👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅30-12-15

Having already tested a number of exemplary Intel Z170 motherboards, expectations were high for the GAMING Z170X and we have to say that BIOSTAR has done a great job with this offering.

While the aesthetics may not suit everyone’s preference, the trio of colours which have been used (black, brown and khaki) provide system builders with a backdrop to pair up other similar styled components. GAMING Z170X is designed for the gamer but we think a little less plastic would smarten the overall look and avoid cheapening the visual appearance.

BIOSTAR has kitted out GAMING Z170X with a strong feature-set which delivers on many levels. There are all sorts of diagnostic options and plenty of choice for storage too with dual-M.2 slots making an appearance – something which other vendors do shy away from. Having two of these ports is regarded as a bonus and those wanting to engage in some NVMe M.2 RAID will be able to do so with this motherboard.

Throughout our benchmark suite, the GAMING Z170X performed very well and showcased how capable this motherboard is. Furthermore, when we entered the overclocking arena GAMING Z170X managed to achieve our current milestone of 4.7GHz which is testament to the digital power delivery system and construction. Entering the BIOS to modify settings to accomplish this result was a smooth experience and without any problems.

There are a few areas which are a concern – the plastic shroud has already been mentioned, but there is no NVIDIA SLI support which comes as quite a surprise; most (if not all) vendors now provide compatibility for both AMD and NVIDIA multi-GPU configurations. Also, when we look at the lower M.2 slot, it actually sits directly in line with the primary X16 slot. What this means is that an M.2 drive will be completely engulfed by the graphics card and since M.2 drives rely heavily on chassis airflow, having a graphics card sat over the top of it will only obstruct this. BIOSTAR should perhaps think more carefully in future when planning the PCI express region if multiple devices can be installed simultaneously.

GAMING Z170X arrives with a price-tag of £160 GBP / $220 USD. In this price-range there are quite a large number of motherboards from rivals which are more likely to steal the limelight. It’s fair to say that BIOSTAR sit outside of the top-tier lineup and based on this and what’s on offer we feel GAMING Z170X should be priced accordingly – closer to £120 GBP / $180 USD.

BIOSTAR’s GAMING Z170X is an ambitious accomplishment; this motherboard packs in some rather useful features and users should expect solid performance in a variety of different scenarios.

+ Attractive styling
+ Great feature-set
+ Easy to use BIOS
+ Great performance
+ Overclocks very well
+ Dual M.2 slots

- Lacks NVIDIA SLI support
- Too much plastic
- M.2 slot sits underneath primary x16 slot
- Should be cheaper

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

15 pages « < 12 13 14 15