Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

by - 6 years ago

«»

Final Thoughts


Pricing 

Currently, the Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 is available from Overclockers UK for £92.60 plus shipping. This is an incredible value proposition when you consider motherboards supporting the budget H170 chipset without official overclocking support hover around the £80-£90 mark. Granted, there are some Z170 alternatives but I highly doubt you’re going to find something with a similar set of features with a unique aesthetic.

Overview

From a visual standpoint, the Z170-Gaming K3 surprised me and I didn’t expect it to look this impressive for a budget orientated product. For instance, the gorgeous red stripes swooping across the PCB evokes a premium feel and really sits well with a stylish PC chassis. Furthermore, the illuminated branding and red LED strip towards the PCB’s edge adds some vibrancy without appearing too tacky. I’m also fond of the G1 Gaming logo, and stainless steel shielding on the primary PCI-E slot. In an ideal world, I’d prefer the PCB colour to be black instead of dark brown, but it’s implemented rather well and difficult to detect unless you’re inspecting the motherboard closely.

Despite the budget focus, there hasn’t been too many cutbacks and Gigabyte still managed to implement a good audio solution based on the Realtek ALC1150 codec. On another note, the motherboard supports ultra-fast M.2 drives and has USB 3.1 Type-A connectivity. This level of versatility is great and provides a large amount of options to connect peripherals and additional storage. Gigabyte also utilized high-quality capacitors, reliable power circuitry, and dual BIOS functionality. Obviously, the lack of SLI support is a major omission and will deter some users from purchasing this product. It’s a cost cutting exercise due to licensing and Gigabyte decided this was the best option to reach the sub-£100 price point.

Honestly, I don’t think this is a terrible move because the mainstream market usually opts for single card solutions. Furthermore, SLI support in modern games has been pretty abysmal and raises questions about the viability of using dual GPU configurations. This could change as DirectX 12 titles scale multiple cards in a more proficient way. Therefore, this omission is bound to divide opinion for the reasons listed above. I personally believe it’s acceptable but other users might have a different viewpoint.

The BIOS adopts a really simple user-interface which makes navigation a breeze and it’s packed full of tweaks to maximize your CPU’s potential. Saying that, the theme might be a little bland for some users accustomed to more spectacular BIOS themes. What matters most though is the ability to overclock the CPU, and perform a number of essential system alternations. Thankfully, Gigabyte have crafted an excellent BIOS which caters to beginners while offering enough advanced settings to please experienced overclockers. I do think having the option to select between the stock look and more ostentatious graphical style would be beneficial to consumers.

In terms of performance, the motherboard’s stock performance is extremely impressive and legitimately rivals products with a much higher asking price. The Z170-Gaming K3 consistently achieved mid-table performance or higher in CPU, memory and other synthetic testing. Additionally, it really shone in M.2 read speed benchmarks, and exhibited great gaming numbers. Evidently, the motherboard is really well suited to gaming applications. When overclocked, the pecking order remained fairly similar but there was some improvement compared to the stock rankings. Honestly, the motherboard pushes well above its weight whether you’re running at stock settings or using a very high overclock.

Pros

  • Fantastic aesthetic design
  • Good networking
  • Great audio at high bit rates
  • Impressive stock results
  • Intuitive BIOS
  • Subtle LED illumination doesn’t feel overly gimmicky
  • Superb price to performance ratio
  • Support for M.2 (32Gb/s) and USB 3.1 Type-A
  • Useful software package
  • Very clean layout

Cons

  • 16-bit 44KHz audio performance could be improved

Neutral

  • No SLI support but shouldn’t impact users looking for a motherboard in this price bracket

“The Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 is an absolute bargain and brimming with features such as high-speed M.2 connectivity. Its main limitation revolves around the lack of SLI support but this is a concession which makes sense given the target market who overwhelmingly use single card setups.

REVIEW TITLE HERE

Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS and Overclocking
  5. Software Overview
  6. CPU Performance
  7. Memory Performance
  8. Storage Performance
  9. Networking Performance
  10. Audio Performance
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Final Thoughts
  13. View All

Author Bio

Related Posts

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES

0 SHARES