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Gigabyte's Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard supports Thunderbolt 3

By Bryan Chan & Koh Wanzi - on 7 Sep 2015, 10:32am

Gigabyte's Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard supports Thunderbolt 3

Image Source: Gigabyte

Gigabyte has unveiled the Thunderbolt 3-certified Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard, which it claims is the world’s first to officially support Intel’s latest technology.

Thunderbolt 3 support is offered via two USB Type-C connectors at the board’s rear I/O panel. The new standard doubles the bandwidth available over Thunderbolt 2 – 40Gb/s compared to 20Gb/s – and supports different protocols like DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.1.

The improved bandwidth also means that Thunderbolt 3 ports on Z170X-UD5 TH will be able to run two displays at 4K resolutions and 60 fps, or a single 5K display. In addition, users will gain the ability to daisy-chain up to 12 devices directly from their motherboard, thanks to the dual USB Type-C ports. However, do note that due to the finite I/O resources on the Z170 chipset, the number of Thunderbolt devices that can be used is dependent on the number of PCIe devices installed.

Furthermore, support for the USB Power Delivery 2.0 standard means that it’s possible to supply up to 100 watts of power to devices while recharging.

Image Source: Gigabyte

On top of the two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 connectors, the Z170X-UD5 TH has eight USB 3.0 ports (four front, four back) and five USB 2.0 ports (one front, four back).

Other board features include Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable PCIe metal shielding on the PCIe slots to prevent flexing and support heavier graphics cards. It is also compatible with the latest NVMe storage protocol over the single onboard M.2 slot, which means storage devices like the Intel 750 series U.2 SSD will work with the board via a M.2 to U.2 adapter.

In the aesthetics department, the motherboard has nice LED-illuminated trace lighting along the Audio Noise Guard path, which incidentally, can also be set to pulse in time with your music.

Finally, users will be able to run either three-way/two-way AMD CrossFire or two-way NVIDIA SLI setups across its three PCIe x16 physical slots.

Source: Gigabyte