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Intel Expands its 6th Gen. Core Processor Lineup

Intel expanded its 6th generation Core "Skylake" processor lineup for the desktop, with seven new models. Built in the LGA1151 package, these chips work on motherboards running the company's 100-series chipset. Besides the overclocker-friendly Core i7-6700K and the i5-6600K already launched, the lineup now includes the i7-6700, i5-6600, i5-6500, i5-6400, i3-6320, i3-6300, and the i3-6100. Of these, the Core i7 and Core i5 models are quad-core, while the Core i3 ones are dual-core.

The Core i7-6700 and i5-6600 are not just different from the i7-6700K and i5-6600K in that they lack unlocked BClk multipliers, they also come with lower clock speeds out of the box. The i7-6700 is clocked at 3.40 GHz with 4.00 GHz max Turbo Boost (i7-6700K offers 4.00 GHz with 4.20 GHz Turbo), while the i5-6600 is clocked at 3.30 GHz, with 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost (i5-6600K offers 3.50 GHz with 3.90 GHz Turbo). The i7-6700 is priced at US $312, while the i5-6600 goes for $213 (single-unit box price).

GIGABYTE Intros Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard

GIGABYTE rolled out its premium SFF gaming PC motherboard that supports 6th generation Core processors, the Z170N-Gaming 5. Bearing the company's coveted G1.Gaming branding, this mini-ITX motherboard supports socket LGA1151 processors, with dual-channel DDR4 memory. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU using a 5-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to two full-size DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory; and the board's lone expansion slot, a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, with a reinforcing brace.

Storage connectivity on the Z170N-Gaming 5 includes an M.2 slot with 32 Gb/s bandwidth (reverse side of the board), two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Display outputs include dual-link DVI and HDMI. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (one type-C, one type-A), five USB 3.0 ports (three on the rear panel, two by header), and four USB 2.0/1.1 ports by headers. Network connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2200 controller), 802.11 ac WLAN (up to 867 Mbps), and Bluetooth 4.2. The onboard 8-channel audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC with audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, and a headphones amp. Dual-UEFI BIOS makes for the rest of it. Expect premium pricing that's just north of $150.

ASUS Announces the TUF Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Motherboard

ASUS today announced TUF Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1, an enduringly-tough new ATX motherboard with many exclusive TUF features, including trailblazing TUF Thermal Armor and TUF Fortifier technologies, TUF ICe, TUF Thermal Radar 2 and TUF Detective 2 for ultimate cooling, strength and easy monitoring and control.

The new Intel Z170 Express-based motherboard for 6th-generation Intel Core processors also boasts bang-up-to-date connectivity with both USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C on board, and delivers 24/7 durability with military-grade TUF Components, upgraded TUF ESD Guards 2 to fend off electrostatic discharge and a five-year warranty for complete peace of mind.

MSI Launches the Z170I Gaming Pro AC Mini-ITX Motherboard

MSI launched its premium socket LGA1151 motherboard for the mini-ITX form-factor, the Z170I Gaming Pro AC. The board offers a premium feature-set, including support for dual-channel DDR4 memory, with MSI's DDR4 Boost technology. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it using a 5-phase VRM. Expansion slots include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, an mPCIe (for the WLAN card), and an M.2 (reverse side of the board), with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring.

Storage connectivity includes an M.2 slot (reverse side of the PCB), with 32 Gb/s PCIe bandwidth, and four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two of which convert to a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s connector. Display outputs include one each of DisplayPort and HDMI. Networking features include a gigabit Ethernet interface (Intel controller), 802.11 ac, and Bluetooth 4.0. The onboard audio solution packs an 8-channel 115 dBA SNR CODEC. There's also a USB 2.0 port specialized for USB headsets. Six USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it.

Intel Core "Skylake" Processors Start Selling

Retail availability of the two Core "Skylake" SKUs Intel debuted, the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K, begins today. This is when you will be able to pick up a boxed chip off the shelf, or order one online. To help ease the socket confusion, online retailers are selling bundles of these chips with compatible socket LGA1151 motherboards at a nominal discount, some of which include DDR4 memory, depending on the motherboard bundled. On its own, the Core i7-6700K is priced at US $343, while the Core i5-6600K is priced at $250.

