09 Mar, 2017   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews . GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X Gaming 9 Motherboard Review

We are back with another AORUS motherboards from Gigabyte. Earlier we reviewed a mid level motherboard of Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Motherboard series, the Gigabyte Z270X GAMING 5 motherboard and today we are reviewing the flagship AORUS motherboard based on Intel Z270 chipset the Gigabyte AORUS Z270X Gaming 9 Motherboard featuring support to 4-way graphics along with the Creative Sound Blaster certified ZxRi audio solution, integrated EKWB G-Frost hybrid water block, dual M.2 and U.2 connectors, Killer DoubleShot-X3 networking, RGB LEDs, and much more.

Now let’s see what GIGABYTE Z270X GAMING 9 board have for us.

Features

  • Supports 7th/ 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs, DDR4 4133+(OC)
  • Intel® USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C™ and Type-A
  • 4-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
  • EKWB G-Frost Hybrid Water Block
  • Triple NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 Support
  • Dual NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 Connectors
  • Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA interface
  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
  • Creative Sound Blaster certified ZxRi 120dB+ Audio
  • Killer DoubleShot-X3™ Pro for the best networking experience possible
  • USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers
  • 2 External Thermistors Headers with 2 Included Thermistors
  • Extreme 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt™ 3
  • Integrated HDMI 2.0 Support
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ with Q-Flash Plus USB Port
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities

Specifications

 

 

CPU

Support for 7th and 6th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors/ Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium®processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1151 package

L3 cache varies with CPU

Chipset

Intel® Z270 Express Chipset

Memory

4 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.

Dual channel memory architecture

Support for DDR4 4133(O.C.) / 4000(O.C.) / 3866(O.C.) / 3800(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3666(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400 / 2133 MHz memory modules

Support for ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8 memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)

Support for non-ECC Un-buffered DIMM 1Rx8/2Rx8/1Rx16 memory modules

Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor+Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Controller:

1 x Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 connector, supporting DisplayPort and Thunderbolt™ video outputs and a maximum resolution of 4096x2304@60 Hz
* Because of the limited I/O resources of the PC architecture, the number of Thunderbolt™ devices that can be used is dependent on the number of the PCI Express devices being installed. (Refer to Chapter 1-7, "Back Panel Connectors," for more information.)
* Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.

Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:

1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2304@60 Hz
* Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.

Integrated Graphics Processor+MegaChips MCDP2800 chip:

1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@60 Hz
* Support for HDMI 2.0 version. (Requires the latest Intel® graphics driver from the GIGABYTE website.)

Support for up to 3 displays at the same time
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB

Audio

Creative® Sound Core 3D chip

2 x JRC NJM2114 and 1 x TI Burr Brown® OPA2134 operational amplifiers

Support for Sound Blaster ZxRi

High Definition Audio

2/5.1-channel

Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN

2 x Killer™ E2500 LAN chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Wireless Communication module

Killer™ Wireless-AC 1535

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band

Bluetooth 4.1

Support for 11ac wireless standard and up to 867 Mbps data rate
* Actual data rate may vary depending on environment and equipment.

Expansion Slots

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
* The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot operates at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated.
(All of the PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

2 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All of the PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

Storage Interface

Chipset:

1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2M_32G)

1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support) (M2P_32G)

2 x U.2 connectors

3 x SATA Express connectors

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5)

Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
* Refer to "1-12 Internal Connectors," for the installation notices for the U.2, M.2, and SATA connectors.

ASMedia® ASM1061 chip:

2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 6, 7), supporting AHCI mode only

Multi-Graphics Technology

Support for NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ and 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ technologies

Support for AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ and 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™ technologies

USB

Chipset+Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Controller:

1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red) on the back panel

Chipset+Realtek® USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub:

4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports available through the internal USB headers

Chipset:

5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back panel

4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports available through the internal USB headers

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector

1 x CPU fan header

1 x water cooling CPU fan header

4 x system fan headers

2 x system fan/water cooling pump headers

1 x I/O shield audio LED power connector

2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip extension cable headers

3 x SATA Express connectors

8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors

2 x U.2 connectors

1 x front panel header

1 x front panel audio header

2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 headers

2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers

1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

1 x Thunderbolt™ add-in card connector

1 x Clear CMOS jumper

2 x temperature sensor headers

1 x power button

1 x reset button

1 x Clear CMOS button

1 x ECO button

1 x OC button

2 x audio gain control switches

2 x BIOS switches

Voltage Measurement Points

Back Panel Connectors

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port

2 x MMCX antenna connectors (2T2R)

1 x HDMI port

1 x DisplayPort

1 x Thunderbolt™ 3 connector (USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support)

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red)

5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports

2 x RJ-45 ports

1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector

5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone)

I/O Controller

iTE® I/O Controller Chip

H/W Monitoring

Voltage detection

Temperature detection

Fan speed detection

Overheating warning

Fan fail warning

Fan speed control
* Whether the fan (pump) speed control function is supported will depend on the fan (pump) you install.

