Packaging and Overview
The Z170GT7's box is unlike anything I have seen from BIOSTAR in the past. It has a sleek design, feels high quality, and has a window so you can see the motherboard. Packaging is done well; the motherboard is protected inside a box.
There is a good number of accessories: 4x SATA 6Gb/s cables, IO shield, and driver DVD with manuals. My sample came with a "Free Gift" in the form of an RGB LED strip. I am not sure if all packages come with the RGB LED strip; it might be regional.
The BIOSTAR Z170GT7 has five fan headers circled in red; each fan header can be controlled in the UEFI with a good number of customization parameters. BIOSTAR's fan control is surprisingly good in the UEFI. The motherboard looks very nice in person. I am not the biggest fan of the silk screen racing flag on the PCB; I just pretend it isn't there since it is dark enough in color to blend into the darkness of the inside of my case. The motherboard's PCB does have a matte finish.
I applaud BIOSTAR for going with their unique design regarding colors, RGBs, and carbon fiber décor. The RGB LEDs on this motherboard in the heat sinks is very classy and sleek. I am not so much a fan of the bright RGBs that form a vertical line near the audio section; I would have preferred them beneath the motherboard to keep with the glowing theme.
The PCH heat sink also has an RGB LED, but you cannot customize it, instead of changes from green to red depending on the CPU temperature. The back of the motherboard is bare except for some cooling solder strips behind the VRM. That is perhaps the cleanest motherboard backside I have ever seen.
The IO panel on the Z170GT7 totes five USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, 1Gbit Intel LAN, gold plated audio TOSLINK, PS/2 keyboard, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and VGA.
The PCI-E layout is not as straightforward as you might think. The first two full sized 16x slots are wired to the CPU and can operate at 16x/0x or 8x/8x. The first PCI-E 1x slot and the last PCI-E 16x slot (electrical 4x) are hard wired to the PCH. The bottom two 1x slots and the third 16x slot (electrical 4x) share bandwidth, so you either run the 3rd 16x slot at 4x with the two 1x slots disabled or you run it at 2x with the two 1x slots enabled. There is a table that easily explains this in the manual.
BIOSTAR provides the ability to turn all the SATA6Gb/s ports from the PCH into three SATA Express ports if the user wants. Otherwise, they will be normal SATA6Gb/s. The M.2 slot is a 32Gb/s slot, and it does share bandwidth with SATAExpress1, so you will lose that slot if you use the M.2 slot.
BIOSTAR provides their capacitive touch panel on the Z170GT7. While it doesn't have as many options as the one found on the GAMING Z170X, it does offer Power, Reset, Sport (OC), and Eco (down clock). I was very happy to find a POST Code display; it doubles as a CPU temperature readout when you enter the OS. There is an LN2 switch that can be used to down clock the CPU core and cache to 8x on-the-fly. The Z170GT7 even has dual BIOS ROMs with a physical switch.
BIOSTAR didn't forget to include a USB 3.0 internal header, but its location is a bit far for many front panel cables. There are also two USB 2.0 internal headers. BIOSTAR added a 5050 RGB header; it works in harmony with the motherboard RGBs.
Heatsinks for the motherboard VRMs are held down by screws while the PCH is held down by pushpins. I was surprised to find that the IO panel shield is metal rather than plastic.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z170GT7 Overview]
- Page 3 [BIOSTAR Z170GT7 Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [BIOSTAR Z170GT7 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]
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- AMD appoints fresh blood to Radeon team
- Assassin's Creed Origins: DLC 'The Hidden Ones' trailer
- PUBG to ban over 100,000 cheaters in one single wave
- Google hires ex PlayStation and Xbox executive Phil Harrison
- Dragon Ball FighterZ gets launch trailer days before release
- Intel 760P 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review
- Samsung 860 Pro 1TB SATA III SSD Review
- Z270-HD3 F8 bios and advanced frequency settings not available...
- Spectre Bios Updates
- Lian-Li PC-O11 WW Feedback and O11 Air Feedback
- Micron, Rambus, Northwest Logic and Avery Design to Deliver a Comprehensive GDDR6 Solution for Next-Generation Applications
- Toshiba Memory America Unveils UFS Devices Utilizing 64-Layer, 3D Flash Memory
- ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Series Gaming Graphics Cards
- ASUS Announces ASUS Hangouts Meet Hardware Kit
- Colorful Announces iGame GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X Top