What Z170 Board do you plan to use?

zaniix

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I was just wondering since I have nothing to do but wait for a 6700k, what z170 motherboard did you buy, are waiting for, or plan to buy?

What features about the board model and or brand helped you make that decision?
 

bigdogchris

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Picked up an Asus z170-A. Doing the Win 7->10 upgrade right now.

The UEFI options are significantly improved over the p67 that I have in my system being replaced. The water pump header is also working well. So far I'm very happy.
 

darme

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Was interested in the gigabyte gaming g1 but haven't seen any of the review folks i trust look at it yet.
 

FnordMan

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Currently waiting for two things before I got Z170
1: An ITX board, have a Newly freed up Ncase M1 (v1) that I want to put my desktop in.
2: The money to buy a motherboard, processor and memory. (may be early next year..)
 

zaniix

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I am going with ASUS Maximus VII Hero

I really like the look of the board and the fan controls, seems to be built with very solid components and supports up to 3600mhz DIMMs

A close second is the MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION
 

Impulse

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OP probably saw my choice/rationale elsewhere already but I'm bored so... ASUS Z170-A, because it gets me everything I need, nothing I don't, it's priced right at $165, and as a bonus it's not red/black like the vast majority.

I went MSI last go round (P67) because the equivalent ASUS boards all seemed to be priced higher, had two ASUS boards before that (a P45 & an A8V for an Athlon 64), maybe three, I forget what I ran for Pentium 3 (possibly an Abit).

The Z97-A & X99-A were both very well reviewed, and initial Z170-A reviews looked good. I think that -A line for ASUS is working out well, sort of what the Pro were before they got pricier. The only thing the Z170-A seems a little lacking on is rear USB ports.

A hub will fix that if I ever need more than 5 + 1 Type C tho (2 for keyboard, HDD, UPS, and display hub right now). I like that it has two internal 3.0 headers, which I'll use (card reader + case ports) and I like that the M.2 slot is lower down than on others.

Beyond that it's pretty standard fare... I don't care about the last gen audio because I use a Xonar STX + optical DAC (had the STX 1st and I keep it for Dolby Headphone), I do like that it has an Intel NIC unlike others. That and the header count actually turned me off current MSI.

Looking forward to trying out ASUS' modem UEFI and their fan control... That was a disappointment with my current MSI, not all headers were controllable, only one thru PWM, etc. It's gathering dust until 6700K, wru... Might start test fitting the SM951 & my R9 290 for a heatsink (on the former).
 

T_A

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Was set on the Hero VIII , but now that i look at the Gigabyte Gaming 7... not sure anymore
The Gaming 7 has intel usb 3.1 and 2 nic`s (intel/killer ) and 2 M.2`s
 

c3k

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MSI or Gigabyte. ~$150 range. Either 6600k or (less likely) 6700k. ATX.
 

Impulse

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I am going with ASUS Maximus VII Hero

I really like the look of the board and the fan controls, seems to be built with very solid components and supports up to 3600mhz DIMMs

A close second is the MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION

Is that the one that has all the SATA ports pointing up? (yuck) Or is that the Krait? I would've probably gone with the Hero if I was looking to spend more, didn't see any reason to tho.

Hero's probably better built and has better cooling or power delivery, but I've never felt held back OC'ing with more budget boards. Maybe I'm just blissfully ignorant... :p

Edit: That XPower Titanium looks nice, real nice, dunno about $300 nice tho. What makes it worth $60 more than the Hero (which is already pricey IMO)?
 
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zaniix

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Is that the one that has all the SATA ports pointing up? (yuck) Or is that the Krait? I would've probably gone with the Hero if I was looking to spend more, didn't see any reason to tho.

Hero's probably better built and has better cooling or power delivery, but I've never felt held back OC'ing with more budget boards. Maybe I'm just blissfully... :p

Edit: That XPower Titanium looks nice, real nice, dunno about $300 nice tho. What makes it worth $60 more than the Hero (which is already pricey IMO)?