BIOS

2 x 128 Mbit flash

Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS

Support for DualBIOS™

Support for Q-Flash Plus
* The USB flash drive used must be a USB 2.0 flash drive.

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Unique Features

Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may vary by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also vary depending on motherboard specifications.
3D OSD
@BIOS
AutoGreen
BIOS Setup
Color Temperature
Cloud Station
EasyTune
Easy RAID
Fast Boot
Game Boost
GIGABYTE HW OC APP
ON/OFF Charge
Platform Power Management
RGB Fusion
Smart Backup
Smart Keyboard
Smart TimeLock
System Information Viewer
USB Blocker
USB DAC-UP 2
V-Tuner

Support for 3TB+ Unlock

Support for Q-Flash

Support for Xpress Install

Bundle Software

Norton® Internet Security (OEM version)

Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

Operating System

Windows® 10 64-bit (for 7th Generation Intel® Processors)

Windows® 10 64-bit / Windows® 8.1 64-bit / Windows® 7 32-bit / 64-bits (for 6th Generation Intel® Processors)
* Please download the "Windows USB Installation Tool" from GIGABYTE's website and install it before installing Windows 7.

Form Factor

E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm

 

Package

Board comes in a nice black cardboard box with model number and AORUS branding in front of the box. Details about supporting technology and features are covered on the back of the box

Inside the box

GIGABYTE Z270X GAMING 9 comes with very nice set of accessories

Box Contents

  • GA-Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard
  • Motherboard driver disk
  • User's Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Six SATA cables
  • I/O Shield
  • One Wi-Fi antenna
  • One Wi-Fi antenna retention cover
  • One GC-SLI23P SLI bridge connector
  • One 3-Way SLI bridge connector
  • One 4-Way SLI bridge connector
  • One 2-Way CrossFire bridge connector
  • Two RGB (RGBW) LED strip extension cables
  • One Accent Lighting LED Strip
  • Two thermistor cables
  • One G Connector
  • Two Velcro Cable Ties
  • One pack of back I/O dust covers

Looks

Board made with a black PCB of size E-ATX (30.5 X 26.4 cm). A white colour plastic shield covers the back I/O connectors, SATA Ports and audio section. Same while /gray colour metal sheets covers the heatsinks giving whole board a rich White and gray theme. The large VRM section is cooled via the EKWB G-Frost VRM heatsink / waterblock.

Layout

Detailed layout of board.

1. Intel LGA 1151 socket. Supporting the new Kaby Lake CPUs.

2. GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming-9 is equipped with 4 DIMM Dual channel DDR4 memory slots supporting max. 64GB at 2133MHz in normal and up to 4133MHz when OC. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) is also supported.

3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)

4. ATX CPU Power Connector 8-pin ATX12V_2x4.

5. Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, 2 x MMCX antenna connectors (2T2R), 1 x HDMI port, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Thunderbolt™ 3 connector (USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red), 5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 2 x RJ-45 ports, 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector, 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone)

6. 7. 8. 10. 16.1 x CPU Fan connector, 1 x CPU OPT Fan/ Water cooler pump connector, 5 x System Fan connectors and Back I/O Plate LED connector

9. Top right of the board locates an OC button which provides automatic overclocking and an ECO button which provides power savings alongside a POST code display, power, reset ,clear CMOS buttons and voltage read points.

11. 2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)

12. 3x SATA Express connector, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s) and 2 x U.2 connectors

13. Expansion Slots 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2) * The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot operates at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated. (All of the PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.), 2 x PCI Express x1 slots (All of the PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

14. 15. 2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors

17. System Front panel

18. 2 x BIOS Control button(s). One switches between the main and backup BIOS and the other disables dual BIOS .

19. USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)

20. Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

21. 2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip extension cable headers

22. 2 x Audio gain control switches, one for front port and other for rear audio port.

23. Front panel Audio connector port

Removing Heat-sinks

Instead of using traditional fins type heatsink for cooling of VRM MOSFETs on this motherboard, Gigabyte used a hybrid cooling solution, EKWB G-Frost VRM heatsink / waterblock with true water channel inside the heatsink and supporting G1/4 threaded fittings to connect VRM cooling with your custom LC loop.

Component Layout

Let’s now see what all components GIGABYTE have planned for this board.

