SFF.Network [SFF Network] Intel Z170 motherboards launch

Intel’s new Skylake platform partially launches today, starting at the high-end with two new CPUs (the i7-6700K and i5-6600K) and new motherboards based on the Z170 chipset. The rest of the CPU lineup and the other motherboard chipsets will be released at a later date.

Read more here
 

jeshikat

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,969
4,781
Kinda disappointing, many of the Mini-ITX and microATX boards don't have entries on the manufacturer websites so that suggests they won't be available right away. They may be waiting for the full Skylake launch in a few weeks.
 

MJVR1

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jun 10, 2015
92
55
The only ITX option I can find is the EVGA stinger, which is horrible overpriced. Looks like the others will be released in the "Q3" release date of the other chipsets. The Matx selection kinda sucks too. I would pay a couple extra dollars to have a Intel Nic on the MlG360NoScope gaming edition mATX motherboard from gigabyte.
 

jeshikat

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,969
4,781
Yeah, the Stinger looks nice but that alone isn't enough to justify the price considering the paltry featureset. For not much more you could do a 5820K build with the ASRock X99 ITX board.
 

EdZ

Virtual Realist
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,107
The Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI has turned up at some UK retailers, though isn't on gigabyte's site yet. It appears to have a rear m.2 2260/2280 slot (through-hole standoffs visible from the front), unlike the EVGA board's nigh-useless vertical E-keyed slot.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
SFFn Staff
May 9, 2015
5,865
4,922
I don't get the current interest for manufacturers to include SATA Express en-masse, but not take M.2 and U.2 seriously.
Has there ever been a real SATA Express product available or is any real product announced ? Not that I'm aware of. Is M.2 and U.2 on the market right now ? Yes and YES !

Is it really worth the fallback to 2 SATA ports ?
 

EdZ

Virtual Realist
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,107
M.2: usually limited capacity of SSDs (so far), and can consume a lot of board space due to clearance. You can just about squeeze a 2280 on the back of a board, but 22110 is right out (plus you need to route a PCIe 4x link across the board and through to the other side). U.2 is not fully standardised yet: the DRIVE end is (SFF-8639 adopted), but the standard does not define what happens at the OTHER end of the connector yet. SFF-8643 could turn into a de-facto standard (which might annoy the Serial attached SCSI guys with overloading their alread-in-use connector), or it could be defined as something else entirely.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
SFFn Staff
May 9, 2015
5,865
4,922
I don't agree with you those are the real issues with M.2 and U.2. It's not like there haven't been boards with three full-length M.2 sockets already and even U.2 ports have started showing up.

I wouldn't call 1TB SSDs "limited" when 2TB SSDs are unaffordable for most. The mainboard space doesn't need to be consumed if using a daughterboard, which I think is prefered for mITX boards. The 22110 format is not going to be a popular format (atleast for now) for M.2, with a 1TB SSD (without stacked NAND) fitting on the 2280 format, today.

If U.2 isn't standardized yet, why is Intel selling their SSD 750 already ? It's compatible with SAS 12Gbps backplanes too, so it's pretty much set in stone as the intended solution (U.2 port on the mainboard, SAS-port on the drive) works.
 

jeshikat

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,969
4,781
Updated the article with a note about the Z170N-WIFI and the MSI Z170M Mortar:


From the Newegg listing. Nice looking board but it's really frustrating how the PCH has all these lanes available so stuff like M.2 doesn't have to compete with the CPU lanes and yet almost all the Skylake microATX boards are incapable of SLI.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,243
2,361
freilite.com
Gigabyte looks rather promising in the mITX department. It will be interesting whether and when ASUS will announce a Z170 mITX board as well.

Just noticed the Supermicro board. (BTW, aibo, you forgot to erase a "Nothing" in that part of the article)
Would that theoretically fit in an M1 if you were to relocate the SFX PSU onto the side fan bracket? Could be interesting to use that for crossfire R9 Nanos and an additional expansion card.
 

EdZ

Virtual Realist
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,107
Doesn't look like it: the 'top' PCIe 16x slot is one slot 'down' from the usual position, so it's effectively a 4-slot height board.
 

jeshikat

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,969
4,781
Gigabyte looks rather promising in the mITX department. It will be interesting whether and when ASUS will announce a Z170 mITX board as well.

There's the Z170i Pro Gaming. JJ from Asus also said in the PCPartPicker livestream (don't have a timestamp) that an Impact is for sure going to come out in the future, but he didn't give any kind of timeframe for that.
 

Vittra

Airflow Optimizer
May 11, 2015
359
90
32:50 for him mentioning the Impact will definitely come out.

I'm sure it'll be around October, possibly November. Doesn't look like Canada will see any chips until October anyways, so I'm playing the waiting game regardless.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
SFFn Staff
May 9, 2015
5,865
4,922
Around September, the same time the VII Impact was released. Except Z97 was released in June I believe.
 

Vittra

Airflow Optimizer
May 11, 2015
359
90
It was a long wait between the general Z97 boards and Impact, that time-frame sounds correct.

In the video above, JJ mentions TUF will be part of second wave, and WS part of the final wave. I expect the Impact and TUF to show up at the same time, but I would be surprised if it does show up in September.

Edit - Hmm, at 1:02:25 he mentions the Impact having significantly more connectivity than the Z170i-Gaming Pro... interesting.
 
Last edited:

veryrarium

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 6, 2015
144
44
Excited about the level of connectivity that JJ promises on M8I, I'm torn between Z99E-ITX and M8I now for my M1.
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Team Leader of SFF.N
SFF Network
SFF Workshop
SFFn Staff
Jun 19, 2015
4,200
7,194
sff.network
The chipset sink on the Z170M-ITXac looks like they pulled it out of the scrap bin from the early 2000's.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MJVR1