Skylake is known as Intel’s latest processors’ codename and their sixth generation of CPUs. It was created in 2015 after Broadwell CPUs released. It was created and intended to be used with 100 series chipset like the Z170 motherboards.
Motherboards like the Z170 that are compatible with Skylake usually comes with an LGA 1151 socket that contains 100 series chipsets. The LGA 1151 are solely used for DDR4 memory but are sometimes used for DDR3 as well. Though this is the case, only one type of memory could be used and installed. Want to know more?
With the two Skylake CPUs released, Core i7-6700k and Core i5-6600K, for further information and understanding, we have reviewed top three motherboards that would and could be perfectly used for you Skylake CPU.
1. Asus Maximus VIII Formula
Though Asus Maximus VIII Formula is one of the most expensive Z170 motherboards, one could say, it is worth the cost with its features, quality and design.
For its design, the Asus Maximus VIII Formula comes in different colors. This allows its users to choose their desired color and match it with the RGB LED seen around the motherboard. Furthermore, this motherboard includes full VRM waterblock that could use air or liquid to cool temperature. The Asus Maximus VIII Formula also comes with 3-way crossfire, Qaud SLI support, Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller with LANGuard and GameFirst technology.
2. Gigabyte Z170 Gaming 7
As its name says it all, this motherboard is the most favorite motherboard used by gamers. Though It is not as expensive as Asus Maximus VIII, its price ranges from mid to high-end scale which makes it a bit expensive for some, but a good investment for those who are serious with games.
Gigabyte Z170 Gaming 7 comes with Dual M.2 slots, three PCIe x16 slots and SATA express slots as well. It provides its users high and endless connectivity options with its dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers, Thunderbolt 3 connector bandwidth and Creative Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor.
3. MSI Z170A Gaming M7
MSI Z170A Gaming M7 is another motherboard created for gamers. It has catchy design which one will appreciate and comes with great features which one will surely enjoy. In fact, this motherboard comes with Game BOOST dial which is an upgraded version of overclock button found on MSI boards. This feature allows one to overclock automatically through eight stages. Also aside from that, this motherboard supports 3-Way CrossFire and 2 Way SLI, 7.1 CH HD audio and killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet.
Choosing Z170 Motherboard
To bring out the best in your Intel Skylake processor, it is highly suggested it to be paired with a decent motherboard.
Having an Intel Skylake processor puts you to an advantage with its improvements and features such as 4K support, 30% more battery life, DDR4 RAM, improved graphics. However, if your Skylake is not equipped with LGA 1151 motherboard, you will not be able to enjoy its expected performance. So be sure you check if your motherboard is equipped with LGA 1151. Moreover, aside from that, it is also important to choose the right motherboard with the right features. Here are a few things you will need to find and check when choosing your Z170 Chipset motherboard:
1. Size – ensure to check the size of your motherboard and the number of slots for cards such as tuner cards, graphic card wireless NICs and display adapters.
2. Memory- The standard memory for Skylake is DDR4. The DDR4 has high MT/s and 16GB capacity. It is energy efficient and makes you Skylake computer perform better.
3. Slots and Connectors- You will have to check if your motherboard has PCI slots such as PCI Express x1 or x4 or x8 or x16 and could accommodate, networking, sound cards, SSDs and graphics cards
4. Storage Connectors – check if your motherboard has any of the three storage connectors
- * Standard SATA- this storage connector has a large bandwidth
- * SATA express – improved version of standard SATA
- * M.2 – similar to RAM, it makes your computer run faster compared to SATA bassed SSDs.
5. Firmware and On-board Features- if you love tweaking or you are a gamer, you should check features such as reset and power buttons, LED POST displays, robust voltage regulator modules and BIOS.
While the invention of Skylake CPUs brings great performance experience, as a user, and to bring the best in Skylake CPU, it is important to equip the said processor with the best motherboard for one to enjoy its expected performance. Through this article, we hope we are able to help you decide which is the best motherboard for your Skylake CPU.