Packaging and Overview
The X170-Extreme ECC's box is sleek and shows off its new camouflage look. There is no mention of Thunderbolt 3 on the box because GIGABYTE had not yet received Thunderbolt 3 certification at launch, but now that they have the board can now officially support it. Packaging is well done, but not the most fancy I have seen.
Accessories include 4x SATA6Gb/s cables, G-connector, IO shield, SLI cable, port covers, door hanger, cable ties, cable stickers, driver DVD, and manual.
The GIGABYTE X170-Extreme ECC has five fan headers. The single CPU fan header circled in red is the CPU fan header and operates as a 4-pin PWM fan. The four other headers circled in blue are 4-pin voltage mode headers that are compatible with PWM and voltage mode fans. What is blatantly obvious is the new color scheme; even the silkscreen on the motherboard has been painted to match the camouflage color scheme on the shield and heat sinks. In my opinion, it looks somewhat cool; someone could make a nice military themed workstation build with this. The rear of the motherboard is clear of ICs except for some RGB LEDs that illuminate the audio PCB divide.
The IO panel on the X170-Extreme ECC carries five USB 3.0 ports (two yellow are DAC-UP), PS/2 keyboard/mouse, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, two 1Gbit NIC ports, and S/PDIF with gold plated ports for audio output.
The PCI-E layout is pretty straightforward. The first and second full sized PCI-E 16x slots are hard wired to the CPU and 8x of bandwidth will switch from the top slot to the middle slot if a GPU is installed. The bottommost 16x slot is wired to the PCH and shares bandwidth with the bottommost M.2 slot. The PCI-E slots have metal shielding that is designed to support the weight of a heavy GPU.
The X170-Extreme ECC has two M.2 slots, and they can be used in RAID at 32Gb/s of bandwidth each. There are also eight SATA6Gb/s ports, six of which are routed to the PCH. If you decide to RAID the M.2 slots then you will lose a total of three SATA ports, the exact ports are mentioned in the manual.
There are two USB 3.0 internal headers located right below the 24-pin power connector. There are also a healthy amount of overclocking features, including power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons along with a POST Code display. Voltage read points are also present, which is a great thing since they are useful for reading the real voltage of the CPU.
There is a single BIOS mode switch used to disable the Dual BIOS link for debugging and quicker recovery during overclocking (especially BLCK overclocking, like with non-K SKUs, even though that isn't officially supported).
The motherboard also has two USB 2.0 ports, a trusted platform module port, and a COM port. GIGABYTE has kicked the audio section up a notch. I looked at the Z170X-Gaming G1 many months ago, and its audio was top notch.
The heat sinks and shield are all screwed into the motherboard, and we can see that the audio shield has LED diffusers.
PRICING: You can find the GIGABYTE X170-Extreme ECC (Intel C236) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The GIGABYTE X170-Extreme ECC (Intel C236) Motherboard retails for $316 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The GIGABYTE X170-Extreme ECC (Intel C236) Motherboard retails for £203 at Amazon UK.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
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