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
  • Excellent audio performance
  • Top notch stability
  • Looks great and fast performance
  • Premium price on the Gaming G1
9.5Overall Score
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Specifications – IO and Expansion

IO and expantion are pretty par for the course. But for the best result, check Gigabyte Z170 Gaming Series Comparison and look through the list to ensure the model you want has the right amount of IO. The Gaming G1 comes with the most IO connectivity. Gamers will get ten USB (six USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 which includes two DAC-UP ports), PS/2 port, faux gold amplified analog audio ports, and dual Bluetooth/WiFi 802.11n connectivity. For video output, you get a mini-display and HDMI port.

G1 Gaming Comparison TableGaming 5 – Gaming 7 – Gaming G1

For a summary of the specs that make the board a bit more gamer oriented, just look above.

Closer Look

The Gigabyte GA-Z7170X-Gaming G1, Gaming GT, and Gaming 7 all sport the red on white heat sinks. However, any other Gaming SKU will sport the red on black heat sink. Additionally, most of the Gaming series includes the OP-AMP except for the GA-Z170N-Gaming 5 mini-ITX and GA-Z170 G.1 Sniper ATX motherboards. It’s understandable why the mini-ITX doesn’t have it. But with a name like the G.1 Sniper, it’s a little confusing.

The Gaming 7 offers six USB (four USB 3.1 and two 2.0 which includes two DAC-UP ports), faux gold amplified analog audio ports, dual NICS (Intel and Killer), and PS/2 port. Gigabyte reps said that gamers still like the older PS2 port to support high DPI gaming mice. For video output, you get a mini-display, HDMI, and display port.

The Gaming G1 has hybrid liquid capable heat sinks around the CPU socket. Gamers don’t have to liquid cool these unless you’re going for more extreme overclocks.

Test Systems and Setup Notes

The new Z170 chipset now requires a new Skylake LGA-1151 processor. It’s a whole new game of drivers and features to test. Here are the specs for the two boards on the battlefield.

Set up for both boards went as expected. The Gaming G1 took about 60 minutes from start to finish given all the extra features and connectivity. The Gaming 7 took about 40 minutes. It should also note that the Dark Rock Pro 3 is quite large. It gets right up on the rear Gaming heat sink(s).

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