Packaging and Closer Look
The Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5’s box looks like a mini version of the other Z170X gaming motherboards. The box art and layout is pretty much the same with other G1 Gaming motherboards. At the back you can read some of the highlighted features of the Z170N Gaming 5 and a partial list of its specs.
The package includes the usual culprits, except there are fewer accessories included. You got a manual, driver CDs, an I/O shield, a pair of SATA cables and the WiFi antenna.
Here you have a closer look at the front and back of the motherboard. The size of the Z170N Gaming 5 is pretty small and standard for an ITX motherboard. The design is nothing too fancy, yet it has a touch of a G1 Gaming feel on it. I wonder how this board will look like if a white shroud was also in place.
As little as this motherboard can be, the Z170N-Gaming 5 actually has a very short LED path, just like what we see on full ATX motherboards. It’s located near the audio section and just under the heat pipe. I’m not sure if it’s possible but I hope future mid to high-end ITX motherboards will have onboard buttons and debug LED as well. These are very useful specially if you are tweaking or overclocking your system.
From this angle, you see two SATA Express ports, another two SATA ports in between the chipset and DIMM slots, a 24-pin motherboard power connector and some headers. I think this is the correct location of the SATA ports and it’s also angled making it cleaner and easier to connect/disconnect the cables. Some ITX motherboards have the SATA ports located between the chipset and DIMM slots. That makes the cables get in the way of the graphics card and it’s also a little bit difficult to connect and disconnect the SATA cables with that position.
At the rear I/O ports, you have a PS/2 combo port, 3x USB 3.0 ports, WiFi antenna connector, DVI out, HDMI out, USB Type-C, USB 3.1, Killer LAN and the audio ports that are gold plated.
One thing that I really like about the Z170N-Gaming 5 is that it has an M.2 slot and it’s located at the back of the motherboard. Some 100 series motherboards don’t have an M.2 slot. And I think an M.2 is very important since you are building a small form factor machine and you definitely want to reduce the cables inside. Not only that, the NVMe M.2 SSD is currently the fastest storage solution available.
On the next page, let’s have a tour on its UEFI BIOS as well as some of the app included with this motherboard.