GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 and GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 Motherboards Reviewed
The feature that continues to separate GIGABYTE's Gaming Series motherboards is the OP AMP audio. Throughout each game genre, the music, voices, and action packed scenes just seem to come alive. There really does seem to be so much more going on when you've got a high quality headset like the Kingston HyperX Cloud connected. That extra audio and volume just makes everything pop!
GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 79.5
GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming G19.5
Pros
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Top notch stability
  • Looks great and fast performance
Cons
  • Premium price on the Gaming G1
9.5Overall Score
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What makes something a gaming product? Is it just a flashy gamer theme or something more? The debate still lives as to whether or not a motherboard can be called a gaming product like mice, headphones, video cards, or computer cases. I would argue it's a true gaming product when it provides tangible features like special USB ports for gaming peripherals, multiple PCI Express slots, high quality audio, or an experience such as an audio amplifier. These features are found on Gigabyte's Gaming G1 series.  And, the new G1 Z170 chipset has rekindled the Gaming series with a hot new look and features to match.

Gigabyte graciously sent us two platforms offer features for gamers who want the optimal gaming experience. One is a more mainstream affordable GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard which offers the right features for the price point and the other is the flagship GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard designed to offer maximum connectivity and graphics support. Either one of these is exactly what you need to experience gaming this holiday season. Lets have a look!



Features

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 1

The major features that give the Gigabyte GA-Z7170X-Gaming G1 and Gaming 7 personality include AMP-UP amplified audio, Creative Sound Core 3D processors, Killer NIC LAN controllers, reliable USB DAC power, and multi-graphics SLI/CrossfireX support.

AMP-UP is actually an OP-AMP which boosts output through a Creative audio processors. The Gaming 7 (Gaming GT and Gaming 5 as well) comes with Creative Sound Blaster Sound Core 3D processors. The Gaming G1 utilizes a highly capable Creative Sound Blaster ZxRi processor. Any other SKU Gaming and Ultra Durable series utilize a Realtek ALC1150 but still have OP-AMPs. That amplifier makes everything sound clean and clear but the Creative processors are exemplary on a high quality speaker set or headset.

The gigabit Killer NICs give gamers full control over their system's network. The bandwidth can be optimized for games through the Killer Network Management software. That way, your games get all the bandwidth and not other applications. Lag is the mother of lost games. The Gaming 7 (Gaming GT and Gaming 5) gets one Killer NIC and one Intel NIC port. The Gaming G1 gets dual Killer NICs as well as Killer 802.11ac WiFi.

Another design feature definitely worth mentioning is the patent pending Ultra Durable Metal Shield PCI Express slots. With so many heavy enthusiast gaming graphics cards, the motherboard's PCIE slots have to carry the weight. This can be bad over time not to mention for system integrators who ship so many systems as well as any LAN party fans. Gigabyte's UDMS strengthens the PCIE slots.

What's in the Box?

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 Motherboard 3

The GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 comes with a standard bundle. There are four SATA cables, dual graphics ribbon, IO shield, drivers, manual, and a few literature extras.

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 3

The GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 comes with a superior bundle. It includes hard and soft SLI/CFX ribbons; Dual USB 3.1 via SATA Express port 5.25" bay with cable adapter; eight braided black SATA cables; M.2 PCIe to mini-SAS port adapter; Wi-Fi antenna;  matching IO shield and usual literature and software DVD.

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