Thermal Test Methodology
We strongly believe that our thermal testing methodology is among the best on this side of the tech-media industry. We've validated our testing methodology with thermal chambers and have proven near-perfect accuracy of results.
Conducting thermal tests requires careful measurement of temperatures in the surrounding environment. We control for ambient by constantly measuring temperatures with K-Type thermocouples and infrared readers. We then produce charts using a Delta T(emperature) over Ambient value where notated, otherwise, we'll use the diode and sensor measurements to provide a baseline performance metric. AIDA64, Intel Xtreme Tuning Utility, and HW Monitor (CPU PKG) are all used to monitor thermals. It appears that XTU and HW Monitor match in their measurement of CPU PKG for Kaby Lake.
All open bench fans are configured to their maximum speed and connected straight to the PSU. This ensures minimal variance when testing, as automatically controlled fan speeds will reduce reliability of benchmarking. The CPU fan is set to maximum fan speed, unless otherwise stated.
We use an AMPROBE multi-diode thermocouple reader to log ambient actively. This ambient measurement is used to monitor fluctuations and is subtracted from absolute GPU diode readings to produce a delta value. For these tests, we configured the thermocouple reader's logging interval to 1s, matching the logging interval of AIDA64, HW Monitor, and other tools. Data is calculated using a custom, in-house spreadsheet and software solution.
- Gigabyte Gaming 7 Z270X
- Intel i7-7700K
- 32GB GSkill Trident Z 3200MHz
- NZXT Kraken X62 @ max pump RPM & 2x 1800RPM fans
- EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750W
Gigabyte Gaming 7 Auto vCore Temperature Update
|Intel i7-7700K @ 4.5GHz
EIST 0, Turbo 0, CStates 0
|Gigabyte G7 Auto||Gigabyte G7 BIOS Update||Gigabyte G7 Manual vCore|
|vCore (v)||1.356-1.404 (auto)||1.20-1.24 (auto)||1.188-1.275 (manual)|
|CPU PKG (C)||94||64||70|
|Core 0 (C)||94||63||70|
|Core 1 (C)||91||64||69|
|Core 2 (C)||94||61||70|
|Core 3 (C)||90||61||68|
|Liquid TMP (C)||29||31||28|
|PKG PWR (W)||133-135
Gigabyte’s new BIOS update (#F4q) has driven the auto vCore setting down to a completely reasonable 1.2 to 1.24v, with a maximum vCore of 1.28v in our AVX stress testing (once). Averaging 1.20v means a reduction of about 200 millivolts, which means that power consumption and temperature are both significantly improved without any performance loss on the CPU; in fact, we’re seeing a performance improvement overall. The temperatures now drop about 30C, with liquid temperatures only reporting slightly higher because our ambient temperature was higher for this quick spot-test. The CPU PKG is what XTU reports for the 7700K, and that’s at 64C versus the previous 94C load temperature. Again, these numbers correspond to a frequency that outputs identical performance between each vCore setting, but with a much more efficient voltage on the updated test run.
As for PKG power, we’re down to 105-106W average, where we were previously at 133-135W average.
Job well done, Gigabyte. This is how a company should respond when facing criticism. We hope other vendors take note.
As for the board’s viability, as this was our only major criticism at time of launch, we now feel the motherboard is a valid purchase if you’re into the LEDs and need the overclocking headroom. It’s not a necessary purchase for most users, but it is a high-end targeted motherboard. You can learn more about the overclocking potential in our review of the Gaming 7’s VRM. We’d still like to see a slight price reduction, but the purchase is much easier to argue with a revamped BIOS.
Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Andrew “ColossalCake” Coleman