Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


Intel’s latest Skylake architecture is built on the 14nm manufacturing process and designed to replace the previous generation, Haswell Refresh CPUs. However, the Core i7-6700K is currently a poor value proposition throughout Europe and costs upwards of £350. While the Z170 motherboards are an affordable proposition, some consumers are still waiting for CPU price cuts before considering making the switch. Furthermore, the i7-6700K is priced incredibly close to the X99-based Core i7 5820K which contains 6 cores and provides enhanced performance in multi-threaded workstation tasks.

Eventually, Skylake K-series CPUs should fall to reasonable pricing around the £250 mark and increase the sales of Z170 motherboards. The latest motherboard to arrive at eTeknix headquarters is the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH which supports 3-way SLI, Turbo B-Clock Tuning IC, SATA Express, USB 3.1 Type-C and 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 capable of powering dual 4K displays at 60Hz. Gigabyte’s engineering team has developed a feature-rich motherboard which utilizes the fastest connectivity options on the market. As a result, I expect it to perform remarkably well in every benchmark.

Packing and Accessories

The Z170X-UD5 TH is bundled in a visually appealing black and gold box which clearly displays the unit’s Thunderbolt 3 functionality.

On the rear, Gigabyte focused on the huge connectivity options and impressive speeds which come from Thunderbolt 3, and Intel’s USB 3.1 controller.

In terms of accessories, the motherboard comes with a user’s manual, installation guide, I/O shield, SLI bridge and driver disk.

Gigabyte also includes a G Connector to easily conect front panel headers, SATA cables and Rear I/O dust covers. These covers should prolong the rear connector’s lifespan as dust build-up can cause damage over time.

Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH is the First Thunderbolt 3 Certified Motherboard

Gigabyte proudly announced that they are bringing Thunderbolt 3 to the desktop PC by launching the GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard with support for the 6th Generation Intel Core processors, the first Intel Thunderbolt 3 certified of its kind.

The whole thing is powered by Intel’s own Thunderbolt controller and the Thunderbolt 3 protocol is available over two USB Type-C connectors on the back I/O of the GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH. The new protocol doubles up the bandwidth, allowing for up to 40Gbps per connection.

You can use that bandwidth to connect pretty much anything, as it natively supports both DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.1. When it comes to daisy-chaining devices, we get the same as on the Thunderbolt 2 connection: 6 per channel.  The available bandwidth is enough to drive two displays in 4K resolution at 60 FPS or one display in 5K resolution.

The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH brings along all the other features you’ll want, such as Gigabit Ethernet, support for SLI and CrossFireX configuration, Ultra Durable PCIe one-piece metal shielded slots, and support for the latest NVMe protocols over the M.2 connector.

The GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH also features the long lifespan Durable Black solid capacitors that are rated for 10K hours and the exclusive GIGABYTE DualBIOS technology to protect your PC’s most crucial component.