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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

Packaging and Overview

 

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The Z170X-Gaming 6's box is quite basic; the "Heroes of the Storm" co-marketing is used like on other GIGABYTE Z170 gaming series motherboards. Packaging is basic but effective; the motherboard is in an anti-static bag with a cardboard protective layer.

 

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Accessories include labeled IO Shield, 4x SATA6Gb/s cables (clear), G-Connector, Do-Not-Disturb door hanger, SLI bridge, G1 gaming case badge, driver DVD, and manuals. The Z170X-Gaming 7 had some upgrades in this area including an RGB LED lit up IO shield and dust covers for video outputs.

 

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The GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 6 has five fan headers. The single header circled in green is a 4-pin PWM header and the four blue are voltage mode headers (otherwise known as DC mode). All headers can be controlled through the UEFI or Windows.

 

The aesthetics of the Z170X-Gaming 6 are much different than that of the Z170X-Gaming 7, the white has been replaced with black, and there is much less shield coverage, so more of the PCB is showing. The Z170X-Gaming 6 will stick out less and blend into the case better than the Z170X-Gaming 7, but I do like the white shield on the Gaming 7. The back of the Z170X-Gaming 6 is bare, which is a good thing. The only thing on the back of the Z170X-Gaming 6 are some red LEDs that illuminate the audio PCB divide.

 

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The IO panel on the Z170X-Gaming 6 carries three USB 3.0 ports, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, two 1Gbit NIC ports, four USB 2.0 (two yellow are DAC-UP), and S/PDIF with gold plated TOSLINK for audio output.

 

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The PCI-E layout is identical to that of the Z170X-Gaming 7. The first two PCI-E slots are wired to the CPU and work at 16x/0x or 8x/8x. The last PCI-E 16x slot is a 4x slot that shares bandwidth with one of the M.2 slots. There are two M.2 slots, and they share bandwidth with three of the SATA 6Gb/s ports, but you need to reference the manual to see what will be disabled (sometimes all three SATA ports aren't disabled). The Z170X-Gaming 6 also carries GIGABYTE's AMP-UP audio solution based on a Realtek codec.

 

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All of the SATA6Gb/s ports on the Z170X-Gaming 6 are from the PCH and can be used as three SATA Express ports if you have those devices. Some are shared with some of the M.2 slots for RAID ability, so you need to check the manual if you are going to use many drives. There are two internal USB 3.0 headers located south of the 24-pin power connector.

 

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I expect a POST code display on motherboards that cost $200, but the Z170X-Gaming 6 has one even though it's a bit less expensive, which is great. There aren't many other overclocking features (the Z170X-Gaming 7 has them), but there are two buttons for built-in profiles (OC and ECO buttons).

 

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The heat sinks on the Z170X-Gaming 6 made great contact with the motherboard, and everything is held down by screws.

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