Consumers have a staggering array of options when considering a new motherboard and it can be quite tricky to narrow down the choices. MSI produces a stunning range which targets various price points and user demands. Whether you’re looking for a flagship X99 server-grade product, or affordable H170 gaming motherboard, there’s something to suit everyone’s budget. The company has recently launched a promotion which allows you to receive cashback on the following motherboards:
X99A GODLIKE GAMING – £40.00
X99A GAMING 9 ACK – £40.00
X99A GAMING 7 – £30.00
C236A WORKSTATION – £30.00
Z170A GAMING M9 ACK – £30.00
Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION – £30.00
B150A GAMING PRO – £22.00
H170A GAMING PRO – £22.00
C236M WORKSTATION – £22.00
Z170A GAMING M7 – £22.00
Z170A GAMING M5 – £22.00
Z170A-G45 GAMING – £22.00
Z170A GAMING PRO – £22.00
Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON – £22.00
Z170A KRAIT GAMING 3X – £22.00
Z170I GAMING PRO AC – £22.00
Z170A TOMAHAWK AC – £15.00
Z170A TOMAHAWK – £15.00
Z170A SLI PLUS – £15.00
Z170M MORTAR – £15.00
H170M-A PRO – £15.00
H170I PRO AC – £15.00
B150M NIGHT ELF – £15.00
B150M MORTAR – £15.00
B150I GAMING PRO AC – £15.00
B150I GAMING PRO – £15.00
Please note the cashback offer is only available residents of the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Spain and Turkey. Furthermore, you need to have a valid proof of purchase from participating retailers. If you’re eligible, the claim process is really simple and shouldn’t take too long to complete. The promotion ends on the 18th April 2016, and all claims must be filled 30 days after the purchase date. Although, you can’t leave it longer than 60 days to complete.
To register your product and instigate a claim please visit this page. Cashback offers are always a great incentive and reduces the price of a product you’re considering by a decent amount. Perhaps, this is enough of a saving and an encouragement to upgrade to a higher-end model. Please remember the promotion is for a limited time so it’s important to register your claim as soon as possible. Personally, I feel the Z170A Pro Carbon is a bargain even without the cashback offer.
BIOSTAR’s new racing series adopts a really intriguing chequered-flag PCB design and looks fantastic! In the past, I’ve been fairly critical of their consumer motherboards due to the fairly outdated appearance. Thankfully, the company has significantly improved in this area and I’m sure it will help them to become more successful in western markets. The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 is based on Intel’s H170 chipset and supports Skylake processors. Please note, the H170 chipset cannot in theory support overclocking or DDR4 DIMMs beyond 2133MHz. On the other hand, unofficial BCLK overclocking might be possible even with a locked multiplier providing the BIOS provides this functionality.
The motherboard also features a 32Gb/s M.2 slot for high-speed drives and SATA Express. Another highlight is the VIVID LED DJ and 5050 LED FUN which allows the user to customize lighting embedded on the PCB and heatsinks. As you might expect, there’s a high-end audio solution and decided section of the PCB to eliminate EMI. In terms of discrete expansion options, you can use two AMD GPUs in crossfire, although I’d strongly recommend using a single GPU solution on any H170 product. Furthermore, there’s two PCI-E x1 slots to add a sound card, or similar device. BIOSTAR opted for a 7-phase power delivery which is very impressive given the lack of overclocking on H170. As a result, the motherboard should remain perfectly stable and exhibit a great lifespan.
On the rear I/O, there are PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, DVI-D, two HDMI, four USB 3.0, RJ45, two USB 2.0 and 8 channel audio. The motherboard has a recommended retail price of $94.40. In the coming weeks, we should be receiving a sample and will compare the motherboard to similar H170 alternatives, B150 products and the higher-end Z170 options. So far, I’m really impressed with the aesthetic design, and BIOSTAR are renowned for using premium components.