First let me say I just noticed a new MSI board listed on new egg called the MSI Z170M MORTAR its only $119 and its Micro ATX, I didn’t see that one announced anywhere

The Xpower Titanium just looks badass, it has a bunch of small addons here and there for overclocking and some very solid components, plus added sound components. I think this is one with a PLX chip on it which would account for the extra cost. It appears to have a lot of extra ports and I think a PLX is the only way they can do that.

How the PLX is implemented could impact the video performance of some boards because if you only plan to run 1 VGA card and they decide to have all of the PCIes go through PLX then there could be a performance hit and this is what I think they did on that G1 board. We need more reviews.

You are correct in that it is overkill, but if that is overkill what do you call that Giabyte G1 for $499? I mean seriously WTF.

I usually go lower end on cost, I agree that you do not have to spend much to get good results. I am just spending a little extra for a few things here and there this time.

I will most likely go with the Hero, I have had ASUS boards ever since I switched from Abit and the one Gigabyete board I had died so I usually just stay with what has worked the best for me.
 

nbuubu

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I'm probably getting the Gigabyte Z170 Gaming 7 ... I've really been interested in the MSI Xpower Titanium, but it won't fit my Noctua D15 without blocking the top PCIE slot. Same with the Gigabyte G1 and the Gaming 5 ... the top slot is blocked. So the Gaming 7 seems to be the compatibility middle ground.

I like that the Gigabyte has Intel NIC and the Intel Alpine Ridge chip for USB 3.1 ... two things I'd like.
 
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I was thinking about getting the EVGA Z170 Classified. I currently have a I7 930 2.8Ghz OC to 3.8Ghz with 2 EVGA 980 Ti's in SLI and I get a score of almost 16k on Fire Strike. The minimum score for a 5930 @ 4.2Ghz and 2 980ti's in SLI is 21k. So my current system is bottlenecked 30%, even though I can run Star Citizen 4K Ultra Settings 60 Hz @ 50 fps, hanger and Area Commander.

Since the 6700 @ 4.7Ghz seems to be equivalent to a 5820 @ 4.3Ghz in gaming. I was also thinking about getting the EVGA Z170 Classified that has the PLX chip so I could add a third 980 Ti Down the road. Three might be worth it in 4K if NVidia improved their drivers and also testing out M.2 raid.

So this is what I was thinking with the 5 PCIe slots on the EVGA Z170 Classified there is a maximum of 40 lanes CPU and PLX. 3 way SLI with no other PCIe slots used would be 8/16/16 (slots 1,2 and 4). If I were to use Slots 3 and 6 for add in card M.2. Slots 1,2 and 4 would be 8/8/8. The 2 M.2's are PCIe 3.0 4x ea, for a total of 32 lanes used out of 40.

In addition there are 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes to the PCH. Slot 5 on the motherboard is PCIe 3.0 4x to the PCH so is the on board M.2 slot. So theoretically you should be able to do 3 way SLI and 4 M.2's in Raid 0.

http://www.evga.com/support/manuals/files/151-SS-E179.pdf

3D Mark is never an indication of anything. It's numbers are entirely arbitrary. The factors that improve 3D mark scores don't have the same effect in actual games. That's been the case pretty much since the beginning. Well at least when they stopped using an actual game engine in the benchmark.

Unfortunately at least for the Titan X a third card does very little in most games if anything at all. Scaling past two GPUs blows as usual. If you really want to go the triple SLI route I'd go with X99. The PLX chip still shoehorns data through the CPU's 16x PCIe lanes. The PLX also adds latency so keep that in mind. It isn't huge, but neither is the "gains" from 3x cards in SLI.

Again the M.2 drives will have to connect to the PCH. You will have to contend with DMI 3.0's limited bandwidth which basically tops out at 40Gbps. So you won't get much benefit out of having that second drive. At least not for reads. Write speeds are much slower and as a result still scale normally.

