This is one of the more affordable ‘Gaming’ ITX boards using the Z170 chipset at $269 and it’s worth every dollar. I was tempted to say that the board was comparatively cheap but there is nothing ‘cheap’ about the Z170N Gaming 5’s design or build execution. This is a premium quality board at a very reasonable price. ITX boards with all the bells and whistles generally cost more than the full sized versions.
Gigabyte’s Z170N Gaming 5 mini ITX board follows in the footsteps of awesomeness but a couple of interesting design decisions may mean that it won’t be for everyone. Having said that, I had no end of fun with the Z170N Gaming 5 and look forward to including it in a high end portable gaming rig in conjunction with Fractal Design’s Define Nano ITX case and a beefy graphics card.
The enthusiast gaming features are all present and this is a board to grow old with thanks to the Type-C, SATA Express and solid build quality. If you are considering this board, consider the layout challenges as you would with any other component. In my situation, I’d be happy to work around the SATA Express orientation and USB 3.1 header location for the build that I’m after. In the Fractal Design Nano S case, the side angled SATA ports are actually a lot neater for cable routing so this could be considered a positive.
At the end of the day, this is a good board and even in a small case, you still have the option of easily accessing the rear m.2 port and 2 SATA ports without any dramas at all.
I really enjoyed testing this board and found the utilities to be intuitive and stable. This is a board that I will be using in my next ITX demo machine so keep an eye out for the build log down the track.
|Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 ITX Motherboard|
|Feature rich with a well implemented audio solution
Easy to use BIOS
Build quality improvements on what was a very solid predecessor
Good overclocking capability
M.2 SSD slot underneath the board
Intuitive and functional software utilities
|Orientation of the side SATA/SATA Express slots may be an issue for some cases
The placement of the internal USB 3 header is central and close to the CPU socket
*Editor’s Note: If the SATA Express port orientation and front USB 3.1 header had been more ITX-case friendly, this board would have been a stand-out Editor’s choice.