Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 Motherboard Review
Posted by Heath Coop on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 8:00am
Skylake is here and there are quite a few changes with this new architecture. The new processor architecture based on Intel’s newest generation 14nm process FinFET lithographic technology. It promises decreased power consumption and increased performance. One of the most notable new changes is the use of DDR4 memory. DDR4 memory was first introduced with Haswell-E just shy of a year ago.
The Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 is the first Z170 motherboard we have had on the test bench. Gigabyte has decided to make some major cosmetic changes to their Z170 Gaming line, especially on the upper end. New white motherboard armor with red and silver details adorns these new motherboards. A new LED RGB Trace Path lighting system also makes a debut as well. The new cosmetics have a feel that is more reminiscent of a race car that a computer part.
The Z170X Gaming 7upports 6th Generation Intel Core processors and dual channel DDR4. 3-Way Graphics Support with a new meta EMl shielding over the PCI-E Slots. There are dual PCI-E Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors with up to 32Gb/s data transfer and three SATA Express connectors for up to 16Gb/s data transfer. Gigabyte’s Amp-up Audio is powered by the Creative Sound Core3D quad-core audio processor and features an upgradable OP-AMP. All in all there are quite a few new features to get excited about.
Gigabyte's take on the Z170X Gaming 7
Extreme Intel® USB 3.1 Controller
The Intel® USB 3.1 controller utilizes 4 PCIe Gen3 lanes, offering 32 Gb/s of total bandwidth, for uncompromised transfer speeds of up to 10 Gb/s per USB 3.1. With twice the bandwidth compared to its previous generation, and backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 and 3.0, the much improved USB 3.1 protocol is available over the new reversible USB Type-C™ and the traditional USB Standard-A connector for better compatibility over a wider range of devices.
Reversible USB Type-C™ with USB 3.1
The USB Type-C™ is a new reversible connector that is loaded with useful features such as USB 3.1 support for 10 Gb/s transfer speed and DisplayPort 1.2 support to connect 4K monitors. Powered by the Intel® controller, this little port is the better USB Type-C™.
GIGABYTE AMP-UP Audio™ Technology
GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard is equipped with the GIGABYTE exclusive AMP-UP Audio Technology, which provides the industry's highest level of onboard audio features and technologies. With GIGABYTE AMP-UP Audio, gamers and audiophiles are able to experience crisp, ultra-realistic sound effects while gaming, and the richest possible sound experience when listening to their favorite music and movies.
Creative® Sound Core3D™ Quad-Core Audio Processor
Combining world's first Quad-Core Creative Sound Core3D Audio Processor Plus Advanced Creative SBX PROSTUDIO Audio Suite.
- Harnessing the power of a Dedicated Audio Processor to offload workload from CPU
- Total solution from Creative (Hardware +Software)
- Richer overall audio experience
Creative SBX Pro Studio™ Audio Suite
SBX Pro Studio™ suite of audio playback technologies deliver a new level of audio immersion. Realistic surround sound, the ability to clearly hear specific sounds in a gaming environment are just a few elements of SBX Pro Studio that enhances the overall experience, be it movies, games or music.
GIGABYTE Exclusive : Upgradable OP-AMP
- Users can choose audio quality based on individual listening preferences.
- Wide availability of additional OP-AMPs.
Low Cost way to dramatically improve audio quality
- Improve audio dynamics and overall sound-quality with little cost.
- No need for expensive speakers or high-end audio equipment.
Exclusive onboard 'Gain Boost' selector switches
- Select either standard 2.5x or high-amplification 6x mode.
- 6x mode is ideal for high impedance speakers and headphones
High End Audio Capacitors
GIGABYTE G1™ Gaming motherboards use high end, Japanese branded Nichicon audio capacitors. These professional audio capacitors deliver the highest quality sound resolution and sound expansion to create the most realistic sound effects for professional gamers.
GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP provides clean, noise-free power delivery to your Digital-to-Analog Converter. DACs can be sensitive to fluctuations in power from the other USB ports, which is why GIGABYTE USB DAC-UP takes advantage of an isolated power source that minimizes potential fluctuations and ensures the best audio experience possible.
Killer™ E2400 Gaming Network / Intel® Gigabit LAN
Killer™ E2400 is a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and media performance compared to standard solutions.
Intel® Gigabit LAN networking, a popular choice with gamers, delivers several performance-enhancing features such as advanced interrupt handling to help reduce CPU overhead and Jumbo Frame support for extra large data packets.
2-Way SLI™/3-Way CrossFire™ Multi-Graphics
Multi-graphics configuration offers better graphics performance for gaming enthusiasts who demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.
Industry Leading Ultra Durable™ PCIe Metal Shielding
The innovative one piece stainless steel shielding design from GIGABYTE reinforces the PCIe connectors to provide the extra strength required to support heavy graphics cards.
Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2
With two PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors onboard, GIGABYTE brings to the user PCI-Express connectivity for SSD devices. Delivering up to 32 Gb/s data transfer speed per connector, the dual M.2 provides an ideal storage solution as it also supports RAID modes.
There are so many features, that we simply can list them all here. Let us take a look at the product packaging and full specifications next.