GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-SOC FORCE Motherboard Review @ [H]


Just Plain Mean
Staff member
May 18, 1997
GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-SOC FORCE Motherboard Review - GIGABYTE’s GA-Z170X-SOC FORCE is touted as the ultimate Z170 "Super OverClock" solution from GIGABYTE. It also offers an impressive array of features for the enthusiast and gamer alike. 22 phases of digital power, cool new OC Touch buttons, metal shielded PCIe slots, pretty lights, and an impressive set of three PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connectors!


Supreme [H]ardness
Apr 14, 2010
Sounds like you guys got a faulty motherboard, still odd that all the USBs had issues though. I would hope Gigabyte would chime on in here in retrospect with the USB issues, if not a wide spread problem or one of a kind would be nice to know. Other wise a very nice mother board and review. Now the PCIe maybe limited to the CPU at 16 lanes but 8 lanes for card to card like for AMD Radeons that use XDMA (less contention between CPU to GPU since transfer from GPUs to main card will be faster). Would like to see test though to see if this is a viable solution for more then 2 cards vice guesswork. I think going X99 would be more prudent if you are going more then two GPU's but this does give an option.


Limp Gawd
Oct 6, 2015
Maybe it's missing the point, but I think the red and orange don't quite look right together.

Pretty beefy board anyways.


[H] for Life
Nov 16, 2000
The USB Legacy devices issues would drive me nuts. Disappointed to see it only hit 4.7 stable, but 100c on water for 4.8 is crazy.


Limp Gawd
Oct 5, 2014
It's not just usb. Just got the gigabyte g1 z170mx gaming 5. Not only will it not recognize usb, the ps/2 combo port was also delayed past post. Tried that as well.
I can avoid the situation by not using fast boot or only having bios access via software restart either with gigabyte utility or shift click restart. Took a couple cmos resets to figure that out.

I really like everything else about the board. Hope they get around to another bios for my board.


Extremely [H]
Feb 9, 2002
The USB Legacy devices issues would drive me nuts. Disappointed to see it only hit 4.7 stable, but 100c on water for 4.8 is crazy.

That's basically my CPU that won't do that. I can in some rare cases take it to 4.8GHz but I have to drop the memory speed to DDR4 2666MHz or less to do it.


You Know Where I Live
Aug 25, 2013
Good review. Always enjoy your reviews, Dan. You're harsh, but necessarily so!


Jul 30, 2007
Your usb issues appear to be exactly what I had happen on my g170z gaming 7. I was not able to get into the bios on some (most) restarts when I was working through my OC. Very frustrating.

I did find that a few times, recently, that if I let it sit while booting, it eventually made it through whatever issues it was having, and it picked up. With win10, it seems to have eventually caught up. Initially, I thought it was frozen, but waiting a little bit longer seems to be working for me.

At least 3-5x I thought it had hung and ended up running a BIOS reset (had to pull the battery) and a windows restore as it lost the OS. Lately, if it hangs, I just wait longer. I leave the room for 10-15 mins. Seems to be working for my build.
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Jul 29, 2009
I have long since lost all faith in any and all Gigabyte products. Many of their boards I have worked with are plagued with memory issues dating back to the Z77 chipset boards (awful 4 DIMM support). They just cannot seem to build a decent motherboard any longer. They really should fire their entire BIOS team.

I was sent a Gigabyte Z170 gaming 5 motherboard to review. Keep in mind this is a FREE review sample board. I chose to use it as a high end 2 channel Audio PC surrounded by the best components I could find. After 3 months of tweaking, restarts and refusal to come out of sleep mode, I replaced it with an ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ which works flawlessly!!! In fact, the last 6 motherboards I have purchased have been ASRock: X99 WS, Z97 (all kinds) and the Z170. Most of my builds for others also use ASRock boards. I've had no D.O.A.'s or troubles of any find from any ASRock board from the last 2 years I started buying them. They are my new "Go To" board. Although my last 2 main workstation boards have been Rampage IV and now V Extremes.

I have the Gigabyte Z170 gaming 5 board and a Z87X-UD4H sitting on a shelf now.

I took the Gigabyte Z77 board and used it for target practice with 9MM hollow point pistol and .308 rifle rounds. Gigabyte truly does not have a bulletproof board in any way....

Oh.... and thanks for calling it like you see it in your board review.... much respect....


Feb 23, 2016
Thanks Kyle and Dan for telling it like it is.

Judging by the comments here, these USB problems appear to be widespread across Gigabyte's motherboard line-up and not the result of a defective review motherboard. That is unfortunate and I hope that Gigabyte improves its BIOS stability soon, or else this is going to be an ongoing issue.

From the results of the HardOCP reviews, it is looking like the MSI Z170 XPower seems to be the best amongst the Z170 OC boards.
Overclocking & Conclusion - MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION Review

Perhaps the only other one worth looking at is the Asrock Z170 OC Formula.

I'd love to hear Kyle and Dan's thoughts on this one.