Having a mini-ITX motherboard is great as you can build an extremely small system with it that you can take with you to events and LAN parties. The thing about many mini-ITX motherboards is that they lack many of the features of full-size motherboards. With the Z170N-Gaming 5 Gigabyte was able to pack in quite a lot of features in a very small package!
Starting off with the gaming features since this board is part of Gigabyte’s Gaming line we have Killer E2200 gaming networking. This high-performance, adaptive gigabit Ethernet controller offers better online gaming and online media performance compared to standard solutions. The board has Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio and comes with the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software suite. This suite is a powerful audio platform offering premium audio quality, effects and features for gamers. Gigabyte has also added their PCI-Express metallic shielding to this board.
When it comes to storage you have a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, two SATA Express ports and a total of 6 SATA 6GB/s ports if you don’t use SATA Express. It is really nice to see a dedicated M.2 slot on this board. Gigabyte has Intel’s USB 3.1 controller, this is PCIe 3.0 x2 so you get up to 16 Gb/s of bandwidth. This is compared to the typical 10 Gb/s you get with PCIe 2.0 x2 controllers. The board has both Type-C and Type-A ports. At a friends house and don’t have a LAN connection? The board has 802.11ac wireless!
When it comes to overclocking and stability we were able to bring our Core i7-6700K up to 4.7 GHz stable, which is on par with all of the other Skylake motherboards we’ve tested. I was actually impressed with this as the board only has a 5-phase VRM. You could easily run a 24/7 overclock on this board.
After spending quite a long time with this board I really can’t find anything I can complain about. I mean the software and BIOS are nothing to write home about, but those are not major factors. This has to be one of the most feature-packed mini-ITX boards we’ve reviewed!
Right now you can pick up this board at our favorite online retailer for $149.99, which is not a bad price at all. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard a 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award!
– Killer E2200 WiFi
– Dedicated audio and Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software suite
– PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot
– USB 3.1
– 802.11ac WiFi
– Good overclocking
– None that I found