Gigabyte Z170X-Ultra Gaming (LGA1151) Motherboard Review
John Williamson / 6 months ago
Despite the majority of recent media headlines surrounding Intel’s Broadwell-E architecture and the unveiling of new 2011-v3 motherboards sporting striking colour schemes, this is a very niche section of the market and it’s important to not overclock the mainstream Z170 chipset. This is especially the case after witnessing the pricing of Broadwell-E processors and the only viable option for users on a sensible budget is the Haswell-E based i7-5820K. While this can be priced similarly to the i7-6700K, the cost of a reliable, feature-rich motherboard is considerably higher. As a result, the i7-6700K is a solid choice and now that the Z170 chipset is mature, there’s a huge catalogue of motherboards to choose from. In lieu of this massive range, you’d expect motherboard vendors to retain their current offerings and release new additions at a reduced pace. This is a cogent strategy since AMD’s fabled Zen platform is being readied, while Intel will undoubtedly respond with an update to the Z170 chipset. Even though this trend has come to fruition, there are a few new models gracing the market and aiming to provide consumers with the best possible solution.
Not one to rest on their laurels, Gigabyte have unleashed the Z170X-Ultra Gaming which includes dual hybrid fan headers, USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity capable of 100W power delivery, triple NVMe support in RAID0 and a stunning ambient lighting system. Not only that, the product is Thunderbolt 3 certified which means you can daisy-chain up to six devices and offers unparalleled flexibility. On a more technical note, the motherboard utilises a 15u gold-plated CPU socket, 10k capacitors and dual-BIOS to ensure your system will post even if one of the BIOS chips fails or becomes corrupt during an update. As you can see, this is a wonderful specification and retails for a competitive price of £145.99. Is this the best Gigabyte motherboard using the Z170 chipset thus far? Let’s find out!
Packing and Accessories
The motherboard box contains Gigabyte’s iconic G1 Gaming logo and the lighting elements provide an insight into the unit’s attractive illumination. Also, the packaging outlines information on the product’s DDR4 3866+ XMP capabilities as well as a number of other essential features. Overall, the box design is really eye-catching and looks absolutely stunning.
On the rear side, additional details are displayed regarding the motherboard’s audio solution, Intel Gigabit LAN and more. As expected, everything is presented in a professional and simple manner which encourages the end-user to look at the packaging.
Accessories-wise, the motherboard is bundled with a user’s guide, driver/software disk, two flat ended SATA cables, two right ended SATA cables, installation guide, cable labels, SLI bridge, velcro ties, G-Connector, I/O shield and a door hanger.