Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review
Price and Availability
The Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 motherboard is now widely available, both local and online stores. At the time this review was published, the Z170N-Gaming 5 comes with a retail price of around $155 USD, £132 or Php 9,000. You also get a limited 3 year warranty from the manufacturer.
For US visitors: check it at Newegg here or B&H Photo Video here
For UK visitors: It’s available at Amazon UK here
Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Review: Conclusion
The Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 is a special type of motherboard and despite its small size, it is fully loaded with lots of features and potential. There’s no denying that the Z170N Gaming 5 is geared towards small form factor builders and/or PC gamers who want a gaming rig with a small footprint.
The Z170N Gaming 5 features a Killer LAN instead of an Intel. Some users not like it, but for others a Killer E2200 LAN is no problem at all. The good thing is, aside from a wired network connection, you also get a WiFi + Bluetooth connection, which I think is a must on ITX motherboards and small form factor build. I haven’t experienced any WiFi/Bluetooth connection drops so far, but at least it’s good to know that wireless connection is working as expected.
Overclocking with this motherboard is not that difficult. But remember this is primarily a gaming motherboard. So for those who are into heavy overclocking, there might be some options (for ultra-fine tuning) in the BIOS which are not present. Not to mention, I wasn’t able to get my Core i7-6700K stable at 4.7GHz given the set of components I installed. Although other reviewers reported that they were able to run their 6700K stable at 4.7GHz.
With this motherboard, you also get an M.2 for PCIe NVMe and SATA based SSDs. Other ITX motherboards don’t have an M.2 and I think this is a must feature specially for mid to highend ITX motherboards. However, I would like to point out that my Samsung 950 PRO wasn’t able to perform to its fullest potential with the Z170N-Gaming 5. It was able to reach its expected peak performance at around 2500MB/s sequential read and 1500MB/s sequential write, but most of the time the performance was not at top notch. At this point I am not sure if it’s a driver issue or a hardware issue. Probably it may need some BIOS updating to further improve NVMe SSD performance and compatibility.
When it comes to gaming and other general purposes, the Z170N-Gaming 5 performed as expected. The results I got with this motherboard using the Zotac GTX 980 Ti AMP! Edition was pretty much similar on the Z170X-Gaming 7. There is no doubt that this tiny motherboard is equally capable when it comes to gaming. Audio quality is great for an onboard device and the optical out and gold plated audio ports are a welcomed feature as well.
Overall, the Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 is a very competitive ITX gaming motherboard, and I consider it as one of the best 100 series ITX motherboards currently available. Most of the features found on a mini-ITX or full sized ATX motherboards are also present in this little motherboard. You get lots of connectivity options and a nicely looking black/red themed motherboard with a matte finish surface. If you are planning to build a small form factor gaming machine, consider the Z170N-Gaming 5 on your top list.