GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X Gaming 5 ATX Motherboard Review: Page 4 of 12
Posted by Paul Malfy on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 8:00am
A Closer Look
The black, white and silver color scheme of the Z270X Gaming 5 looks great and is neutral enough to fit most builds.
The Z270 Chipset has 4 additional PCIe lane when compared to the Z170 Chipset for a total of 24.
The top edge of the motherboard has the 8-pin power connector, a heat sink for part of the VRM Cooler and the CPU fan header.
The AORUS Logo in on the shroud that covers the IO
So, when placed size by side with the Z170X Gaming 5, you can see how different the new AORUS Z270X Gaming 5 board is. The Older of the of the two with the G1 Gaming branding, a black and red color scheme and Intel’s
Z170 chipset. The new of the two with the new AORUS branding, a black, white and silver color scheme and Intels latest Z270 chipset. Both of which who have support for both 6th and 7th generation Core processors on the LGA 1151 socket and both are Dual UEFI Bios motherboards. However, that’s one of the few similarities between these two motherboards.
Here you see the rear of the Z270X Gaming 5.
The IO has everything an end user would need, even a PS/2 port. The Dual LAN is a great feature, even though teaming is not supported.
One of the first things I personally look at on a new motherboard is the IO. The Z270X Gaming 5. From left to right, we first find a PS/2 port. Although it’s a bit out dated, I still like to see it. Directly under that are two yellow USB 3.0 ports, or the “always on” USB ports. These are for charging devices. Next, we have a single DisplayPort 1.2 and a single HDMI 1.4 for the integrated graphics. As we move down the IO, we see a USB 3.1, both type A and C. The Z270X Gaming 5 is a dual LAN motherboard. One killer E2500 Gaming Network, and the other an Intel Gigabit LAN. Below the dual LAN are 2 USB 3.0 and @ USB 2.0. Lastly, we have the single SPDIF port and 5 x 3.5 mm audio jacks. The IO is covered by a white shroud that goes along the left side of the board, and down to the onboard audio. On the shroud, you see the AORUS name in silver.
The “AMP-UP” audio based on the Realtek ALC 1220 CODEC with Creative Labs X-Fi MB5 software.
Along with the Intel Gigabit LAN, the Z270X Gaming 5 also has a Killer E2500 Gaming Network LAN
Moving down the left of the motherboard, you’ll see the Nichicon Gold capacitors for the “AMP-UP” audio based on the Realtek ALC 1220 CODEC with Creative Labs X-Fi MB5 software. The capacitors are capable of handling higher-end equipment. I’ll say that my Sennheiser HD 598 Cs sound great using the built-in AMP for headphones.
The Z270X Gaming 5 has a single 8-pin power connector to power its 12-phase power delivery system
Just above the IO, there is a single 8-pin CPU power connector, next to and above the two heatsinks for cooling the 12-phase power delivery system on the Z270X Gaming 5. Below the top heatsink is the LGA 1151 socket that supports both 6th and 7th generation Core Processors from Intel. So, if you have a 6700k that’s performing well, but you want to take advantages of the features of the Z270 line up, you can keep you Skylake chip no problem.
The Z270X Gaming 5 has a 12-phase power delivery system.
This board has the same LGA 1151 socket that the Z170X Gaming 5 had. Both boards support both 6th and 7th gen Core Processors from Intel.
The first of the 2 M.2 slots is under the socket and supports both SATAs and PCIe x4 and x2 SSDs.
The Second M.2 slot is under the second X16 slot and supports only PCIe x4 and x2 SSDs.
Directly below the socket is the first of two M.2 slots the Z270X Gaming 5 has to offer. The top slot going up to type 22110 and supports both SATA and PCIe x4 and x2 SSDs. The second of the two slots is below the second PCIe x16 slots. This M.2 slot supports up to type 2280 and has only PCIe x4 and x2 support. If you have an SSD that supports the U.2 form factor, you can set up a 3 way PCIe RAID 0. Below the second PCIe slot (running in x8), there is a third PCIe x16 slot running in X4. The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode. There are also three PCIe x1 slots on the board as well. PCIe X1, number 3 shares bandwidth with the SATA3 1 connector. This means that SATA 3 cannot be used when PCIe x1 number 3 is populated. The PCIe x16 slots are reinforced with metal to prevent graphics cards from sagging.
The 3 PCIe x16 slots are all reinforced to better support heavy graphics cards.
The 4 DIMMs are also reinforced and can support up to DDR4 4133 MHz + OC.
Next to the DIMMs, you find the ECO and OC buttons, as well as the Turbo and XMP RGB LEDs.
The accent lighting overlay strip can be swapped out for a different design.
There are 2 front USB 3.1 headers on the Z270X Gaming 5.
The 4 memory DIMMs are also reinforced. They support DDR4, up to 4000+ MHz. They also have RGB lighting controlled by the RGB Fusion software. Next to the 4 DIMMs and the 24-pin connector, there is a clear plastic strip with a design on it. This is accent lighting, also controlled by the RGB Fusion software. This strip can be changed out to a different design. The heatsink on the chipset is black, white and silver, with the AORUS Falcon logo in the middle of it. There is also more RGB Fusion controlled lighting under the chipset heatsink. The Z270X Gaming 5 has support for 3 SATA Express connectors and 6 SATA 6 Gb/s connectors and a single U.2 connection.
The Z270X Gaming 5 has 6 SATA 6 GB/s, 3 SATA Express and a single U.2 connector.
The Z270X Gaming 5 has a total of six temperature sensors and 5 hybrid fan headers that can be controlled and/or monitored by their Smart Fan 5 software. Two of the five fan headers can support 24-watt water pumps. This board has support for USB 3.1 Gen 2. With twice the speed of Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 2 can hit speeds of up to 10 Gb/s transfer speeds. IT also offers backwards compatibility with all legacy USB devices.
In this picture, SATA ports 1 and 2 are being used. When the first M.2 is on SATA mode, SATA ports 4 and 5 are disabled. (the 2 ports above the used ones in the picture above)
The new Z270 chipset may look like the old Z170. However, it has a few new things to offer over the Z170 Chipset. The first thing I noticed with the addition of four more PCIe lanes to the chipset. Z270 has 24 PCIe lanes on the chipset, where z170 had only 20 lanes on the chipset. The only listed feature Z270 has over Z170 is support for Intel’s new Optane Technology. This refers to the new line up of Optane M.2 SSDs that Intel has coming out soon. You will be able to use the Optane M.2 on any Intel Chipset that supports PCIe M.2 SSDs. However, only on the Z270 chipset can you use an Optane drive as a temporary cache that is supposed to cut down on the time it takes to access files and boot programs. The idea is like how the Hybrid Drives are meant to work.
The front panel headers are color coded for easy install and come with their “G Connector” for an even easier install.
Next to the hybrid fan/pump header and TPM connector is the RGBW connector and the Front Audio header.
Here you see the RGBW extension installed on the header.
Along the bottom of the motherboard, starting at the right, you have the front panel headers for the power and reset switches. Next, we have one of the hybrid fan headers that can support a water pump. Then, the small display for displaying the post codes. Going down the line, we have 2 USB 2.0 headers, followed by a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) header. This is a secure crypto processor, designed to secure hardware by integrating cryptographic keys into devices. Next, we have the RGBW header. This motherboard came with an RGBW extension as well. Here you can connect RBG Fusion compatible lighting strips. Lastly, we have the connection for the front panel audio.