CPU & Motherboard
Intel made a big splash earlier this year with its next-gen Kaby Lake CPU architecture, deploying its new 14nm-made flagship Core i7-7700K (our review here) - and becoming the favorite processor for high-end gamers and enthusiasts.
It offers some truly great price/performance ratios but isn't much faster than the older Core i7-6700K. I didn't see an urgency to move to Kaby Lake right away, but I waited three months for some higher-end boards to arrive, and here we are. Before the 7700K, I was running a 6700K that I was going to switch the GPU testing onto, and through my testing, I decided at the last minute to wait and push those efforts off for the 7700K.
I will be making some Ryzen 7 1800X processor comparisons with all sorts of GPU combinations, with single/multi-GPU tests already finished and waiting in the pipeline. Core i7-7700K vs. Ryzen 7 1800X with GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SLI (yes, two of them in SLI) make for some interesting articles and videos.
Powered by GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 9
GIGABYTE's high-end Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard is the crown jewel of the entire system, housing the Core i7-7700K and 1TB OCZ RD400 NVMe M.2 SSD, as well as the G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4-4000MHz RAM. It deserves its own section, but Steven's review of the Z270X-Gaming 9 is more than thorough enough, so I'll just give it a once over again for our GPU benchmarking.
GIGABYTE offers EK Water Blocks compatibility for water cooling, RGB Fusion tech for some RGB LED controlling goodness, Smart Fan 5 tech, and Creative's great Sound Blazer ZxRi 'AMP-UP Audio' technology for great sound.
GIGABYTE's inclusion of RGB Fusion is a big deal for looks, and while it doesn't add to performance... when you're spending this much money on hardware, you want it to look awesome at the same time, right?!
Look at those LEDs... mesmerizing.
GIGABYTE knows the future of the PC is RGB LEDs, so they've provided support for standard 12V external RGB, RGBW, and even RGB/UV light strips on the Z270X-Gaming 9. Amazing stuff.
The GIGABYTE/AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard itself, and the important x16 PCIe port.
Showing off the board again, and the 1TB OCZ RD400 NVMe M.2 SSD.
The RGB LEDs look awesome at night.
The Core i7-7700K processor is cooled by the Noctua U12S cooler.
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