On Board Peripherals
The Intel Z270 chipset is a single-chip solution, which is also known as a PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This chip has six SATA-600 ports, supporting RAID (0, 1, 10, and 5). The motherboard comes with the six ports, all of them installed on the motherboard edge and rotated 90°, so the installation of video cards will not block them.
Notice that the SATA-600 ports are grouped in pairs, and each pair can be used as a SATA Express port.
There is also a U.2 connector (formerly known as SFF-8639), for installing high-performance SSDs that use this connector.
Figure 4: the six SATA-600 ports and the U.2 connector
The Intel Z270 chipset supports 14 USB 2.0 ports and ten USB 3.0 ports. The Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 7 offers four USB 2.0 ports, available through two headers located on the motherboard. There are nine USB 3.0 ports, five on the rear panel and four available through two headers. There are also two USB 3.1 ports, one Type A and one Type C, controlled by an Intel JHL6540.
The USB 3.1 type C port is also compatible with Thunderbolt 3 connections and DisplayPort monitors that use this connector.
The Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 7 does not support FireWire ports.
One of the highlights of this motherboard is the professional-grade onboard audio, generated by a Creative Sound Core 3D chip (5.1 channels, 24-bit resolution, 102 dBA signal-to-noise ratio at the analog outputs and 101 dBA signal-to-noise ratio at the analog inputs). All the audio section is physically separated from the other circuitry by a line that reduces the interference and helps the audio section to achieve its nominal signal-to-noise ratios. All the capacitors on this circuit are audio models from the Japanese manufacturer Nichicon. The analog audio outputs are independent and gold-plated, and the motherboard also comes with an on-board optical SPDIF output.
There is also a removable TI Burr-Brown OPA2134 operational amplifer with selectable gain.
Figure 5 shows the audio section of the motherboard.
Figure 5: audio section
The portrayed motherboard has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one controlled by an Intel I219V chip, and one controlled by a Rivet Killer E2500 chip, which is a high-end ethernet controller.
In Figure 6, you can see the motherboard rear panel with two low-noiew USB 3.0 ports (yellow,) a shared PS/2 keyboard/mouse connector, DisplayPort output, HDMI output, three USB 3.0 ports (blue,) one USB 3.1 Type C port, one USB 3.1 Type A port (red,) two Gigabit Ethernet port, optical SPDIF output, and the analog audio jacks.
Figure 6: motherboard rear panel