With the introduction of the Intel Z170 chipset, we see a number of changes from the previous Z97 and several improvements. First and foremost is a new socket specification for the CPU, the 1151. Although not compatible with previous socket interfaces as far as the CPU is concerned, the overall dimensions are nearly identical, allowing for interchangeability with other 1150/1155/1156 compatible coolers.
Another change is the switch to DDR4 memory. The DMI version 3.0 grants a greater number of PCI-E lanes between CPU and chipset, allowing manufacturers to implement more M.2 or SATA Express as well as more USB 3.0 ports. For our Skylake build, Gigabyte has sent over their Z170X-UD5 motherboard as well as an M.2 to U.2 Mini-SAS add-in card.
Even now, months after the initial launch of Skylake, the Core i7 6700K processors can be troublesome to come by. For this build we'll be using its lesser sibling, the i5 6600K, along with the Kingston HyperX Fury 2x8Gb DDR4-2666 memory we reviewed last month.
Join us as we take a closer look at the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5.