Gigabyte Z270X Gaming 7 Review
It isn't giving away too many secrets or telling you, or indeed Gigabyte, things that you don't already know to say that the previous generation of Gigabyte motherboards somewhat lost their way. The latest Z270 Gaming range of motherboards unquestionably brings Gigabyte right back into the mix.
What we really love is how Gigabyte have eschewed the obvious design choice of copying the successful bits from other manufacturers but instead have ploughed their own furrow.
The looks are attention grabbing. Not everyone will love the big white heatsink over the IO shield and power phases, but we think that it looks fantastic. It's crisp, bright and yet neutral enough to allow the RGB to shine. If you're aghast at the idea of having any white in your system then you'll be pleased to note that there will be black options too. Speaking of the RGB the lighting of the Gaming 7 is excellent. Most manufacturers now produce motherboards that support RGB lighting strips but Gigabyte have gone the extra mile in this department. Firstly the Gaming 7 supports all the types of RGB strips that there are, so you can buy any of them and be certain that they'll be compatible. Secondly Gigabyte have included a white channel in their RGB. Anyone who has used white as the main colour in their RGB strips will know how blue it can seem, but by utilising a dedicated white you are guaranteed to have the bright neutral hue you desire whilst still having the freedom to change to another colour if you so desire.
If there is an element of their lighting solution that needs some tweaking it is the software which lets the lighting react to your temperatures, without actually letting you set either the threshold or the colour it goes to. But this is early software and it is easy enough to change in the future. Similarly their Smartfan software package is fantastic, but the BIOS version isn't quite as flexible. So utilise the software Smartfan if you want to go down that route. Lastly in the software is the OSD which supports almost every single data output we can think of. It's spectacular.
As for the motherboard itself a cursory glance through our graphs will show how great the performance is. The Gaming 7 regularly found itself either at the very top of our graph or near enough to the top motherboards as makes no difference. There certainly aren't any holes in its game. Overclocking performance is outstanding, stock performance is very good and there are enough connection options to make the most of anything you wish to plug into the Gaming 7. Let's pick two. The Gaming 7 has both KillerNIC and Intel LANs. Both of these have their benefits and it's nice to give you the option of choosing which you prefer. The adjustable USB DAC means that you get the cleanest signal regardless of your audio options.
There is no doubt at all that with the Gaming 7 Gigabyte have returned as a powerhouse of the motherboard market. Brilliant performance, tons of features, lots of customisation and affordable pricing add up to a pretty unbeatable package.