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GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 5)

By Steven Bassiri | Aug 13, 2015 10:21 am CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

BIOS

GIGABYTE has done away with their other BIOS modes and focused on just the single Advanced BIOS mode which most people were using on previous platforms. No more orange and black or Windows 8 style tiles; the GIGABYTE BIOS is now, in my opinion, easier to use. No longer are you forced to hit F2 twice to get to the advanced BIOS mode, instead you are greeted by the advanced BIOS upon entrance. When I got the Z170X-Gaming G1, I was using BIOS F2, but when I flashed to BIOS F3 many more options appeared, many of which I was surprised to see considering they are very advanced. Extreme overclockers should be delighted with settings such as an IMC timing menu, more DRAM timings, Internal PLL Trend Voltage (for LN2), and even a DRAM timing voltage.

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The advanced mode BIOS has everything you need and GIGABYTE has even provided built in CPU OC profiles for the novice.

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GIGABYTE is also providing RGB LED control through the UEFI (and Windows), and I also have chosen to select one the pages where you see the fan control. As you can see, fan control is provided for each header. You can chose between auto, silent, full speed, and manual. Manual control provides the ability to choose between 2.5-0.75x the PWM value divided by degrees Celsius, to me it looks like a slope for a cooling curve where the higher number is stronger. The PWM value would be on the Y axis and the temperature on the X, slope is Y/X, so higher value here indicates a more aggressive cooling slope. However, I am sure that many users would appreciate a GUI with more customization options.

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Software

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GIGABYTE has also refined their Windows software suite, and this time it not only looks more visually appealing, functionality has also been increased. GIGABYTE has provided EasyTune, System Information Viewer (for fan control), @BIOS, and APP Center (along with others like TimeLock). GIGABYTE provides a few new software applications such as HW OC (for using a tethered phone to control OC), Platform Power Management, 3D OSD for gaming, Smart Keyboard for gaming, Easy RAID, and Ambient LED for RGB LED control. If you want good fan control, then you should use the system information viewer (SIV) application.

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Killer has a new and improved application, and while you need it installed to enable Killer's DoubleShot X3 Pro, it doesn't automatically install along with the drivers, so many will be happy with the ability to install the drivers separately from the application. The new application will allow for you to download updated application priorities for DoubleShot as well. When you plug in both NICs and connect to a wireless router, the program will color code applications based on which NIC they use to connect to the router.

Right now Internet Speed is restricted at the ISP level, most people's internet plans aren't 1000 Mbps up/down, so they won't saturate a 1GBit NIC. However, if you have two routers with their own internet connections or if you have a super-fast NAS and a fast home network, DoubleShot can provide some advantages. DoubleShot X3 Pro provides the ability to carry out the following scenario: you are playing Battlefield 4 through the first NIC, the second NIC is then streaming Netflix and backing up your local data to your NAS, and the Wireless AC is downloading Windows 10 Updates and the latest SnapChat leak from a torrent.

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Killer's application also allows you to change the Wireless AC adapter's mode from Game Mode to Max Throughput Mode, and it requires the NIC to restart for mode change. The Killer application also allows you to see the relative strengths of each wireless network.

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GIGABYTE is providing Creative's Sound Blaster Pro Studio which is chalked full of gaming features. This software seems to have more options than previous Creative Software suites provided with older G1 series motherboards.

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I was able to get my hands on GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher, and it does work with Z170. CPU-Z on the other hand shows a +0.7 offset on the VCore, and it can't recognize the motherboard as of yet, but the G1 Killer skin is available for download.

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