Gigabyte Z170X-Designare Motherboard Review: Affordable, High-Tech, Great Performance

Z170X-Designare BIOS & Overclocking

Gigabyte’s has taken a more colorful and stylistic approach to their boring, DOS-like UEFI of old with the Z170X-Designare. What it lacks in sophistication it makes up with a sufficient complement of features that are well-sorted for those interested in a deeper dive for hands-on overclocking and tuning in the Advanced/Classic section.

Those less adventurous will find the Easy Mode offers all that is needed to quickly access XMP memory profiles, OC profile presets, fan controls or to take a quick glance at system vitals.

Gigabyte Z170X Designare BIOS1

The Advance section is definitely all that when compared to the spartan Easy Mode. Yet it features pretty much what we’ve come to expect from a complete and solid BIOS feature set replete with voltage, storage and memory tweaking settings. Still, this is not the board for extreme bleeding-edge overclockers looking for endless pages of features and sub-features over which to obsess.

Gigabyte Z170X Designare BIOS2

Less-savvy users can still achieve substantial performance gains using the board’s more familiar features for tweaking.  Skipping over to the Advanced Frequency Settings section of the BIOS, we conducted our usual overclocking attempts with uneventful success.

Gigabyte Z170X Designare BIOS4
We dialed the CPU clock ratios up to 48, pushing our 6700K to 4.8GHz and cranked our memory to 2667MHz. We left all other settings on Auto and booted safely to the BIOS. However, system temps were idling in the high 60s and skyrocketing from there on load. This showed the limits of our cooling solution while giving a glimpse at the potential of the board with more exotic cooling and more time spent manually tweaking CPU voltage. So we dialed the ratio clock down to 46 to get 4.6GHz on the CPU and then booted to the desktop with no issues from there.
Gigabyte Z170X Designare BIOS3

At this point, the UEFI BIOS environment found here may seem less than inspiring to look at—and it really is. However, it is also sufficient, intuitive and very easy to use. Additionally this motherboard offers custom system fan profile support, accessible at the bottom right of the BIOS. This is also where the board’s Q-Flash feature can be found for quickly updating the BIOS.

Gigabyte Z170X Designare BIOS5

Overall, the Gigabyte Z170X-Designare offers a simple and clean UEFI that will appease both mainstream users, PC gamers and mild overclockers. Now let’s see how she performs under our battery of benchmarks.

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