We’ve mostly seen BIOSTAR motherboards in the HiFi series lately with their characteristic piano styled heatsinks, but BIOSTAR’s next generation of motherboards come with a new theme: Racing. The first motherboards in the new BIOSTAR Racing series are the Z170GT7, H170GT3, and B150GT5 where the names already reveal the chipsets used: Z170, H170, and B150 respectively.
BIOSTAR is mostly known as a budget manufacturer, but they use some high-quality components as these new motherboards also prove. They come with Super Durable Ferrite chokes for high-quality power delivery to vital components, Super Durable Solid Caps for longer-lasting performance, and DUAL BIOS that guarantees resilient motherboard operation if the BIOS should fail. All three come with Intel LAN and the storage options include the new and faster SATA-Express and PCI-e M.2 slots for use with the newest storage drives on the market.
Just because these boards don’t come in the HiFi series, doesn’t mean that the Racing series doesn’t have good audio components and they also come with BIOSTAR’s signature HI-FI audio experience. The motherboards feature an I/O Armor to give the system a better look and also comes with customizable LED effects. You expand your chassis and increase the lighting abilities thanks to the onboard 5050-header for LED strips and then control it via the included VIVID LED DJ.
Besides what I’ve already mentioned, you get a new 100 series motherboard with the features that this brings along, such as plenty of USB connections from 2.0 to 3.1, Intel i217 LAN, plenty of storage connectivity, and four DDR4 DIMM slots along with BIOSTAR’s BIO-Remote 2 and online BIOS update functions that both are extremely useful.
The new BIOSTAR Racing Series is built on what they call the BIOSTAR 6+ Experience and it is composed out of six main features: Speed+, Audio+, Video+, Durable+, Protection+ and DIY+. All things that matter.
BIOSTAR didn’t reveal any pricing at this time but expect them to be cheaper than the average board in the same categories. Sadly there weren’t more photos provided and the official product pages haven’t launched yet, but I’m sure that we’ll see a lot more on these board during CES 2016.
BIOSTAR’s retail presence in the western market is rather small as stockists focus on the more recognizable vendors among consumers. Despite this, BIOSTAR is one of the leading Taiwanese global brands and produces a huge range of affordable hardware. Back in 2013, the company launched the first motherboard with an integrated Wireless LAN module which shows their commitment to innovation. Granted, BIOSTAR’s aesthetic design is an acquired taste and I strongly believe this is an area which needs fine tuning especially if they want to appeal to enthusiasts. While some users don’t really care about a motherboard’s appearance, it’s becoming quite common for system builders to have colour coordinated builds. Nevertheless, it’s always fascinating to test any BIOSTAR product and determine how well it stacks up against the competition.
As its name suggests, the BIOSTAR GAMING H170T is built on Intel’s H170 chipset, which supports the latest Skylake processors. Unlike the more expensive Z170 platform, overclocking is theoretically disabled on H170. However, BCLK overclocking is possible on H170 motherboards with the correct BIOS and even allows non-K CPUs to reach an impressive frequency boost. On another note, it’s essential to check every H170 motherboard’s specification as some models opt for DDR3L compatibility while others use DDR4 DIMMs up to 2133MHz. This particular example caters to the lower-end audience and features a maximum capacity of 32GB DDR3 memory, dual Gigabit LAN, 32Gb/s M.2 connector, and Realtek ALC892 audio codec. As a result, the GAMING H170T offers an attractive package for the budget-conscience user and I expect it to master the price to performance ratio.
Packing and Accessories
The motherboard comes in an attractive box which clearly displays the model name on a leatherette background. This evokes a premium feel and reminds me of the Logitech G27’s leather rim. The overall design is understated but striking enough to appeal to the gaming clientèle.
On the rear, there is a brief synopsis of the motherboard’s connectivity options, power phases and other essential features. Furthermore, graphical diagrams are used to explain the benefits of high-end components such 10K rated capacitors and durable ferrite chokes.