Any M.2 drives connected via adapter cards (or PCIe based drives) that go through the PLX are going directly to the CPU. You can do that but software RAID will be your only option. The onboard RAID OROM will not be able to detect those. So you will not be able to create a bootable array that way. It's simply how Intel's IRST implementation works.

Thank you, Dan
 
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GotNoRice

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I'm not going to buy anything until I can also buy a 6700k. I'm probably going to end up just getting an ASUS Z170-A, but I would really like to see if I can stretch my budget and get a board with a PLX chip. I had a lot of fun running 2x 4870x2 in quad crossfire in the past, and I'd like to have more options as far as exploring 3 and 4-way multi-GPU in the future. Not because I need it, but simply because I enjoy having fun with tech - really the same reason i'm trying to upgrade to skylake at all and not just sticking with my sandybridge setup.
 

OFaceSIG

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The above post is correct. I too am waiting for a 6700K.

I'm teetering between the Asus Z170-A and the ASRock Extreme4. I may do a Z170 Deluxe if I can get a deal on one.
 

4RunnerTE

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Already have a Maximus VIII Hero. Have used ROG boards in the past with good success.
 

Impulse

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You are correct in that it is overkill, but if that is overkill what do you call that Giabyte G1 for $499? I mean seriously WTF.

Overkill on speed! :D I do enjoy seeing the variety and experimentation across high end boards tho, even if it's not for me... Best way they have of seeing what works and what doesn't, what people even at lower tiers might appreciate, etc.
 

JustLong

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I am going with ASUS Maximus VII Hero

I really like the look of the board and the fan controls, seems to be built with very solid components and supports up to 3600mhz DIMMs

A close second is the MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION

I was eying the MSI as well, but didn't want to wait till Sept. Ended up going with the MSI Z710A Gaming M7 since it had all the features I really wanted from Titanium for less money. I didn't think the color was worth $70 (now $90) after combo savings from newegg.

Started the install last night, but will have to rip to board out and send it back to newegg since I had to buy it again with the CPU combo.
 

Impulse

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I was eying the MSI as well, but didn't want to wait till Sept. Ended up going with the MSI Z710A Gaming M7 since it had all the features I really wanted from Titanium for less money. I didn't think the color was worth $70 (now $90) after combo savings from newegg.

Started the install last night, but will have to rip to board out and send it back to newegg since I had to buy it again with the CPU combo.

Nice looking setup there so far. I'd be curious to see what temps you observe on the SM951 once it's running, since I have the Air 540 too (and no 6700K yet :( ). I haven't test fit it yet but it seemed like the bottom fan might not blow right across it, dunno. Ya went under the mobo with the front panel cables there?
 

JustLong

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Thanks. Ya I like to run most cables behind the board if I can. I feel like the standoffs are a bit taller in this case than I'm used to so it was easier to do than in most cases.

I figure since the sm951 will just be my OS I'm not too worried about the temp. It considered putting in the other m.2 slot, but the green PCB just sticks out like a sore thumb. Also if I pick up a 2nd one I wont have to remove a GPU (not yet installed in the pics) to install it. I've been looking for a low profile heat sink I can slap on the sm951 to hide the PCB.
 

Impulse

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I'm not horribly worried about temps either, but it's something I intend to test, and I've been thinking about slapping some heatsinks on it too.

You going SLI? (you mention one GPU not yet installed, I think) I'm doing CF and I'm mostly worried about the GPU warming up the SSD

I think I might try to do several smaller heatsinks rather than a long one tho, even if the latter might look better. The NAND doesn't really get hot, just the controller, might be counter productive to spread it's heat around unto the NAND chips.

FrozenCPU and Perf PCs have dozens of low profile heatsink that'll fit, shoot I've probably got some laying around, I need to start looking into it.
 

JustLong

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I'm not horribly worried about temps either, but it's something I intend to test, and I've been thinking about slapping some heatsinks on it too.