The i7-6700K offers clock speeds of 4.00 GHz out of the box, with Turbo Boost frequency of 4.20 GHz. It also offers 8 MB of L3 cache, and HyperThreading, which enables 8 logical CPUs for the OS to address. The Core i5-6600K, on the other hand, offers 3.50 GHz clocks with 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost. It offers 6 MB of L3 cache, and lacks HyperThreading. Both are quad-core chips, with unlocked base-clock multipliers, for overclocking. The retail packages of both chips lack stock cooling solutions, so you need to have an LGA115x-compatible cooler ready. The TDP of both chips is rated at 91W. Intel will put out some of the finer micro-architecture details on the 16th of August, 2015. More Core i5 quad-core SKUs in the series will be released on the 29th of August, 2015. Dual-core Core i3 SKUs will be launched towards the end of September, 2015.

MSI Unveils the Z170A PC Mate Motherboard

MSI, which debuted its socket LGA1151 motherboard lineup with its Gaming series, launched its first mainline LGA1151 board, the Z170A PC Mate. A departure from the MS-7850 common-PCB, which the company used on various Intel 8-series and 9-series chipsets, the Z170A PC Mate features a boarder form, and covers all the platform basics. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and features a 6-phase CPU VRM. The CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Other expansion slots on the Z170A PC Mate include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4), wired to the Z170 PCH, three PCI-Express 3.0 x1, and two legacy PCI slots. Storage connectivity includes an M.2 32 Gb/s slot, a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s connector, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Display outputs include one each of DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI 2.0 connectors. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (both type-A and on the rear panel), and six USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, two by header), and four USB 2.0/1.1 ports by header. 6-channel HD audio with ground-layer isolation, and Realtek gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of it. The MSI Z170A PC Mate is priced at US $120.

Intel Debuts its 6th Generation Core Processor Family and Z170 Express Chipset

Intel announced its first 6th generation Core processors, codenamed "Skylake." Built on Intel's swanky new 14 nanometer silicon fab process, and in the new LGA1151 package, these processors bring DDR4 memory to the mainstream, and offer IPC improvements over the previous-generation Core "Haswell" and "Broadwell" processors. Making its debut at Gamescom, Intel is starting its lineup off with two chips that are predominantly targeted at the DIY gaming PC crowd, the Core i7-6700K and the Core i5-6600K quad-core processors. More models in the series will be launched towards the end of this month. The company also announced the Z170 Express chipset.

The Core i7-6700K features a nominal clock speed of 4.00 GHz, with a Turbo Boost frequency of 4.20 GHz. It features 8 MB of L3 cache, and HyperThreading. Its integrated Intel HD 530 graphics ticks at 350 MHz, with 1200 MHz Boost. The Core i5-6600K, on the other hand, features clock speeds of 3.50 GHz, with 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost. It features 6 MB of L3 cache, and lacks HyperThreading. It features the same integrated graphics solution as its bigger sibling. The TDP of both chips are rated at 91W. Both chips feature integrated memory controllers with support for DDR3L-1600 and DDR4-2133. The Core i7-6700K is priced around $350, and the i5-6600K around $243, in 1000-unit tray quantities. The retail packages of both chips will lack a stock cooling solution. The LGA1151 cooler mount will be identical to that of the outgoing LGA1150, so you shouldn't have any problems using your older cooler.

ASRock Unveils the Z170 Gaming ITX ac Motherboard

ASRock unveiled its smallest socket LGA1151 motherboard, the Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac. Built in the mini-ITX form-factor, the board is based on Intel's new Z170 Express chipset, and supports 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors, with DDR4 memory support. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it for the CPU using an 8-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to two standard-size DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Connectivity on the Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac appears to include six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, one SATA Express 16 Gb/s, roundup up the storage; two HDMI and one DisplayPort making up the display connectivity; Intel-made gigabit Ethernet and 802.11 ac with Bluetooth 4.0 making up the networking; and 6-channel HD audio.

Noctua Provides Free Mounting Upgrade for Upcoming Intel "Skylake" Platform

Noctua today announced that it will continue its tradition of supplying customers with its premium-class SecuFirm2 mounting kits for novel platforms free of charge. While most Noctua heatsinks support Skylake's LGA1151 socket out of the box, older models can be upgraded with the NM-i115x kit at no additional cost.

