Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 Software And Firmware
Gigabyte’s APP Center package for the Z270X-Gaming 9 differs from that of the Z270X-Gaming 7 in its inclusion of Gigabyte HW OC App, which enables smartphone-based overclocking via a designated USB port and replaces the mechanical switch (you'll see it in the video we linked to earlier in this sentence). Hardware specific applications for the network and audio controllers are also different, and we’ll focus on those differences in the Z270X-Gaming 9 coverage.
The AutoTuning feature of Gigabyte EasyTune brought 4.8 GHz at 1.30 volts, but the program didn’t set a proper “droop” offset (Gigabyte calls this Vcore Loadline Compensation). Core voltage dropped below 1.24V after starting Prime95, resulting in an application crash. Alternatively, the factory-configured 4.7 GHz OC mode and the onboard OC button both clocked the CPU to 4.70 GHz without altering core voltage, again allowing Prime95 to crash.
While manual tuning is available in EasyTune, CPU Core Voltage is locked out, and DRAM multiplier changes force a reboot. Most users who aren’t afraid to enter firmware settings will find that to be an easier overclocking alternative.
Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion helps take advantage of the board’s multi-zone color features.
Since the Z270X-Gaming 9 has two Killer Ethernet and one Killer Wi-Fi controller, all of Killer’s packet and bandwidth prioritization features are available. DoubleShot-X3 mode allows the application to choose the most appropriate controller for each function.
The higher-range ZxRi audio solution includes a revised default audio control skin with a Jack Setup menu.
Z270X-Gaming 9 firmware opens by default to the Advanced configuration interface, where its M.I.T. menu is a launching point for submenus such as Advanced Frequency Control.
Like the Z270X-Gaming 7 that went before it, Gaming 9 firmware does not provide an option for CPU defaults, but instead sets a fixed 4.50 GHz Intel Turbo Boost ratio regardless of the number of cores loaded. We had to manually select the CPU's default Turbo Boost ratios to compare the board’s performance at CPU defaults. Our processor reached the expected 4.80 GHz at 1.30V core in subsequent O/C testing.
Our four-DIMM DDR4-3866 memory kit reached a new high of DDR4-4000, but only with two DIMMs installed. The Z270X-Gaming 9’s corresponding DRAM menu also provides a full range of advanced timings for those who want to shorten response times, or lengthen them to enable additional memory overclocking.
CPU Core voltage was only stable under load after enabling the Z270X-Gaming 9’s “Turbo” Loadline Calibration, where its higher “Extreme” setting would allow users to overvolt at increased CPU loads. Voltmeters measure averages, and an average DRAM voltage level of 1.35V was measured at the board’s 1.33V setting. We always keep the highest measured voltage reading below 1.355V to give everyone an equal opportunity in our memory overclocking comparison. Motherboard status reports were 5-10mV below the output at its DIMM voltage check point.
All eight fan headers support both automatic detection and manual selection of PWM or voltage-based speed control, and support up to 2 amps of fan power.
The Z270X-Gaming 9’s digital status display can be configured to output Port 80 codes, temperatures, or voltage. All of the custom settings can be saved as one of eight onboard profiles or exported to a drive, and firmware can even be updated from within its GUI after pressing F8 on the keyboard.
If all those custom setting scare you, pressing the F2 key brings up the Z270X Gaming 9’s “Easy Mode” menu.