In terms of accessories, the motherboard comes with a basic guide to use the Smart Ear 3D Utility, product catalogue and user’s manual. Unlike many booklets these days, the product catalogue is in colour which encourages the end-user to browse BIOSTAR’s extensive product range.
Other additions include a driver disk, I/O shield, SATA cables, and M.2 screws.
SuperMicro might not be the most recognizable name among enthusiasts with the likes of MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte and other household brands being the logical choice for consumers. However, their pedigree is unparalleled when it comes to stability and creating the best server solutions available today. As a result, I’m always overjoyed to test any SuperMicro motherboard and see this level of expertise move into other markets. Slowly but surely, SuperMicro appears to be targeting the gaming audience and releasing visually appealing products with an impressive range of features.
Approximately two months ago, we reviewed the SuperMicro C7Z170-SQ and felt it offered excellent overclocking functionality for extreme usage scenarios. In contrast to this, today’s review sample is built on the H170 chipset which theoretically disables any chance of frequency boosts. However, recent evidence shows that BCLK overclocking can be attained on non-K series CPUs and H170 motherboards via a BIOS update. The C7H170-M has been proven to allow for BCLK adjustments and huge overclocking headroom using high-end cooling apparatus. Clearly, we’re not going to change our testing CPU to keep the results fair. Although, I’m fascinated to see the maximum frequency on a H170 motherboard and see how close it gets to traditional multiplier overclocks.
Packing and Accessories
The SuperMicro C7H170-M comes in a gorgeous box which evokes a sense of luxury. Its design is simplistic while being extremely unusual and looks stylish. I’m incredibly fond of bold cut-out for the lettering which makes this particular product stand out.
On the rear, there is a detailed overview about the motherboard and its core specification.
The package is quite barebones and comes with a layout diagram, I/O shield, driver disk, M.2 screws and server-style SATA cables. Please note, the included technical sheet also helps with the rudimentary installation procedure. Although, it’s much less detailed than other vendors. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t pose a major problem, and I don’t expect the type of customer purchasing a SuperMicro product to have limited experience in system building.
Intel’s Z170 platform is designed for enthusiasts utilizing incredibly fast DDR4 memory and large frequency boosts on K-series CPUs. In contrast to this, the H170 chipset caters more towards the budget-conscience consumer running a CPU at stock settings and modest DDR4 speeds. So what are the key differences between Z170 and H170? Firstly, H170 motherboards cannot support memory speeds in excess of 2133MHz and limited to a maximum of 16 PCIe lanes 3.0 lanes compared to 20 on Z170. Additionally, the HSIO Lanes have been reduced from 26 to 22 and theoretically, motherboards are restricted to a single X16 graphics slot. However, motherboard vendors can offer dual card setups via Crossfire. The only other notable change is a reduction in USB 3.0 ports from 10 to 8 which should be more than enough for the average user.
The first H170-based motherboard to arrive for review is the Gigabyte H170-HD3. This particular model incorporates a wealth of connectors including HDMI 1.4, DVI-D and D-Sub. On another note, the motherboard supports 2 way Crossfire, SATA Express an M.2 expansion port and ALC887 audio codec. Overall, the H170-HD3 is a great value package and I expect it to compare surprisingly well against the higher priced Z170 competition.
Packing and Accessories
Gigabyte adopts a fairly clean and understated box design which outlines the motherboard’s Ultra Durable qualities.
On the opposite side, there are a number of detailed pictures illustrating the motherboard’s connectivity options and 2-way Crossfire support. Furthermore, Gigabyte also provides a brief synopsis of the integrated Realtek ALC887 audio.
In terms of accessories, the product comes with an I/O shield, user’s manual, G Connector, case badge and two SATA cables. It’s always great to see the G Connector’s inclusion on budget models which makes the install process much more user-friendly.
ASRock motherboards usually feature a twist of some sort, setting them apart from the rest. They had the overclocking feature for CPUs on the H87 and B85 non-Z motherboards and recently they added the memory overclocking easter egg to their Z170 Skylake motherboards that allow automatic overclocking of select memory modules. Now they are going one step further and have cracked the RAM overclocking limitations on the non-Z Skylake boards B150, H170, and H110.
