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Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

The Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7 is a feature-heavy motherboard that strikes a smart balance between being a high-end gaming product and one intended for system enthusiasts. RGB LEDs alongside a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 connector may seem odd, but there are plenty of prosumers who use their gaming system for work tasks and vice versa.

Performance from the Z270X-Gaming 7 was no cause for concern although it did appear very slightly slower than ASUS and ASRock competitors during our testing. This was likely attributed to the resources being eaten by a wealth of OS-based software tools, many of which were superb additions to the overall package (RGB Fusion in particular).

Gigabyte includes plenty of UEFI-based overclocking presets and the 4.8GHz 7700K mode was perfectly fine. OS-based Auto Tuning of the system using EasyTune was not particularly good as the CPU VCore was significantly higher than necessary for a 4.7GHz clock speed and XMP was disabled. Stock (forced-turbo) CPU voltage was also far too high with as much as 1.37V being pushed to the CPU under heavy load, resulting in wasted power and a cooling challenge for mid-range air heatsinks or AIOs.

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Motherboard layout for the Gaming 7 is superb and the design decisions for PCIe lane routing are excellent. Being able to use a trio of PCIe NVMe SSDs simultaneously using M.2, M.2/PCIe, and U.2 while also off-loading at 40Gbps through Thunderbolt 3 is mightily impressive. I also liked the inclusion of onboard buttons and voltage measurement points for tweaking and diagnostic purposes.

Gigabyte’s RGB system is excellent. The LEDs are bright and colour-accurate and zones can be controlled individually within the OS-software (which is bundled in addition to a UEFI-based RGB tool). The RGB header with 5 re-mappable pins worked well and helps to improve strip compatibility.

On the topic of excellent points, Gigabyte’s effort being put into the fan control system has paid off. The Gaming 7 has superb abilities for fan control both through the UEFI and OS software. And the board ships with eight 4-pin headers that should satisfy even hardened watercooling enthusiasts.

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The Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7 motherboard is available at Overclockers UK for £229.99. This puts it in the high-end price range for Z270 offerings. If you can withstand the high voltage levels by default and lack of M.2 cooling, the Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7 motherboard has plenty of positive aspects that will allow it to compete in a tough marketplace.

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Pros:

  • Superb set of features (dual M.2, U.2, Creative audio, etc.).
  • Intel 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C are good to see.
  • One of the best fan configurations on the market – 8 4-pin headers, all with precise controllability.
  • Smart layout and PCIe routing design decisions.
  • Excellent RGB LED performance and control ability.
  • OS-based RGB Fusion software provides plenty of flexibility.

Cons:

  • Auto/MCT CPU VCore levels are too high.
  • UEFI needs more work to better compete with ASRock, ASUS, and MSI implementations.
  • The LLC settings make little sense without any form of explanation and they don’t perform particularly well, either.
  • No consideration given to M.2 SSD cooling.

KitGuru says: Excellent RGB and fan control systems aid a good feature set and wise design choices to make Gigabyte’s Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7 a smart choice.

worth-buying

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Rating: 8.5.

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