GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming G1 Motherboard Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming G1 Motherboard Review - The GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming G1 represents the flagship of GIGABYTE’s Z170 family and the G1 line itself. Simply put, it is the most advanced and feature packed Z170 motherboard GIGABYTE builds. The Z170X Gaming G1 is overbuilt, feature-rich, and is possibly the ultimate Z170 motherboard so long as price isn’t a factor.
 
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TMCM

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I'd be tempted to mail you my chip for the overclocking portion of the reviews. I'd be interested in seeing what a pro could do because it seems like the chips yall are using don't OC that well.
 

chaostim

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I'd be very curious about PLX testing.

I've read various reviews and comments about this chip adding latency, but it seems like most of them are repeating stuff they've seen and few have done any real measurements. For example, is it 10ns and irrelevant, 10 microseconds or something major like 10 milliseconds? Does it affect FPS in a game whatsoever, even with a single card? Will it cause stuttering or could it interfere with a PCIE3 SSD card, like an Intel 750?

Also, I note that the manual indicates that a single GPU should be in the first x16 slot. Do you happen to have a block diagram? I've seen other boards that indicate one x16 slot somehow bypasses the PLX, but that doesn't seem to make complete sense to me for a switch.

I ask because I have a G1 sent to me in error and am using it with a single 970 card and SSD in the x16 slots. I haven't observed anything unusual in a few days, but I haven't played anything intensive. World of Warcraft on high settings hasn't broken 10% of the "Bus Interface" according to HWMonitor, if that means anything. Honestly I doubt I'd notice any difference with my setup compared to the UD5 I ordered, but I am curious.
 

Teenyman45

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Because there are now a couple of board with built in optional water cooling, do you think the top tier boards for either Broadwell-E or Skylake-E will have a similar northbridge and/or south bridge feature?
 

Modred189

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Baller board. I've never used Gigabyte for my main rig/OC'd machines, but I'll be interested to see their future products as some of these features trickle down.

Quick testing methodology question:
The first testing page notes at the top:
Windows 10 Pro (x64) was used straight from the .ISO with no updates.

Why no updates? Was this SOP before this and I just didn't notice?
 

Hielo_loco

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Yes! This review is the one I was waiting for! I´ll wait till Pascal arrives to make my system based on this board.

A couple of questions though:

Let´s say I install the new Samsung 950 m.2 nvme drive on this board, and I also install the front USB 3.1 ports. I would be eating up some PCI lanes right? Would this have an impact if I plan on a dual SLI configuration? Taking it further, if I later add a second Samsung 950 m.2 nvme drive, how many lanes would I have available? :confused:

I don´t understand PLX chips too well... is the number of PCIE lanes really increased with the PLX, or how exactly does it work? :confused:
 

FrgMstr

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Quick testing methodology question:
The first testing page notes at the top:


Why no updates? Was this SOP before this and I just didn't notice?

We go with a native install this way it is easy for us to keep testing platforms apples to apples between systems over time. It has always been our SOP.
 

chaostim

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A couple of questions though:

Let´s say I install the new Samsung 950 m.2 nvme drive on this board, and I also install the front USB 3.1 ports. I would be eating up some PCI lanes right? Would this have an impact if I plan on a dual SLI configuration? Taking it further, if I later add a second Samsung 950 m.2 nvme drive, how many lanes would I have available? :confused:

From reading the manual, I gather that the m.2 nvme lanes are not shared from the 20 direct CPU lanes used by PCIE3 slots for video. Instead, they appear to be lanes that go through the Z170 chipset and in fact, can disable certain Intel SATA ports when used. There is a chart that identifies which SATA will be disabled when using m.2 drives. I haven't been able to find a block diagram of the G1 to confirm this, though.

I don´t understand PLX chips too well... is the number of PCIE lanes really increased with the PLX, or how exactly does it work? :confused:

My limited understanding is that it takes the 20 direct CPU lanes and multiplexes them, but apparently it's not a simple switch. It's some mystery black box that does it better. I would just like to see if there really is a negative real world impact on data throughput or gaming but I haven't seen any thorough testing of this type yet. My guess is that the presence of the PLX chip only becomes a FPS or noticeable performance problem if you have a rig that can actually saturate all 20 lanes of pcie 3.0 Perhaps 2 high end video cards and 2 Intel 750 in raid might get close in a torture test of some type.
 

Hielo_loco

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Ah ok, so lets see... the first video card would eat up the 16 pcie lanes from the cpu. A second video card would eat up another 16, but from the chipset. That would leave 4 lanes for the m.2 ssd.

But if we could set the gpus to work as 8x both, we could reclaim 16 real lanes, so we could add a second m.2 ssd and the usb 3.1 front box (each consuming 4 lanes). And we would still have 8 real lanes remaining.

After reading a bit about multiplexing (just superficially), I guess this board would not give us more lanes, but would just allow us to connect even MORE stuff to the system, AS if we had more lanes.

