Intel's Z170 chipset landed recently and with it comes a slew of enticing motherboards. Many brands have done their best to diversify their lineups with unique features and aesthetics to compliment the new chipset and its rich connectivity. EVGA has launched three different Z170 SKUs; the Z170 Classified 4-Way, Z170 FTW, and Z170 Stinger. Today, I have the Z170 FTW in the test bed and ready for action. The Z170 chipset is loaded with 26x I/O ports which can be configured as USB 3.0, SATA6G, or PCI-E 3.0. Out of those 26 ports, six must be USB 3.0. Out of the remaining 20 ports, four can be allotted to more USB 3.0 or PCI-E. Out of those leftover 16 ports there is support for a maximum of six SATA6G ports, which can be configured as SATA6G or PCI-E 3.0.
To take things to a new level, those 16 ports also support three sets of 4x PCI-E lanes with iRST support for M.2 slots which can be used in RAID (each M.2 slot must also have two SATA connections blended in). This means that there will be many motherboards with different configurations catering to the target users of each individual motherboard. With the Z170 chipset it will be harder than ever for manufacturers to differentiate themselves from one another, so let's see what EVGA brings to the table for Z170.
The Z170 FTW is not EVGA's top SKU for Z170, but EVGA did equip the board with a decent amount of features. EVGA is providing eight Intel USB 3.0 ports; two go to an internal header. Six SATA ports from the PCH are present, as well as a single 4x M.2 slot. The board also has two 4x PCI-E slots routed to the PCH. EVGA is using Intel's newest NIC, and the Z170 FTW supports 2-way SLI. The only thing really missing is USB 3.1 support, but then again, there aren't many USB 3.1 capable devices on the market yet and the PCI-E expansion configuration will allow you to install many devices through add-on cards.
EVGA's Z170 FTW is $220 on Newegg at the time of writing. This puts it in the upper-middle class of the majority of Intel Z170 products.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the Z170 FTW]
- Page 3 [EVGA Z170 FTW Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [EVGA Z170 Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]