The ASRock DDR4 OC feature appears in the UEFI BIOS when the user has installed certain memory modules such as those from Kingston or Samsung. This otherwise hidden feature allows you to overclock the memory frequency from 2133MHz to a max of 2800MHz – providing a 30% boost in clock speed. Intel normally doesn’t feature memory overclocking on anything but the top Z-line motherboards, but ASRock cracked this limitation and the feature is now also available on select ASRock H170, B150, and H110 motherboards. Test show that DDR4 Non-Z overclocking can deliver a 5% memory performance boost measure with SiSoftware Sandra memory benchmark on an ASRock B150 chipset motherboard.
So with a hidden feature like this, how would you know when it is enabled or not. Well, the BIOS boot screen will not show a plain white ASRock icon anymore but instead one that has a coloured light effect added, making it easy to recognize.
BIOSTAR is a hardware manufacturer which caters to a wide range of price points and often releases products to perfectly suit the budget-conscience consumer. Today, the company announced their latest motherboard based on Intel’s Skylake architecture. The Hi-Fi H170S3H features Hi-Fi Audio, Hi-Fi Power and 3D Hi-Fi to provide a wonderful listening experience. Furthermore, there is native support for PCIe M.2 SSDs and apparently DDR3 memory modules. However, I’m pretty sure that’s a typo and meant to say DDR3L DIMMs. This is because the Z170 and H170 chipsets utilize memory with a lower voltage. The motherboard supports up to 32GB of 1333/1600MHz RAM.
While H170 is designed for budget systems, it allows for a decent quantity of USB 3.0 connectors. The Rear I/O also contains two PS/2 ports, a DVI-D, dual HDMI capable of powering a 4K display, two USB 2.0, Realtek RTL8111H RJ45 port and Realtek ALC887 8-Channel HD Audio.
Other key specifications include two PCIe x16 slots, two SATA 3 ports, one SATA Express, and a dedicated audio path. Furthermore, the advanced power design and voltage regulation increases stability. BIOSTAR have set a recommended retail price of $84.90 and customers can purchase the motherboard directly from their eBay store. However, please note the shipping costs are quite high and import duties will be charged in certain regions.
Hopefully, the motherboard will be stocked in local retailers very soon.
BIOSTAR has unveiled the latest addition to its motherboard range which supports Intel’s H170 chipset and 1151-based processors. The Gaming H170T contains an independent audio power design with integrated amplifier. This reduces electrical interference and outputs superb sound quality. The motherboard also features USB 3.0, PCIe M.2, SATA Express and DisplayPort connectivity.
There is a comprehensive software suite including SmartSpeedLAN which prioritizes gaming traffic. The motherboard’s PCB opts for a “Moistureproof” design which protects the product in areas with a high humidity. The eXtreme Durable Capacitors have a lifespan 6.25 times higher than ordinary liquid caps and provides rock-solid stability.
In terms of the motherboard’s layout, there is support for 32GB of DDR3 memory, a multitude of SATA 3 devices and traditional PCIe setup. From an aesthetic standpoint, the motherboard’s black and brown colour scheme won’t be to everyone’s tastes but seems functional enough. Furthermore, the rear I/O cover looks remarkably high-quality given the low recommend retail price of $119.
While it’s not the most spectacular motherboard on the market, it comes in at a very affordable price point and provides more than enough features to please the average user. Additionally, if you don’t have a side panel window or care about a visual colour scheme, then the H170T might just be the perfect motherboard for your setup.
With the release of Intel’s new Skylake platform, more and more people are in the need for DDR4 memory instead of the older generation of DDR3 modules. Sure, there are a few boards that support DDR3, but why go for something lesser when you don’t have to. Kingston’s enthusiast department HyperX has released their newest DDR4 modules that are designed to work with Skylake on the Z170 and 100 series chipsets as well as the a little older X99 chipset.
