CPUID recently released their latest CPU-Z version that brings some major changes to the much-loved software. One of these changes has made it harder to get validation at lower stability levels, so it becomes much more troublesome to validate 5.2GHz at 1.5v with every board. While CPU-Z has changed, many motherboards (not this one) don't have LLC. I have to set a higher voltage to compare all these boards at the same voltage. I have decided to reduce the CPU VCore to 1.4v applied (I will measure real VCore at the output capacitors), and see how high I can validate. On most boards its 5.0. I have also decided to add real voltage levels compared to what is set for all motherboards, if they don't have voltage read points I will mark where I got the readings from.
The Z170XP-SLI is doing 5.0GHz just like the high-end motherboards which isn't too surprising considering the low power requirements of the 6700K, but the VRM did have strong, active cooling, so keep that in mind. CPU-Z misreads VCore, and I used GTL to change the multiplier in-Windows.
I tested stability at 4.8GHz CPU, 4.1GHz Uncore, and 2666MHz on the memory with 1.4v on the VCore.
I am using HandBrake to transcode a 2GB video, and it is very telling since it pulls all cores to the maximum frequency and load. Handbrake is good for a quick stability check, plus I get a log of the encoding speed and the number of errors. It is very easy for the queue not to finish all the way and just error out, and 1-3 hours of AIDA is about equal to this HandBrake test, so I am replacing it.
I have pointed out the voltage read points for this motherboard since software is inaccurate, and there is no dedicated voltage read points available. These results are using the "High" setting, and as you can see, they increase the VCore under load, which is a good thing as this increase will be reduced as the voltage level is increased. The LLC allowed me to achieve the overclocks I did above, even if a tad bit more voltage was required than normally would be.
Test 1: 4x4GB (32GB) Corsair VENGEANCE LPX 2666MHz C16
The Z170XP-SLI passed this test with flying colors. To be clear, this is two kits of 16GB Vengeance LXP memory not meant to be run together in most situations.
Test 2: 4x4GB (16GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200MHz C16
This kit meant for X99 works just fine on the board, and I was a bit shocked that it worked without hiccups.
Test 3: 2x4GB (8GB) G.Skill Ripjaws V 3600MHz C17
This kit doesn't work on all motherboards. Usually, only overclocking models can even boot this kit by just enabling XMP. The Z170XP-SLI runs this kit at 3600MHz like it's taking a stroll in the park; I was super impressed with this capability, but I reckon we have only begun to see the potential of DDR4 and Skylake.
PRICING: You can find the GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI (Intel Z170) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for $136 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for £111 at Amazon UK.
- 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]
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