So the chipset PCIE lanes would be 40 in total for attachment of accesories, even though their max bandwidth would be that of the 20 real lanes.

And yeah, you are right, maybe the whole multiplexing deal would make a difference only until we use absolutely all multiplexed accesories attached at high throughput and at the same time.

Again, I´m far from an expert, so if anybody knows better, please correct me if I am wrong.
 

FrgMstr

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m.2 is constrained to 4 lanes physically. That is the reason putting two m.2 drives in RAID really does not make much sense as those lanes can be nearly saturated by one m.2 device.
 

chaostim

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Ah ok, so lets see... the first video card would eat up the 16 pcie lanes from the cpu. A second video card would eat up another 16, but from the chipset. That would leave 4 lanes for the m.2 ssd.

But if we could set the gpus to work as 8x both, we could reclaim 16 real lanes, so we could add a second m.2 ssd and the usb 3.1 front box (each consuming 4 lanes). And we would still have 8 real lanes remaining.

After reading a bit about multiplexing (just superficially), I guess this board would not give us more lanes, but would just allow us to connect even MORE stuff to the system, AS if we had more lanes.

So the chipset PCIE lanes would be 40 in total for attachment of accesories, even though their max bandwidth would be that of the 20 real lanes.

And yeah, you are right, maybe the whole multiplexing deal would make a difference only until we use absolutely all multiplexed accesories attached at high throughput and at the same time.

Again, I´m far from an expert, so if anybody knows better, please correct me if I am wrong.

All the video lanes, two x16 or four x8 or whatever other combination, are multiplexed direct to CPU.

All other lanes, including m.2 and SATA, are through z170 chipset.

I think. A block diagram would be nice.
 

gathagan

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The manufacturer's overview documentation for the PLX chip lists a latency of 129ns.
The product brief states that it supports packet cut-thru with a maximum latency of 100ns (16x16).
I'd imagine that's a best case scenario with a single 16x input and single 16x output.
As you multiplex more and more lanes, I'd guess that the latency is additive at some level.
The black box aspect is that the chip can be programmed.
It's listed as a 48-lane, 5-port switch.
Each of the ports can be configured as either 8x or 16x, so with a 16x connection to the CPU or chipset, you can program it to multiplex two 16x lanes, a 16x and two 8x, or four 8x lanes.
So, you'll never get more bandwidth than the 32GB/sec of the 16x lane, but as long as none of the devices are saturating tthe bandwidth, you can share it more intelligently, for lack of a better term.
 
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Quix

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The price is what gets me nearly $500, that's a lot of money to spend on any motherboard. $300 seems like more than enough and it's not as if this board has that much more than a board in the $300 range has. I'm not saying it's a rip-off, but the price/features ratio is pretty steep.
 

Iratus

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Seems interesting, I only really ever need an average overclocker as I'll only spend a couple of hours on it when I first get the computer but honestly what interests me is the built in ZxR. I've got a full fat one at the moment but as you allude to, its use of slots isn't ideal. Especially as I'm looking at getting the an Intel 750 and bumping myself back up to SLI from the Single 980Ti.

Definitely will keep it on my short-list. Just wish it was a different colour scheme.
 

Hielo_loco

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Conversely, I´m really digging the color scheme! :D

Specially if you pair it with an original NZXT Phantom (in red, white and black)! :cool:

... plus a white PSU and a white-red video card, etc!
 

Iratus

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And it's back off my shortlist, $765 in Australia :eek:

It's $300 more than the Z170 Sabertooth, which is $100 more than the Maximus VIII Hero.

Australian price gouging rather than a problem with the product but holy shit.
 

Equimax

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I hate to sound like a sycophant, but there is no way I would buy a motherboard without reading a HardOCP review and Kyle's thoughts. There, I said it and I'm not ashamed.:eek: This time however, I did just that. I was on the pre-purchase list at my favorite inet store and my Z170X Gaming G1, arrived today. I knew from the day it was announced, I was going to get one, one way or another. The board is beautiful, the pictures don't do it justice. I'm just waiting for my two R9 290Xs to arrive so I can slap this thing together. As far as I'm concerned its the best $473 I spent on a MB. I love Gigabyte boards. My current system runs on a Z77X-UP7. I wanted to hold out for Skylake and I'm glad I did.

Dan and Kyle thanks for another great review.
 
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Deleted member 126051

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Killer NICs.

Meh. I still don't understand people's fascination with these toys.

Give me nice, dependable Intel NICs every time...
 

darme

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Thanks for the great review - love this board setup has been quick and easy, besides a little issue with the antenna.
 
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LDFiberman

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Well I went for the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-G1, and I I’m already having issue with it. My first issue with is which USB ports are you supposed to use for a USB Mouse and a USB Keyboard.

I have been using the DAC USB connection “yellow” for both. However there are times when I boot the machine I get no connection on either the mouse or keyboard, and cannot get into the bios. So I have to reboot again or turn computer off then back on. I have moved the to a USB 3.0 port now, and the problem does seem to be as often, but still does it.

