The Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7 is currently available in the UK from OverclockersUK for the reasonable price of £175.99. In the US, you can purchase it from Newegg.com for $219.99 and is currently offered with a free mouse for a limited time only.
So there we have it, the Z170 chipset being unleashed onto the world. I can say that performance of the actual chipset isn’t a massive improvement over Z97, but performance is greatly limited to the hardware being used such as the M.2, SATA and USB drives. What the Z170 brings to the table is the absolutely huge connectivity. As standard, it comes with USB 3.1 Type A and Type C and six USB 3.0, which was previously unheard of due to the limitations of the chipset and CPU.
I opened this box and just stared at the board, I’ve been banging on about how manufacturers need to start using different colours to break up the bland and overused red and black gaming theme. This has been a recurring theme with not only my reviews, but with consumers also and I think the manufacturers have taken the hint. The white IO cover and heatsinks are refreshing to look at and make it a great and neutral addition to the inside of your case. The red and black hasn’t disappeared completely and by using the trio of colours together, really complements each other. I can see white becoming a dominating colour with the future designs of motherboards and maybe we could start seeing some more vibrant colours thanks to the neutrality of white and black. Along with the new colour scheme, the customisable RBG LED’s contained around the sound portion of the board gives you that added extra touch to really fine tune the colour scheme within your case.
When considering to buy a motherboard, you don’t really think about the additional programs that manufacturers offer. We all have our own experiences with this software and we can all probably say that at one point or another, we have had a negative experience. In recent years, things have changed massively and the programs are no longer a hinderance, but more of a pleasure to use. Gigabyte App Center is one of the better ones to use, the simple and light interface is nice to use and each program is separate to not step on each others toes but also similar so they are familiar to use. One small thing that I found annoying was trying to use them for long periods of time, the overlay can only be accessed from the taskbar or by searching and it disappears after a few seconds, meaning you have to locate it all over again.
The performance is simply awesome. Looking at the detailed results, it may not seem like this motherboard offers the best option available, but we have to remember that the motherboards on offer today all have more than enough bandwidth of the additional hardware which is needed and the results will be skewed due to those components rather than the motherboard itself. The results are all extremely close to each other, in some tests the difference between the top and bottom result is around 1%. The only real difference that shown a major difference was the networking performance. The Killer E2400 chip offered performance on par with other E2400 chips, while the Intel I219V lacked the grunt to really impress and provided one of the worse results we’ve seen on the Z170 motherboard series.
By no means this motherboard isn’t perfect, but it isn’t very far off the mark either and Gigabyte can’t exactly undercut it selves with the Z170X G1 Gaming topping the motherboard offerings can it?
- Extremely fresh and attractive white colour scheme
- RBG LED adds end user customisation
- Performance is extremely strong
- Excellent audio codec
- Extremely low power consumption
- Intel I219V LAN chip doesn’t perform as well as in other boards
- Storage performance is becoming limited by the external hardware, rather than the motherboard itself
“Don’t let the fresh white colour scheme and flashy LED’s distract you, the Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7 is a serious power house and one of the best sub £200 options on the market!”
Thank you to Gigabyte for providing this review sample.