"We're determined to provide the best possible support to our customers and over the years, we've sent many thousands of mounting kits free of charge to users who wanted to upgrade to new platforms", says Mag. Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "With Skylake just around the corner, we're pleased to announce that we'll extend this offer for LGA1151. Owners of older Noctua retail heatsinks that don't support LGA1151 out of the box will be able to upgrade to the new socket free of charge!"

Due to the spacing of the mounting holes being identical on LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155 and LGA1156, Noctua's previous SecuFirm2 mounting systems for LGA115x also support Intel's upcoming 'Skylake' platform. All current Noctua coolers already include SecuFirm2 mounting systems for LGA115x and can thus be used on LGA1150 mainboards without any upgrades or modifications.

Intel Core "Skylake" Retail Boxes Surprisingly Colorful

The retail packaging of Intel's 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors in the LGA1151 package, will be surprisingly colorful, and a throwback to the pre-Pentium 4 era, according to spy-shots of the retail boxes of the upcoming Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K. What's even more surprising, is that packages of the i7-6700K and i5-6600K, which feature unlocked base-clock multipliers, making them primed for overclocking, do not include stock cooling solutions. Their retail packages resemble those of Intel's Core i7 HEDT processors. In the box, you'll find just the processor, its case-badge, and basic documentation.

Both the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K feature the same integrated graphics SKU - HD Graphics 530. Both feature integrated memory controllers that support both DDR3L and DDR4 memory types. The Core i5 predictably lacks HyperThreading, and only features 6 MB of L3 cache, while the Core i7 features HyperThreading, and the full 8 MB present on the chip. The "Skylake" silicon will be built on the 14 nm process.

MSI to Fuse OC and Gaming Lines with Z170 Family

MSI is set to fuse its two premium motherboard lines - OC Series and Gaming, with its upcoming Z170 family. The company's upcoming Z170 XPower Gaming Titanium Edition is the first such product. This stunning looking board features a silvery-white PCB, with the frosty-silver scheme continuing on to the chipset and VRM heatsinks. Its main PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (which are wired to the CPU), feature a chrome tipped slot brace. Built in the ATX form-factor, the Z170 XPower Gaming Titanium Edition draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, 4-pin ATX, and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. It uses a 16-phase VRM with tantalum capacitors, to condition power for the CPU. The CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, from which three are wired to the CPU (electrical x16/NC/NC or x8/NC/x8 or x8/x4/x4); the fourth is electrical PCIe 3.0 x4 and wired to the PCH. Three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion area. Storage connectivity includes two M.2 32 Gb/s slots, two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Display outputs include one each of DisplayPort and HDMI. USB connectivity includes 4 USB 3.1 slots, which include a mixture of type-A and type-C, with a physical type-A port pointing "forwards." MSI AudioBoost 3 audio solution, and Killer E2200 NIC make for the rest of its connectivity. The board features a detachable module with OC controls, called the OC Dashboard. This plugs into headers around the voltage measurement points. You also get automatic overclocking via a rotary knob. MSI will launch this board in its first wave of socket LGA1151 motherboards.

GIGABYTE's Next Gaming 3 Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of GIGABYTE's upcoming Gaming 3 motherboard. We're not allowed to name the chipset, that's as well-guarded a secret as Coca Cola's recipe, so you'll just have to use your imagination. This socket LGA1151 motherboard, is designed to strike a price-features sweetspot, and supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and offers a 7-phase CPU VRM. The socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8, when both are populated). A third PCI-Express x16 slot (electrical gen 3.0 x4), is wired to the PCH, along with three other PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots.

Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Among the USB connectivity are two USB 3.1 ports (with at least one type-C port), at least eight USB 3.0 ports (from which four are given out via headers), and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports. The AMP-UP audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC with ground-layer isolation, an OPAMP tuned for gaming and music, audio-grade capacitors, and EMI shielding. Networking is care of a Killer E2200 chip. Display outputs include D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI. GIGABYTE-exclusive Dual-UEFI BIOS is featured. Also offered is TurboOverclock+, a hardware-based overclock automation and stability testing system. This board will be a part of GIGABYTE's first wave of next-generation motherboards. It will include keys to some cool World of Tanks DLC.