The new modules from Kingston’s HyperX division are called Savage and come with speeds of up to 3000MHz. The built-in XMP profiles are optimized for both Intel’s Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs and allow for the easy setup that we’ve come to rely on. The new Savage modules are available as single modules up to 8GB and kits up to 64GB, which is the downside here. More and more people are looking to go beyond the natural limitation you deal with when limited to a maximum of 8GB per module, but I’m sure that bigger version already are in the works.
“We are excited to present this new high speed, yet power efficient memory for those gamers and enthusiasts looking to maximize system performance,” said Lawrence Yang, business manager, HyperX. “HyperX Savage DDR4 offers consumers standout performance, and with its asymmetrical die-cast aluminum, low-profile heat spreader and matching black PCB a standout look to upgrade any system.”
As mentioned the modules go up to 8GB capacity each, but there is also a 4GB version available. The frequencies available range from 2133MHz to 3000MHz, allowing you to choose what you need and prevent you from spending a lot of money on something you might not even need. The CAS Latency is rated between 12 and 15 and the modules are backed by Kingston’s known lifetime warranty.
HyperX Savage DDR4 Features and Specifications:
Capacities: 4GB-8GB (single), 8GB-64GB (kits)
Frequency: 2133MHz, 2400MHz, 2666MHz, 2800MHz and 3000MHz
With Intel opening up the CPU line up for all to see, motherboard manufacturers are now offering up the lower market motherboards to reside below the Z170 options. Following previous nomenclature for the Intel chipset, these motherboards will come under the H170, B150 and H110 chipsets.
MSI have now introduced multiple Pro series offerings with these chipsets, all featuring the best that Intel 100 series has to offer with the stability and reliability that MSI is renowned for. The new PRO series will span over 30 different motherboards of different sizes and also includes the Z170 chipset, which means we could see Z170 performance for not a lot of money.
Some of the features include DDR4 Boost, optimised memory channels for direct and uninterrupted memory signals for the best possible performance, Turbo M.2, SATA Express with Turbo U.2, CLICK BIOS 5, M-Cloud and many more.
MSI has received the renowned reliability status from years of motherboard productions with Military grade components. With the high-grade components also comes some incredibly simple user features, ED Debug LED, Overvoltage Protection and VGA Armor for the PCIe slots. These motherboards are a no-fuss option and great for system builders to create or even upgrade consumer computers.
Are you looking forward to the other chipsets from MSI? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
MSI has already shown us what it can do with the Z170 gaming motherboard series, but like every other manufacturer, the features comes at a price; especially on a premium chipset. We have all been waiting for the H170, B150 and H110 chipsets since Skylake launch last month, but we didn’t really know what was going to be offered. Today has seen MSI release multiple motherboard series and with that has expanded the Gaming series with some great looking options.
The range will see the introduction of the BAZOOKA and MORTAR ranges, taking inspiration from the KRAIT series for the colour scheme and will come under the Arsenal Gaming series. The B150A GAMING PRO and B150M NIGHT ELF are added into the Performance Gaming series; offering high performance at an affordable price.
The two leading motherboards will be the Gaming M5 H170 and B150 options, both featuring the usual Turbo M.2, USB 3.1 and GAMING LAN for optimal performance. Here are the key features:
“DDR4 Boost By fully isolating the memory circuitry from other components, DDR4 Boost ensures the memory signal to stay pure for maximum performance and stability.
Audio Boost 3 & Nahimic Studio-grade audio solution for gamers, powered by Nahimic Audio Enhancer. With dual OPA1652 AMPs and metal EMI Shielding you get breathtaking sound quality.
MSI GAMING LAN with Killer & LAN Protect MSI Gaming LAN is powered by the Killer LAN E2400 with intelligent AES 2.0, automatically prioritizes games above other applications. The LAN connector with led features 15KV anti-surge protection for safety.
