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GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 13, 2015 11:15 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and Overview

 

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The Z170X-UD5 TH's box is basic, and if you hadn't already figured it out, the motherboard supports Thunderbolt 3. Packaging is also quite basic, but effective and GIGABYTE did employee anti-static protection.

 

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The board comes with a few accessories; 4x SATA 6Gb/s cables, IO Shield, SLI Bridge, G-Connector, IO dust covers (for Type-C connectors and HDMI), case badge, driver DVD, and manuals.

 

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The GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH has six onboard fan connectors. The CPU fan connector circled in blue is a PWM mode header, while the five other headers circled in red are voltage mode. A single 3-pin connector circled in green provides 12v at all times. The black, gold, grey and silver aesthetics aren't too shabby. The lighting used during the photo shoot don't correctly capture the true golden hue of the heat sinks, that being said, they do look better (darker) in person. The hints of gold of the audio capacitors do match that of the heat sinks, and the audio PCB divide is illuminated by yellow LEDs. The back of the motherboard is pretty much bare except for the screws that hold down the heat sinks and the 14 yellow LEDs around the audio divide.

 

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The IO panel is what this motherboard is all about; 4x USB 2.0, 4x USB 3.0, 2x Type-C (USB 3.1/TB3/DP1.2), HDMI 2.0, PS/2 keyboard/mouse, 1Gbit NIC, and S/PDIF with TOSLINK for audio.

 

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Each of the full sized PCI-E 16x slots is reinforced by single piece metal shields that should help reduce wear from heavy GPUs. The first and second 16x slots are connected to the CPU and operate at 16x/0x or 8x/8x. The last full sized slot runs at 4x PCI-E 3.0 and shares bandwidth with the M.2 connector (it's connected to the PCH).

 

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There are three SATA Express connectors that operate as two SATA6Gb/s ports each when not being used as SATA Express. The M.2 slot and the last PCI-E 4x slot are mutually exclusive, and if you install an SATA-based M.2 drive into the M.2 slot, you will lose one SATA port. You can refer to the manual to determine which SATA port will be disabled.

 

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GIGABYTE provides two USB 3.0 internal headers that are both directly connected to the PCH (in fact all USB 3.0 on the board is directly connected to the PCH without any hubs or switches). Surprisingly GIGABYTE provides a right angled SATA power receptacle for extra PCI-E power. Overclocking features are also present and include power, reset, clear CMOS buttons, as well as voltage read points.

 

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The audio section is decked out with fancy stripes and audio capacitors. The NIC, clock generator, and audio codec are all hidden under metal shields. The VRM on this board is exactly like that on the Z170X-UD5, it's an 8+3 phase VRM.

 

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The heat sinks are all screwed down, and they seem to make good contact with the components they cool.

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