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Sneak Peek At Gigabyte's Upcoming X99, Z170X Enthusiast Motherboards

We got a sneak peek at a quintet of new Gigabyte motherboards at PAX East. Coming in May, all five are targeted at the enthusiast market. Three of these motherboards use the X99 chipset for Haswell-E, and the other two use the Skylake Z170 PCH. One of the X99 chipset motherboards will also become Gigabyte's new flagship for the LGA 2011-3 socket. It should be noted, however, that these boards are still being developed, and their specs and features are subject to change.

The new X99 motherboards from Gigabyte all share a similar look. Gigabyte's new X99 flagship, the GA-X99-Designare EX, uses a black PCB and uses a white plastic cover with blue highlights The other two X99 boards, the GA-X99-Ultra Gaming and the GA-X99-Phoenix SLI, are similar except that the Ultra Gaming board has red highlights whereas the Phoenix SLI's highlights are orange. The boards also feature LED lighting in various locations.

X99 Designare EX
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X99 Ultra Gaming

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X99 Phoenix SLI

These three boards each have a total of eight DDR4 RAM slots, which Gigabyte reinforced with steel plating to increase their durability. All of the PCI-E x16 slots have also been reinforced to prevent damage by heavy graphics cards.

On the GA-X99-Designare EX, Gigabyte placed a single M.2 slot and two U.2 ports to ensure users had access to several next-gen storage connections. The GA-X99-Phoenix SLI is similar, except it drops one U.2 port. The GA-X99-Ultra Gaming has two M.2 slots and just one U.2 slot. All three of these motherboards have a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C connector, as well.

The two new Z170 motherboards share a similar design to their X99 counterparts, but scaled down slightly. Both of the new Z170 boards, the GA-Z170X-Designare and GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming, feature the same steel-reinforced DDR4 slots as the X99 motherboards, as well as steel-plated PCI-E ports. These boards also support a single U.2 port and one M.2 slot.

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Z170X Designare

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Z170X Ultra Gaming

The GA-Z170X-Designare does surpass all of the other just-revealed boards in that it comes with two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) Type-C ports, and it supports Thunderbolt 3, as well. (The GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming also comes with USB 3.1 Gen 2 on a Type-C connector, but it only has one such port.)

At this time, those are all of the details we were able to get from Gigabyte on these new boards. Expect to see more details next month when Gigabyte releases them on the market.

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