I am also having an issue when you boot the machine, I get a debug “b2” notice, and stops the boot. If I hit the reset, it will finish booting. Is there a setting in the bios, I need to set, to stop this?.

Also I cannot get the bios to lock the memory that I have G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 3200, too 3200Mhz setting, when enabling X.M.P. or using manual setup. It stay on 2133Mhz.

I have requested help from Gigabyte, it took 3 days to respond. No help, just ask what other USB things I had connected to the USB port…..

Following Setup:

GA-Z170X Gaming G1: now Bios is F6 , have tried F7f
i7 – 6700K: CPU : stock setting
G.Skill F4-3200C14D-32GVR: Memory 14-14-14-34
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 780Ti 03G-P4-2883: Video Cards in SLI
Samsung 950Pro M.2 512GB PCI-Express: SSD
XFX ProSeries P1-BELX 1000W: Power Supply
Corsair M65 Vengeance mouse, and Corsair K95 RGB Gaming Keyboard
 

Quix

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Well I went for the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-G1, and I I’m already having issue with it. My first issue with is which USB ports are you supposed to use for a USB Mouse and a USB Keyboard.

I have been using the DAC USB connection “yellow” for both. However there are times when I boot the machine I get no connection on either the mouse or keyboard, and cannot get into the bios. So I have to reboot again or turn computer off then back on. I have moved the to a USB 3.0 port now, and the problem does seem to be as often, but still does it.

I am also having an issue when you boot the machine, I get a debug “b2” notice, and stops the boot. If I hit the reset, it will finish booting. Is there a setting in the bios, I need to set, to stop this?.

Also I cannot get the bios to lock the memory that I have G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 3200, too 3200Mhz setting, when enabling X.M.P. or using manual setup. It stay on 2133Mhz.

I have requested help from Gigabyte, it took 3 days to respond. No help, just ask what other USB things I had connected to the USB port…..

Wow, that's irritating. I just picked up a Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 (don't need the PLX chip). I hope it doesn't have these problems too. Still waiting on my processor so I'll have to wait and see. HardOCP's high rating of the Gaming 7 played a part in my buying it.
 

LDFiberman

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Wow, that's irritating. I just picked up a Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 (don't need the PLX chip). I hope it doesn't have these problems too. Still waiting on my processor so I'll have to wait and see. HardOCP's high rating of the Gaming 7 played a part in my buying it.

Ya! I don't get it...I am puzzled to why I get the "b2" on a warm reboot, then I have to use the reset button, then it goes into the bios again. I do not save or make changes, and reboot then it will load Windows 10 Pro x64..., this constant. p.s. no answer from Gigabyte support yet.....

And another puzzling thing is, when I install NVidia drivers for my EVGA video cards in SLI, the configuration SLI, Surround, PhysX, shows that my monitors are hookup to the number 2 card. Even though they are hookup to number 1.

I know from previous installs on other motherboards this was not an issue with these cards, very puzzling??
 
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pchealth 2

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Ya! I don't get it...I am puzzled to why I get the "b2" on a warm reboot, then I have to use the reset button, then it goes into the bios again. I do not save or make changes, and reboot then it will load Windows 10 Pro x64..., this constant. p.s. no answer from Gigabyte support yet.....

And another puzzling thing is, when I install NVidia drivers for my EVGA video cards in SLI, the configuration SLI, Surround, PhysX, shows that my monitors are hookup to the number 2 card. Even though they are hookup to number 1.

I know from previous installs on other motherboards this was not an issue with these cards, very puzzling??

Maybe you can try the bios F7 latest provided by Gigabyte to me for USB issue and memory compatibility issue.
 

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LDFiberman

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Maybe you can try the bios F7 latest provided by Gigabyte to me for USB issue and memory compatibility issue.

Pchealth2

Thank You.... very much for the heads-up on the bios, do appreciate. I wound-up sending my motherboard in for a new one. So I should be getting in the next few days and give it a try again.

I got tired of having this issue. They are sending out a new one.

P.S. I also bought a X99 -Pro/USB 3.1, and I'm not having issues with my EVGA 780Ti in SLI with it. Sad part is, it 's memory now....just can't win.

But they know how to spend our money, it just seems there are more issues now day.:cautious:

"Yes I know, they don't make us buy the stuff" :)
 
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pchealth 2

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Pchealth2

Thank You.... very much for the heads-up on the bios, do appreciate. I wound-up sending my motherboard in for a new one. So I should be getting in the next few days and give it a try again.

I got tired of having this issue. They are sending out a new one.

P.S. I also bought a X99 -Pro/USB 3.1, and I'm not having issues with my EVGA 780Ti in SLI with it. Sad part is, it 's memory now....just can't win.

But they know how to spend our money, it just seems there are more issues now day.:cautious:

"Yes I know, they don't make us buy the stuff" :)
Good luck on your X99 motherboard, and I think memory issue is always be there unless they found the bios that can tune with your devices.
 
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