Final Thoughts and Conclusion
It has only been a little over four months since we reviewed the Gaming Z170X predecessor, the Gaming Z97X. Much of what applied to that motherboard also applies to this one and like the motherboard, it is obvious that Biostar put quite a bit of time into the design. The motherboard layout is logically thought out. Not a single header, port, switch, or jack seems to be improperly placed. The Gaming Commander armor adds much to the cosmetics without being a hindrance. I also liked how they chose to hide one of the M.2 slots under a cover.
Throughout the testing the Gaming Z170X showed around average scores time for the most part. It is a capable, but not an extraordinary overclocker. A stable 4900 MHz clock on the i7 6700K is certainly higher than most would want for daily use, given the voltage needed. The lack of Line Load Calibration limits the overclocking potential somewhat.
At first I thought the Gaming Commander front panel is an interesting idea and the more I used it, the more I liked it. The included headphone amp quite impressive and capable of driving my headphones to levels that was previously unheard of just a couple of generations ago. All is not perfect though. Some of the included utility software features designs that feel dated, though they are completely functional. The BIOS is not quite as refined as some competitors either and is a bit counterintuitive, but easy enough to get used to. Memory can be a bit finicky to get set up as well.
The Gaming Z170X retails for $219 via Biostar's eBay store. There is some stiff competition at that price; the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 we recently reviewed readily comes to mind. I think the Biostar Gaming Z170X is worth a look though.
- Unique Cosmetics
- Good Overclocking Features and Ability
- Very Good Audio Performance
- Logical Layout
- Touch Pad Overclocking
- Dual PCIe 3.0x4 M.2 Support
- BIOS is a Bit Counterintuitive
- Some of the Software Feels Dated
- Lack of Line Load Calibration