[Last Updated: 25th July 2018]
A number of products are available online that can help to enhance your gaming experience, from gaming earbuds to gaming desks. But for the ultimate gaming experience you really need to think about your hardware. My personal opinion is that you’ll need a high-quality motherboard, and the z170-motherboards offer some of the best features available. These products are great for gaming, and they’re just as useful for general computing.
The z170-motherboards are designed to work well with certain CPUs, and they’re popular chipsets for powerful gaming rigs. The Intel Z170 motherboards are made to be compatible with the new Skylake-S CPUs because these components are physically different than those of the previous generation.
A major advantage of using a Z170 motherboard is the added support for DDR4 memory, and with the help of DMI 3.0 technology, it offers faster communication between the motherboard and CPU.
Some additional benefits are additional PCI-E lanes, Intel RST12 and two DIMMs per channel. When compared with the Z97 motherboard, the Z170 features DMI 3.0, and it even has Intel Smart Response technology.
These newer motherboards offer 20x PCI-E 3.0 lanes and support overclocking of the CPU. There are also several differences between these chipsets, and the biggest change that you can expect from the Z170 motherboard is the move to the 1151 socket, which is designed to support the Skylake-S CPUs.
These processors are much more powerful than previous generations and require the new socket on the Z170 motherboards.
Buyer’s Guide On Z170 Motherboards
When shopping for these products, there are several things to consider. The overall performance of a computer is based on the RAM, graphics card and processor, but the motherboard is like the glue that holds everything together.
The motherboard determines what you can run on your computer. The compatibility of different types of hardware is based on your motherboard, and since it’s designed to hold all the components, it’s like your computer’s body.
Games and software programs call for specific system requirements, and if these requirements aren’t met, the game won’t run properly.
The motherboard in a computer determines what CPU can be used with it, and since the CPU is very important, you should choose a motherboard based on your preferred CPU.
The Z170 motherboards are designed with socket 1151, and they can support several different processors. Some of the best CPUs that you can use with this motherboard are the i7-6700, i7-6700K, i7-6700T and i7-770K.
Integrated or Non-integrated
The two main types of Z170 motherboards are integrated and non-integrated models, and each type comes with its own set of benefits and flaws. The integrated motherboards are very common, and they’re used in most modern computers because they’re cheaper to produce. Integrated means the serial ports, connectors and peripheral devices are built into the motherboard.
The major advantage of this type of board is that it saves a lot of space, and it’s also much more affordable. The downside is that you might have to replace the entire motherboard is one of the components fails.
If you have more money and want full customization over the ports and peripherals, then it’s better to get a non-integrated motherboard. With this type of motherboard, you have full control over the components, and you can install them using expansion RAM slots.
The major downside of choosing a non-integrated board is the lack of space, and since you’ll need to purchase all of the components separately, you’ll end up paying more money over the long run.
The major advantage of choosing a non-integrated board is that you don’t need to replace the entire board if a single part fails.
Comparison Table of the Best Z170 Motherboards
|MotherBoard Image||Product Name||Max Memory||Memory Slots Available||Rating||Price|
|EVGA Z170 Classified K Intel Socket LGA-1151||4 DIMM Dual-Channel DDR4 3600MHz+ (Up To 64GB)||-||4.5 out of 5||$$|
|MSI Z170A MPOWER Gaming Titanium||Memory: 4x ddr4|
Unbuffered, max capacity of 64GB
|4||3.9 out of 5||$$|
|Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3||4x DDR4 64GB||4||4.0 out of 5||$$|
|Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3||4x DDR4 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel - 64GB||4||3.9 out of 5||$$|
|MSI Pro Solution Intel Z170A SLI Plus||4x DDR4, Unbuffered, Max Capacity of 64GB||4||4.0 out of 5||$$|
|Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 DDR4 Motherboard||4x DDR4 DIMM Slots and Dual Channel||4||4.0 out of 5||$$|
|EVGA Z170 FTW||4 DIMM Dual-Channel DDR4 3200MHZ+ (64GB)||4||4.0 out of 5||$$|
|MSI Performance Z170A Krait Gaming 3X||64 GB||4||4.2 out of 5||$|
The EVGA Z170 supports Intel 6th generation processors, and to support these CPUs, it’s designed with an LGA-1151 socket.
This motherboard features the Intel Z170 chipset, and it comes with an enthusiast layout, which supports two-way SLI and PhysX. With four dual-channel DIMM memory slots, this motherboard can hold up to 64GB of RAM, and it supports the new DDR4 memory.
