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GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3 Motherboard Review

rakesh_sharma23

In the zone
GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3 Motherboard Review


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Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard series is truly a gamer oriented motherboard series with handpicked features to provide gamers and enthusiast with best performance and great gaming experience. We have already reviewed some top of the line Z170 Gaming Motherboards for Gigabyte GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 Motherboard .
Today we are reviewing entry level of Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard series, the Gigabyte Z170X GAMING 3 motherboard for Rs.13K, a price tag where we can’t expect top-line features. But Gigabyte had done a great job in designing GA-Z170X GAMING 3 motherboard by providing all of the important features needed for great gaming experience at such an affordable cost.
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Now let’s see what this new Intel Z170 chipset gaming board have for us.


Package
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Looking at the front of the box, we see Gigabyte logo with motherboard model no. At the rear of the box, we find that Gigabyte goes into great detail on the specifications of the motherboard.
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Inside the box
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Looks
Board is a solid build in the same black and red colour theme as all Gigabyte’s Gaming series boards are.
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Features

  • Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel® USB 3.1 with USB Type-C™ - The World’s Next Universal Connector
  • 3-Way Graphics Support with Exclusive Ultra Durable Metal Shielding over the PCIe Slots
  • Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connectors with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe NVMe & SATA SSD support)
  • 3 SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
  • 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in Rear Audio Amplifier
  • Killer™ E2200 Gaming Networks
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology



Specifications
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Layout
Detailed layout of board.
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1. Intel LGA 1151 socket, supporting current 6th generation CPU.
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5x (15μ) Gold Plated CPU Socket Design. GIGABYTE motherboards come equipped with a gold plated CPU socket, which means that enthusiasts can enjoy absolute reliability and longevity for the CPU socket overtime, without having any concerns about corroded pins and bad contacts.
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2. 4 DIMM Dual channel DDR4 memory slots supporting max. 64GB at 2133MHz in normal and up to 3466MHz when OC. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) is also supported.
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3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)
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4. ATX CPU Power Connector (8-pin ATX12V).
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5. Back Panel Connectors : 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 1 x D-Sub port, 1 x DVI-D port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 support, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port (red), 3 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports, 1 x RJ-45 port, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
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6. 7. 11. 13. 1 x CPU Fan, 1 x CPU OPT Fan and 4 x System Fan Connectors
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8. Two front USB 3 Port.
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9.3 x SATA Express connectors, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
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10. System Front panel Connector
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12. 2 x USB 2.0 Connectors
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14. Serial Port and TPM Connector
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15. Front panel Audio connector and SPDIF out port.
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16. 17. Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connector
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With two PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors onboard, GIGABYTE brings to the user PCI-Express connectivity for SSD devices. Delivering up to 32 Gb/s data transfer speed per connector, the dual M.2 provides an ideal storage solution as it also supports RAID modes.
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18. Expansion Slots.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot, 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode , 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_3 slot. When the PCIEX1_3 slot is populated, the PCIEX4 slot will operate at up to x1 mode, 3 x PCI Express x1 slots (All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
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Removing Heat-sinks
Gigabyte used dense aluminum heatsink in this board. Heatsinks base is having thermal pad installed. VRM heatsink are secured in place using plastic spring locks.
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Component Layout
Let’s now see what all components Gigabyte have planned for this board.
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1. 2. CPU voltage regulator circuit has Vishay SiRA12DP / RA18 MOSFETS each package limited to 25A controlled by Intersil ISL95895 Hybrid Digital Four Phase PWM Controller.
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3. 2-Phase digital memory power supply section using Vishay SiRA12DP MOSFETS and Richtek RT8120F controller chip.
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4. Intel's DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3.0/USB 3.1 controller.
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5. The NXP Semiconductors PTN3360D HDMI / DVI level shifter.
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6. Qualcomm Killer E2201 is a more integrated E2200 NPU. Providing the NPU, the PHY and all the other components in one 40-pin IC, a high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller that offers better online gaming and online media performance compared to standard solutions.
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7. Gigabyte AMP-UP Audio is powered by Realtek ALC1150 is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec that delivers an exceptional audio listening experience with up to 115dB SNR, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.
The ALC1150 provides ten DAC channels that simultaneously support 7.1-channel sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs. Two stereo ADCs are integrated and can support a microphone array with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Beam Forming (BF), and Noise Suppression (NS) technologies. The ALC1150 incorporates Realtek proprietary converter technology to achieve Front differential output 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality.
A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. In addition Gigabyte used one OPA2134 Op-amp for front audio amplification. So licensing under Stereo mode produces high audio quality with excellent dynamic range.
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GIGABYTE G1™ Gaming motherboards also include Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software suite. Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software suite is a powerful audio platform offering premium audio quality, effects and features for gamers. It features SBX Pro Studio™ suite of technologies, which is designed to give you the fullest audio experience.
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RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing Gigabyte High Definition audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by Gigabyte High Definition audio.


RMAA Asus Xonar DX
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RMAA Gigabyte AMP-UP Audio
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8. eight ASMedia ASM1480 PCI-E quick switches to provides all bandwidth to the PCI-E 16x slots.
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9. Intel Z107 Express Chipset.
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10. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.
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11. ITE IT8628e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.
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Testing


CPU - Intel Core i7 6700K
Board - GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3
RAM - 2 X 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws4 DDR4 3000Mhz
SSD - Kingston SV300 120GB
Cooler - Corsair H100i GTX
GFX - Asus HD7750
PSU - CM 750
Display - Acer S220HQL
OS - Win 8.1 Pro / Windows 10




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BIOS
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Bundled Softwares
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Overclocking
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Benchmarks
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Power Consumption
Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.
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Pros

  • Good and easy OC
  • Multi GFX support
  • Nice Software bundled
  • Great price tag
  • Killer E2200 LAN



Cons

  • None



Conclusion
Gigabyte GA-Z170X GAMING 3 is the entry level motherboard of Gaming Motherboard series with good design and comfortable features with basic bundle. Also has good oveclocking power and stable performance, at just Rs. 13K price segment.


At the conclusion I found Gigabyte Z170X-GAMING 3 is a gaming motherboard, with superb build quality & features, also incorporates latest technologies like M.2 and Sata Express and all at an affordable price.




Manufacturers Info
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