GI­GA­BYTE Z170X GAM­ING G1

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

Over­clock­ing com­prises the cor­ner­stone of per­for­mance for any en­thu­si­ast-level board, and the E-ATX Z170X Gam­ing G1 in­cor­po­rates a whop­ping 22-phase dig­i­tal power de­liv­ery de­sign to help with over­clock­ing sta­bil­ity. This in­cludes a com­bi­na­tion of IR dig­i­tal power con­trollers and PowlRstage ICs to de­tect the cur­rent more ac­cu­rately. Ac­cord­ing to Gi­ga­byte, this will help to dis­trib­ute the ther­mal load more evenly among the in­di­vid­ual ICs, which will in turn im­prove re­li­a­bil­ity.

The VRM heatsinks them­selves are equipped with built-in G1/4 threaded fit­tings that will work with the ma­jor­ity of wa­ter-cool­ing com­po­nents.

Gi­ga­byte has gone all out in ev­ery as­pect of the board’s fea­tures. All four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots are re­in­forced with metal, and there are a fur­ther two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots.

But what re­ally helps the board dis­tin­guish it­self from the pack is its use of a PLX PEX8747 PCIe lane switcher, which al­lows Gi­ga­byte to di­rect the PCIe lanes how­ever it wants to the slots and run four-way graph­ics set­ups (in­clud­ing four­way NVIDIA SLI) in x8/x8/x8/x8 mode.

The on­board au­dio so­lu­tion is a sim­i­larly ex­trav­a­gant af­fair. The Gam­ing G1 uses a ded­i­cated quad-core Cre­ative Sound Core3D au­dio pro­ces­sor and fea­tures a Burr-Brown 127dB DAC that sup­ports 192kHz/24-bit au­dio and up­grade­able op-

HWM

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MARCH 2016 amps. The en­tire con­fig­u­ra­tion is Cre­ative Sound Blaster ZxRi-cer­ti­fied, and you should get good au­dio qual­ity even if you plug your head­phones into the front panel.

Gi­ga­byte’s flag­ship also has the most com­pre­hen­sive net­work­ing so­lu­tion out of all the boards. The dual Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports rely on the lat­est Killer E2400, al­beit with­out sup­port for team­ing. But to­gether with the Killer Wire­less-AC 1535 net­work adapter, they do sup­port the Killer Dou­bleShot-X3 Pro tech­nol­ogy, an in­tel­li­gent con­trol sys­tem that op­ti­mizes your net­work con­nec­tion for the low­est la­tency by pri­or­i­tiz­ing net­work traf­fic and send­ing the high­est-pri­or­ity pack­ages over the fastest in­ter­face.

Like the other boards re­viewed here, the Gi­ga­byte board like­wise has a se­lec­tion of on­board but­tons and switches to al­low en­thu­si­asts to tweak their sys­tems more eas­ily. The OC but­ton au­to­mat­i­cally loads an op­ti­mized con­fig­u­ra­tion for your hard­ware, pro­vid­ing a one-click boost to per­for­mance. On the other hand, the ECO but­ton saves power by re­duc­ing the over­all power con­sump­tion ac­cord­ing to the cur­rent sys­tem load.

For the prover­bial ic­ing on the cake, Gi­ga­byte has thrown in a USB 3.1 front panel with Type-A and Type-C ports. Af­ter all, one can never have too many USB 3.1 ports.

BIOS switches at the bot­tom let you switch be­tween the de­fault and backup BIOS.

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