GIGABYTE Z170-SOC Force Motherboard Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of GIGABYTE's flagship socket LGA1151 motherboard targeted at professional overclockers, the Z170-SOC Force. Built in the standard ATX form-factor, this board offers strong CPU and memory VRM, and yet offers a connectivity loadout that's in league with "gaming" class motherboards. To begin with, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, 4-pin ATX, and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. A 24-phase VRM powers the CPU, its heatsink features preparation for liquid cooling. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots (supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory).

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical x16/NC/NC/x4 or x8/NC/x8/x4 or x8/x4/x4/x4); and three PCI-Express 3.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 slots (32 Gb/s), three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, and a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (two type-A, from which one converts to type-C if it's populated), eight USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, four by header), and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports, including two type-A ports near the SATA ports (could help serve as "front-panel" ports in bench-type case setups). Display outputs include one each of DVI, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort (which likely also means availability of Thunderbolt 20 Gb/s). Gigabit Ethernet and GIGABYTE's latest generation Amp-Up audio solution make for the rest of it. A plethora of onboard OC control options are available. Find more pictures at the source.

MSI Z170 Gaming M Series Motherboards Pictured

MSI is readying a trio of Gaming "M" Series socket LGA1151 motherboards with DDR4 memory slots. It's important to note that the "M" does not denote micro-ATX, as it used to, in previous generations. It's inserted before the model number, letting you know that it's an MSI Gaming product, and not by one of its competitors, which imitated its nomenclature, with its Z97 motherboards. The lineup includes the Z170A Gaming M5, the Z170A Gaming M7, and the Z170A Gaming M9 ACK.

The Z170A Gaming M5 offers all the features you need to build a slick gaming PC build, with up to two high-end graphics cards. It offers a 10-phase CPU VRM, an all-PCIe gen 3.0 expansion area, ten SATA ports (including two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s), two M.2 slots (both 32 Gb/s), and AudioBoost III audio, with Killer E2205 GbE. The Z170A Gaming M7 takes things a notch up, with a 14-phase CPU VRM, a "Game Boost" rotary knob that steps up CPU and memory clocks in 11 preset steps, and better onboard audio. The Z170A Gaming M9 ACK leads the pack, with a back-plate, liquid-cooling preparation for the VRM heatsink, and Killer ACK WLAN. All three feature USB 3.1 with both type-A and type-C ports.

MSI Teases the Z170 Krait Gaming Motherboard

MSI released this picture of its upcoming premium black-and-white themed socket LGA1151 motherboard, the Z170 Krait Gaming. Designed for gaming PC builds with up to two graphics cards, this board features white on not just its heatsinks, ports, and connectors (contrasting with black), but also in streaks on the PCB. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and uses an 8-phase VRM to condition it for the CPU. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated).

Other expansion slots on the Z170 Krait Gaming include a third PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4, wired to the PCH), three PCIe 3.0 x1, and a legacy PCI slot. The board offers MSI's AudioBoost 3 onboard audio solution, and Killer E2205 gigabit Ethernet. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two can convert to a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s port), and one M.2 slot. Display outputs include DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. The MSI Z170 Krait Gaming will be part of the company's first wave of LGA1151 motherboards, which launch alongside Intel Core i7-6700K and i5-6600K "Skylake" quad-core processors, in early-August.

Realtek Develops New Onboard LAN Chip to Win Back Gamer Crowd

In a bid to regain market share lost to Intel and Killer (Qualcomm) in the DIY motherboard market, particularly with motherboards targeted at online gaming PC builds; Realtek unveiled a new onboard LAN solution called the Realtek Dragon. Intel and Killer have replaced Realtek as a preferred onboard Ethernet chip provider for DIY PC motherboards over the past two generations, as perception of their lower driver overhead, lower latencies, and other advantages spread. Sensing that merely improving drivers for its existing RTL8111 family of PCIe gigabit Ethernet PHY chips won't fix the situation, Realtek sought to give its latest generation an off-beat brand name that it hopes could appeal to the DIY crowd.

