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Introduction

The Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming is a mid-range socket LGA1151 motherboard based on the Intel Z170 chipset, supporting the sixth generation Core i processors. It brings LED illumination, three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six SATA-600 ports (allowing two SATA Express connections), U.2 port for high-performance SSDs, six USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 3.1 ports, one of them Type C. Let’s take a good look at it!

The Z170 chipset is the first model to be launch on the new 100-series, and it is also the higher-end chipset on this family. The main differences between the Z170 and its predecessor, the Z97, are the DMI 3.0 bus to communicate with the processor (it offers twice the bandwidth, that goes from 2 GB/s per direction to 4 GB/s), the presence of ten USB 3.0 ports (against six on the Z97), and the support to 20 PCI Express 2.0 lanes controlled by the chipset (Z97 has only eight PCI Express 2.0 lanes.)

Like the Z97, the Z170 supports six SATA-600 ports, Smart Response (installing an SSD as a cache for the main hard drive), Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while in sleep mode), and Rapid Start (faster boot times) technologies.

You can see the Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard in Figure 1. It uses the ATX form factor, measuring 12” x 9.6” (305 x 244 mm).

Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra GamingFigure 1: Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard