The GIGABYTE AORUS GA-Z270X-Gaming 5 is an ATX motherboard utilising Intel's Z270 chipset for Intel processors from the 6th ("Skylake") and 7th (“Kaby Lake”) generations on socket LGA 1151. The chipsets from the 200 series, known as "Union Point", come with up to 24 PCIe Express 3.0 lanes and bring more overall HSIO lanes (High Speed I/O) as well, thereby enabling more internal connections (such as SATA or PCIe slots) to be used simultaneously. As a Z270 motherboard, the GIGABYTE AORUS GA-Z270X-Gaming 5 enables overclocking of K-series CPUs, which offer completely unlocked multipliers.
- Mini-ITX Form Factor
- Intel Z270 Chipset
- Intel LGA 1151 socket
- 2 x 4266MHz DDR4, maximum 32GB
- 1 x PCI-E x16
- 4 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x PS/2, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 3 x audio, 2 x antenna
- 1 x M.2, 4 x SATA 3
There’s only room for one PCI-Express x16 slot, too, but it’s still got the full steel shielding that’s now included on most other gaming boards.
The full-size M.2 connector is included on the back of the board, and the front serves up four SATA ports, a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and three fan headers. The ALC1220 audio chip is one of Realtek’s best, but little has been done to beef up the Intel Ethernet.
Thankfully, price isn't the only thing going for the Z270N-Gaming 5. It looks fantastic. It's the only mini-ITX board in the Z270 flavour that's available with an I/O shroud, and this does wonderful things for the aesthetics. It's steel, not plastic, and also stretches down the inside portion so you can't see the ports if you look from inside your PC either, plus this section is vented to promote airflow, which is a nice touch.
Other flashy details are the orange DIMM slots and PCI-E slot - a bit of an issue if orange isn't your thing, but the rest of the board including the heat pipe-linked heatsinks for the PCH and VRMs are black as is the PCB, with a splash of chrome on the plated PCI-E slot. The PCB itself is relatively well laid-out with the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 headers being situated on the right side of the PCB, but the SATA ports, of which there are four, are not best placed to the left of the DIMM slots. Incidentally, the Asus ROG Strix Z270i Gaming lacks a USB 2.0 header, which is fairly essential for a number of all-in-one liquid-coolers.
The motherboard's I/O panel offers a new kind of USB port, USB Type C, which is particularly thin and is finally able to be plugged in both ways. Besides the Type C port, the motherboards also provides backwards compatible USB 3.1 Type A ports. USB 3.1 ports, with their maximum throughput at 10 GBit/s, twice as fast as previous USB 3.0 ports. As far as input devices and other gaming peripherals are concerned, the I/O panel also offers four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.
If no graphics card is present, the integrated GPU on the Skylake or Kaby Lake CPU allows for monitors to be connected directly to the rear of the motherboard, HDMI and DisplayPort are available. Internally the motherboard offers - among other functions - two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 header, a TMP header, four 4-pin headers for PWM fans as well as XMP support and an array of overclocking features.
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