Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable Motherboard Review: Affordable, Uncompromising

Introducing The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable

To expand on our coverage of Intel’s Z170-chipset, we now turn our focus to another Gigabyte motherboard for Intel Skylake CPUs. The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable motherboard is up at the plate and has the budget-builder firmly in its sights. Conversely, the company’s pricey Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard, which we previously reviewed, is loaded with premium features that enthusiast gamers crave. Features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 4-way CrossFire and SLI support, baked-in liquid cooling accommodations, and the like, are all absent on this more svelte GB product. With much of the fat trimmed, Gigabyte is able to offer a formidable platform for Skylake at a more aggressive price point.

Gigabyte Z170X UD5 Motherboard And Box

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable Motherboard
Specifications & Features
CPU: Intel Core i7 processors - LGA1151
Chipset: Intel Z170 Chipset
Multi GPU: 2/3-Way Graphics Support with Ultra Durable Metal Shielding over PCIe slots
Memory: DDR4 Memory support, 4 DIMMS,  32GB of system memory Dual Channel memory architecture
Audio: 8-channel 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in Rear Audio Amplifier
Connectivity: Dual Intel GbE LAN w/ cFos
Slots: 3 x PCI Express 3.0  slots (running at x16, x8, x4), Support for up to 2-Way SLI or 3-Way CrossFire
Storage: 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)
USB 3.1: 2 x USB 3.1 (1 x Type-C)
USB 3.0: 7x USB 3.0 (3 x rear, 4 x ports via internal header)
USB 2.0: 6 x USB 2.0 (2 x ports on back panel, 4 ports via internal USB headers)
Form Factor: ATX Form Factor 30.5cm x 24.4cm
Price: $189 Currently via Amazon

While the cost of entry is relatively low, Gigabyte has tossed in plenty of features to elevate your expectations. Right out of the gate we have support for next generation storage solutions with dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors for single drive or RAID configurations. The board features USB 3.1 support on the rear panel in both traditional and USB Type-C connectors. You get dual gigabit LAN networking using cFos speed features and onboard 8-channel HD Audio with 115dB SNR. Our Intel Skylake CPU serves up onboard graphics with its integrated 530 HD Graphics core and the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 answers back with onboard DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI connectors for display output versatility.

At the helm of our test setup, we have the enthusiast focused Skylake i7-6700K desktop CPU. Since its launch the Skylake microarchitechture has proven to be a high performing alternative to the pricier Haswell-E 8-Core beasts also available in the wild. Skylake incorporates 4-cores and 8-threads on the 6700K with the 6600K dropping down to a 4C/4T configuration. Stirring the pot further is the aforementioned Intel 530 HD iGPU, which is the first integrated graphics solution from Intel to support Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API. Moreover, the Skylake family itself shows considerable range with Skylake-U--as seen in tablets and laptop PCs. From diminutive systems to diehard enthusiast rigs, Skylake covers a wide variety of computing needs.

Z170X UD5 bundle1
Regarding this particular Skylake platform, the setup bundled with the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 motherboard is light, as expected for a sub-$200 board. It comes with the main Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable motherboard and a fairly comprehensive User Manual, as is customary from Gigabyte, as well as a slim multilanguage installation guide. The company has tossed in the usual driver CD, four SATA cables, back I/O panel, a single 2-Way SLI bridge connector, a G-connector for easily connecting your chassis switches and indicator lights. The bundle also includes a small pack of three back I/O dust covers. It’s a tight kit, with all the basics needed for a motherboard bundle, to get up and running.

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