Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
The Z170 chipset and Skylake CPU’s has been around for just over a week now and we have seen pretty much everything that each manufacturer has to offer. We now know that the huge connectivity options presented by the Z170 chipset that some manufacturers have included not on, but two or even three M.2 slots and multiple USB 3.0 ports. Along with those, you also have USB 3.1 Type A and Type C as standard and the vast majority of the Z170 series.
Today on the test bench, we take a look at one of the cheaper options on the market, the Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI. Don’t let the low MSRP of £120 fool you, this motherboard has more features than you can shake a stick at and is expected to outpace the competition at a higher price bracket.
This particular board boasts the latest Realtek audio codec to provide crisp and clear audio performance, combine that with high-speed RAM and a multi-graphics card setup and you have a great gaming computer that is capable of dominating the competition.
Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, Gigabyte is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.
- App Centre
- 3D OSD
- Ambient LED
- Cloud Station
- Easy RAID
- Fast Boot
- Smart timeLock
- Smart Keyboard
- Smart Backup
- System Information Viewer
- USB Blocker
Packaging and Accessories
The box is of a new design, featuring a character from the game Heroes of the Storm. This comes with a sole partnership between Gigabyte and Blizzard. The colour scheme outside of the main image resembles heavily of the Ultra Durable range with the orange highlights and logos.
The back of the box focuses on more key features with a large chart showing the speed increase of USB 3.1 over USB 3.0.
Inside the box is a nice amount of accessories. First up the paper based which consists of a door hanger, Gigabyte/Heroes of the Storm leaflet, Install guide and motherboard manual
Along with those are4x SATA 6Gb/s cables, I/O shield, Ultra Durable case sticker, SLI bridge and Gigabyte G-Connector.
The G-Connector is a great addition that allows you to securely clip in all of the front panel connectors into one hub and install at once; this makes the installation 100x easier as you can do it outside of the case while the motherboard is installed.