Overclocking and Conclusion


To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. The board did not want to run with a base clock over 167 nor could we get the CPU over 4.5GHz. In either case, the board would either not boot at all or become very unstable very quickly. However, it remained rock solid with a base clock speed of 167MHz and a CPU speed of 4.5GHz, along with a matching 4.5GHz ring bus speed and a 3177MHz memory speed. The CPU speed and ring clock remained locked at 4.5GHz with the base clock set to its stock 100Mhz speed. However, we were able to push out DDR4-3200 modules up to an impressive 3466MHz speed. All overclocking sessions remained stable for over 4hrs. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 16GB (4 x 4GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.

167MHz Base Clock Stats

100MHz Base Clock Stats with 3466MHz Memory

Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.


GIGABYTE's Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard performs well at both stock and overclocked settings, but fails to wow in either case. The PCMark 8 stability issues were a bit puzzling, but its performance remained within 10-15% of the competing boards. Its overclocking performance was even more puzzling and the fact that the board would not stabilize at a CPU speed higher than 4.5Ghz nor at a base clock higher than 167MHz (both of which have been achieved on other systems with the same CPU / memory combination), given the over-engineered design of the board.


As of September 22, the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $463.99 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $499.99 and from B&H for $463.99 with free shipping.


GIGABYTE did a fine job with the design and layout of the Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard with a plethora of features and innovations to appeal to a wide variety of enthusiasts. One of the more impressive board innovations is with its embedded multi-colored LEDs, enabling the user to customize the look of the board and rear panel shield to match virtually any case aesthetic. The addition of the 22 digital power phases and the reinforced PCIe x16 slots is that much more of an added bonus, not to mention is dual M.2 slots. Further, GIGABYTE redesigned the integrated cooling system so that all heat sinks are connected to one another via nickel-plated copper heat pipes. The board performed well with noted caveats at stock speeds and its integrated Creative audio subsystem is top notch.

However, the board did have some oddities to it, most likely stemming from the relative newness of the chipset, CPU, and integrated technologies used with the board and more than likely fixable via further revisions to its UEFI implementation. The overclocking potential was one of the larger Achilles' heels for the board with its inability to go much beyond a 167MHz base clock, surprising given the massive amount of engineering and design put into its power delivery system. An oddity we ran into with the SATA ports was attempting to use devices in both port 0 and 1 at the same time (an SSD drive and a normal HD drive). The device on port 1 would fail to be recognized once booted into the OS and only remained stable when used in a different port (like port 2). A further complication was with the stability of the rear panel USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, both of which are directly controlled by the Intel Thunderbolt 3 chipset. Neither port would remain stable in the OS with a drive connected to it. GIGABYTE informed us that this was potentially caused by a known compatibility issue between the Thunderbolt 3 chipset and the ASMedia chipset embedded in the USB 3.1 Gen2 enclosure that we used for testing. As said previously though, both this issue and the SATA port 0/1 stability issues should be easily remedied via UEFI and or OS driver updates by GIGABYTE.


  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking potential
  • Board aesthetics
  • Customization potential for integrated LEDs
  • Board cooling and heat pipe design / layout
  • CPU socket layout and spacing
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • CMOS battery placement
  • Quality of integrated Creative Labs Core3D chipset and audio subsystem design
  • Performance of Killer GigE NICs
  • Dual PCIe x4 M.2 ports


  • Price
  • Complexities encountered with dial-in of base overclock
  • Stability oddities with PCMark 8 benchmark at stock speeds
  • Inability to use rear panel USB 3.1 Gen2 ports with readily available enclosures
  • Stability issues with SATA devices on primary and secondary SATA ports (ports 0 / 1)
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