Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TweakTown Gives The GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH a Best Features Award

Thunderbolt 3 is one of the most exciting developments in I/O technology to date.

By pushing 40 Gb/s  through the wire,  Thunderbolt™ 3 provides an unprecedented amount of bandwidth to the end user. But that's not all. With Thunderbolt™ 3 you also get industry-leading features such as DisplayPort 1.2, which is able to drive a 4K resolution display at 60 FPS, power delivery for connected devices at up to 36W, as well as the ability to daisy-chain up to 6 devices per USB Type-C port.

Here at GIGABYTE, we recently released the Z170X-UD5 TH which brings Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity to the Z170X Ultra Durable 5 motherboard. We sent a sample to TweakTown's Steven Bassiri and he was more than impressed with the board!

Here's what Steven liked about the board:

Thunderbolt 3 with Dual Type-C Ports: The Z170X-UD5 TH released a few weeks ago as the first Thunderbolt 3 certified motherboard. The controller that provides Thunderbolt 3 is also the same one that provides USB 3.1 and is the first USB-IF certified USB 3.1 controller. This Intel chip is very powerful, and when paired with proper USB Power Delivery 2.0 chips from TI can support up to 12 daisy chained devices, dual 4K monitors (or a single 5K monitor), and still provides up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. Needless to say, GIGABYTE implements the chip well and provides a Thunderbolt 3 implementation that is rare.

All Intel without Hubs: The circuit analysis I did on the Z170X-UD5 TH was one of the shortest I have ever done. This is because most everything on this board is powered directly through Intel chipsets. All eight USB 3.0 ports come directly from the PCH (2 more than standard FlexIO configurations). Networking is Intel. Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 also both come from an Intel controller. Compatibility with certified devices should be quite good, and headaches that sometimes arise from hubs should be nonexistent.

Overclocking Features: I was surprised to find voltage read points, a POST code display, and onboard buttons for overclocking. Usually, these features aren't found on motherboards targeted at workstations, but GIGABYTE made sure to include them to make tweaking more simple.

Aesthetics: GIGABYTE's recent gold/black/silver aesthetics has grown on me a little bit. The shade of gold they are using along with the yellow LEDs and gold audio capacitors matches quite well. The shields over the audio codec, NIC, and clock generator and the metal braces for the PCI-E slots create a theme that makes the motherboard look protected and equipped for hard work.
All in all, Steven gave the board a 94% with a Best Features award.

You can read the full review here.

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