Skip to main content

Exclusive: EVGA Shows Off Its Z170-Series Motherboards

We already saw EVGA's three Z170-series motherboards back at Computex, but today we bring you some more juicy details and high-resolution images. These are the Z170 Singer, the Z170 FTW and the Z170 Classified.

The first board of the lot is the Z170 Stinger, which is a mini-ITX board. You'll find an LGA1151 socket wired to two DDR4 memory slots and a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. You'll also find four SATA3  (6 Gb/s) ports, a USB 3.0 header, and two fan headers. You may not see an M.2 slot, but upon closer inspection you'll see that there actually is one above the USB 3.0 header, which is labeled "M.2" and has a screw hole near it. It should be safe to say that EVGA will include a bracket to mount M.2 SSDs here.

Up next is the mid-tier Z170 FTW, which is a fairly straightforward mid-tier Z170 ATX motherboard. The CPU socket is wired to four memory slots, along with what looks like four PCI-Express x16 slots. Don't be mistaken though, if you look closely at the text, you'll see that only the top port is wired to 16x, with the second port wired to eight lanes, the one below to only four, and the last port to just one lane.

Additionally, there are six SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, and a single M.2 slot. Populating the M.2 slot will disable two of the SATA ports. The board also has dedicated audio with a clear trace path to separate it, and that's pretty much where it ends.

The top-tier board is the Z170 Classified, and it's also a little bigger than most ATX boards. As the king of the hill, it comes with a handful of features to set it apart from the crowd, including a more elaborate power delivery circuit, heatsinks with a heatpipe connecting them, and a couple of invisible features.

EVGA packed the Z170 Classified with a PLX lane-multiplier chip, which has allowed the company to wire each PCI-Express slot to a minimum of eight lanes, giving the board support for four-way SLI. Of course, EVGA is using a PLX chip because Intel's mainstream CPUs do not have enough lanes for four-way SLI configurations. Therefore, performance won't be on par with Intel's enthusiast chips, which have enough lanes for native four-way SLI, but a PLX chip does allow you to install four graphics cards on Intel's mainstream platform, which is still better than nothing.

Furthermore, EVGA built USB 3.1 into the board (including a header for front USB 3.1), as well as SATA-Express, and Creative Core3D audio. There is also an M.2 one slot supporting multiple card lengths (but will disable two SATA ports when in use), and one supporting only 42 mm long cards.

Stay tuned for final specifications that will come when the boards launch.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.