1. 3. 4.22 phase CPU Power VRM Section design equipped with two International Rectifiers IR35201 PMWs and few IR3599 phase doubler ICs to control two output IR3553 MOSFET with up to 60A of output current capability each, 60A Ferrite Chokes, and few long lifespan Durable Black Solid Caps.

2. Two separate DRAM Power section using pair of IR 3553M MOSFETs and PWM controller is IR3570

5. MegaChips MCDP2800 a Bridge DisplayPort with HDMI2.0a in a Single Chip solution

6. The TPS65982 is a stand-alone USB Type-C & Power Delivery (PD) controller providing cable plug and orientation detection at the USB Type-C connector.

7. Intel's DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3.0/USB 3.1 controller.

8. 9. 21.Killer DoubleShot-X3™ Pro with 2 Killer e2500 GbE + 1 Killer 1535 WiFi.

10. The PLX PEX8747 chip is a PCI-e 3.0 48 lane /5 port PCI-E switch chip supporting 3-Way SLI and 4-Way SLI/CrossFireX along with eight ASMedia ASM1480 PCI-E quick switches to provides all bandwidth to the PCI-E 16x slots.

11. Realtek RTS5411 USB3 HUB for front UBS3.0 ports

12. ASMedia ASM1061 chips for SATA ports.

13. Intel Z270 Chipset.

14. ITE IT8686e is SuperIO chip monitors temperatures, voltages and other key metrics for normal operation and overclocking.

16. Fan control and monitoring is performed via ITE IT8792E the system controller.

17. The ITE IT8951e is used to provide the USB BIOS recovery functionality.

18. Gigabyte uses two SPI chip labeled MXIC MX 2SL12873F a capacity of 128 Mb for storing UEFI BIOS.

19. The AsMedia ASM1184e chip which is a PCI express packet switch, 1 PCIe x1 Gen2 upstream port to 7 PCIe x 1 Gen2 downstream ports using Asmedia ASM1480 PCIe bus switch chips.

20. GIGABYTE Z270X GAMING 9 motherboard is equipped with Creative Sound Blaster Certified ZxRi 120dB+ Audio.

The main Audio Code is Creative CA0132 Core 3Di chip, but along with this Gigabyte has added the Cirrus Logic 8416 digital audio receiver and a dedicated top of the line BurrBrown PCM1794 DAC.

A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. Audio section is having premium Nichicon Fine Gold Capacitors and four WIMA audio-grade film capacitors for audio filtration.

Gigabyte also included some very good audio grade swappable OP-AMPs for best user audio experience. Front panel Audio output has a BurrBrown OPA2134PA OP-AMP which is a superior sound quality , ultra low distortion ( 0.00008% ) and High Performance audio operational amplifiers.

And for rear audio output Gigabyte used two swappable and dedicated Japan Radio Company JRC2114D OP-AMPs for left and right channels, and remaining rear output used NE5534 OP-AMPs.

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing test GIGABYTE Z270X GAMING 9 audio against ASUS Xonar U7 Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by GIGABYTE Z270X GAMING 9 on-board audio. Resulting one of the best on-board audio solution.

RMAA ASUS Xonar U7

RMAA GIGABYTE Audio

Testing

Test system configuration

CPUIntel Core i7 7700K
BoardGigabyte Z270X GAMING 9
RAM2 X 4GB Corsair Dominator DDR4 2800Mhz
SSDSamsung 830 SSD
CoolerCustom Phase Changer
GFXGigabyte GTX 970
PSUCM V1000
DisplayAcer S220HQL
OSWindows 10

BIOS

Bundled Software

Overclocking

Overclocking was much stable on this motherboards. With extreme cooling I manage to OC i7-7700K upto 5.8GHz.

Benchmarks

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

Pros

  • RGBW LED
  • EKWB VRM Waterblock
  • Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2
  • WLAN and Dual LAN
  • Very Good Audio
  • Additional U.2
  • High Power VRM with 22 phases
  • Great OC capability
  • Bundled Software

Cons

  • Nil

Conclusion

First we like to thanks GIGABYTE for providing Z270X GAMING 9 board and Intel 7th generation I7-7700K CPU for review. Z270X GAMING 9 is the GIGABYTE’s top of the line AORUS motherboard packed with power, beauty and performance. Gigabyte has done a great job on the board giving it a more professional/mature aesthetics when compared with older Z170 series of motherboards.

Gigabyte Z270X GAMING 9 motherboards offers excellent OC featured BIOS along with EKWB G-Frost VRM heatsink/waterblock and super strong VRM with 22 Phases. Making this board a great overclocking board.

Finally, GIGABYTE really managed to make a top line motherboard that is able to catch the attention in the enthusiasts and in Gaming community, worthy of our PC TeK Reviews CHOICE Award.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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