The Intel Z170 chipset can be used with eight CPU threads, which is why it’s great for eight-core processors. It also supports PCI-e from PCH, and despite the fact that it has more to offer than previous chipsets, it uses less electricity.
With a titanium design, this motherboard looks better than many competing products, and since it comes with a new socket, it supports Intel Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5 and i7 processors.
This product is made with four DDR4 memory slots, and unlike older models, it’s capable of running DDR4 memory. The MSI Z170A MPOWER can hold 64GB of memory, which is more than enough for most computing and gaming applications.
It features three PCI-Express 3.0 slots and has several other ports for additional connectivity. This product comes with an Intel i219 Gigabit ethernet controller, and it’s compatible with AMD three-way CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI technology.
The Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 is another popular choice, and it supports 6th Generation Intel Core processors. For memory, it has four slots for DDR4 RAM, and if you need plenty of storage, it’s designed with six SATA 6Gb/s connectors. It also comes with three SATA Express connectors.
The Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 offers several PCI slots and has built-in support for two-way AMD CrossFire technology. For a decent gaming experience, it features onboard graphics and uses HDMI and DVI-D ports to send display information to an external screen.
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 motherboard is designed with an LGA1151 socket and supports 6th Generation Intel Core processors. For great memory performance, it has four slots for RAM, and it has no problem supporting DDR4 memory.
With many PCI slots to offer, this motherboard offers full customization over the components, and it’s compatible with the newest and fastest processors.
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 comes with Realtek ALC1150 7.1-chanel audio, and for maximum audio quality, it uses a high-definition CODEC. This motherboard offers several SATA connectors for storage devices, and if you need to connect devices, there are several built-in USB ports.
The MSI Pro Solution Intel Z170A SLI Plus offers many PCI-Express slots, and when compared to competing products, it delivers better multi-GPU support.
The additional GPU support is important for gaming rigs, and with several open ports, you can choose the best location for improved airflow to your graphics cards.
This motherboard is compatible with an AMD CrossFire setup, and it’s also a popular choice for running NVIDIA SLI. The MSI Pro Solution Intel Z170A SLI Plus supports the latest CPUs, and it’s a top choice for Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 processors.
The ASUS Z170-A ATX is designed with white aesthetics, which looks good with many different chassis designs and color schemes.
With five-way optimization, this product offers more features than most motherboards, and it’s a popular choice for the latest Intel Core 6th Gen processors.
Over the span of 25 years, ASUS has sold over half a billion motherboards, and the ASUS Z170-A ATX is a great example of why the company is doing so well. This motherboard features a turbo processing unit, and it can automatically overclock your CPU to 95 percent of its maximum frequency.
The Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 is made to support 6th generation Intel Core processors, and with four DDR4 RAM slots, it can hold up to 64GB of memory. It offers several PCI slots, and the Realtek ALC1150 audio can handle 7.1 channels and uses a high-definition audio CODEC.
This motherboard features LED path lighting and has support for several storage devices. It also has several slots for USB 3.0, which is great for connecting various devices.
The EVGA Z170 FTW is engineered for gaming and advanced computing, and with the latest hardware, it offers significantly better performance than its predecessors. This motherboard features a new BIOS GUI interface, and it’s designed for faster performance.
When compared with competing products, it offers better support for CPU overclocking, and the efficient VRM will fill your CPU with clean power. The EVGA Z170 FTW has enough memory slots to hold 64GB of RAM, and it has native support for NVIDIA SLI graphics technology.
The MSI Performance Z170A Krait Gaming 3X motherboard offers support for Intel Core 6th Generation processors, and it’s compatible with the Intel Core i7, i3, i5 and Pentium processors. With the Z170 chipset, this motherboard comes with four memory slots, and it supports up to 64Gb of RAM.
It also has several PCI-Express 3.0 slots, which allow you to increase the performance of your system. This product even has six SATA connectors, and they’ll allow you to connect multiple storage devices.
The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII GENE is another popular Z170 motherboard, and with an Intel socket 1151, it supports many of the latest Intel Core processors.
For easier system tuning, it features five-way optimization, and the ASUS PRO Clock technology allows for an extended BCLK overclocking range.
This product supports DDR4 RAM and has four SATA connector cables. It comes with an Intel I219-V Gigabit ethernet chip, and for zero lag while gaming, it has ROG GameFirst.