Military Class V components A new standard in high quality components. The all new Titanium inductor has a solid structure, it can withstand even higher temperatures and has better heat dissipation for more stability and a longer lifespan.
Game in style with the MSI Performance GAMING Series Engineered to provide both a stunning gaming and visual experience, the MSI Z170 Performance GAMING series give you plenty of reasons to show off. The new H170A GAMING PRO, B150A GAMING PRO and B150M NIGHT ELF motherboards are one-of-a-kind. The H170A and B150A GAMING PRO motherboards allow you to customize and display your own unique style with Mystic Light to change color while, again, offering the best gaming features with Audio Boost 3, GAMING LAN and Multi GPU capabilities to serve you in battle and offer the best performance.
Style your PC with the RGB LEDs from Mystic Light Supporting more than 16.5 million colors and many style presets such as breathing, flashing and waving, Mystic Light makes you enjoy and personalize your PC to your own taste. Just change the color to another one using the easy to use Mystic Light APP and make your PC look & feel brand new! With 2048 different colors and 7 different LED modes, the Mystic Light provides infinite possibilities for gamers to personalize their gaming rig.
MSI GAMING LAN with Intel & LAN Protect MSI GAMING LAN found on Performance GAMING motherboards is powered by Intel Gigabit LAN, and features automatic prioritizing of game traffic above other applications using the MSI GAMING LAN Manager. The LAN connector with LED features 15KV anti-surge protection for safety.
Gaming Hotkey Gaming Hotkey enables more functionality using your own keyboard. Simply assign macros to any key and launch your favorite games, load overclocking profiles or do real-time overclocking with the push of a single button. The possibilities are endless!
Steel Armor MSI GAMING motherboards come equipped with reinforced PCI-e connectors with Steel Armor to easily support even the heaviest graphics cards in multi GPU setups.
Dominate MOBA gaming with the Arsenal GAMING motherboards Arsenal GAMING motherboards feature GAMING LAN, Audio Boost, USB 3.1 and unique DDR4 Boost technology with optimized traces and fully isolated memory circuitry, ensuring the memory signals stay pure for optimal performance and stability. With the TOMAHAWK, MORTAR, BAZOOKA and GRENADE motherboard, each model offers its own unique design, the Arsenal GAMING motherboards offer endless gaming fun, whether playing online or offline.
GAMING DNA GAMING on the inside, GAMING on the outside. Red or white LED ambient lights are added to give the motherboard an awesome look and feel, ready for battle.”
Have you already upgraded to Skylake or was you waiting for the rest of the Intel 100 Chipset series to be released before making you mind? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Computex 2015 – Gigabyte didn’t just bring along their laptops at Computex, they also got their motherboards with them and we took a look at them. The highlights are with no doubt the new Z170 based motherboards for Intel’s next and 6th generation processors.
The motherboards are packed with the best of features, from the new high-speed USB 3.1 type-C ports that can provide up to 36W power, 4-way SLI capabilities and 4K output in 60Hz thanks to the HDMI 2.0 connector. We’re used to a lot from Gigabyte, and they didn’t let us down.
Intel H170 chipset based boards such as the GA-H170-Gaming 3 were also on display, perfect for people that don’t overclock their processors and don’t need as many amazing features in their PCs.
Computex 2015 – MSi is one of the biggest names when it comes to enthusiast motherboards. By offer some of the best components in the world and performance to match; it makes a formidable force and a great option to build a computer on.
Today we get to take a quick look at the new range of Skylake motherboards, including the Z170, B150 and H170 chipsets. As we know, the Z170 chipset is the only one to currently feature DDR4 memory channels, but this could change in the future if more people decide to move onto DDR4. What we see today is the more budget-friendly models, but we should see some of the high range models appear either towards the end of Computex or at a closer date to the release of the Skylake processors.
There are currently 2 misprints on the spec sheets, on the H170M Pro-VDH and B150M Pro-VDH; it state 2x DIMM’s, but they quite clearly have 4x DIMM’s. We will keep you updated with any news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.
