GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming 7 LGA 1151 Motherboard Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'Intel MoBos' started by FrgMstr, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming 7 LGA 1151 Motherboard Review - GIGABYTE's G1 series represents the pinnacle of GIGABYTE's engineering prowess and is targeted squarely at the gamer and overclocking enthusiasts alike. To that end the Z170X Gaming 7 offers almost everything a gamer could want and more. The G1 series gets a new look and evolves in some unexpected ways.
     
  2. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    Great review, this is the mobo I purchased with my 6700k. Has been a breeze to work with and setup. I moved from a gigabyte x58 to this z710 rig and have been pleased every step of the way. I had some minor issues with my networking on the killer nic but I was able to work it out with fresh drivers. I was lucky enough to not have XMP issues that others had and my gskill ram picked up just fine.

    I noticed that the microphone portion for audio really takes some tweaking in the creative software to get my desk microphone to pick up. This is compared to the previous realtek onboard audio I used on my gigabyte x58. Default settings from the dvd provided creative drivers and software also put on some odd filters that caused some issues in Ventrillo/Mumble/Skype. All of this was fixed with 15 minutes of tweaking with a friend on the other end letting me know what sounds best.

    This is apples to oranges, but I had the same configuration and setup on my old creative sounds cards from back in the day. This feels more of a creative software/driver setup item than any actual hardware issue.Minor complaints but completely solvable.
     
  3. Bojamijams

    Bojamijams Limp Gawd

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    Good review Daniel. I would suggest re-testing the previous tests with the new BIOS since it seems to improve a lot of things, not just mouse/xmp/voltages. ETeknix did their review with F5a and didn't have any of the issues you guys seemed to have http://www.eteknix.com/gigabyte-z170x-gaming-7-lga-1151-motherboard-review/

    I would also suggest adding RMAA to the motherboard tests for motherboards, especially these gaming ones that have better than average RMAA scores. The Gaming 7 actually scored the best RMAA result I had ever seen anywhere, even compared to dedicated sound cards. Check out the frequency curve deviation. -0.00 to +0.00. Unreal!
     
  4. marzzez

    marzzez Limp Gawd

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    Have been curios with the M.2 port thing, being that this board has two would have loved to see your tinkering mind examine the cable less (SATA) build; it’s exactly what I would do with this board.
     
  5. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Improve a lot of what "things" exactly?
     
  6. Mad[H]atter

    Mad[H]atter Blood Diamond Dealer

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    Quickly someone turn back time so I can buy it for 169. Thanks for the review I've been watching this board because it looks like speed racer, how can you go wrong with that?
     
  7. marzzez

    marzzez Limp Gawd

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    Wonder what the demographic would look like if this board had both M.2 and two video cards slotted? This board is screaming “capitalize on my new interfaces/tec”
    Please “H” populate those suckers and throw in two P.H.A.T. video cards and cook that sucker! Inquiring minds want to know :D
     
  8. T_A

    T_A Limp Gawd

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    Great review , although i did not experience the issues you did with XMP or mouse latency (that i`m aware of)
    I did expect it to perform as good the the Asus Deluxe but i guess they needed to leave something for the ridiculously priced GA-Z170X-Gaming G1
    perhaps do a comparison to the more similarly priced Asus Maximus VIII Hero

    i would also love to see you redo some of these benchmark a month from now with more mature BIOS, but i guessing your time is too limited for that.
     
  9. Hielo_loco

    Hielo_loco [H]Lite

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    Great review!

    I hope you guys do the Gaming G1 review down the line! That´s the one I´m gunning for when Pascal comes out! :D

    That will be the one that will finally get me to move away from my X58! :)
     
  10. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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    This! This is the review I was waiting for. Honestly, when it comes to motherboards no one does it like [H]. The Z170X Gaming 7 seems to be dominant in its price segment, so seeing it get a gold award is just awesome.

