Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 LGA1151 Motherboard Review
John Williamson / 2 years ago
Unfortunately, there’s been a complete lack of information regarding the Z270 motherboards and their retail prices. As a result, it’s impossible to conduct a fair comparison between numerous products and assess the value proposition. Rest assured, once the full Z270 range is available to purchase, I’ll be adding the appropriate links and revisiting the pricing analysis. According to my sources, it’s likely vendors will add approximately £10-£30 compared to the previous generation. However, this doesn’t help matters when a company unveils something completely new and the predecessor can’t be researched to gauge a pricing estimate. Honestly, I’d expect more details to emerge during CES when PR contacts return from the holiday break.
The Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 evokes a luxurious feel due to the beautifully balanced white and black colour scheme. This neutral infusion shouldn’t clash with a wide range of components and caters towards individuals with different visual preferences. The large, imposing I/O cover contrasts with the EK G-Frost water block to form an eye-catching appearance. Not only that, the PCH is moulded into the shape of a shield which sports the AORUS emblem. This is a gorgeous effect and exemplifies the motherboard’s hardened, resilient nature. Additionally, the stainless steel metal shielding surrounding the DIMM slots and PCI-E x16 slots continues this theme. Unlike many other products, all of the PCI-E x16 are shielded to combat EMI. This decision indicates Gigabyte is expecting the motherboard to appeal to those employing more than two GPUs.
Of course, you’re not restricted by the default colour scheme and it’s possible to customise almost every section of the motherboard through RGB illumination. Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion technology spans across the DIMM slots, PCH, power circuitry and much more. The colours are extremely vivid and inject a more spectacular tone to the motherboard’s subtle design. Furthermore, the end-user can attach RGB LED strips and control them using Gigabyte’s software suite. On another note, the motherboard incorporates eight hybrid fan headers with full DC/PWM switching. In tandem with the new fan calibration, it’s remarkably simple to find a suitable balance between temperatures and the noise output. There are even nine thermal sensors to determine the motherboard’s health and pinpoint any problems.
As expected for a premium motherboard, Gigabyte deployed the highest quality components in the form of a 22-phase power delivery with 4th generation IR digital power controls and 3rd generation PowerRstage ICs utilising iSense technology. The motherboard takes advantage of 10K low-ESR capacitors and a 2X copper fabric-glass PCB. Also, the anti-sulphur resistors prevent shorts through a resistive Ru02/Glass layer. The 15u gold plated socket provides extra protection against corrosion. The company’s Turbo B-Clock technology allows you to access a greater BCLK range between 90 and 500MHz. Interestingly, Gigabyte incorporated various buttons, voltage points and a four digit post code to aid overclocking aficionados. The post code is a little bizarre at first if you’re used to the traditional two digit method but it’s certainly easier to read from a distance.
The motherboard’s audio solution is absolutely staggering and revolves around a quad-core processor and Burr-Brown 127dB DAC. Additionally, the Creative ZxRi delivers a true 192KHz/24-bit audio signal which provides a sensational listening experience. Not only that, the motherboard has WIMA FKP2 capacitors which are usually reserved for high-end audio equipment. That’s not all because the motherboard comes with three upgradable OM-AMPs which allow you to modify the audio’s characteristics. During the testing phase, the audio performance was exemplary and fared even better at higher bit-rates. Another great asset is the motherboard’s support for 4-way SLI and CrossfireX configurations via the PEX8747 chip. This chip boosts the PCI-E lanes to 32 and enables dual GPU setups to run at x16/x16. However, there shouldn’t be a performance improvement compared to x8/x8.
Connectivity-wise, the motherboard has two U.2 ports, two M.2, six SATA ports, three SATA Express, Thunderbolt 3, five USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2. Therefore, it’s easy to merge various high-end storage devices together and achieve unbelievable speeds. Gigabyte’s BIOS has an intuitive user-interface and includes two modes for users of varying skills. This makes the BIOS full of features while maintaining an accessible feel. When it comes to performance, the motherboard earns its place as a flagship product and consistently finishes near the top. Of course, the Z270 motherboard selection isn’t a huge factor as all the options released today perform within a small percentage of each other. Nevertheless, a pattern emerges and the Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 produces in each key benchmarking category.
- Accommodates 4-way SLI/CrossfireX configurations
- Attractive design
- Dual BIOS
- Dual Killer E2500 networking
- Eight hybrid fan headers with DC/PWM switching
- Excellent performance in a wide range of tasks
- Intuitive BIOS layout
- Loads of onboard overclocking tools
- Mammoth 22-phase power delivery
- PEX8747 chip boosts PCI-E lanes to 32
- Premium EK G-Frost water block with G1/4″ threads
- Stainless Steel metal shielding
- Stunning RGB lighting
- Supports dual M.2, U.2, SATA Express, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1
- Three upgradable OP-AMPs
- WIMA FKP2 capacitors
- Wonderful audio performance
- Highest Z270 power consumption
“The Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 has been engineered to the highest standard without any compromises and includes a features list which never ceases to amaze. As a result, it’s worthy of being the company’s flagship product and the audio solution alone is enough to make it a viable consideration for high-end customers.”
Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 LGA1151 Motherboard Review
Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this sample.