Here are key points about the GIGABYTE Z170X-Designare.
Triple NVMe RAID: The Z170X-Designare has M.2, U.2, and a PCI-E x4 slot that are independent and support RAID of three Intel 750 NVMe drives. The Z170 platform is one of the only Intel platforms that supports hardware RAID of multiple NVMe drives, and the Z170X-Designare is one of the only motherboards to offer the ability.
Dual Intel USB 3.1 Type-C with 100W Support: GIGABYTE isn't able to advertise Thunderbolt 3 since they haven't yet received certification on the motherboard, but there is a DisplayPort input port for support of the feature in the future. Regardless, the motherboard still supports USB 3.1 through both ports, and the 100W USB Power Delivery 2.0 support is icing on the cake.
So Close to Color Neutral: If the Z170X-Ultra Gaming had RGB LEDs, it would be the perfect color neutral motherboard with total customization potential. The Z170X-Designare would be perfect if it didn't have those subtle blue pieces on the heat sinks, but the good news is that they are not bright and can easily fade into the darkness, making the Z170X-Designare very color neutral. Overall, you can choose the color theme of the system, but blue does look best.
Dual Intel Gbit LAN: The motherboard already has two USB Type-C ports with 100W support, support for triple NVMe based RAID, RGB LEDs, and dual Intel Gbit LAN. The Z170X-Designare is basically the poster child for Intel's latest and greatest consumer technologies.
OC Features: I was pleasantly surprised to find a POST code display along with buttons for power, reset, and clear CMOS. There is even an OC button that will load a preset overclock.
Color Accents with RGBs: The Z170X-Designare would have been much more designer-friendly if it didn't have blue color highlights on its VRM heat sinks.
GIGABYTE's Z170X-Designare is a poster child for the latest in Intel consumer PC technologies. The motherboard uses dual Intel NICs for LAN, Intel's Alpine Ridge controller for USB 3.1 and future Thunderbolt 3, and it even supports RAID of three Intel 750 NVMe SSDs. I don't think there are many Z170 motherboards with this level of recent technology, especially if you consider the 100W USB Power Delivery 2.0 support and the NVMe RAID capabilities. There isn't much the Z170X-Designare can't do.
I was happy to see the addition of the POST code and buttons for overclockers, as that is something I feel has been missing from most of GIGABYTE's latest motherboards. The Z170X-Designare also carries GIGABYTE's new BIOS, which features GUI-based fan and RGB LED control.
Overall, the Z170X-Designare is loaded to the brim with the latest in innovative features and should prove to be decently future proof.
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
|Performance (including Overclocking)||92%|
|Quality including Design and Build||94%|
|Bundle and Packaging||88%|
|Value for Money||90%|
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a motherboard to support the latest and greatest components and accessories, GIGABYTE's Z170X-Designare has you covered.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z170X-Designare Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE Z170X-Designare Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE Z170X-Designare Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [The BIOS]
- 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]