    If I could wish to see one more thing, it would be NVMe testing on the m.2 slot. I'm quite curious to see some proper real world testing of the Z170 boards' handling of this traffic, as well as OS boot ease, etc. This is tricky to do right now thanks to the complete lack of consumer NVMe drives, but hopefully when the Samsung 950 Pro comes out in a few weeks we'll see a [H] review that includes this board.
     
  11. Supercharged_Z06

    Supercharged_Z06 2[H]4U

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    Yup, that board is definitely channeling the 1960's Speed Racer motif. I wonder if it comes with a monkey and an annoying younger brother... :D
     
  12. TMCM

    TMCM [H]ard|Gawd

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    How long until a review of the Hero? I can't decide between this one and the Hero.
     
  13. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Hehe, that had not occurred to me....but yeah.
     
  14. mls1995

    mls1995 2[H]4U

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    I currently have an Asus Z170 Pro Gaming in an HTPC and also this board (Gigabyte Gaming 7). The Gigabyte is much better built IMO. This is my first Gigabyte board and I'm really impressed with it.

    Oh and I started with an Asus Z170 ROG Gene board (which is essentially a mini hero) and the damn thing was DOA.
     
  15. TMCM

    TMCM [H]ard|Gawd

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    I could see the Gaming 7 being higher quality over the Pro Gaming simply becuase of the 2 different markets for those 2. Isn't the Pro Gaming just a Z170-A that can do SLI?
     
  16. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I've already moved onto other boards. We test motherboards and evaluate them with whatever is available at the time. I noted in the article that GIGABYTE is pretty good about reducing DPC latency via BIOS updates. They seem to go through a cycle of being among the worst with the first release BIOS and then resolving that down the line. I didn't update to F5e until late in the testing process. DPC latency was actually tested late as we transitioned to new software in the latter stages of the review process. This was due to the switch to Windows 10, which was done early on. Network testing was conducted with F4e using the drivers provided on disk which aren't necessarily the latest out there. Admittedly the new BIOS might have improved CPU usage for the network testing but if it does that would literally be the first time I've ever seen that. Generally BIOS updates extend functionality, solve compatibility problems and in rare cases improve overclocking or general stability. That normally only occurs in the earlier stages of a product life cycle. Later on in the life cycle a BIOS tends to do very little either way for anything. Usually those updates are there to improve hardware compatibility with memory, CPUs and drives. I've yet to see an impact to network hardware with a BIOS update.

    I'll be mindful of it on the next GIGABYTE board, but unless Kyle wants to send the Z170X Gaming 7 back to me it isn't going to get retested. Lesson learned going forward, but we've moved onto testing other motherboards. I'll keep that in mind with them as well. But again I've yet to actually see network transfers with high CPU utilization resolved by a BIOS update in two decades of working with computer hardware. If I could point to a cause for this I'd look at the drivers first. Keep in mind this is our first Windows 10 based review so we weren't entirely sure what to expect in some cases. Naturally we'll probably change things up as we gain more experience with Windows 10 and these platforms.

    I'll look into the Right Mark Audio Analyzer. I haven't worked with it, so I'll have to play around with it and go from there.

    Again, that problem was only with the F4a BIOS. With F5e that issue was completely resolved.

    A couple of thoughts here. First and foremost, you can't necessarily compare our review to someone else's. We are not using the same testing methodology. And with regard to the Killer NIC, I was just amazed I didn't have any problems and that it was faster than the Intel controller in any way shape or form. Again I doubt the BIOS had anything to do with it. I'm more apt to chalk that up to driver improvements. When we are close to the initial launch of a motherboard platform (only a couple months into the life cycle of these products) you have to expect variances and driver issues. As the platform matures we'll see things like CPU usage get reduced and problems with various brands get taken care of. Also keep in mind that in the CPU tests swapping between a 6700K and a 6600K changes things quite a bit. The former will report lower usage compared to the lower end 6600K. So you have to look at the CPU and overall hardware configurations.

    Essentially what I'm saying, is that you can't take different reviews and compare them so directly. You have to look at the general consensus and form an opinion, but direct comparisons from different reviewers with different testing methods and hardware configurations can be misleading at best.
     
