Roundup of the First Wave of Intel Skylake Z170 Mini-ITX Boards
August 05, 2015

Intel have today officially announced their 6th Generation Desktop Processor Platform, aka Skylake-S. With Skylake comes 14nm lithography, updated Intel graphics, DDR4 support, a new range of '100 series' chipsets and most importantly a new socket type: Socket 1151. Yes - you will need a new memory, processor and motherboard type to make this upgrade.

The first Skylake compatible Mini-ITX boards to emerge over the past few weeks all use the 'Performance' Z170 chipset but boards using the 'Mainstream' H170 and 'Value' H110 chipsets together with the more business oriented B150, Q150 and Q170 chipsets will all follow.

This is our roundup of what we currently know about the first wave of Z170 Mini-ITX boards. Expect to see the boards hitting store shelves (including our own) in the next few weeks as boards are officially announced and supplies trickle through to vendors. We will update this story as new information emerges.

The ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac has Dual HDMI and DisplayPort on the back panel, together with Intel I219V LAN and both 3.5mm Analogue and Optical audio outputs powered by an ALC1150 codec. There are a healthy 7x USB 3.1 Type-A ports and a snazzy new reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port. Dual band 802.11ac WiFi internally connected to a half Mini PCI-E slot and a combo PS/2 keyboard/mouse port complete the back panel. On the board itself are 6x SATA 6Gb/s connectors, a SATA Express connector, the PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots. The board has an 8pin 12V connector.

The ASRock Z170M-ITX/ac has DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort on the back panel, together with both an Intel I219V LAN and Realtek RTL8111E LAN and 3.5mm Analogue audio outputs powered by an ALC892 codec. There are a 6x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports and a combo PS/2 keyboard/mouse port. The Dual band 802.11ac WiFi looks to be internally connected to a vertical Mini PCI-E slot. On the board itself are 4x SATA 6Gb/s connectors, possibly an M.2 slot on the underside (TBD), the PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots. The board has an 4pin 12V connector.

We only have a blurry picture of the Asus Z170i Pro Gaming board so far, but we can tell it has 4x SATA 6Gb/s and 1x SATA Express connector, onboard 802.11ac WiFi and most likely one LAN port. Unclear is the presence of USB 3.1 or M.2 SATA. The PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots are in their usual positions. The board has an 8pin 12V connector.

The Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 has at least DVI and HDMI on the back panel, together with Gigabit LAN and a double stack of 3.5mm Analogue audio outputs. There are USB 3.1 ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. The Dual band 802.11ac WiFi is connected to a slot on the board with a vertically mounted Intel AC-8260 Mini PCI-E card, which supports Bluetooth 4.2. On the board itself are the PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots and 2x traditional vertical SATA 6Gb/s connectors and 4x SATA 6Gb/s and 2x SATA Express connectors mounted sideways on an edge connector. The board has an 8pin 12V connector.

The Gigabyte Z170N-WIFI shares a lot of similarities with the Z170N-Gaming 5. It has Dual HDMI and DVI on the back panel, together with dual Intel I219V LAN ports and 5x 3.5mm Analogue and Optical audio outputs. There are 4x USB 3.1 Type-A ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. Dual band 802.11ac WiFi internally connected to a half Mini PCI-E slot and a combo PS/2 keyboard/mouse port complete the back panel. On the board itself are the PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots and 2x traditional vertical SATA 6Gb/s connectors and 4x SATA 6Gb/s and 2x SATA Express connectors mounted sideways on an edge connector. The board has an 4pin 12V connector.

The EVGA Z170 Stinger has HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 on the back panel, together with Intel Gigabit LAN and both 3.5mm Analogue and Optical audio outputs. There are 6x USB 3.0 ports and 2x USB 2.0 ports. On the board itself are an E-type M.2 SATA connector (up to 32Gbps) , 4x SATA 6Gb/s connector, the PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots. The 10-layer board has an 8pin 12V connector and 2 digit LED display which can provide POST diagnostic codes and temperature information.

The ECS Z170IU-C43 is a more budget board with DVI and HDMI 2.0 on the back panel, together with Intel I219V Gigabit LAN and 3.5mm Analogue audio outputs powered by a Realtek ALC892 codec. There are 2x USB 3.1 ports and we think 4x USB 2.0 type ports. On the board itself are 4x SATA 6Gb/s connector, the PCI Express x16 slot and 2x DDR4 memory slots. The board has an 8pin 12V connector.

We've yet to find a picture of MSI's Z170I Gaming Pro AC, but expect it to have Intel I219V LAN, Intel 802.11ac WiFi and MSI's USB Audio Power to stabilise the 5V output for external USB audio devices, a Turbo M.2 SATA connector, no USB 3.1 connectors and the usual array of SATA and memory slots on the board.

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