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Gigabyte Z370N WiFi Motherboard Review

Software & Firmware

Gigabyte App Center remains the sole launching point for most of Gigabyte’s applications, including software and driver updates, as described in our Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 review. The Z370N WiFi does not include the Creative audio suite of its high-end sibling, however.

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Gigabyte’s OC mode sets 4.90 GHz at 1.40V, causing our system to crash. Either our CPU isn’t that good, or our stress test has a greater load than Gigabyte’s team anticipated. Auto Tuning also picks 4.90 GHz, but following that setting with a quick run of Prime95 small-FFTs tripped its over-current protection circuit.

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Manual settings worked as expected, allowing our CPU to easily go up to its anticipated 4.80 GHz at 1.30V, but thermal throttling under Prime95 eventually forced us to choose lower settings.

Firmware

Gigabyte’s MIT remains the launch point for sub-menus where actual settings are found. We found, for example, that getting the system to stay at, or slightly above 100 MHz required a BCLK setting between 100.1 and 100.2 MHz. Our reading was around 99.6 MHz for the 100 MHz default setting.

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After tinkering with 4.80 GHz and finding no combination of settings that didn’t cause thermal throttling, we settled for 4.70 GHz at a slightly lower voltage level.

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The Z370N WiFi includes “Manual” configuration for combined timings, and “Advanced Manual” mode for per-channel timing adjustments. The timings you see are not necessarily the ones you’ll get, though. We found that the basic DDR4-2133 defaults labeled as 15-15-15-36 under current settings were actually running at 15-19-19-39. XMP got us to the expected DDR4-3866, but the motherboard responded to overclocks beyond XMP by increasing latency settings.

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The Z370N WiFi reached its 4.70 GHz stable overclock at 1.245V CPU core and “High” Loadline Calibration settings. Further overclocking caused the voltage regulator MOS to initiate CPU thermal throttling, even after we added another fan. The lower voltage saved us approximately 40W at max load, so maybe the 4.7 GHz setting is better for extended use. Meanwhile, the 1.340V DRAM voltage setting pushed the DIMM slots to 1.355V.

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All three fan headers can be manually switched between PWM and voltage mode for RPM regulation, and all three can be set to custom fan slopes. Automatic slopes are also programmed, as is automatic PWM/Voltage mode detection.

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The RGB Fusion submenu is found under the Z370N WiFi’s Peripherals submenu. It’s simpler than on most Gigabyte boards, since it only controls the RGB header.

Like most Gigabyte motherboards, the Z370N WiFi includes Gigabyte’s Q-Flash firmware updating application.

Custom firmware settings can be saved as one of eight user profiles, or exported/imported to/from a drive.

Anyone who finds all those settings overwhelming can enter “Easy Mode” by pressing the F2 function key of the keyboard. From there, controls are limited to XMP/SPD memory settings, boot sequence, fan profile, and the performance modes shown in the Easytune software description near the top of this page.

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.