You going SLI? (you mention one GPU not yet installed, I think) I'm doing CF and I'm mostly worried about the GPU warming up the SSD

I think I might try to do several smaller heatsinks rather than a long one tho, even if the latter might look better. The NAND doesn't really get hot, just the controller, might be counter productive to spread it's heat around unto the NAND chips.

FrozenCPU and Perf PCs have dozens of low profile heatsink that'll fit, shoot I've probably got some laying around, I need to start looking into it.

Yeah, for the first time since my dual VooDoo 2 rig I'm going to do SLI. I wasn't planning on it, but I got a nice bonus this year and figure why not and pulled the trigger on a second 980ti.

Cool I take a look and see if they have anything I like.
 

alyjen

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Asus Z170M-PLUS - running it already with 6600K

it's perfect for what I need, fits well in my Silverstone LC-17 destkop case.

I could fit ATX board, I was running P8P67 last four years in this case, but managing cables, changing drivers, whatever operation I needet to perform inside was painfull.
 
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vmirjamali

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Asrock fatality mini itx. It's by far the only mini itx board that has all the skylake features in it's small form. The stinger quite frankly sucks. Lacks even usb 3.1.
 
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Can anyone talk me out of the GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5?

Seems to be the sweet spot with dual intel NICs, dual M.2 connectors, and USB 3.1 type C on board for around $180. I'm not interested in the ultra gaming $300+ MBs, but I can't really find anything from ASUS that competes in this price segment with feature the UD5 has.
 

HexiumVII

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The above post is correct. I too am waiting for a 6700K.

I'm teetering between the Asus Z170-A and the ASRock Extreme4. I may do a Z170 Deluxe if I can get a deal on one.

I have a 6700k coming in and looking at these two boards also. I really like the theme of the Asia, but I've been using as rock extreme 4/6 for the last few generations and find them solid. Also the front usb 3.1 is a nice feature. But that Asia looks so cool!
 
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I picked up an MSI Z170A M5 with the i7 6700k.

So far the board is completely solid with zero issues.
 

Nonpareil

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Plan on going Asrock Extreme 7+ though would like some reviews on it first before purchase.
 

TechBlaster

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I picked up an MSI Z170A M5 with the i7 6700k.

So far the board is completely solid with zero issues.

I just picked up a M7 and 6700k. Won't have time to put it together for a couple more days though.

There's a new bios for the M7 (dated 9/3 I think). When you built up your M5 did you flash the bios to the latest before loading an OS? No problems with memory off the bat? One of the things that worries me a little is that I've got 32GB of GSkill Ripjaws 4 & am a little concerned that with the as shipped bios it might cause issues if I go right to loading a full OS. I'm guessing the newer bios might provide better memory compatibility.
 
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I just picked up a M7 and 6700k. Won't have time to put it together for a couple more days though.

There's a new bios for the M7 (dated 9/3 I think). When you built up your M5 did you flash the bios to the latest before loading an OS? No problems with memory off the bat? One of the things that worries me a little is that I've got 32GB of GSkill Ripjaws 4 & am a little concerned that with the as shipped bios it might cause issues if I go right to loading a full OS. I'm guessing the newer bios might provide better memory compatibility.

Yes, I did load the new 1.3 BIOS before installing Win 7 or Win 10. No issues with the BIOS and memory or XMP.
 

Astral Abyss

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I just received my new MSI Xpower Gaming Titanium, 6600K, and 2x8GB of 2666MHz Crucial Tactical RAM. Can't wait to see how far it'll all overclock.
 

ckool

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I can't decide between the EVGA classified or the MSI M9... what does everyone think?
 

zaniix

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I would go with the MSI M9,
I dont like EATX
That fact that the EVGA boards supports 4 way SLI on a Z170 board means they did some bandwidth trickery (PLX Chip) that in the end is good for nobody so that alone is a good reason not to buy it
MSI seems to have better on board sound.
MSI has wireless
The only negative for the MSI board is the Killer NIC which in truth will probably be fine once you get all the drivers loaded.
The MSI also has better fan program ability
 
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