Gigabyte, MSI and Biostar have shown off their latest Z170 motherboards which include several Z170, H170 and B150 chipset based products. While both manufacturers have diverse lineups, they look quite the same at the moment since they are pre-production samples and design schemes are yet to be finalized. Biostar did show off some new concepts and they might just offer DDR4/DDR3L memory combo support on their motherboards due to the budget focused designs.
Image Credits: Techpowerup
Gigabyte, MSI and Biostar Unveil Z170 Motherboards For Skylake Processors
First up, we will detail the Gigabyte motherboards which include two basic tier products. The Z170-HD3 is a LGA 1151 motherboard that offers a 7 phase power design that is powered by a 8-Pin power connector. The socket is surrounded by several capacitors which add stability to the board. The Skylake platform will be the first mainstream platform to get DDR4 memory support and we see four DDR4 memory banks on the motherboard which can be filled with capacities up to 64 GB. The expansion slots include two PCI-e 3.0 x16, two PCI-e 3.0 x1, two PCI legacy slots and a single M.2 slot operating at 32 GB/s speed. The board has a decent layout, storage options include six SATA III ports and two SATA Express ports.
I/O options include two internal USB 3.0 headers, two internal USB 2.0 headers, two rear pane USB 2.0 and six USB 3.0 ports. There's also HD Audio that is offered by an 8.1 channel audio jack and a Gigabit powered LAN port. The second board is the H170M-D3H which has a 6 phase power delivery and power is provided through an 8-Pin connector. Most of the design scheme remains similar except the board doesn't feature any PCI-e 3.0 x1 slot. This is due to the low cost nature of this motherboard and it won't support any K-Series unlocked CPU.
MSI Z170A-G45 Gaming and X99A God Like Gaming Motherboards
MSI showed off their Z170A-G45 Gaming motherboard which is a neat motherboard with the red and black color scheme we expect nowadays from gaming motherboards. The board is powered by a 11 phase power delivery that is powered by a 8-Pin power connector. Large sets of heatsinks surround the VRM area and the Z170 PCH. The PCH heatsink comes with the red dragoon logo that is a renowned icon of the MSI Gaming line up. Four DDR4 DIMM slots offer support for Dual channel memory with capacities of up to 64 GB. The board has voltage check-points for those into overclocking. Expansion slots include four PCI-e 3.0 x1 and three PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots. There are also two M.2 slots (x4 speed). Storage includes 6 SATA III and two SATA Express ports. Right angled USB 3.0 port can also be found on the motherboard. Killer E2200 LAN and a high-end audio chip are part of the gaming design featured on the motherboard.
Along with the Z170 motherboards, MSI is also announcing their high-end X99A Godlike motherboard which takes overclocking to the next level. Featuring the OC socket, X99A Godlike gaming comes with a 12 Phase lay out (PWM) that is powered through a 8+6 Pin connector configuration. Eight DDR4 DIMM slots offer support for up to 128 GB of DDR4 memory while voltage check points and overclocking switches are featured on the motherboard for enthusiasts to take the board for a overclocking round. The whole motherboard is absorbed in red and black color with a large protective armor scheme that runs across the motherboard and has dense heatpipe layout for heat dissipation. Expansion slots include five ideally placed PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots and a ultra M.2 slot can also be found.. The motherboard has 10 SATA III ports and two SATA Express ports as a part of the storage scheme. Other features include Audio Boost 3 PRO, USB 3.1 (Type-C), Killer Doubleshot-X3 Pro and Mystic Light which is a technology designed to lit up the motherboard in the color of user's preference.
BIOSTAR Readies First and only DDR4/DDR3L Combo Skylake Motherboards
Biostar is also preparing new products for launch that include the Hi-Fi B150Z5, Hi-Fi B150S1 and Hi-Fi H170 Z3. All of these motherboards have similar specs with purity Hi-Fi audio, support for 6th generation Intel Skylake processors and neat power layout designs that offer stable performance. But the main thing that these boards have in common is that BIOSTAR is the only manufacturer that is offering support for both DDR4 and DDR3L memory on their boards. It was expected that DDR3L would be featured with Skylake CPUs on AIO and NUC devices but we didn't expected such designs on consumer motherboards. After judging the boards by their design, we can say that this is a good move since the boards that do offer combo memory support are budget and entry tier products hence it makes sense to allow DDR3L support which can be bought at low prices compared to DDR4 which is slight bit more expensive. The full Biostar lineup can be found at Computerbase in their exclusive article.
Image Credits: Computerbase
Image Credits: Techpowerup