Reviewed: Gigabyte Z170N GAMING 5

Gigabyte App Centre

The app centre manages the included utilities and also keeps them up to date. The included software is easy to navigate and use. We didn’t have any issues with bugs or glitches and everything seemed to work as advertised/expected. The standout applications are listed below with some screen shots to help give an idea of the functionality available


This has been a long standing Gigabyte utility and as much as I really don’t enjoy updating BIOS on any board, the functions are all there so that users can go with whichever way they feel comfortable.



EasyTune is the one stop shop for easy overclocking and getting that little bit extra out of a CPU or RAM. The presets seemed to work fine as did software overclocking the i5-6600K. Although I have a preference for overclocking in the BIOS, most of the overclocking on this board was done using EasyTune without any issues at all.



Fast Boot

I really like this application because it makes going into the BIOS so damn easy. Just click “Enter BIOS Setup Now” and wait for the restart. No more mashing the ‘Del’ key or reaching into the motherboard to hit a ‘DirectKey’ button. When Fast Boot mode is switched on, the system will boot like lightning which means that the opportunity to hit the ‘Del’ key is even shorter. Although this utility doesn’t get a lot of use, it enables you to have the system boot in minimal time but without compromising easy access to the BIOS if you need it.


Smart TimeLock

This is another application that will have limited use for many people but if you need to limit access to the system during certain time periods, Smart TimeLock can limit the system time to a set number of hours per day or make the system unavailable between designated times. This could be great for families or perhaps gamers with little self-control that still want to limit their ‘screen time’. This is one of the best ‘Control Freak’ apps I’ve seen bundled in with a motherboard.


Smart Keyboard

Most gaming keyboards come with their own software and macro keys but if you don’t have an awesome keyboard and want to make your standard office style or el-cheapo peripheral a little more functional, this application can help. I probably wouldn’t use it for gaming but the macro function is also nifty for some office productivity applications so don’t dismiss this utility too quickly.


Smart Backup

It’s no Crashplan but Gigabyte has included a Smart Backup utility in the suite as well. This allows the user to create a rescue disk, backup to a designated location and recover either files from the backup image or undertake a full restore. As with any backup solution, we strongly recommend that you test it with regular retrieval.


System Information Viewer

This is basically a monitoring suite with the smart fan control that allows you to tune the cooling profile of your rig. We went for a less aggressive cooling profile so that the rig remained quiet but if you are overclocking heavily, the profile can be set to focus on temperatures instead.

USB Blocker

The only practical use we could think of for this in the context of a gaming motherboard was at a LAN, to stop people from taking unauthorised copies of your files via USB drives or to stop the installation of malware from a USB.

In the context of a family, it could be a good way to limit how files are uploaded or copied from your PC.



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