EVGA's Z170 Stinger ($200) motherboard, something we reported on months ago, markets itself on enthusiast-level features in a mini-ITX form factor. The motherboard hosts Intel's newest “Performance” Z170 chipset, meaning it supports the latest i7-6700K, i5-6600K, and all the other forthcoming Skylake CPUs.

The Z170 Stinger is inherently restricted by opting for a mini-ITX form factor, but attempts to make the best of the space available with careful selection of supported I/O through the chipset. The unit hosts a single PCI-e slot and two memory slots – standard for mITX – along with a set of four SATA ports. This is reserved compared to larger motherboards, but allows a 6.7” x 6.7” size for use in SFF or gaming HTPC system builds.

Our review of the EVGA Z170 Stinger gaming motherboard will run through the specs, cooler clearances, BIOS, and relevant tests. Aesthetics aren't really something we like to discuss – the photos do that – but we'll talk through a few key points on that front, too.

PAX now behind us, we've returned to our new-found efforts of addressing direct reader questions via YouTube and twitter comments. This new series has been dubbed “Ask GN” and, to our great satisfaction, has thus far yielded excellent discussion points on current topics. A couple of article ideas have emerged from the questions, too, so keep them coming!

The list for episode 3 saw inclusion of open vs. closed liquid cooling loop discussion, cable brief management tips, device controllers on a motherboard, and whether or not a motherboard impacts the gaming experience.

We recently got to visit CyberPower's offices in California, where the company had a few Z170 motherboards on display in a conference room. We're not talking Skylake specifics for a little while yet, but we did want to share these ASRock and Gigabyte Z170 motherboards with everyone.

Details and photos of the new ASRock and Gigabyte Skylake-S Z170 motherboards are below. No prices yet exist for any of these boards, though they likely parallel their 9-series counterparts.

Note that these boards may be incomplete versions, so some specifications could change in the final production run. The Gigabyte board is bare and not fully outfitted, but gives an initial look at the platform.

Z170 is around the corner. The new Intel chipset will succeed Z97, which was launched alongside the Devil’s Canyon and Haswell Refresh CPU lines, and Z87, launched with Haswell. Z170 is expected to offer similar features to Z97, including lane count, and will continue to perform well for overclocking without massive VRMs.

Following our massive Fury X and Z170 motherboard feature pieces, we thought we'd take a moment to revisit some simpler how-to topics. Today's guide shows how to jump a motherboard without connecting the PWR_SW header that goes to the case power button.

Intel’s newest CPU, Skylake-S, is coming up soon -- early August, rumor has it. Alongside a new CPU comes a whole new chipset and series of motherboards. The motherboard manufacturers are all showing off their latest Z-series Intel motherboards of late, hosting the newest Z170 chipset for the next iteration of Z-class motherboards for Intel CPUs.

Skylake isn’t the topic of discussion for this article as it is unreleased (and little is publicly sharable), so we’re instead focusing on the current information of the newest LGA 1151 Z170 chipset for Intel’s Skylake.

ASUS, ASRock, Biostar, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI have all shown off their latest products – each not wanting the other to steal the spotlight. We have compiled the specs for the new Skylake Z170 chipset motherboards for our latest round-up. Our previous guide was the Z97 roundup. I suppose a yee-haw is in order.

Intel's Skylake-S PCs will soon be in-hand for analysis, with a launch expected in the first week of August. Gigabyte is among the first motherboard manufacturers to showcase its Z170 motherboards, starting with its high-end G1 Gaming board in red and white.

We haven't seen many boards shipping with pre-installed, soldered CPUs lately. AMD's old E350 series comes to mind as drawing some attention, but that's several years back. That's not to say that the option has vanished from market – it's just been a corner that we don't pay much attention to from the gaming side of the industry.

Over the course of our recent GTX 980 Ti review, we encountered a curious issue with our primary PCI Express port. When connecting graphics cards to the first PCI-e slot, the card wouldn't detect and resolution would be stunted to lower values. Using one of the other slots bypassed this issue, but was unacceptable for multi-GPU configurations – something we eventually tested.

This short posting comes following a reader question pertaining to motherboard selection. Some recent Intel-based motherboards now offer support for USB3.1, which operates at an impressive 10Gbps (equivalent to Thunderbolt 1.0) and uses an insertion-agnostic header. The speed boost is easily utilized when driving external SSDs, which will throttle on the 4.8Gbps cap of USB3.0 – especially after overhead.

MSI was the first to introduce USB3.1 on motherboards earlier this year, demoing the Krait white/black boards at CES 2015. Other manufacturers have moved to offer firmware updates on existing platforms for “unlocking” USB3.1. ASUS is among these, shipping its X99-S motherboards with a natively-supported USB3.1 add-on card.

We moderate comments on a ~24~48 hour cycle. There will be some delay after submitting a comment.

Advertisement:

  VigLink badge