This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI.
Basic Feature Set Equates to Strong IO Performance: Since the Z170XP-SLI is a considerably basic motherboard, there is a lack of quick switches and hubs. This leads to above average performance in IO benchmarks and even 3D benchmarks since there are fewer levels of quick switches to go through to get to 16x.
Intel NIC: At this price point, you can't come to expect Intel's NIC implementation as it can be pricey for the motherboard vendor to implement, but the Z170XP-SLI delivers.
Upgraded Audio: The audio on this motherboard is upgraded, and is the same implementation I see on GIGABYTE boards in the $200+ range (excluding gaming series). Audio performance is also quite good.
SLI: SLI support isn't abundant in the sub $150 price range, but as the model name would imply, this motherboard supports NVIDIA SLI.
Solid Memory Support at 3600MHz: I was surprised that the Z170XP-SLI was able to handle memory overclocking so well. It ran every kit I threw at it, and all I did was set XMP. GIGABYTE has obviously improved their memory overclocking on their mainstream motherboards, and you can run faster DDR4 kits on this board.
If you overclock over 4.5GHz, I recommend using active airflow over the VRM: GIGABYTE's VRM is capable of supporting the majority of air cooled overclocks, but if you overclock over 4.5GHz, I strongly recommend active airflow. On more expensive motherboards, you might not need it.
Mix and Match Color Theme: This could also be a pro depending on how you look at it, but the color of the LEDs around the audio section and the accents on the heat sinks don't match. While the accents on the heat sinks get lost in a dark case and you can disable the LEDs it would have been nice to have a consistent color scheme.
The Z170XP-SLI has a lot of the latest features I come to expect from a Z170 motherboard above the $150 price range; USB 3.1, upgraded audio, Intel NIC, solid performance, and decent overclocking capabilities. That being said, this motherboard only costs $136 on Amazon making it a very good deal for those on a budget.
While it's obvious that the VRM isn't the most robust, the capacitors aren't as high quality as higher-end motherboards, and it doesn't have as many features as more expensive motherboards it is quite mighty in its own regard.
The Z170XP-SLI can perform like more expensive motherboards and even overclock like them in the right conditions, but producing those conditions might be difficult, and that is why people pay more for better overclocking.
|Performance (including Overclocking)||88%|
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||89%|
|Value for Money||95%|
The Bottom Line: If you have a budget of $150 for an Intel Z170 motherboard and you want an Intel NIC, SLI support, decent OC support, and a good allotment of platform features, then the GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI is worth a look.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z170XP-SLI Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]