Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1 Motherboard Review: Features Galore For Skylake

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Introducing The Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1

Intel Skylake processors have landed and motherboard manufacturers now have a wide range of boards sporting the necessary LGA 1151 socket and Z170 chipset to support the CPUs. Under the microscope today we have a high-end model from Gigabyte, the formidable Z170X-Gaming G1—a board that's virtually bursting at the seams with top-end features for the discriminating enthusiast. It's got everything from a 22 phase power array, to support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, quad GPUs, Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors and dedicated network processing via onboard Killer DoubleShot Pro X3 NICs—just to name a few.

Z170X Gaming G1 main1

Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1 Motherboard
Specifications & Features
CPU:

Chipset:

Multi GPU:


Memory:


Audio:

Connectivity:

Slots:


Storage:


USB 3.1:

USB 3.0:

USB 2.0:

Form Factor:

Price:
Intel Core i7 processors - LGA1151

Intel Z170 Chipset

4-Way Graphics Support with Ultra Durable Metal Shielding ove PCIe slots

DDR4 Memory support, 4 DIMMS,  32GB of system memory Dual Channel memory architecture

Creative certified Sound Blaster ZxRi 120+dB SNR

Killer DoubleShot-X3 Pro network processing unit, (2 x Killer GBe + 1 x Killer Wi-Fi adapter), Bluetooth 4.0

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (running at x16, x8)
Support for up to 3-Way SLI or CrossFire (x16, x16/x16, x16/x16/x8)

Dual Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors with up to 32GB Data Transfer (PCIe SATA SSD support), 3 x SATA Express connectors, 8 SATA 6gb/s ports (2 ports from SATA Express port)

2 x USB 3.1 (1 x rear panel, 1 x USB 3.1 bay)

11 x USB 3.0 (7 x rear, 4 x front via internal header)

8 x USB 2.0 (4 x ports on back panel, 4 ports internal USB headers)

ATX Form Factor 12 in x 9.6 in ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

$463 Currently Via Amazon

As for Skylake itself, this new microarchitecture is squarely aimed at enthusiasts, minus the high cost of entry of say, an X99 / Haswell-E / DDR4 Quad-Channel setup. Currently, the new processor type is only available in the unlocked Core i5-6600K and the higher clocked i7-6700K on the desktop. Base clocks are 3.5GHz (turbo to 3.9GHz) and 4.0GHz (turbo to 4.2GHz), respectively. For this setup we are using the burlier 6700K which features 4-cores and 8-threads versus the 4C/4T configuration of the 6600K.

Skylake and Z170 intro a host of compelling features. Among them is Intel’s new integrated HD Graphics 530 (1150Mhz), the first Intel integrated Intel GPU solution with support for DX12. Most enthusiasts will settle on a higher performing discrete after-market solution from AMD or NVIDIA. Still, the HD 530 makes a suitable stop gap, before or between dedicated GPU buys. For more on Skylake and Z170 specifically checkout our initial coverage.

Z170X Gaming G1 bundle1

Accompanying the Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard is a fairly familiar bundle, with a few notable extras. You get the board, of course, a disc for drivers, a user manual and a second disk to install the module driver for the included Wi-Fi adapter. It also comes with six SATA cables, an I/O Shield and several bridge connectors for multi-GPU configurations in either NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire setups.

Z170X Gaming G1 layout6

Moving on, we have a 5.25” drive bay which features USB 3.1 and USB 3.1 Type-C connectors on the front. The board also ships with a single U.2 add-in card. Connecting this to one of the included Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors will allow NVMe SSD solutions, such as Intel’s 750 Series solid state drives, to access NVM Express across four lanes of PCIe 3.0 for top performance.


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