Gigabyte lays claim to first Z170 board with Thunderbolt 3

Gigabyte tends to be quick out of the gate with motherboards supporting Thunderbolt, and its Skylake motherboards are no exception. The company has announced what it claims to be the world's first Z170 motherboard with Thunderbolt 3, the Z170X-UD5 TH, which uses Intel's Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 controller chip.

The star of the UD5 TH's show is a pair of 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports running through USB Type-C connectors. Gigabyte says a pair of 4K, 60Hz displays or a single 5K, 60Hz display can be daisy-chained with up to 12 other devices using these connectors.

The Z170X-UD5 TH isn't just about Thunderbolt, though. Thanks to the Z170 PCH's copious amount of PCIe lanes, there's plenty of internal I/O, too. An M.2 slot with four lanes and a trio of SATA Express connectors should provide plenty of fast storage connectivity. The top two PCI Express x16 slots share the Skylake CPU's lanes for graphics cards, while a third x4 slot hangs off the PCH. Like many Z170 boards, those slots are reinforced with metal shielding. 

An Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller  and Realtek's ALC1150 codec provides audio. Gigabyte's traditional Ultra Durable features, like Dual BIOS redundant firmware and heavy-duty solid-state capacitors come along for the ride, too. 

Gigabyte hasn't announced pricing or availability for the Z170X-UD5 TH. We've asked the company for more information.

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