Intel Z170 Motherboard Roundup: Asrock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Supermicro & EVGA boards tested

By Steve
Nov 9, 2015
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  1. Launched alongside the new Skylake Core i7 and Core i5 processors, the accompanying Intel Z170 chipset shipped on motherboards from $100 right up to $500 for the Z170X-Gaming G1. That said, most capable Z170 motherboards can be had for between $200 and $250 and today we'll be looking at half a dozen options in this bracket.

    The most expensive boards to be featured in our roundup are the Asrock Z170 Extreme7+ and Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero, with both costing $240. Then we have the Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 7 at a slightly more affordable $220, followed by the MSI Z170A Gaming M7 at $210.

    For around $200 the Supermicro MBD-C7Z170-SQ and EVGA Z170 FTW can be had and we're interested to see how they compare to the more expensive boards in our roundup.

    Read the complete review.

  2. deemon

    deemon TS Booster Posts: 199   +46

    Intresting reading. Now, mITX version of this article, please? :)
    Steve likes this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    ~$150 ATX boards would be far, far more interesting.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    If I was to choose one of these boards it would be Gigabytes mobo as well, it offers the best features for the moolah yet it's the most dreadful looking of the bunch to me. That wouldn't put me off though, I'll leave the side windows and RGB lighting gimmicky stuff to the peach fuzz, puberty and zits brigade.
    That said I do insist on neat and tidy build with all the cables properly routed and with good, clean airflow but colour coordination doesn't make it onto my list.
    lripplinger and Steve like this.
  5. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 252   +84

    I found the power idling tests interesting. Also not surprised that for the money, Gigabyte kills it again for the features you get. The look doesn't matter to me since I wouldn't be staring at it. It goes in the computer case, and is out of sight. I have always had mixed feelings about Asus. So their vaunted ROG board costs more, but for what it offers, you are getting ripped off it sounds like. Sounds like Asus needs to reevaluate that product line. Now, convince those manufacturers to send you motherboards in the $150ish price range so we can see how they compare, since that is most likely what they sell the most of anyway.
  6. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 251   +86

    I really like Gigabyte products, right now I have a budget Z97MX Gaming 5 and it works really well, I even overclock my 4790K to 4.2 GHz.
  7. didier ortega

    didier ortega TS Rookie

    Dont forget the gigabyte dual bios
  8. DavidZ

    DavidZ TS Rookie

    Great write up! This really helped me close in on potential motherboards for my z170 build. Thanks! I believe the first chart on the benchmarks page regarding memory bandwidth is supposed to say "higher is better" instead of lower is better. I mean, higher memory bandwidth is a good thing, right? Anyways, no big deal for those who know what they're looking at... but I'd hate to misguide new builders on such a thing (even though there is a negligable difference between the boards).

    My two choices now are between the Asrock and the Gigabyte (though I must say I do not like the look of the gigabyte at all). I'm on a z67 1156 board from Asus now and it was a solid board from back then... but now as far as I'm concerned, Asus has lost this round on all their z170 boards. RIP Asus.
  9. dizazter

    dizazter TS Rookie

    For those that do not like the color of the gigabyte g7, just remove the covers. I removed the covers on my g7 and am satisfied. I think removing the covers improves the cooling as well.

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