  17. panhead

    panhead Gawd

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    Why not test with PCIe drives to see how much I/O can pass through the DMI channel?
     
  18. mls1995

    mls1995 2[H]4U

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    scratch my comment. My Gigabyte Gaming 7 wouldn't boot today, giving me CPU error 32. Spent hours trying to fix it and clearing CMOS and I can't get it to work. Going to have to RMA it. Guess it wasn't built better after all.
     
  19. ovego

    ovego n00b

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    Hello all, I have the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7, and I can't seem to be able to send 5.1 (DTS and AC3) to my receiver.
    my last motherboard (ex58-ud4p) had a Realtek ALC889A sound chip, and my receiver detected when I've sent 5.1 audio to it,either via optical or coaxial.
    with this motherboard, nothing I do seem to work, and I have a suspicion that the software is to blame, because I can't chose SPDIF in the creative software.
    right now I am very frustrated about it, as to the fact that I chose this motherboard over other because of the sound card.
    BTW, I'm running windows 10 64 bit.

    Does anyone that has this motherboard encountered this phenomenon?
     
  20. officermartinez

    officermartinez [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have the same mobo.. I can report that NO issues running 6700K at 4.8ghz. Get's a bit toasty after a few hours of running CPU stressing under a Promlimatech Megahalems after 6 hours of testing. Hit a high of 76c on one of the cores.. the other three cores hit a high of 75c and 74c respectively. My two GTX 970's in SLI runs great and can't wait til next year when Samsung releases the 1TB version of their M.2 drive. OMG, I am very pleased with this Gigabyte Gaming 7 ATX mobo!

    I'm also sending my audio signal from my mobo to my Sony STR-DH740 via SPDIF. No issues with my foot Amazon Basics SPDIF 6' cable. I am on Windows 10 x64 Pro. Do you send the signal to your receiver and let the receiver decode it or are you trying to send a 5.1 DTS / AC3 signal already processed by the motherboard / Realtek? The sound is amazing as I am running a sound system well over 1000 watts (1225 watts - 5.2 surround sound). I am not using the additional 2 channels on my unit to power an additional 145w per channel. I just got finished playing the game Dying Light in 4K (3840 x 2160 resolution) on my Sony x850c 55" monitor and the audio is absolutely crazy (and graphics). I am EXTREMELY happy with this motherboard purchase!
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  21. Momo

    Momo Gawd

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    Any of you folks have issues installing the easytune software?
    Windows is telling me it has protected me from it, and kills the install exe.

    I have the appcenter installed.

    One thing recommended (by gigabyte website notes) is to install .NET framework 4.5... but windows 10 includes this, and it won't install it.

    Any ideas?

    edit: as an aside, i installed the F4 release BIOS, and the mouse speed in the bios is suuuuper slow and a little skittish. Didn't want to use the beta bios quite yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  22. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I would recommend going to the beta BIOS. It worked well for me. It also most certainly resolved the mouse speed / responsiveness issues in the BIOS as well.
     
  23. ovego

    ovego n00b

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    I've got a vanilla optical cable (which basically needs to transfer light from one end to the other). there IS SOUND via the receiver, but it's only stereo (so the cable's not the culprit). my receiver can detect when dolby/DTS is present. not the case with this mobo.
    I've tries almost everything I can think of (and that I know worked for me in the past), but nothing's working...
    I'm in contact with Gigabyte at the moment, and what they're saing is this:
    "Please understand that different product may design with different features. GA-Z170X-Gaming 7-EU (rev. 1.0) had confirmed released without Dolby / DTS features, if you need the function of S/PDIF 5.1 channel, you need to purchase the motherboard with the license support of Dolby / DTS; otherwise, you need to purchase the license from vendor directly or other hardware / software solutions. Sorry for the inconvenience."

