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GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 6 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 18, 2016 2:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Here are key points about the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 6.

 

What's Hot

 

Excellent Feature to Price Ratio: The Z170X-Gaming 6 has an almost identical IO feature set compared to the Gaming 7, minus a few frills and upgrades. At under $200, the Z170X-Gaming 6 competes head to head with the Z170X-Gaming 7 and other more expensive motherboards, which are north of the $200 price point. If you do not care about having a Creative audio controller over a Realtek, you don't care about the lit up IO shield, and you can spare some of the OC buttons and switches, the Z170X-Gaming 6 comes out to be a great value product.

 

 

Dual NICs and M.2: Just like the Z170X-Gaming 7, the Z170X-Gaming 6 has dual Ultra M.2 slots (32Gb/s) and dual NICs. Granted, you cannot team an Intel NIC and a Killer NIC, but two is better than one. You can RAID the M.2 slots.

 

AMP-UP with Creative X-Fi MB Software: People like features and audio is one region where GIGABYTE has focused heavily on even with lower priced boards such as the Z170X-Gaming 6. While the Z170X-Gaming 7 has beefier audio hardware, the Z170X-Gaming 6 is not a slacker. To sweeten the deal a bit more, GIGABYTE licensed Creative's X-Fi audio software to work with the Realtek implementation, offering a little extra dazzle.

 

Intel USB 3.1: I thought that GIGABYTE was going to use the common ASMedia ASM1142 USB 3.1 controller, since it is much less expensive than the Intel USB 3.1 controller, but I was pleasantly surprised to find Intel's USB 3.1 controller in use.

 

What's Not

 

You will need to read the manual if you have multiple SATA drives and want to use both M.2 slots: GIGABYTE uses five ASMedia quick switches to switch SATA, M.2, and PCH PCI-E bandwidth between the slots and ports. While this is the case for all Z170 motherboards that support M.2 RAID and SATA based M.2 modules, it can be confusing as to which ports will be disabled when using SATA and M.2 at the same time. You are going to need to read the manual to find out which SATA ports will be disabled when using different M.2 modules.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

GIGABYTE's Z170X-Gaming 6 looks much different than the Z170X-Gaming 7, and it is the board which differentiates between GIGABYTE's high-end gaming models and their more mainstream and affordable products. When I first received the Z170X-Gaming 6, I felt as if it was GIGABYTE's replacement for the Gaming 7, but it is just a toned down version with less flash.

 

gigabyte-z170x-gaming-6-intel-z170-motherboard-review_100

 

Coming in at around $190, the Z170X-Gaming 6 offers a premium feature set in a very competitive price bracket. Compared to the competition, the Z170X-Gaming 6 offers some features others just don't have in this price range such as Intel USB 3.1 and their AMP-UP technology with a DIP socket amplifier.

 

While its feature set is not as premium as it could be, GIGABYTE still put in a lot of value into the product. If your budget is roughly $200 for a motherboard, and you would like some gaming features, then you should consider the Z170X-Gaming 6.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking)90%
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features92%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money93%
Overall TweakTown Rating91%

The Bottom Line: GIGABYTE's Z170X-Gaming 6 motherboard offers premium features at a not-so-premium price point, offering bang for the buck where you might not expect it.

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