Introducing The Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming G1
Intel Skylake processors have landed and motherboard manufacturers now have a wide range of boards sporting the necessary LGA 1151 socket and Z170 chipset to support the CPUs. Under the microscope today we have a high-end model from Gigabyte, the formidable Z170X-Gaming G1—a board that's virtually bursting at the seams with top-end features for the discriminating enthusiast. It's got everything from a 22 phase power array, to support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, quad GPUs, Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors and dedicated network processing via onboard Killer DoubleShot Pro X3 NICs—just to name a few.
|Intel Core i7 processors - LGA1151|
Intel Z170 Chipset
4-Way Graphics Support with Ultra Durable Metal Shielding ove PCIe slots
DDR4 Memory support, 4 DIMMS, 32GB of system memory Dual Channel memory architecture
Creative certified Sound Blaster ZxRi 120+dB SNR
Killer DoubleShot-X3 Pro network processing unit, (2 x Killer GBe + 1 x Killer Wi-Fi adapter), Bluetooth 4.0
4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (running at x16, x8)
Support for up to 3-Way SLI or CrossFire (x16, x16/x16, x16/x16/x8)
Dual Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors with up to 32GB Data Transfer (PCIe SATA SSD support), 3 x SATA Express connectors, 8 SATA 6gb/s ports (2 ports from SATA Express port)
2 x USB 3.1 (1 x rear panel, 1 x USB 3.1 bay)
11 x USB 3.0 (7 x rear, 4 x front via internal header)
8 x USB 2.0 (4 x ports on back panel, 4 ports internal USB headers)
ATX Form Factor 12 in x 9.6 in ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )
$463 Currently Via Amazon
As for Skylake itself, this new microarchitecture is squarely aimed at enthusiasts, minus the high cost of entry of say, an X99 / Haswell-E / DDR4 Quad-Channel setup. Currently, the new processor type is only available in the unlocked Core i5-6600K and the higher clocked i7-6700K on the desktop. Base clocks are 3.5GHz (turbo to 3.9GHz) and 4.0GHz (turbo to 4.2GHz), respectively. For this setup we are using the burlier 6700K which features 4-cores and 8-threads versus the 4C/4T configuration of the 6600K.
Accompanying the Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard is a fairly familiar bundle, with a few notable extras. You get the board, of course, a disc for drivers, a user manual and a second disk to install the module driver for the included Wi-Fi adapter. It also comes with six SATA cables, an I/O Shield and several bridge connectors for multi-GPU configurations in either NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire setups.