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GIGABYTE Z170X-UD3 Ultra Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Oct 25, 2016 8:49 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and Overview

 

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The Z170X-UD3 Ultra's box is simple and to the point, highlighting all its main features. Packaging is decent - not the best I have seen but also not the worst.

 

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The accessory package is minimal and includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, SLI bridge, G-Connector, IO shield, manual, driver DVD, and a case badge.

 

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The motherboard has five fan headers; the three circled in red at 4-pin voltage mode fans, and the two circled in red at PWM or voltage mode 4-pin headers. Control for all of these is provided through GIGABYTE's new UEFI design.

 

The motherboard has a sleek white and blue heat sink and shield design, with some white silk screening on the PCB. Metal shields cover up the Intel NIC, the Realtek audio controller, and support the PCI-E slots and memory DIMMs. LEDs will illuminate the audio PCB divide, as well as the spaces in between the memory DIMMs, and the right side of the PCB's translucent sections. The back of the motherboard is bare except for the blue LEDs that illuminate the translucent trace paths.

 

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The IO panel on the Z170X-UD3 Ultra features two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 type-A port, one Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 type-C port, MiniDP out, MiniDP in (for Thunderbolt 3), HDMI, 1Gbit LAN, and 7.1 audio output jacks with S/PDIF optical.

 

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The Z170X-UD3 Ultra has a PCI-E layout that is becoming more popular among GIGABYTE motherboards. The first and second full-sized PCI-E slots work at x16/x0 or x8/x8 for SLI or CrossFireX. The last full sized slot runs at x4 PCI-E 3.0 and has an RST link, so it is the third slot used for x3 NVMe RAID as written on the PCB. The PCI-E x1 slots are connected to the PCH. There is an x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slot located right below the CPU socket.

 

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Four the SATA6Gb/s ports also work as two SATA Express ports. There is a U.2 port as well, and that is part of the x3 PCI-E 3.0 x4 NVMe RAID. Since the Z170 chipset offers six SATA6Gb/s ports, the remaining two not right-angled are straight and located below the U.2 connector. Near the SATA ports are the front panel headers.

 

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There is a USB 3.0 internal header located right below the 24-pin motherboard power connector. Two USB 2.0 headers are located at the bottom of the motherboard as is a TPM header.

 

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There are three translucent rows of plastic between the memory DIMMs, and these will illuminate blue when the system is turned on. The metal shielding around the memory DIMMs is used to re-enforce the PCB. There are three heat sinks screwed to the PCB, and they make great contact.

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