With the introduction of Skylake, Intel moved support for LGA1151 Xeon processors exclusively to C230 series chipsets. There are two major C230 series chipsets, the C232 and C236. The X170-Extreme ECC uses the Intel C236 chipset, which is not only more expensive than the Z170 chipset but also allows for two extra SATA6Gb/s ports directly routed to the PCH. The one thing that is missing from the C236 chipset is overclocking. Otherwise, its support for vPro, RST Enterprise, and ECC memory makes it a much better contender for a workstation or server than the Z170 chipset.
Compared to the C232 chipset, the C236 supports integrated graphics and can provide up to 20 HSIO ports compared to the C232's lowly eight. In recent years, many people have started using their custom PCs for mission critical work, and server/workstation features become useful even in the consumer arena. There are many options for support of E3-1200 v5 series Xeons, but GIGABYTE has taken things to a new level with the X170-Extreme ECC. Features you would have never thought you would find on a workstation motherboard, such as Core3Di audio, can be found on the X170-Extreme ECC. Let's take a look at GIGABYTE's workstation top dog.
The GIGABYTE X170-Extreme ECC has the latest and greatest when it comes to features. It's the first C230 series motherboard to carry Thunderbolt 3, which means it also supports USB 3.1 type-A and type-C. The board also has two 32Gb/s M.2 slots, and yes, you can RAID them. The motherboard does have eight SATA6Gb/s ports and a slew of USB 3.0 ports. When it comes to audio, it has a configuration very similar to that of the Z170X-Gaming 7.
The X170-Extreme ECC is available from many large retailers for roughly $309.
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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