BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 10)

| Mar 9, 2016 at 11:12 am CST
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: BIOSTAR

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 that I then convert into current.

VIEW GALLERY - 95 IMAGES

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 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, 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 (Corsair H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 85 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 86 | TweakTown.com

Full frontal.

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 87 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 88 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 89 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 90 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

Thermal Testing at 4.5GHz Overclocked 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 (Corsair H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 91 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 92 | TweakTown.com

Full frontal.

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 93 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 94 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 95 | TweakTown.comBIOSTAR Racing Z170GT7 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review 96 | TweakTown.com

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

The VRM on the Z170GT7 is what you might expect from a $130 motherboard. It does get a bit warm compared to more expensive motherboards, but that is to be expected. Overall, I did not feel like the VRM held the motherboard back, and that is because the Skylake CPUs use very little power, even when overclocked. I would not use the motherboard for extreme overclocking, but it should be able to keep up with air or water cooled overclocks.

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

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

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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