    So I suggest that you double check if your system is really outputting 5.1 audio...

    right now' I am very pissed at Gigabyte!!! :mad:

    it took them three replies to tell me that the s/pdif doesn't support dolby/DTS, and thus far hasn't given me any meaningful help or solution
     
  24. officermartinez

    officermartinez [H]ard|Gawd

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    I just pulled out my motherboard box:

    GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
    Intel Z170/Socket1151/rev.1.0
    4DDR-4 2-CH/PCI-Ex16/ATX
    USB3.1/Gbe LAN/SATA Express
    TYPE-C/5.1 HD Audio/SATA

    The UPC is: 8||| 89523 || 00142 |||4

    So, it does appear that I do have the 5.1 HD Audio version. Does yours have an -EU designation?
     
  25. officermartinez

    officermartinez [H]ard|Gawd

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    ...and I just confirmed that my Sony receiver is receiving the digital 5.1 signal via SPDIF. My receiver is outputting it as a 5.1 / 5.2 signal (I have 2 subwoofer outputs on the rear of the receiver). So, I've got two 12" subs running, a left and right front set of tower speakers, a center channel mounted directly under my 4k monitor and two rear surround speakers (left and right of course).
     
  26. Momo

    Momo Gawd

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    I'll do the beta BIOS tonight, might as well. How is Gigabyte for pushing out BIOS updates after the first few (after release) as they have done? or is this current beta bios going to be 'beta' for months upon months?

    ... you're not insinuating it might help with the easytune woes are you? that seems rather unlikely ;)

    As an aside, i turned on the XMP profile. It didnt post, just sat at the splash screen. So i rebooted (missed entering the bios, lol, it's fast!), loaded windows, checked the specs of my ram kit to compare BIOS reported/set XMP data, rebooted and went into BIOS... and the XMP profile was active. Very strange. Coming from a very mature BIOS / motherboard (X58 Sabertooth) this is a little unnerving... but so far so good, other than the EasyTune and that first non-POST after XMP... that was a phantom issue or something.

    No overclocking here yet by the way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  27. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    ASUS is probably the best about BIOS updates after a motherboard is released. Some motherboards like its Black Editions aren't typically as lucky because they come around late in a product cycle where things are very mature. GIGABYTE is a fair bit better than MSI but BIOS updates are still hit and miss in terms of their frequency. Some motherboards get updated frequently while others don't.

    GIGABYTE is still rather good about solving the big issues. In the past GIGABYTE motherboards annoyed the shit out of me with little quirks in the BIOS which weren't huge issues but they were VERY annoying. GIGABYTE has definitely stepped up their game in recent years and this is no longer typical.
     
  28. Momo

    Momo Gawd

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    Nice to know Dan.

    I ran the @BIOS update to the beta, so far so good i guess. I decided to leave it stock clocked with the stock overclocking etc. When i fire up CPU-Z, at idle it's showing 4200mhz with little voltage (0.895 or something), under Prime95 it shows 4000mhz and ~1.3x ... did you observe this?

    I really like how cool it runs, even under load as it is, but... i'd like to have all the performance I can, all the time. Thinking i might just try one of the auto performance boost options in the BIOS. I noted there was 20/40/60/80/100%, 100% being 4.8ghz, 20% being 4.2ghz. I suppose i'd turn off all the dynamic core speed / voltage too in that case.

    EDIT: tried some OC'n @ 4.6ghz. no problem to get to boot, but... i thought i had all of the throttle (Eist, turbo boost, etc.) turned off. It dropped the CPU down to 4.0/3.9 under prime95 load.
    One thing that is really confusing about this BIOS layout is the two columns of values, the left showing what appears to be a base values, the right the turboboost values (frequency settings) ... even when turbo boost is disabled, eist is off, etc etc. it still shows these two columns.
    So confused. Totally not sure why processor is turning itself down.
    I reverted to bios optimized defaults, turned off onboard audio and video, and turned on XMP1. It's doing the same thing, 4.2idle, 4.0load.

    CPU mhz reporting bug? both CPU-Z and EasyTune reported the same behaviour.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  29. ol1bit

    ol1bit [H]ard|Gawd

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    Mine is on it's way. The SB integration is key to me, I know people say SB is dead, but I still find my old board better than many new systems.