We don’t have to wait long until Intel releases their new and 6th Gen Core Skylake processors. The new generation is scheduled to arrive in the second quarter and Intel has shown a lot of new systems utilizing the new chips before and during the IDF 2015 in Shenzhen, but the full specifications for the new generation have eluded us so far.
New slides have changed that and we now know a lot more about the new Skylake-S LGA 1151 platform as well as the new Intel 100 series chipsets. The processors are split into three groups for power consumption: dual cores from 35W to 65W quad-cores from 35W to 65W, and enthusiast quad cores at 95W TDP. The will come with support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory.
The iGPU supports the latests APIs such as DX12, OpenGL 4.4, and OpenCL2.0 and also support acceleration for HEVC, VP8, and VP9 media codecs. You can connect up to three independent displays and run a resolution up to 4096×2304.
One of the highlights is for the unlocked K-series processors. They will get enhanced and full range BLCK overclocking for a more precise and better overclock. The new processors will also need a new chipset and that is the new Intel 100 series and they are a little highlight in themselves.
The new chipsets come with increased port flexibility with up to 40% higher input/outputs. The Intel RST 14 technology has PCIe storage support for up to four M.2 and two SATA Express connections, so you won’t be short of high-speed storage anymore.
Motherboards utilizing the new Intel 100 series chipsets are expected to start selling in June, so that’s just around the corner. They are divided into the usual three categories with Z170 for performance, H170 for the mainstream, and H110 as the value option.
If you want it all, you have to spring for the performance series and Z170 chipset and you’ll get three PCIe 3.0 connections (1×16 or 2×8 or 1×8 + 2×4) and the ability to overclock the processor. The two H-series chipsets only give you one x16 connection and you can’t OC your processor. The Z170 will also give you a total of 10 USB 3.0 where the H170 only has 8 and the H110 has 4. The two 170′ chipsets both feature six SATA 3.0 ports where the H110 only has four.
We’ve also got the first leaks on actual processors, both i5 and i7 versions of the new 14nm technology. The i7-6700K have a 4GHz base frequency and a minor turbo up to 4.2GHz. It has four hyperthreaded cores and 8MB cache. The i5-6600K only has a 3.5GHz base clock, but the turbo takes it to 3.9GHz. The i5 only has four single cores and 6MB cache, but both chips support the same DDR3-1600 and DDR4-2133 memory and also come with the same 95W TDP.
Intel’s Broadwell CPUs will continue the shelf-life of Intel’s Z97 and H97 platforms as Intel migrates from the current Haswell CPU architecture next year. Broadwell will arrive on the Intel performance and Mainstream platforms next year, that’s on the Z97 and H97 chipsets and this is expected to occur in Q2 of 2015. However, we won’t just be seeing Broadwell in Q2 of 2015 because according to the latest leaked Intel Roadmap Intel will also offer Skylake shortly after, something we heard about a few weeks back. Skylake will arrive on all Intel platform segments shortly after Broadwell and will take Intel’s chipset family into the new “100” series. Unlike Broadwell and the 9 series which are only offered in the consumer performance and mainstream segments, Skylake and the 100 series will be offered across the entire Intel range of chipsets.
The specifications of Intel’s upcoming chipsets can be seen above. As we see they are not too different to the 8 and 9 series boards; Z87 and Z97 also offer 6 SATA III and 20 PCIe lanes for example. Intel has increased the USB 3.0 count and also the SATA Express and M.2 capabilities of the 100 series. It is important to remember that 100 series motherboards and Skylake CPUs will not be compatible with anything from the 8/9 series or Haswell/Broadwell. Skylake, which are Intel’s sixth generation Core Series CPUs, will utilise a new LGA 1151 socket and they will also have the ability to run DDR3 or DDR4 memory depending on the configuration. Expect exciting things in 2015 from Intel if these rumours are anything to go by!