GIGABYTE Z270X-Ultra Gaming Motherboard Review. Today we explore a motherboard with a stunning visual layout and original RGB implementation. The Z270X-Ultra Gaming is a feature rich product, considering the price tag.
GIGABYTE Z270X-Ultra Gaming Motherboard Features
- Supports 7th/ 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- Fast USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C™ and Type-A
- 3-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
- Dual NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 Support
- NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 Connector
- Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA interface
- Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
- ALC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone Amp
- Intel® GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
- RGB FUSION LED Light Show design
- Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
- Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers
- Lightning-Fast Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 AIC Support
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
- APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
|CPU (Max Support)||i7|
|Chipset||Intel® Z270 Chipset|
|DDR4 Memory||3866(OC)- 2133 MHz|
|Max Memory (GB)||64|
|USB 3.1 ports (Front)||4(Gen1, Type A)|
|USB 3.1 ports (Rear)||1x(Gen2, Type A),|
1 (Gen2, Type C),
4(Gen1, Type A)
|USB 2.0 ports (Front)||4|
|USB 2.0 ports (Rear)||2|
|Audio ports (Rear)||Realtek® ALC1220 Codec|
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
[nextpage title=”Packaging & Accessories”]
Right off the bat. Your eyes will be drawn to the colored text in the center, which is expected, given what the product is capable of, with its lighting but more on that soon. The box front and back are clear and concise. The backside is dedicated to a brief outline of specs and unique feature set.
At 150GBP we ought not to expect much when it comes to extras, and we don’t see anything unusual here.
Up next a closer look at the board.[nextpage title=”First Look”]
We start our tour with a complete top down view, to absorb what’s on offer. Initial impressions are good
The all-black PCB with matching heatsinks is the smart decision for any RGB product. The subtle tones of gray and the silver on the PCI-E and DDR banks looks great. It is not the cleanest PCB we’ve seen but It still very appealing
The large I/O shroud with the wording “GIGABYTE” has an unusual finish. You really need to get up and close to appreciate. It’s made up with lots of small, and slightly angled edges, this echoed on the neighboring MOSFETs heatsink.
3X PCIe 3.0 slots, offer you the option to run the most demanding multi-card setups. The first two slots feature GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ PCIe Armor; this is a common trait we’ve seen on most entry/mid-range products,
Sadly brands tend to only cover 1 or 2 of the slots. While I understand this saves on costing, and most consumers won’t use all three slots anyway, it spoils the symmetry I feel.
Regardless, The Ultra Durable™ PCIe Armor is a welcome addition. Cards have become larger, and heavier over the last few years, and having the additional strength is appreciated.
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode.
- 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_2 and PCIEX1_3 slots. When the PCIEX1_2 or PCIEX1_3 slot is populated, the PCIEX4 slot operates at up to x1 mode.
- 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
The ALC1220 is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec with up to 120dB SNR for crystal clear audio and features such as Smart Headphone Amp, 108dB SNR recording for precise voice chats and hardware decoding of DSD128, ensuring users get the best possible audio quality from their PC.
To the right we SATA, and to the left U.2
[M.2 / U.2]
- 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe x4/x2 SSD support)
- 1 x U.2 connector
- – Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready for all M.2 slots
- Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology for Intel Core™ processors
We also find many additional headers
- – 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
- – 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
- – 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
- – 1 x 6-pin ATX 12V power connector
- – 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- – 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- – 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connectors (support additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
- – 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
- – 1 x 4-pin water-pump-fan connector
- – 4 x 4-pin system fan connectors
- – 1 x 4-pin RGB LED connector
- – 1 x 2-pin Slow mode connector
- – 1 x 2-pin OC retry connector
- – 1 x TPM module connector
- – 1 x Front panel audio connector
- – 2 x System panel connectors
- – 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
Finishing up our tour of the board, looking at the I/O, which consists of:
- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
- 1 x USB Type-C™ port, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port (red)
- 1 x DVI-D port
- 1 x HDMI port
- 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
- 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
- 1 x RJ-45 port
- 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
- 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
[GIGABYTE Z270X-Ultra Gaming RGB/LIGHTING]
Love it or hate it, RGB is here to stay.
