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GIGABYTE Z170X-SOC Force (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 26, 2015 2:23 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Z170X-SOC Force Circuit Analysis Continued

 

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Avago Technologies bought PLX Technologies, and the PEX8747 is now in their portfolio. It provides 32x PCI-E 3.0 from the 16x the CPU provides for graphics. This allows for 4-way SLI/CrossFireX and is the only way to run 4-way SLI on the Z170 platform. It does produce 8W of heat and needs to be cooled by a heat sink. The 8x ASMedia ASM1480s are PCI-E 3.0 quick switches, and they switch 8x from the first and third slots to the second and fourth to facilitate more GPUs.

 

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The audio section consists of a Realtek ACL1150 codec, 11x Nippon Chemicon Gold Series electrolytic audio capacitors, and a Texas Instruments OP1652 audio amplifier. There are 7x topside, and 25x underside orange LEDs that really illuminate the audio section, and the SOC Force logo is clearly visible from afar. A Texas Instruments GC75232 is used to support COM port capabilities.

 

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An ASMedia ASM1061 is connected to a single PCI-E lane from the PCH and provides two SATA6Gb/s ports. An NEC/Renesas D720210 USB 3.0 hub provides 4x USB 3.0 from a single USB 3.0 port from the PCH. As we see on other top of the line overclocking motherboards, there is a main Super IO controller and multiple secondary and/or tertiary embedded controllers. The iTE IT8628E provides main SuperIO capabilities such as voltage and temperature monitoring, fan control, and PS/2 on the IO panel. The iTE IT8792E provides more fan control, hardware monitoring, and OC features. There are two 128Mbit/16MB BIOS ROMs, and an iTE8951E provides Dual BIOS + functionality that includes USB BIOS recovery without requiring the CPU to power on.

 

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Seven ASMedia ASM1480s are PCI-E 3.0 quick switches that move around SATA and M.2 bandwidth so that the board can support and even RAID three 32Gb/s M.2 slots. The Intel NIC is covered by a metal shield, as is the BLCK clock generator used for high BLCK frequency overclocking.

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