GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 5 Motherboard is an ATX board supporting the latest (Skylake) 6th generation Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7 processors. This particular motherboard has four DIMM slots supporting Dual Channel Memory/RAM up to 3466MHz OC with a total maximum of 64GB. There’s a total of seven PCIe slots, three of which are x16 slots while the other four are x1 slots. As the second x16 slot supports x8 speed there’s both support for Nvidia’s SLI and AMD’s CrossFire technologies. In addition to this the motherboard sports 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports as well as three eSATA ports. There are a total of seventeen USB ports (x9 via the back panel & x8 via motherboard headers) supporting ten USB 3.x and seven USB 2.0, this includes one of the new USB 3.1 (Type-C) ports that are reversible. The Z170X-Gaming 5 also features a Realtek® ALC1150 on-board audio solution with an additional Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 upgrade via software, two Gigabit LAN controllers (Intel & Killer) and two Gen3 x4 M.2 sockets supporting speeds up to 32Gb/s.
The GA-Z170X-Gaming 5 ditches the glitz and glamour of the higher end models, discards the plastic fascia of the G1, and replaces a few other minor features the higher priced models offer. On the other hand it still offers dual Ethernet network controllers (including a Killer E2200 NPU), dual x4 capable M.2 ports, dual USB 3.1 ports on the rear IO, and a trio SATA Express ports. It keeps the reinforced PCIe slots that promise to not only make these crucial slots more capable of withstanding the weight of triple slot monster video cards, but also act as EMI shields.
In addition to this there’s also an image and breakdown of the rear I/O and a brief specifications (see Specifications/Features below) table, while Gigabyte also highlights the following:
First impressions of the Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 5 are very good, the board it pretty unique when it comes to its looks and the black ‘n red color scheme will also appeal to a lot of Gamers. In fact the silver accents also help to give it a further lift in the area of aesthetics. There’s no doubt in my mind this is a good looking motherboard.
Flipping the Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 5 over onto its back we can clearly see that the board features a smart black PCB. We can also see that the heatsinks around the CPU area are disappointingly held on by clips and not screws, conversely the chipset heatsink (bottom right) IS held in place by screws!? Also if we look to the upper right of the board we can see the audio isolation strip running along near the edge of the board. This strip also illuminates (red) when the board is power on.
Thankfully this also resulted in some fairly frugal power numbers, drawing just 48W idle and 122W under load for the system as a whole, although the Maximus VIII Gene was better still under load. Outside of raw speed benchmarks, things were much better. It recorded some of the best audio results we've seen from a Z170 motherboard, coming within a fraction of the likes of the Asus Maximus VIII Impact, although the THD test was a little high compared to the rest of the field.
SATA performance was average and a little off the pace of the better boards we've seen, but the M.2 port performed excellently with a Samsung SSD 950 Pro, which topped out at 2,300MB/sec read and 962MB/sec write. Once overclocked, the results were unsurprisingly a little more level, with the Z170MX-Gaming 5 matching most of the best results we've seen across the board, although the extra voltage needed to get to 4.8GHz with our Core i7-6700K did result in the second highest load power consumption of 197W.
To view full Specifications visit the website: