Gigabyte Z170 Motherboards Shown off – Legacy and Gaming G1 Series Impressive in Designs
Gigabyte has shown off their Z170 motherboards, further providing a glimpse at the features and design schemes which will be adopted by Skylake ready boards. These new LGA 1151 socket based boards will have full support of Intel's 6th generation Skylake processors which make debut on 5th August 2015. Gigabyte has several motherboards in their portfolio and we will be talking about the Legacy, Gaming G1 and SOC series.
Gigabyte Z170 Motherboards are Feature Loaded and Boast Insane Designs
Back at Computex, we talked about the Gigabyte Gaming G1 series which includes four new products with the Z170 chipset. These include the Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming G1, GA-Z170X Gaming 7, GA-Z170X Gaming 5 and lastly, the GA-Z170X Gaming 3 motherboards. On the legacy side, Gigabyte will be introducing several boards but we only have information on two of them which include the GA-Z170X-UD5 TH and GA-Z170X-UD3. There are no images for the overclock series but slides detailing the new features of the Z170 SOC Force are available to get taste of what Gigabyte has been cooking for their ultimate super overclocking motherboard. It should be pointed that Gigabyte also has a Mini-ITX, GA-Z170N WiFi and several additional legacy products but we would be looking at the top products of this lineup today.
Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming G1
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming G1 is so far the flagship motherboard of the lineup. Featuring a LGA 1151 socket, this motherboard comes in an E-ATX form factor which gets power from a 24-Pin ATX connector. The CPU socket is provided power through a single 8-Pin connector that feeds power to the processor to make it functional. The motherboard, along with all others in the lineup make use of a the highest quality IR / Infineon Digital Power Phase Design with a Gen.4 IR Digital Controller and Gen.3 PowIRstage ICs. The motherboard in specific has a 22 Phase power design which is impressive. There's more, aside from the high-end black capacitors, there''s a Turbo B-Clock chip (Built-in Advanced Performance Tuning IC) that is able to push wide range of BCLK frequency tuning in ranges from 90-200 MHz (aside from 100, 125, 167 MHz) which were previously available.
Right next to the CPU socket is a large thermal frame that extends from the I/O to the bottom most Sound Blaster chip. The new thermal armor design makes the board more attractive and sturdy. The heatsink is a large copper based solution with water cooling ready that has G1/4 threaded fittings. A similar heatsink is featured on the PCH and thermal armor for the SATA ports. Talking about SATA ports, there are 10 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and four SATA Express ports. Two USB 3.0 front panel connectors provide 4 USB 3.0 ports while two USB 2.0 ports can also be found at the bottom of the port. Expansion slots include four PCI-e 3.0 x16 and three PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots. As this is a new board, it also features two M.2 SATA ports, rated at 32 GB/s (each). The motherboard comes with a Sound Core Audio chip that drives a 7.1 channel, gold plated audio jack. Two LAN ports powered by the Killer E221 chip offer seamless net connectivity with Bluetooth 4.1 and Killer E1535 802.11 AC. There is a single HDMI 2.0 display connector along with a display port while other I/O includes several USB 3.1 (Type-C), USB 2.0 ports and even a PS/2 connector.
Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 7
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 7 is a more cost effective offering of the G1 itself. It keeps the thermal armor intact but the heatsink is a little toned down with a single copper heatpipe to dissipate heat and doesn't make use of any water cooled solution. A single 8-Pin connector powers the LGA 1151 socketed processor that is powered by a 12 Phase Digital Power Design. The motherboard has four DDR4 DIMMs that allow support for new DDR4 standard with speeds of 3400 MHz + (O.C) and capacities of 64 GB. It adopts a neat red and black color scheme which looks great and doesn't overdo on the red color which has become the iconic color of gaming motherboards.
The motherboard has three PCI-e 3.0 x16 and three PCI-e 3.0 x1 expansion slots. Like the G1, the Gaming 7 also comes with metal shielded expansion slots which definitely give them a visual update over previous plastic builds. There are also two M.2 slots with 32 GB/s rated functionality. Storage options include eight SATA III GB/s and two SATA Express ports while USB options include two USB 3.0 internal and two USB 2.0 internal headers. A sound core 3D chip, once again provides access to a 7.1 channel gold plated audio jack. Other I/O options include the Killer E221 powered LAN ports (2x), USB 2.0, Display port, USB 3.1 (Type-C), USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and a single PS/2 port.
Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 5
Moving to the more budget friendly tiers of the lineup, we again see more features toned down. The GA-Z170X Gaming 5 gets rid of the fancy thermal armor but still keeps the looks and feel alive with a superb red and black color scheme with touch of white color. The socket which is powered by a 12 Phase Digital Power layout gets fed by a single 8-Pin connector. We again see four DDR4 DIMM slots, we also see three PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots with the metal shielding but get an additional PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots which make a total of 4. Also featured are the two M.2 ports while storage gets a bit toned down to get 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and two SATA Express 16 GB/s ports. Two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 front panel headers can be found internal while I/O on the rear includes HDMI 2.0, Display Port, Dual LAN ports, AMP-UP Audio (Core3D) powered 7.1 channel audio jack, USB 3.1/USB 3.0/USB 2.0 ports and a single PS/2 connector.
Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 3
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 3 is the most entry level motherboard in the Gaming series with a 8 Phase Digital Power Design that powers the socket and power provided by a 8-Pin connector. The motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots and comes with a regular, copper based heatsink that cools off the PWM along with the PCH. Bearing the G1 Gaming logo, there's a few features that are carried over from top-end such as the metal shielded 3x PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots, a AMP-UP Audio (Core3D) powered Audio Jack and several USB 3.1/3.0 ports. A single Killer E2221 port is featured on the motherboard. Three PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots are also found along with two M.2 ports, storage includes 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and two SATA Express ports. I/O includes VGA, DVI connectors, several USB 2.0/3.0 ports along with the USB 3.1 (Type-C) port and also a single PS/2 port.
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH is another top level board which will be falling a tier blow the GA-Z170X-UD7 TH. The motherboard features the LGA 1151 socket, powered by a 12 Phase Digital All power design that is cooled off by a large copper heatpipe based heatsink solution that adopts a neat gold yellow and black color scheme. The same heatsink design is featured on the PCH which is found near the Dual BIOS. The four DDR4 DIMM slots can support capacities of up to 64 GB memory with speeds of up to 3400 MHz (O.C+). Expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 and three PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots while a single PEG Power connector provides additional power to the expansion slots when running multiple graphics cards. Storage options include 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and three SATA Express with speeds rated at 16 GB/s. Two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports are placed internally while I/O includes a Intel GbE LAN port, a 7.1 channel audio jack along with several USB 3.0/USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 (Type-C) connectors.
Last up, we have the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD3 motherboard that is an entry tier board but not the most basic board available in Gigabyte's portfolio. Being a basic board, this motherboard has a 12 Phase power layout that is powered by a 8-Pin connector. The whole PWM circuitry is cooled off by two set heatsinks. One of the heatsinks is also featured on the Z170 PCH. Four DDR4 DIMM slots are featured on the board which can support capacity of 64 GB of memory. Expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 and three PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots. Storage options include 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and two SATA Express ports. The I/O features are limited to VGA, DVI, GbE powered ALN port, a 7.1 Channel audio jack and a mix of USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 ports. Expect availability of Gigabyte motherboards on 5th August when Skylake processors launch.
Gigabyte Z170 Motherboards Features: