Motherboard Reviews

Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming Review: Rebel Without a Pause

A Closer Look at the Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming Motherboard »

Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra GamingA motherboard’s identity is partly defined by marketing and partly defined by user judgment. For the Z170X-Ultra Gaming, being born as part of Gigabyte’s G1 line carries a certain expectation to live up to, particularly one bent toward gaming (as if the name is not enough of a clue). This motherboard however, is unlike other gaming motherboard before. It does not follow a by-the-numbers approach to performance but tries to make its own way, establishing itself with features that are not normally expected from a gaming mainboard.

The Z170X-Ultra Gaming is a little understated in an almost entirely black look but comes to life when powered on with numerous red LED’s dotted across its landscape. It fits the gamer aesthetic in that regard, but it pushes the expectations on what gamer performance is by providing Thunderbolt 3 support as well as a remarkably flexible high-speed triple NVMe strorage combining a built-in U.2 header, M.2 slot and a PCI-E x4 slot.

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The Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard is part of Gigabyte’s G1 Gaming line, sporting a black box with red theme that is a reference to the red LED clad board inside. All the promotional information are in the rear outlining some of the Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard’s unique features.

Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming

Aside from the essential drive disc, installation guide, manual and IO shield, Gigabyte includes four SATA cables (two of which have one 90-degree end), a Gigabyte G-connector for the front IO, a dual SLI ribbon cable, a G1 gaming case sticker, a G1 Gaming Do Not Disturb door hanger, a pair of G1 Gaming velcro cable management strips, and storage sticker labels for the cables.

Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming Accessories

I’m surprised drivers still come bundled in disc form. Biostar seems to be the only one that actually puts the drivers/software on a USB drive which is a lot more convenient for installation.

Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming

The Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard uses an ATX form factor measuring 305 x 244mm with a matte black 4-layer PCB and brushed aluminum black anodized heatsinks. The only accents in the motherboard come in the form of the shielding on the DIMM and PCI-E x16 slots. On the right side edge is an obvious strip of LED and there are more outlining the audio area, on the VRM area, the PCI-E sockets and the DIMM slots.

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  1. I just got these board to change my hero crappy 8 sorry. nice board. I have a lot of question one is fan header PWM data. if i have a AIO (Capt 360) the pump goes to CPU OP / pump and the fans to CPUfan for the AIO. I have a 3 pin to the rear and 2 front PWM. one on 3 and 2 (pump dc control) these is ok? or I have to make some adjustment. since I want to get a fan hub to put the front in one so i can connect direct to 12volt. your article is clear, but i am not a savvy guy for these. Any help or links will be great top get point on the right purchase direction and knowledge!!! thanks guys

  2. Hi Carlos, sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier. For AIO pumps, it is recommended to run them at full speed (12V). The 3-pin fan is the one you put on the DC control since 3-pin fan speed can only be lowered by undervolting them. The 4-pin PWM of course you put in PWM fan headers and run it with the preset you want. Putting them in a hub, will make them all run at full speed (12V). If you have a 360 so I’m guessing you have 3 fans plus two intake for case and one more for exhaust (6 fans total?). The lowest cost option that I can see is to just get a fan splitter cable for the two front intake fans (so they can share one header) and/or use a molex to fan header adapter to fan connector plug the AIO pump and whatever fan you want to run full speed. There are 5 fan headers on the Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard so one two-header splitter (for the two front case intake is recommended) is enough to fit all your needs if you have six fans.

  3. Some cases, CPU coolers, and power supplies also come with fan hubs for free and fan adapters so you can ask your friends if they have some, maybe they can just give you one. NZXT and Phanteks for example have fan hubs built in most of their cases.

  4. HI Ron thanks so much for your reply. I did check all ports here testing with fans. if you still have the board. connect a jet flow or similar (as me here) to the Sys_Fan2_pump i use to test PWM and voltage. On PWM you turn off the fan and the lights still on (so there is 12v there(i do not know how to use a multimeter). on voltage regular option I put the fan in 0 and no lights no rotation. is odd. i use 4 fan to test all ports. unless there is a difference on 2000rpm in 7v or 12v is a odd. i also find other software issues. that is fantastic to expand the new trend since more and more these types of boards are more on the market that use front AIO and 2 fans on back. My idea just change since i can do that most people do, and the other is confirm that i can use. so far it is confirm that SYS_FAN1 and SYS_FAN3 are voltage regulated. So the pump can go to the CPU_OPT_PUMP.??? and the fans to the CPU_FAN??

  5. Yeah that Silverstone one looks good. I’m testing something on a different board right now but I could try to build on the Z170X-Ultra Gaming board next week to test out the headers again.

  6. That is great Ron. I have search a lot regarding these PWM fan, what port do what or does not. I can say that I am almost sure that the Fan_PUMP headers are 12volts If you select on bios (F20b) PWM. Since once you restart and anter again the bios and on manual on PWM the lights of my jet flows stay on. (I can not explain) The top one monitor CPU, the one below monitor PCH. The system fan 1 and 3 is confirm voltage regulated. but still odd since, it is my understanding is not 12v, but my fans spins at max speed(my case i have jet flow) so there is 12v signal but on a different distribution. These new ways fo fans pins comes on ALL new gigabyte motherboard at least on mine, the new blue color, designare both x99 and z170, and i bet that will come on the new board on CES2017. It seams that these ways of fans and buids are a new secret. BTW SpeedFan does not work. At least on mine. I have all manufacture apps install. check also monitor software does not work correct, the only one was HWinfo64 I am changing my case and cooler soon. I can wait on your findings from your side to I can make the correct purchase.

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