protocol is available over the new reversible USB Type-C™ and the traditional USB Standard-A connector for better compatibility over a wider range of devices.
  • Connecting the Future - USB Type-C™ - The World's Next Universal Connector. Reversible USB Type-C™ with USB 3.1. The USB Type-C™ is a new reversible connector that is loaded with useful features such as USB 3.1 support for 10 Gb/s transfer speed and DisplayPort 1.2 support to connect 4K monitors. Powered by the Intel® controller, this little port is the better USB Type-C™.
  • GIGABYTE AMP-UP Audio™ Technology - GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard is equipped with Creative Sound Blaster Certified ZxRi 120dB+ Audio and the GIGABYTE exclusive AMP-UP Audio Technology, which provides the industry's highest level of onboard audio features and technologies. With GIGABYTE AMP-UP Audio, gamers and audiophiles are able to experience crisp, ultra-realistic sound effects while gaming, and the richest possible sound experience when listening to their favorite music and movies.
  • USB DAC-UP -Clean, low-noise power for your Digital-to-Analog Audio converter -GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP provides clean, noise-free power delivery to your Digital-to-Analog Converter. DACs can be sensitive to fluctuations in power from the other USB ports, which is why GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP takes advantage of an isolated power source that minimizes potential fluctuations and ensures the best audio experience possible.
  • Killer™ E2400 Gaming Network / Intel® Gigabit LAN – Killer™ E2400 is a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and media performance compared to standard solutions.
    Intel® Gigabit LAN networking, a popular choice with gamers, delivers several performance-enhancing features such as advanced interrupt handling to help reduce CPU overhead and Jumbo Frame support for extra large data packets.
  • Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 – With two PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors onboard, GIGABYTE brings to the user PCI-Express connectivity for SSD devices. Delivering up to 32 Gb/s data transfer speed per connector, the dual M.2 provides an ideal storage solution as it also supports RAID modes.
  • Turbo B-Clock –Built-in Advanced Performance Tuning IC. Thanks to the onboard TURBO B-Clock Tuning IC, GIGABYTE Motherboards enable Overclockers to have the ability to change their BCLK Frequency to a desired value of their choice. With the new linear range adjustment option of the Tuning IC, ranges from 90MHz to 200MHz are now possible, so that overclockers are not limited to the 5% ranges of traditional straps.
  • LED Trace Path with Multi-Color Choices - Personalize your next PC rig to your liking by selecting the color of your choice to illuminate the LED trace path lighting. A total of 7 colors are available to make your system appearance unique!
  • 15 Gold Plated CPU Socket Design -GIGABYTE motherboards come equipped with a 15 micron thick gold plated CPU socket*, which means that enthusiasts can enjoy absolute reliability and longevity for the CPU socket overtime, without having any concerns about corroded pins or bad contacts.
  • Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Certified Motherboard
  • Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel® USB 3.1 with USB Type-C™ - The World's Next Universal Connector
  • 3-Way Graphics Support with Exclusive Ultra Durable Metal Shielding over the PCIe Slots
  • Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connectors with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe NVMe & SATA SSD support)
  • 3 SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
  • Integrated HDMI 2.0 support
  • Creative SoundCore™ 3D Gaming Audio
  • Killer™ E2400 and Intel® Gaming Networks
  • LED Trace Path with Multi-Color Choice
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology

Specifications

Layout

Detailed layout of board.

1. Intel LGA 1151 socket, supporting current 6th generation CPU.

2. 4 DIMM Dual channel DDR4 memory slots supporting max. 64GB at 2133MHz in normal and up to 3866MHz when OC. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) is also supported.

3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)

4. ATX CPU Power Connector (8-pin ATX12V).

5. Back Panel Connectors : 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 support, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port (red), 5 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports, 2 x RJ-45 ports, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone).

6. 11. 13. 19. 1 x CPU Fan, 1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT) and 3 x System Fan Connectors

7. Top right of the board locates an OC button which provides automatic overclocking and an ECO button which provides power savings alongside a POST code display, power, reset ,clear CMOS buttons and voltage read points.

