Benchmarking Skylake with the GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming 7 Motherboard and NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X Video Card

By now you’ve read all about Skylake and have probably made up your mind about upgrading your PC or not. And while many articles have been published talking about the specs of Intel’s new CPU, fewer people have actually seen these chips in action.

Thanks to GIGABYTE and NVIDIA, I was able to get my hands on a brand new Z170X Gaming 7 motherboard, Intel i5 6600K processor, and GeForce GTX TITAN X video card for the sole purpose of benchmarking. I was also able to record the entire building process live on Twitch and got to display the hardware in its entirety.

But before we go over the benchmarks, let’s go over the specs.

Hardware

Case: NZXT Noctis 450

Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z170X

Processor: Intel i5 6600K

CPU Cooler: NZXT KRAKEN X61

Memory: 8GB G.SKILL DDR4

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X

PC Monitoring Software: CAM

Motherboard Specs

Processor Specs

Video Card Specs

Benchmarks

For the benchmarking tests, I used NVIDIA’s recommended UNIGINE tools. These benchmarks are considered to be among the most stable and place the GPU (and everything powering it) under extremely stressful conditions.

By placing the PC under its maximum load, Unigine is able to check the entire cooling system's potential under maximum heat output while simultaneously measuring how powerful the PC truly is.

UNIGINE benchmarks are completely unbiased and replicate true in-game rendering loads. I used both Valley and Heaven benchmarking tools for this test and was able to capture the full potential of the Intel Skylake i5 6600K processor and GIGABYTE Z170X Gaming 7 motherboard by pushing the TITAN X as far as I possibly could without overclocking.

Heaven Results

Score

Motherboard

Processor

Video Card

Valley Results

Score

Motherboard

Processor

Video Card

Analysis

The motherboard performed wonderfully during the benchmarking tests and remained cool under pressure - literally. I installed no extra fans to the NZXT Noctis 450 and kept a close eye on the motherboard temperatures. Not once did I see anything hotter than 30*C, and it’s a true testament to GIGABYTE’s new design how streamlined these new motherboards perform.

Clearly, Skylake motherboards are capable of handling powerful hardware, and the Z170X Gaming 7 handled the i5 6600K like a true pro. The fact that the CPU was able to stay under 20*C for the duration of the benchmarking tests can be partly attributed to the NZXT Kraken CPU cooler, but the processor never went above an 18% load due to its advanced design.

As for the GeForce GTX TITAN X, well...it’s a TITAN X and it’s supposed to be impressive. But I never would have imagined achieving nearly 300 FPS with these tests. Not because I doubt the capabilities of the card, but because I was using a stock GPU cooler. With a maximum GPU temperature of 84*C, there’s still plenty of room for some intense gaming.

Anyone building a new Skylake PC will be impressed by the performance and will have no trouble handling the toughest of tasks.

Note: Ivan B. is an employee of NZXT in addition to writing for GameCrate.com.

Header image background via the Hubble telescope