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GIGABYTE X170-Extreme ECC (Intel C236) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Jun 10, 2016 4:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Here are key points about the GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS.

 

What's Hot

 

Aesthetics: Some might think that the camouflage aesthetics are a bit over the top for the motherboard, but the motherboard looks really nice in person. I really like what GIGABYTE has done with their theme. The color of the patterns on the shield and heat sinks match the silkscreen on the motherboard well. Actually, the silkscreen (the writing on the PCB) produces a very nice effect.

 

 

ECC Memory: Workstations are designed to operate mission critical software applications, and ECC memory is very important to avoid memory errors that are unavoidable. A hardcore workstation can benefit from ECC, and this motherboard supports it.

 

Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1: The X170-Extreme ECC is the first C236 chipset motherboard to have Thunderbolt 3. The Alpine Ridge controller that provides Thunderbolt 3 also provides two USB 3.1 ports; one type-A and one type-C.

 

Core3Di and AMP-UP: Some might question the need for high-end audio on a workstation motherboard, but I beg to differ. I know many coders who listen to music while coding and the whole concept of this motherboard is to offer gaming features on a workstation motherboard so that the machine can have a dual purpose. In fact, the upgraded audio might make more sense on this motherboard because users might want to fill up all the slots with storage or video cards for computing, and a sound card would take up critical space.

 

Dual NICs: The X170-Extreme ECC has two NICs that provide variety for buyers. The first NIC is based on the Intel i219LM which is designed for workstations, and the second is a Killer e2400 designed for gamers. With both users can use the Intel when doing workstation tasks and Killer when gaming.

 

What's Not

 

High price: At over $300 this motherboard is one of the priciest C236 chipset motherboards, and since it's using a C230 series chipset, overclocking is basically out of the picture.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

I have seen a lot of discussion about this motherboard on the internet, and a lot of doubt about a workstation motherboard loaded with gaming features. The purpose of this motherboard is simple, to provide a workstation motherboard with gaming features. These gaming features are designed not to interfere with the chipset nor its functions but provide extra value in case a user of a workstation might want to use their computer for gaming. There are also more and more consumers who might want workstation features in a motherboard, but don't want to give up features such as high-end audio, and in that case, a motherboard like this might make a lot of sense.

 

gigabyte-x170-extreme-ecc-intel-c236-motherboard-review_88

 

The upgraded audio makes a lot of sense on a workstation motherboard. A lot of people I know who use computers as their main tool for their trade love to listen to music to isolate themselves from their environment so they can perform their work better. With the amplified ports, they can now drive their headphones with ease without much extra hardware.

 

The X170-Extreme ECC allows for a new breed of PC; the dual purpose workstation/gaming computer. If you want to build a workstation build with workstation features but still have a rig that looks good on the inside and comes with crazy features, then the X170-Extreme ECC might be the right motherboard for you.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance93%
Quality including Design and Build92%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging93%
Value for Money85%
Overall TweakTown Rating92%

The Bottom Line: GIGABYTE's X170-Extreme ECC is loaded with features you wouldn't expect on a workstation motherboard, and it's the first C236 chipset motherboard with Thunderbolt 3.

    We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.

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