    Great review, but I would have used a 6700K for this kind of MB, might have made things more apples to apples.

    Cheers!
     
  30. ReconSniper

    ReconSniper [H]ard|Gawd

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    What stinks is I have an issue with my Evga 970 FTW being installed directly over the onboard sound. It seems to cause some type of static or interference with the card and as soon as I launch a game or GPU benchmark I hear it. When I close the game it goes away. I've moved the card to all three PCIE slots without any fix. I had this problem before with a sound card, and I fixed it by moving it far away from the sound card. My issue is now that no matter where I install the video card, it is on top of the onboard sound.
     
  31. ol1bit

    ol1bit [H]ard|Gawd

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    Dang that sucks. I'll let you know if my reference 980 does the same thing.
     
  32. ReconSniper

    ReconSniper [H]ard|Gawd

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    I figured out how to bypass the issue. Instead of plugging in my speakers and mic to the motherboard via the back panel, I connect them to the front of the case. No static. So I assume that the Video card puts off enough interference to mess with the back of the case, but not the front.
     
  33. Momo

    Momo Gawd

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    new BIOS posted by gigabyte on the 20th. My appcenter liveupdate did not detect it. Swear i ran that last night... anyhow, it's on the website. 'Improve CPU microcode' is the only note.

    Wonder if this will allow for 47+ on your 6600K [H]???
     
  34. Momo

    Momo Gawd

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    Personally, i'm getting a little frustrated with this BIOS trying to get an OC to run at X.Xghz all the time, without any clock manipuation / power saving stuff going on.

    ie: i want 4.4ghz all the time, on all cores, thank you very much! ... none of this 4.0ghz under load on all cores / 4.2ghz on one core when not, etc.etc.

    Here's a link to my current configuration, running the F5 release bios too.

    http://imgur.com/a/zwZgg

    Didn't want to embed in the thread.

    Can one of you tell me what i'm missing here, in order to have all four cores clocked to 4.4ghz, both at load and idle?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  35. Barrok

    Barrok [H]Lite

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    I know it's a common issue with the Intel 750 to not boot from a cold state but I was wondering if the SM951 does?

    I preordered the 950 pro to replace my Intel 750 that doesn't boot from a cold state, but if the SM951 doesn't then I might as well cancel the preorder.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  36. mervincm

    mervincm n00b

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    I fixed my booting issue with Intel 750 SSD 400GB and my 7170X -UD5 this way
    W10 with latest Intel 750 BIOS and NVME driver
    Intel 750 PCIE SSD in PCIE slot furthest from the CPU
    Gigabyte F4 BIOS set to optimum defaults EXCEPT
    miscellaneous settings change max link speed to gen3 OR you will get GEN1 performance!

    -confirm in device manager,storage controller,Intel Solid State 750 Drive,Properties,Details
    PCI current link >3 and PCI current width >4
     
  37. bonus

    bonus [H]Lite

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    Sorry to resurrect an older thread but I had a question about this board.

    Does anyone know if Gigabyte is pulling the Gaming 7? Amazon and NewEgg don't seem to be carrying it anymore except for 3rd party sellers.

    It's got all the features I want but it seems awful early for stores to not carry it unless they're is a known issue.
     
  38. zaniix

    zaniix Gawd

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    I think stock is just low due to sales.

    Newegg and B&H both have it currently

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128835



    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1175467&gclid=CI2C6pO5wMkCFZWCaQodJksJRQ&is=REG&ap=y&m=Y&A=details&Q=
     
  39. officermartinez

    officermartinez [H]ard|Gawd

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    I love my Gaming 7..it's one of the most feature packed boards I've ever owned for as little as it costs.
     
  40. BradF1979

    BradF1979 Limp Gawd

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    Having issue with slots 3/4. Memory is not working in either of them, as part of a dual channel set or with just a single stick. Sticks work fine in slots 1/2 (either as a single stick or two sticks). I can't figure out how to tell if this is a motherboard issue or a CPU issue (since memory controller is in the CPU)...

    Ugh found the issue, see here: http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1042045820&postcount=4
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015