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Detailed specifications
Sit back, grab some popcorn, and be prepared to take in all the tables and bullets below. We've already gone over the Z170X-Gaming 7's most important details, but for completeness, here's the full spec breakdown.

Platform Intel Z170, socket LGA1151
DIMM slots 4 DDR4, 64GB max
Expansion slots 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 via CPU (x16/x0 or x8/x8)
1 PCIe 3.0 x16 via Z170 (x4, shared with second M.2 slot)
3 PCIe 3.0 x1 via Z170
Storage I/O 3 SATA Express via Z170
2 SATA 6Gbps (ASMedia ASM1061)
2 M.2 up to type 2280 from the Z170 chipset (SATA and PCIe)
Audio 2/5.1-channel HD via Creative Sound Core3D (CA0132 chip)
TI Burr-Brown OPA2134 op-amp (upgradable)
Support for Creative Alchemy and Sound Blaster Recon3Di
Wireless NA
Ports 1 PS/2 keyboard/mouse via iTE IT8628E Super I/O
1 DisplayPort 1.2 via CPU
1 HDMI 2.0 via CPU (and MegaChips MCDP2800)
5 USB 3.0 via Z170
2 USB 3.1 (1 Type A and 1 Type C) via Intel Alpine Ridge USB 3.1
4 USB 3.0 via internal header and Renesas uPD720210 hub chip connected to Z170
4 USB 2.0 via internal headers and Z170
1 Gigabit Ethernet via Killer E2400
1 Gigabit Ethernet via Intel I219-V
1 Serial/COM via internal header and iTE IT8628E Super I/O
1 line in/mic in
4 analog out ports (front, center, rear, headphone)
1 digital S/PDIF out
Overclocking All/per-core Turbo multiplier: 8-127X
Uncore ratio: 8-127X
Base clock: 80-500MHz
CPU graphics slice ratio: 10.00-30.00X
CPU graphics unslice ratio: 10.00-30.00X
System memory multiplier: 8.00-41.33X

CPU voltage: 0.6-1.80V
CPU graphics voltage: 0.6-1.50V
CPU IO voltage: 0.8-1.30V
CPU system agent voltage: 0.8-1.30V
CPU core PLL overvoltage: +15-+225mV
DRAM voltage: 1.0-2.0V
PCH core voltage: 0.8-1.30V
Fan control 1 x CPU (PWM), 1 CPU_OPT (DC), 3 x SYS (DC)
Predefined silent, normal, and full speed profiles (firmware)
Manual profile with PWM/°C slope (firmware)
Predefined quiet, standard, performance, and full speed profiles (Windows software)
Smart Fan Mode profiles with five temp/speed points per fan (Windows software)
RPM Fixed Mode to set fan speed at a fixed RPM (Windows software)

Our testing methods
As a reward for making it this far, you may now gaze upon our test system:

Performance testing and overclocking were carried out on an open-air testbed. We also installed the machine in Antec's P380 full tower case, which Jeff reviewed a while back. Here's what the system looked like assembled and powered on:

We used the following configurations for testing:

Processor Intel Core i7-6700K
Cooler Cooler Master Nepton 240M
Motherboard Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7 MSI Z170A Gaming M5 Asus Z170-A
Firmware F5e 1.20 0601
Platform hub Intel Z170
Chipset drivers 10.1.1
Audio Creative Sound Core3D (CA0132) Realtek ALC1150 Realtek ALC892
Memory size 8GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 SDRAM at 3000MHz
Memory timings 16-18-18-39-2T
Graphics Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Boost with Catalyst 15.7 drivers
Storage OCZ ARC 100 120GB
Power Supply Cooler Master V750 Semi-Modular
Case Antec P380
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Thanks to Antec, Cooler Master, Corsair, and OCZ for providing the hardware used in our test systems. Thanks, also, to the motherboard makers for providing the boards.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our test methods:

  • All testing was conducted with motherboard power-saving options enabled. These features can sometimes lead to slightly slower performance, particularly in peripheral tests that don't cause the CPU to kick into high gear. We'd rather get a sense of motherboard performance with real-world configurations, though; we're not as interested in comparing contrived setups with popular features disabled.
  • DiRT Showdown was tested with ultra detail settings, 4X MSAA, and a 1920x1200 display resolution. We used Fraps to log a 60-second snippet of gameplay from the demo's first race. To offset the fact that our gameplay sequence can't be repeated exactly, we ran this test five times on each system.
  • Power consumption was measured at the wall socket for the complete system, sans monitor and speakers, using a Watts Up Pro power meter. The full-load test combined Cinebench's multithreaded CPU rendering test with the Unigine Valley DirectX 11 demo, which we ran with extreme settings in a 1280x720 window. We then recorded the peak power consumption during the Cinebench run. Our idle measurement represents the low over a five-minute period sitting at the Windows desktop.
  • Our system build was performed using all of the hardware components listed in the configuration table above. Completing this process as our readers would allows us to easily identify any pain points that arise from assembling a system with this particular motherboard.

The tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. All tests except power consumption, were run at least three times. Unless otherwise indicated, we reported the median result for each test. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.