This Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 carries the features you would expect (DualBIOS, SLI / Crossfire support, PCI Express, AMP-Up Audio, Audio Trace Lighting, Etc). Plus, some new ones (Dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet (supporting Teaming), Dual M.2 Slots (supporting RAID), USB 3.1 and USB “Type C” Connector, Etc.). It is built with high quality components (long life caps, high quality audio caps, ultra durable chokes, etc.), plus, the extra stainless steel PCI-e 3.0 x16 covers to add strength to the slots.
That said, we had some problems with the motherboard during the build. During overclocking sessions, if the system locked up, we were forced to shut down by holding the power button. During the next system restart, the system would go into a reboot loop (requiring shutting the PSU off and draining all of the power from the motherboard). This happened with both of the Skylake processors, two PSUs, different memory, etc. We also had the system lockup a few times after installing all of the Gigabyte App Center Apps. I am fairly certain that a conflict between Gigabyte’s Cloud Station (Server) App and my NZXT CAM software is the culprit. There currently aren’t any BIOS or App Center updates to fix either of these issues. I am sure that after the Skylake processors are readily available, Gigabyte will deal with these issues.
After working with Gigabyte, they provided us with a BIOS update and newer App Center Software that cured both problems.
The newer BIOS (F4b) and App Center Updates (including newer Apps) are available for download on the Gigabyte Website.
- Super easy for oveclocking with savable profiles.
- Metal PCI-e covers add strength for heavy GPUs
- One (1) USB 3.1, plus One (1) type “C” connector.
- The Dual PCI-e Gen3 x4 M.2 Slots supports RAID.
- Dual Gigabit Intel LAN ports supports “Teaming”.
- Motherboard is full ATX length (9 mount points).
- Caught in re-boot cycle a few times (fixed with updates)
- Gigabyte App Center Install caused lockups (fixed with updates).
- There are Not enough USB “Type C” Connectors for the future.
- It would be great if the Audio Trace Lighting were RGB.
The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 is currently available at the time of this review for $189.99 (Newegg)
During our system benchmarking, we saw low temperatures on our Intel Skylake processors (18 degrees C at idle / 38 degrees C at 100% load) at stock speeds. The processor was taken directly from retail channels, so, no special CPU here. We also used a stock NZXT Kraken X60 280mm AIO Cooler. The super cool temperatures alone may be a good reason to upgrade to skylake and Z170 for some. However, unless you have need for USB 3.1 and M.2 RAID, it may not be enough for some of you.
With an MSRP of $189.99, I find it to be a very capable motherboard with a plethora of features and well worth the price. However, I have to wonder why the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming5 (which is almost identical, albeit a gaming color theme) is actually $169.99. We also had some problems with the board, which I’m sure will be ironed out soon enough. Certainly nothing to keep this motherboard from being Mod Zoo Approved!