Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

The mini-ITX form factor is becoming extremely popular with gamers who will be using a single graphics card because it allows them to build a system with premium components that is small and easy enough to take with them to LAN parties or other events. The problem with mini-ITX motherboards has been that they lack many features that their larger ATX counterparts offer. Well Gigabyte is changing that with their Z170N-Gaming 5 motherboard that has all of the features you would want in a full-size ATX motherboard, but in the tiny mini-ITX form factor. Gigabyte was able to pack in Killer E2200 gaming networking, Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 support, a PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 slot, two USB 3.1 ports (1x Type-C, 1x Type-A), and even 802.11ac dual band wireless. Gigabyte wants this to be the perfect board for gamers building in the mini-ITX form factor. Is it? Let’s take a look and find out!

Special thanks to Gigabyte for providing us with the Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard to review.

– Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor
– Dual Channel DDR4, 2 DIMMs
– Intel® USB 3.1 with USB Type-C™ – The World’s Next Universal Connector
– 11ac 867 Mbps dual band wireless connection + BLUETOOTH 4.2
– Exclusive Ultra Durable Metal Shielding over the PCIe Slot
– PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connector with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe NVMe & SATA SSD support)
– 2 SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
– 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in Rear Audio Amplifier
– Killer™ E2200 Gaming Networks
– High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
– APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
– GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology

For full detail on all of the features and specifications please visit the product page.

The Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 comes in a box that is not much larger than the motherboard itself. On the front it lets us know some of its main features and has a character from Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm. Gigabyte is the exclusive motherboard partner of Blizzcon.

Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard

Moving around to the back of the box many of the features are detailed and there is an overview of the rear I/O ports, which is a good thing to know before you are buying a motherboard.

Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard

As far as accessories go for the Z170N-Gaming 5 you have 2 SATA cables, your WiFi antenna, I/O shield, Heroes of the Storm door hanger, software and drivers installation CDs, G1 gaming sticker, multilingual installation guide, and a user’s manual.

Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard

For a full unboxing & overview of the Z170N-Gaming 5 be sure to check out our video below.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
  • InstantZzz

    But how is the Wifi on it? I can see that you tested the LAN but what I’m really looking for is information on how good is the built-in wifi adapter.

  • jdon

    I haven’t done any kind of testing of anything specific, but I was able to play Rocket League over the wi-fi in a busy hospital, so it can’t be terrible.

  • Okc Dave

    They’re marketing to a clueless audience. You can’t build a good gaming rig in most if not all ITX cases because they don’t have good enough airflow for mid to high end CPU and video cards. Then again a decent video card will be full height so the case at least has to accommodate that unless you get some kind of right angle riser board or cable involved, which means there would be enough space to stuff a 120mm fan on the side, cutting a hole for it if the case didn’t have a mount there already.

    Besides the better than avg. integrated audio, this board makes more sense to me as a NAS or fileserver board, where you use the integrated video which otherwise is more of a waste of I/O panel space than a benefit, and stuff an SATA RAID card into the 16X PCIe slot, then underclock the CPU to reduce cooling and power consumption, EXCEPT the problem with this is that the board is bound to cost at least twice as much as other boards that are almost as capable for that purpose, and a multi-drive 3.5″ HDD capable case tends not to be ITX so the size reduction basically only takes away a few PCIe slots that could be used for any features the board lacked and still come in under the cost of the Z170N.

    In the end I suspect that Gigabyte thinks they can make gamers pay more for less, that they don’t have any common sense or something, lol. However I wouldn’t mind this board for a HTPC if the video could do 4K @ 60Hz, but it can’t even do a lowly 30Hz:

    Quote Gigabyte Product Page: “Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:
    1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920×1200@60 Hz
    1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096×2160@24 Hz
    * Support for HDMI 1.4 version.

  • Sevki Argali

    are audio connections rca or 3,5mm jack input?

  • TekBoi

    The USB 3.0 connector on the motherboard is placed in the wrong place. I ruined my connector once I attached my CPU cooler.

  • Sai

    Node 304. 1050 Ti 4GB. SF450 PSU. One SSD. One HDD. Skylake i5. 16GB RAM. With this setup, you can literally build a shoebox for a grand and change that will run anything pre-2015 at 1080P with decent framerates. And the cooling will be pretty decent, too, since the CPU and GPU together won’t pull more than 140W combined and the total theoretical maximum power draw will be less than 250W. Hell, I’m planning this exact build for my birthday since my laptop’s measly 840M is long obsolete.

  • TimTam

    I LOL’d at NAS board. I have this board with i7 6700k OC’d to 4.6GHz, a GTX 1080 installed, in a silverstone RVZ01 case. CPU temp never exceeds 65C at gaming for hours.

    You must be living under a rock or sumthing mate!

  • Leo

    Node 304 with a 1070 here. What the hell are you talking about, dude? With a Noctua U12 I never exceed 62°C in game.
    Admit it, little child: you know jack squat about rig building. FFS, go back to playing on your Xbox One and leave gaming builds to adults: you’re pathetically embarassing…

  • Leo

    Do not waste time with him, he probably owns a Vibox prebuilt PC or something of equally abysmal quality.

  • shxtlord

    You’re an idiot.

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