As we mentioned on the previous page, the Z170MX-Gaming 5 didn't boost quite as agressively as other boards we've tested and this was pretty evident in some of our benchmarks. It was last at stock speed in the video editing test as well as both rendering and game tests, and matched the slowest result in the image editing test too. Only in Unigine Valley and Total War:Attila did it lift above last place.
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Thankfully this also resulted in some fairly frugal power numbers, drawing just 48W idle and 122W under load for the system as a whole, although the Maximus VIII Gene was better still under load. Outside of raw speed benchmarks, things were much better. It recorded some of the best audio results we've seen from a Z170 motherboard, coming within a fraction of the likes of the Asus Maximus VIII Impact, although the THD test was a little high compared to the rest of the field.
SATA performance was average and a little off the pace of the better boards we've seen, but the M.2 port performed excellently with a Samsung SSD 950 Pro, which topped out at 2,300MB/sec read and 962MB/sec write. Once overclocked, the results were unsurprisingly a little more level, with the Z170MX-Gaming 5 matching most of the best results we've seen across the board, although the extra voltage needed to get to 4.8GHz with our Core i7-6700K did result in the second highest load power consumption of 197W.
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The stock speed results should be taken with a pinch of salt. It's easy to fix by bumping up the target CPU speed or applying your own overclock, but it's definitely worth being aware of this if you intend to run at stock speed - it's otherwise a bit slower than other motherboards. Once overclocked, the problem evaporates and combined with solid audio results and an M.2 port that begs to be a home for a super-fast PCI-E NVMe SSD, the Z170MX-Gaming 5 makes for a compelling budget-conscious micro-ATX board.
It might not have the pizazz and overclocking prowess of the competition, but as a mid-range board that's more than happy to run a decent every-day overclock, it's a great choice if you want a small system, but can't justify going for the Maximus VIII Gene.