Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: BIOSTAR Z170GT7 - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Cooler: Corsair H110i GT - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - Boot Drive: Samsung 850 Pro 512GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - SATA6G Drive: Corsair Force LS 240GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - M.2 Drive: Kingston HyperX Predator 240GB PCIe x4 - Buy from Amazon
- Storage - USB Drive: Corsair Voyager GS 64GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
- BIOS: 5.11
- Drivers: Intel INF: 10.1.1.7, Intel ME: 22.214.171.1242, ASMedia USB 3.1 Driver: 126.96.36.199, NVIDIA Graphics: 353.82, Audio:188.8.131.5229, Intel LAN: 20.2.4001
The hardest part of making this review was taking pictures of the diffused light from the VRM heat sink's RGB LEDs. I spend the better part of an hour try to capture exactly what I saw. Many times the LED brightness overwhelms the camera's sensor. The photo above is what I feel is the most accurate representation of how the RGB LEDs inside the VRM heat sinks come out. It looks better in person, but you can see how the RGBs are evenly diffused and create the motherboard color theme instead of clash or blend in.
The new test bench is designed to test every aspect of the motherboard and IO. I have designed it so that the motherboard sits in a case and is cooled by fans always-on at a constant rate to keep the conditions similar in all tests. I have cut out part of the case behind the motherboard so I can get thermal images of the back of the PCB where the VRM heat spreads. System and CPU power measurements are now digitally logged.
I am also using a Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 for our network (including wireless AC) tests. The latest M.2, SSD, and USB technologies are also being utilized to test the maximum potential of the motherboards that are tested.
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- 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]