At the heart of the Realtek Dragon is the new RTL8118AS, a PCIe gigabit Ethernet PHY, much like the 8111 family. Realtek says it made refinements to the chip over previous generations, which will offer better performance (lower driver overhead) for traffic with small UDP packets, which is how most online multiplayer games work, and lower power consumption than competing solutions, such as the Killer E2200. Realtek even set a new branding for its chip, and will allow motherboard makers to print it on their PCBs, just as they print branding for Killer or Intel onboard LAN solutions. Realtek Dragon will make its debut with certain socket LGA1151 motherboards by ECS.

Intel to Debut its Core "Skylake" Processors at Gamescom 2015

Intel is expected to debut its 6th generation Core "Skylake" desktop processor family at Gamescom 2015, which will be held in Cologne, Germany, between 5th and 9th August. PC enthusiasts should look forward to two parts in particular, the Core i7-6700K, and the Core i5-6600K. The two quad-core chips will be built in the LGA1151 package, compatible with upcoming motherboards based on Intel's 100-series chipset. Motherboards based on the Intel Z170 Express chipset will allow CPU overclocking. The integrated memory controller of "Skylake" CPUs support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory standards, and should prove to be a transition point between the two.

Following the i7-6700K and i5-6600K with Z170 chipset motherboards, at Gamescom; Intel will launch other parts in the 6th gen. Core processor family between late-August and early-September. Those launches will include i7-6700/6700T, Core i5-6600, 6500, 6400, 6600T, 6500T and 6400T, and H170 and B150 chipsets. Then in late-September, the company will launch the entry-level H110 chipset.

Colorful Also Unveils its Flagship Z170 Motherboard

In addition to its flagship GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, Colorful unveiled its most premium socket LGA1151 motherboard, the Z170 Ymir-G. This board offers a massive 18-phase CPU VRM with provision for liquid cooling, four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3400 memory, three each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots, making up the expansion area. Storage connectivity includes two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, one M.2 32 Gb/s (under a detachable portion of the metal shroud, two USB 3.1, six USB 3.0 ports; two gigabit Ethernet connections, and a premium 8-channel HD audio solution.

Noctua To Give Away Skylake LGA1151 Adapters For Free

Noctua announced in its Computex 2015 presentation that the company will give away adapters that let its CPU cooler models from as far as 2005 support Intel's upcoming socket LGA1151. The company will give away NM-115x retention module, which will let you install its CPU coolers on socket LGA1151 motherboards, which drive Intel's upcoming 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors. Products in Noctua's current product-stack already support LGA1151, as the socket features an identical mount-hole spacing to its predecessors, the LGA1150, LGA1155, and LGA1156. Those with older Noctua coolers that are upgrading from another socket (eg: LGA775 or LGA1366) should be able to write to Noctua with a few simple purchase details, and receive the adapter for free.

High-value ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard Detailed

ASRock is seeking to strike a cost-features sweet-spot around the $130-150 mark with the new Z170 Extreme4 motherboard. ASRock didn't finalize the board's heatsink design, but showed it off at Computex. This ATX form-factor, socket LGA1151 motherboard based on Intel's Z170 Express chipset, features four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3400 MHz memory. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors; and with this generation, is appears that ASRock has finally got the onboard electrical distribution right; with the board lacking any additional power inputs.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express x16 (electrical x4) wired to the PCH, and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Much like the beefier Z170 Extreme7, this board offers three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, but just one M.2 (32 Gb/s) slot; and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. All other essentials for this generation are covered, with two USB 3.1 ports (one each of Type-C and Type-A), and eight USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, four by headers); 115 dBA SNR onboard audio with a headphones amp and ground-layer isolation; and a single gigabit Ethernet interface (Intel controller).

ASRock Z170 Extreme7 Motherboard Pictured Up Close

Here's one of the first pictures of ASRock's flagship socket LGA1151 motherboards from its mainline Z170 Extreme series, the Z170 Extreme7. This board offers an exhaustive feature set, and should appeal to gamers and overclockers alike. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, with no other auxiliary inputs. The LGA1151 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 MHz memory; and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4); the fourth PCIe x16 slot is electrical x4, wired to the PCH. There's also an mPCIe slot; which will seat a WLAN+Bluetooth card on the /ac variant of this board.