Proudly Powered by our Dimastech Mini V1.0 Test Bench
|Intel® 7700K (Kabylake)|
|Memory:||16GB Kingston Kingston Predator 16GB DDR4 PC4-24000C15 3200MHz Quad Channel Kit|
|PSU:||Bitfenix Fury 750G|
|Hard Drives:||SSD – Kingston HyperX 3k240GB|
|OS:||Windows 10 X64|
- 4900/5000Mhz has been the average for almost all boards we’ve tested.
- The highest end boards have booted and benched at 5100Mhz
-[PC Mark 8]
PCMark 8 from Futuremark. PCMark 8 is designed to test the performance of all types of PC, from tablets to desktops. With five separate benchmark tests plus battery life testing, PCMark 8 helps you find the devices that offer the perfect combination of efficiency and performance. It’s the complete PC benchmark for home and business.
While it seems the bulk of the improvement shown is directly linked to just that, RAM is performing better on Kaby too
-[Performance Test 8]
Passmark PerformanceTest is an award winning PC hardware benchmark utility that allows everybody to quickly assess the performance of their computer and compare it to some standard ‘baseline’ computer systems. Find out if your PC is performing at its best, compare the performance of your machine to similar machines and make objective, independent measurements on which to base your purchasing decision.
An excellent set of numbers, barely anything between them all!
in reality, its only a few FPS between this and the most expensive boards![nextpage title=”Storage & USB Results”]
While ranking last, the numbers are still fair
We don’t have any USB 3.1 (Gen2 ) devices at the time of testing, so will be focusing on 3.0/3.1 only. Be sure to understand the actual difference between USB 3.0/3.1 Gen 1 & Gen 2. As it’s something that not all brands have explained clearly.To measure speeds we use AS-SSD, with an SSD inside a USB 3.0 Caddy from Startech
As expected the controllers have matured over time but differences concerning speed between models, are minimal generally.[nextpage title=”Network & Audio Results”]
Using the in built network test for Performance test 8. The method is to install the software on two machines, which are on the same network. One acts as a client and the other as a server, a designated amount of data is sent across, and, then the min, Avg, and max transfer speeds are outputted.
While KillerLAN and brand shave intertwined for a good while now, I’m pleased to see the transition back to an Intel solution. The numbers speak for themselves in our database, while peaks of MAX are similar from all controllers.
Do pay attention to mins and Avg’s, With Intel LAN, they are so much more consistent.
|Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB|
|Noise level, dB (A)|
|Dynamic range, dB (A)|
|THD + Noise, dB (A)|
|IMD + Noise, %|
|Stereo crosstalk, dB|
|IMD at 10 kHz, %|
So then conclusion time, and now that we’ve had a play around a few Z270 products, we feel we can deliver a fair and broader conclusion. All of the boards so far, have me impressed, and the GIGABYTE Z270X-Ultra Gaming is a strong contender when it comes to recommendations.
Concerning issues, complaints or areas of concerns, I have only one. The UEFI as I’ve pointed out in other GIGABYTE reviews, just isn’t to my liking. You could argue this is trivial, and I guess it is. How often does the user interact after the first-time setup anyway?
The settings you need and want are all present, many additional tweaks and config options for overclocking and such. It’s the actual design and layout. It just isn’t that pleasant to work with, it feels cluttered and by contrast, looking at the other brands UEFI’s, this one just seems a little old fashioned. My only other niggle is the decision to favor and add a U.2 port rather than a second M.2 port.
Going forward I’ve nothing but praise for the product. The design is a winning one, the silver/grays and black PCB is something I, and many others have been yearning for. I’m pleased to see GIGABYTE is taking onboard the consumers desires and wishes. The RGB is amazing, both visually and the software driving it, so Credit to the team. It stands as its one of the best I’ve seen to date. Unlike other brands, they’ve not just slapped in some LEDs in random locations and hoped it would do. Placement of the lighting is logical and, control is stellar.
Performance was superb for a board that’s retailing for under 150 GBP. Keeping up with the premium products on occasion, and trading blows with the competition. Overclocking was solid, but please as always consider researching and performing a manual overclock. As in the past, the auto settings are far too aggressive (voltage). This ticks many boxes and could be the perfect board for your next RGB enabled gaming rig!