Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

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Packaging and Closer Look

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Latest pricing and availability of the Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 here:
For US visitors: check it at Newegg here or B&H Photo Video here
For UK visitors: It’s available at Amazon UK here
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3 Comments
  1. colbyrbt says

    I run the same motherboard(Ga-Z170N Gaming 5) and Cpu (intel 6700k) and I have it overclocked to 4.91ghz at 1.47V and it has ran with perfect stability for the last week through several stress tests with CPUZ, Several benchmarks on Geekbench, and several passmark benchmarks. I think you got a poor silicon sample.

    1. Jeff says

      Lucky you! No, my 6700k is not a sample, it’s a retail one we bought. I wasn’t really expecting that it would overclock high though. Getting a CPU with good overclocking potential is not a guarantee. Lucky for those who got ES or CPU direct from Intel.

      And I think it is the same case with Kaby Lake. Not all i7-7700k will go up to 5GHz easily as claimed by other reviewers, they got ES so I’m not surprised about it. Some people I know who bought retail 7700k are struggling to get even 4.9Ghz stable.

      1. colbyrbt says

        What I mean by silicon sample is just the small amount of silicon they used for your chip in your batch, Ive always just called it a silicon sample. Yeah as far as I’ve seen accross the internet most I7-6700k chips average at 4.5ghz so Im very happy with my chip.

        That makes me less frustrated with the fact that I did not look for any new upcoming chips when I bought mine and so I bought mine after the 7700k had come out at the same price point. lol

        Im personally very curious to see if manufacturers are able to resolve the large gap between the performance of the lowest quality chips and the highest. Hopefully at some point they will come out with better consistency.

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