The Z170 Extreme7 is the first motherboard to feature three M.2 slots, all three of which are PCIe gen 3.0 x4 (32 Gb/s). Other storage options include three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board features two USB 3.1 ports, one each of Type-C and Type-A; and eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, four by headers. Display outputs include one each of dual-link DVI, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. The onboard audio is an ASRock designed Purity Sound III solution, which combines a Realtek ALC1150 CODEC with ground-layer isolation, a headphones amp, and audio-grade capacitors. Other features include dual-BIOS (manual switching), and a high-quality plastic sheath running along its I/O area.

ECS Unveils L337 Z170 Claymore and Blade

ECS unveiled two socket LGA1151 motherboards based on the Z170 Express chipset, under its L337 line of gamer-centric products - the ATX Z170-Claymore, and the micro-ATX Z170-Blade (pictured in that order). The two pictured below are pre-launch versions, the company didn't finalize their heatsink design or color-scheme. The Z170-Claymore features a 12-phase CPU VRM, four DDR4 DIMM slots, and five PCI-Express x16 slots. Of these, three are wired to the CPU (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4); and two are gen 2.0 x4, wired to the Z170 PCH. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s, one SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, one M.2, two USB 3.1, six USB 3.0, Realtek-made gigabit Ethernet and HD audio, and 2-way SLI support. The Z170-Blade, on the other hand, is a micro-ATX board with a 9-phase CPU VRM, two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCIe 2.0 x1, six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, an M.2 slot; 6-channel HD audio, and gigabit Ethernet, making up the modern connectivity. Two USB 3.1 and six USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it.

BIOSTAR Shows off Hi-Fi B150Z5 with DDR3 and DDR4 Memory Slots

Here's one of the first glimpses of a socket LGA1151 motherboard featuring both DDR3 and DDR4 memory slots, the Hi-Fi B150Z5 by BIOSTAR. The board supports up to 16 GB of DDR3L-1600, and up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133. The board is driven by Intel's mid-range B150 Express chipset, and should do just fine for gaming builds with single graphics cards. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, one PCIe 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), three legacy PCI, and one PCIe 2.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s (from which two wire out as SATA-Express 16 Gb/s). BIOSTAR's Hi-Fi 6-channel onboard audio solution, gigabit Ethernet (Intel controller), and six USB 3.0 ports, make for the rest of its connectivity. The board features dual-UEFI BIOS.

ASUS Z170 Motherboard Lineup to Retail Design Scheme from X99 Series

ASUS' mainline motherboard lineup based on the upcoming Intel Z170 chipset could retain the black + glossy white design scheme from the company's X99 mainline motherboard series. The company showed off its premium upper-mid segment Z170-Pro motherboard, which could be sold around the $170-$190 price range. This socket LGA1151 motherboard offers a 16-phase CPU VRM, a new high-capacity VRM heatsink design; and four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3000 memory.

Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4), and four PCI-Express 2.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s, from which two wire out as a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s slot; and an M.2 slot. Other modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, two Intel-driven gigabit Ethernet interfaces, 802.11 ac WLAN with Bluetooth 4.0, and Crystal Sound 2 audio (115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade capacitors, EMI shielding, and DTS Ultra PC II).

ASRock Next Generation Fatal1ty Motherboard Lineup Pictured

ASRock is designing multiple Fatal1ty Killer branded socket LGA1151 motherboards, which it plans to differentiate using a new naming scheme - K3, K4, and K6. The company showed off some of its latest such boards at Computex. The series is led by the Z170 Gaming K6, followed by the Z170 Gaming K4, H170 Performance, and the Z170-e ITX. All four feature the familiar red+black color scheme, and Fatal1ty branding.

The Z170 Gaming K6 leads the pack with a strong 13-phase VRM, 3-way multi-GPU support, dual-channel DDR4-3000 support, dual SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, Ultra M.2 (32 Gb/s), Killer E2200 NIC, and high-end 115 dBA SNR audio. The Z170 Gaming K4 and H170 Performance share a common PCB design, offering all essentials from this platform, and are intended for gaming PC builds with single graphics cards; the Z170 ITX offers a decent feature-set despite its space constraints, including mSATA, Ultra M.2 (32 Gb/s), SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and USB 3.1 ports. ASRock did not finalize heatsink design.
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