CPU Cooler Fit & Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D15 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction cooling two huge vertical radiator towers.
The cooler mounts to the board without issue with adequate room provided by the board design along all sides of the cooler. As long as the video card seated in the primary PCIe slot does not have any protrusions along the back of its PCB, you should have no space conflicts between it and the cooler.
The close-up views of the cooler mounting illustrate the design and layout of the VRM sink and how it does not conflict at all with the Noctua cooler's heat pipes.
The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space is available around the CPU socket. The Noctua mounts fits the socket area without issue even though the left bracket does come close in proximity to the PLX chipset sink to the left of the CPU socket.
The cooler's backplate rests on the socket backplate, minimizing the risk of direct board contact. Further, there is no risk of any back plate to board component contact even with a cooler back plate that extends further out than the Noctua plate.
The Z170-A motherboard comes with the minimal set of accessories for getting the board up and running.
GIGABYTE includes a detailed installation guide and user manual, as well as install disks containing all drivers necessary to get the board up and running. Also included is a G1 Gaming series branded metallic case badge.
Unique to this board, GIGABYTE includes an LED-lit rear panel shield. The shield mounts to the case in the normal fashion with a power cable attaching to a board port sitting directly behind the left side of the rear panel ports.
Board with Red LED effect
Board with White LED effect
Board with Blue LED effect
Board with Yellow LED effect
When the board is powered, the outside of the rear panel assembly glows per the UEFI setting, making for a nice effect and easy identification of the rear panel ports no matter the lighting conditions. The port text on the rear panel shield reacts to the LED glow, making for even easier port identification.
GIGABYTE bundled in six black sleeved 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated port. The cables have integrated port locks and a mix of straight and 90 degree connectors.
For multi-GPU use, GIGABYTE includes two-way, three-way, and four-way NVIDIA SLI cables as well as a single two-way AMD CrossFire cable.
To protect the rear panel USB ports, GIGABYTE includes three port plugs that seal the ports from dust and other contaminants.
For use with the on-board front panel header, GIG bundled in their G Connector header plug. You simply plug the front panel case leads into the G Connector housing, then plug the Q-Connector into the front panel board header. It makes the installation of the front panel plugs much easier. The G Connector housing has notched arms that lock the case header plugs in place within the housing.
For use with PCIe x4 SSDs equipped with an SFF-8643 port, GIGABYTE included an M.2 to SFF-8643 adapter. You simply plug the M.2 card into one of the board slots, and then connect the cable connecting the SSD and the port on the M.2 card.
For use with the integrated WI-FI card, GIGABYTE includes a dual-plug antennae. The antenna screws directly into the provided ports integrated into the rear panel and can be swiveled in a 180 degree arc for optimal signal reception. Also included is a cover plate that slides over the antennae connections and fixes in place to the rear panel shield.
GIGABYTE also bundled in a USB 3.1 front bay that fits into a 5.25" drive bay in your case. The base houses two USB 3.2 Gen2 port, one type-A port and one type-C port. The bay is powered via dual SATA power connectors from your PSU. The USB 3.0 ports connect to the motherboard via a SATA-Express cable, meaning that you have to sacrifice one of the three onboard SATA-Express ports to use the bay device.