8. Two front USB 3 Port.

9.3 x SATA Express connectors, 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

10. System Front panel Connector

12. 2 x USB 2.0 Connectors

14. Serial Port and TPM Connector

15. Front panel Audio connector.

16. 17. Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connector

With two PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors onboard, GIGABYTE brings to the user PCI-Express connectivity for SSD devices. Delivering up to 32 Gb/s data transfer speed per connector, the dual M.2 provides an ideal storage solution as it also supports RAID modes.

18. Expansion Slots.

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot, 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode , 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_3 slot. When the PCIEX1_3 slot is populated, the PCIEX4 slot will operate at up to x1 mode, 3 x PCI Express x1 slots (All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

Removing Heat-sinks

Gigabyte used dense aluminum heatsink in this board. Heatsinks base is having thermal pad installed.

Component Layout

Let’s now see what all components Gigabyte have planned for this board.

1. 2. CPU voltage regulator circuit has Vishay SiRA12DP / RA18 MOSFETS each package limited to 25A controlled by Intersil ISL95895 Hybrid Digital Four Phase PWM Controller.

3. 2-Phase digital memory power supply section using Vishay SiRA12DP MOSFETS and Richtek RT8120F controller chip.

4. MegaChips MCDP2800 a Bridge DisplayPort with HDMI2.0a in a Single Chip solution

5. The TPS65982 is a stand-alone USB Type-C & Power Delivery (PD) controller providing cable plug and orientation detection at the USB Type-C connector.

6. Intel's DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3.0/USB 3.1 controller.

7. Killer e2400 GbE + Intel's Gigabit LAN chip

8. GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard is equipped with Creative Sound Core3D Quaer-Core Audio. The main Audio Code is Creative CA0132 Core 3Di chip, but along with this Gigabyte has added the Texas Insruments DRV632, a DirectPath 2-VRMS Line Driver with Adjustable Gain.

A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. Audio section is having premium Nichicon Fine Gold Capacitors for audio filtration.

Gigabyte also included some very good audio grade swappable OP-AMPs for best user audio experience. Front panel Audio output has a BurrBrown OPA2134PA OP-AMP which is a superior sound quality , ultra low distortion ( 0.00008% ) and High Performance audio operational amplifiers.

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing test GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 audio against ASUS Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 on-board audio. Resulting one of the best on-board audio solution.

RMAA ASUS Xonar DX

RMAA GIGABYTE Audio

9. eight ASMedia ASM1480 PCI-E quick switches to provides all bandwidth to the PCI-E 16x slots.

10. Renesas Electronics YET-D720210-0004 Usb 3.0 4-Port Hub Chip.

11. ASMedia ASM1061 chips for SATA ports.

12. Intel Z107 Express Chipset.

13. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.

14. ITE IT8628e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.

Testing

Test system configuration -

CPUIntel Core i5 6600K
Board Gigabyte Z170x G1 Gaming7
RAM4 X 4GB HyperX Predator DDR4 3000Mhz
SSDKingston SV300 120GB
CoolerCooler Master H100i GTX
GFX Gigabyte GTX980
PSUCooler Master CMV750
DisplayAcer S220HQL
OS Windows 10

BIOS

Bundled Softwares

Overclocking

Benchmarks

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

Pros

  • Good and easy OC
  • Multi GFX support
  • Great price tag
  • Killer LAN

Cons

  • Nil

Conclusion

Gigabyte GA-Z170X GAMING 7 has good oveclocking power and stable performance, and quite satisfies the needs of overclockers and gamers. We were able to overclock our i5-6600k CPU from stock 3.5GHz to stable 4.7GHz with memory running at 3000MHz easy.

At the conclusion I found Gigabyte Z170X-GAMING 7 is a gaming motherboard, with superb build quality & features, also incorporates latest technologies like M.2 and Sata Express, worthy of our PC Tek INDIA Performance Award.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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