Light 'em up
One of the Aorus brand's signature features will be lots and lots of highly-customizable RGB LEDs, because gaming, or something. We figure that RGB LEDs are best enjoyed in glorious excess, and the Z270X-Gaming 5 certainly delivers. This board's "RGB Fusion" implementation includes a set of diodes between the DIMM slots, another set with a customizable diffuser next to the DIMM slots, a set underneath the VRM heatsinks, a set along the audio path, and two groups beneath the board's two primary PCIe x16 slots. Those with RGBW 5050 LED strips can control them from the board using an included extension cable, as well. Gigabyte advises that strips with up to two amps of power draw and up to two meters long will work with the Gaming 5.
The RGB Fusion software offers builders eight separate modes, including the usual color-cycling, flashing, and "wave" modes. The software can also adjust the board's lighting in response to parameters like CPU and motherboard temperatures, wherein it'll shift through green to yellow to red as the given parameter increases.
We tried RGB Fusion's basic animation modes and color-selection tools and came away mostly impressed with its power, although we'd still prefer a hex entry field or 0-255 ranges for the red, blue, and green channels. RGB Fusion at least displays a hex value for each color and a 0-255 value for its primary channels, so builders can at least land on the color they want through trial and error.
For the truly obsessed, RGB Fusion also lets builders control the color spectrum, animation duration, and animation style for each of the regions we laid out above, including compatible Gigabyte graphics cards. While this fine-grained control is a neat idea, we couldn't quite get it to work. Selecting any region applied the chosen lighting style to the entire board while shutting off the graphics card's LEDs. Trying to modify the graphics card's lighting style alone switched the rest of the board's LEDs to a random dim blue color. To be fair, this is early software, and we expect it'll function better with time.
True to its Gigabyte roots, the Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5's Windows software revolves around the App Center interface. Gigabyte provides over a dozen distinct utilities with this board, but we unfortunately only have time for a highlight reel.
System Information Viewer (SIV) lets builders get an at-a-glance look at critical parameters of their PCs, like temperatures and voltages. Its biggest job, however, is to serve as the interface for the Z270X-Gaming 5's Windows fan controls. We remain pleased with the quality and configurability of Gigabyte's Windows fan utilities.
There's a new wrinkle with this Z270 board's fan controls if you choose to configure a fan curve in SIV, though. On system start-up, there's a pop-up that appears in the bottom-right corner of the desktop advising the user that the fan curve in the BIOS doesn't match the custom curve configured in Windows and offering to override... well, one of the two curves with the other. Since we didn't want to lose our custom fan curve in Windows, we always clicked "Cancel" on the dialog.
Easy Tune exposes the Gaming 5's Windows overclocking features and also serves as the switchboard for the board's baked-in overclocking profiles. If the Z270X-Gaming 5's firmware has a knob or slider related to overclocking, tweakers will find it here. The controls available through Easy Tune will depend on the settings you've configured in the firmware, though, so it's possible that the occasional slider will be grayed out. You can see an example of that in the Dynamic VCore setting above.