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GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 10)

Steven Bassiri | Aug 13, 2015 at 10:21 am CDT - 3 mins, 33 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption

System power usage is measured at the AC/DC PSU (the Corsair AX1200i) which I have connected to another system to measure the test system and as a backup I have a wall meter to verify. The CPU power is measured through the 8-pin connector which is hooked up to a hall effect IC which measures current and puts out a voltage in proportion to the current. That voltage is logged by a National Instruments ADC which logs the DC voltage level, which I then convert into current.

gigabyte-z170x-gaming-g1-intel-z170-motherboard-review

This motherboard does use more power than most, that is due to the PLX bridge chip and all the extra features.

Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board; I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about then I will state it, otherwise I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C then there really isn't anything to worry about.

All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and backside of the PCB. Keep in mind that the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.

Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:

The image on the left is always at idle and the image on the right is at load.

During ALL TESTs Fans above the VRM that cool the CPU cooler's (H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 114 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 115 | TweakTown.com

Full frontal.

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 116 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 117 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 118 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 119 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

Thermal Testing at 4.5GHz (1.3v w/LLC) Overclocked Speeds:

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 120 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 121 | TweakTown.com

Full frontal.

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 122 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 123 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 124 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 125 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

The VRM is quite good, but the thermals can be misleading. The thing is that GIGABYTE has linked the VRM heat sink to the heat sink cooling the PLX bridge. I think they figured the VRM could handle the extra heat load, so they tossed it in there. The PLX bridge puts out a lot of heat, in fact it puts out much more heat than the VRM and PCH combined. You can even see in the pictures that the heat moves from the PLX area (middle of the board, middle heat sink) towards the rest of the VRM. This doesn't only happen on the heat sink, but you can also see it on the back of the board; the heat spreads through the 2oz copper PCB.

The Z170X-Gaming G1 does come with watercooling threads so you can add the heat sink to your loop, and I would think that in this case, if you have no airflow over the motherboard, it might be beneficial to hook it up because that PLX bridge needs to be cooled. The temperatures never got to levels where one should worry.

Power consumption is also higher with the Z170X-Gaming G1 compared to other motherboard because of the sheer amount of ICs and hardware on the motherboard. Overall, the VRM is one of the higher quality VRMs, and if it wasn't of such high quality then I would think that the heat from the PLX might impact the VRM, but in this case it does not. Overall temperatures stayed under 50C, and performance was in line with other VRMs which don't have the PLX bridge.

Anything under 60C is great, 60-80C is acceptable, and anything above 80C is a bit worrisome (if at stock).

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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