Gigabyte presents a lot of products in different price segments for the latest Intel processors. We have already managed to get acquainted with some representatives of the “mainstream” category in the framework of our reviews. This time, let’s take a look at a slightly more expensive board compared to the GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 model, which is one of the younger representatives of the gaming line. By increasing the cost of the motherboard, the user expects, first of all, to get a more responsive and reliable product when overclocked. In addition, it would be great to discover some bonuses in the form of additional interfaces. Based on the appearance, the power supply system of the solution in question really turned out to be strengthened, and a second network adapter was seen as an extension of the configuration options.
There are also a couple of new control buttons and a POST code indicator on the PCB. A table with characteristics will help to form a complete picture of the possibilities:
|Model||Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0)|
|Official product page on the Web||gigabyte.ua|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400*/2666*/2800*/3000*/3200*/3300*/3333*/3400*/3466*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8), 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4), 4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1|
|M.2||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x4|
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel HD 510/530|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4|
|Number of connected fans||5x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (A and C) Intel DSL6540)
7 x 3.1 Gen1 (3 connectors on the rear panel, Z170)
6 x 2.0 (4 connectors on the rear panel, Z170)
|SATA Express||3 (Z170)|
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z170)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z170)|
|Built-in sound||Realtek ALC1150 (7.1, HDA)
Texas Instruments OPA2134
|S/PDIF||Optical, connector on the board (output)|
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2201 (Gigabit Ethernet)
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||OC and ECO buttons, POST indicator, hardware audio amplifier mode switches for headphone output (2.5x/6x), DIP cradle with OPA2134 pre-installed op-amp, dedicated USB for external DAC connection, Thunderbolt header, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX support and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI, Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 Software|
|Retail price, $||202|
Packaging and equipment
The product is not the eldest in the family, and therefore is in a medium-sized box that does without a carrying handle. The version for the European market that came into our hands (the model with the EU suffix) is equipped with a promotional insert for the World of Warship game.
The back of the package will help you explore the possibilities in more detail. There is a photo of the board, a schematic image of the rear panel, a plate with the main characteristics. The rest of the place is occupied by a description of the manufacturer’s proprietary developments. In particular, it is impossible not to mention a removable operational amplifier, two special noise-proof USB outputs, gold-plated audio and video outputs, a pair of network adapters of different models, and the presence of bonus software for the audio subsystem.
Inside the box there is this set:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with color and symbol designation of all sockets. The reverse part is pasted over with noise-absorbing material;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- one flexible bridge for organizing SLI from two video cards;
- «holster» for convenient connection of body connectors G Connector.
Of course, there is also the World of Warship brochure, which I have already mentioned above.
The dimensions of the product correspond to the full ATX format. The buttons that appear are not related to the usual set of «start / reset», they allow you to force, including «on the fly», prepared profiles for overclocking the system. For the ECO profile, it would be more appropriate to say — downclocking. There are no points for measuring system voltages.
Radiators in the power section are fastened with spring-loaded plastic nails. But the massive chipset cooler was awarded a screw mounting system. There are almost no electronic components on the reverse side, the sound subsystem zone is equipped with thirteen bright red LEDs.
The dimensions of the PCH radiator are considerable.
There are no changes in the possible configuration of system drives, if we recall the younger model. There are six traditional SATA outputs grouped into three SATA-E and a pair of compact M.2.
Similarly, with the number of USB pads located on the PCB. There are a couple of modern, third revisions, and a couple of ordinary ones — the second.
Among the PCI-E slots, you can no longer find outdated PCI. A pair of full-weight PCI-E will be able to equally divide the lines from the processor, including sixteen pieces. The bottom slot does not participate in this scheme, it belongs to the PCH, resources are distributed between it and the second M.2 slot, that is, their simultaneous use is not provided by the developers.
The organization of the sound part confused me. Once again, the op-amp on the crib and the gain state switches are back closer to the possible location of the video adapter, which is ultimately much more inconvenient than the option offered on the PCB of the younger model.
The audio codec is ALC1150, a well-known product from Realtek. The OPA2134 from Texas Instruments is used as an op amp. There are Japanese Nichicon capacitors in the harness. We’ll talk about setting the backlight in the next part of the review.
The POST indicator has a red glow, like the OC button when it is active, but the ECO is highlighted in green.
The organization of the processor power system is made at a new level. The radiators are not high, nothing prevented me in the process of installing the cooling system on the processor.
The curves of the radiator profile are bizarre, but the total dissipation area seems to be considerable. They did not save on the thermal pad, the contact with the power elements is good.
The basis of the stabilizer is the ubiquitous ISL95856 from Intersil Corporation. The power elements are again represented by the SiRA12DP and SiRA18DP models from Vishay Intertechnology. There are three drivers inside the PWM controller, and four more are soldered close to the transistors. In total, there are seven channels, four of them are in charge of the CPU voltage, and three of the integrated GPU. It turns out that twice the number of elements is included in the circuit of each channel for the processor, while for the video controller everything is as usual — a pair of transistors and one inductor. We will soon check the quality of stabilization in practice, as well as heating in this zone; the increased number of elements should affect the lower operating temperatures.
The back panel has been noticeably modernized. Now there are as many as nine USB outputs, a classic PS / 2, a pair of digital video outputs, a pair of Ethernet, optical and five gold-plated audio jacks. HDMI operation is accompanied by a PTN3360D video signal level converter. In general, the set is all-inclusive.