Test Setup and Overclocking
I tested the Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard with an Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor. The full specifications of the system I used are listed below. Just a note, the Core i7-6700K I used was purchased from a retail store and not an engineering sample. Unfortunately, the CPU I got is not one of those “golden” CPU that can hit 5GHz easily.
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61
Memory: Klevv Cras DDR4
Graphics card: Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP! Edition
Storage Drives: Plextor M6e Black Edition
Power Supply: Seasonic 1050W Platinum
Chassis: DimasTech Bench Table Easy V3.0
Please note that the motherboard’s performance is as good as the other components you install on it. Don’t expect that the Z170X-Gaming 7 will make your system perform way faster compared to other Z170 motherboards with the same components installed. Don’t expect also that the components you installed, like CPU, memory and graphics card, will perform faster than expected just because you installed them on a high-end motherboard like this one.
Overclocking with Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7
There are several ways you can overclock your CPU with the Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard. The easiest way is to use the on board OC Mode button, another is via the App Center’s Easy Tune and finally the most common way, tweaking your system via the UEFI BIOS. First let me discuss the Eco and OC Mode features.
Eco and OC Mode Buttons
Pressing the Eco Mode button on the motherboard will make the system run on power saving at the expense of performance. As you can see from the screenshot below, the CPU went down to 800MHz and core voltage to 0.444V.
Now pressing the OC Mode button will give your system a performance boost. The Intel Core i7-6700K has a base clock speed of 4.0GHz and a turbo boost speed of 4.2GHz. In my case, the CPU was overclocked to 4.4GHz with a core voltage of 1.428V. The voltage may be a little bit high but the system was running stable.
If you really want to push your CPU, better overclock it via the UEFI BIOS settings. You can fine tune everything and you have the control on your system. In my case, I was able to overclock the Core i7-6700K to 4.7GHz with a voltage of 1.440V. Lowering the voltage will result in a system crash. I tried 4.8GHz but the system became unstable and was not stable enough to finish some of the benchmarks. Perhaps 4.8GHz was achievable but I have to feed it with a higher voltage and that is no longer a very wise decision.
Continue on the next page for the benchmark results of the Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard.