8 Best Z170 Motherboards for Skylake: Reviews & Buying Guide

When it comes to computers, the best CPU is worthless if the motherboard your computer is connected to does not meet the same standard.

A computer’s components are all connected to the motherboard and are therefore connected using it.

Consequently, whether you are building a PC, or planning to upgrade your existing one, you must focus on choosing a motherboard that will give your computer the best performance.

You might be interested in a product that can be used with Intel’s Skylake processor, which you can look for in this article.

As a core company in Silicon Valley, Intel was founded in 1968 and has helped make it the technological hub it is today. Xilinx produces the x86 series of microcomputer chips and is the largest semiconductor chip manufacturer in the world.

Intel introduced Skylake, its architecture that replaced Broadwell, in August 2015. Similar to its predecessors; Blue Lake, Coffee Lake, Cannon Lake, Whiskey Lake, and Comet Lake, Skylake CPUs have the same microarchitecture.

Our Recommendations For Z170 Motherboards for Skylake

At a Glance:

  1. Gigabyte Z170x Gaming 7
  2. MSI Pro X299 Raider
  3. Asus ROG Maximus VIII Formula
  4. EVG X299 FTW K
  5. EVGA Z390 Dark
  6. Gigabyte AORUS X299 Gaming 3
  7. ASUS WS X299 Sage
  8. Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming 4

Also, it’s the last platform in which Windows before Windows 10 will be supported by Microsoft. Despite Intel’s announcement in March 2019 that the Skylake CPUs will no longer be manufactured in LGA 1151, Skylake architecture is still immensely popular. It is not easy to pick the right motherboard though.

To name just a few, you should consider storage, memory, slots and connectors, expansion, and overclocking potential. Our top 8 Skylake motherboards are here for you though, so don’t worry.

A handy buyer’s guide is also available that includes things to consider. You’ll find the right motherboard for your computer on the list, so please take a look.

Gigabyte Z170x Gaming 7

Gigabyte Z170x Gaming 7

Best High-End Motherboard for Z170 Skylane

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: L3 cache varies with CPU| Chipset: Intel® Z170 Express Chipset| BIOS: Use of licensed AMI UEFI BIOS| Form Factor: ATX |

REASONS TO BUY

Creative SoundCore 3D Gaming Audio

Triple CrossFire and Quad SLI support

Futureproofed- it’s also compatible with Kaby Lake

REASONS TO AVOID

UEFI fan control is not as extensive as some Z170 motherboards

The Z170x Gaming 7 motherboard is first on the list. It features four DDR4 DIMM sockets, which makes it similar to most of the motherboards on our list.

It also features an Intel Z170 chipset, dual M.2 port, eight SATA 6GB/s slots, and three SATA express slots, as well as the LGA 1151 processor socket and the Intel Z170 chipset. There are two USB 3.1 ports and five USB 3.0 ports, but it has no USB 2.0 ports. If you are looking for USB slots, you’re in luck; it has two USB 3.1 ports and five USB 3.0 ports.

Its audio capabilities make it a standout model among motherboards. The sound quality is great, even if you stick with cheap headphones. Even if you stick to your current portable speakers, you’ll notice how good the audio sounds on this.

Even though GPUs are heavy, this motherboard is capable of handling the stress well so you shouldn’t see the sagging that is often seen in other PCI ports.

MSI Pro X299 Raider

Best Budget Motherboard for Skylane Z170

REASONS TO BUY

24/7 reliability

Twin-turbo M.2

Great audio

REASONS TO AVOID

No onboard diagnostic tools

Our list of PC motherboards does not contain many models from MSI, but the MSI Pro X299 Raider is a great choice for those looking to get the most from their Skylake processor.

An RGB header makes it easy to customize how you want, as well as a USB 3.1 header and a U.2 slot on the front panel.

In addition, this motherboard is effective for overclocking as it can reach 4.6 GHz at 1.2 V, although ventilation may need improving as the single block of aluminum is for VRM cooling and doesn’t have a heat pipe.

In addition to its 24/7 reliability, this motherboard is recommended for users looking to optimize their desktop and laptop computers.

Asus ROG Maximus VIII Formula

Best Gaming Motherboard for Skylane Z170

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: depends on the CPU types.| Chipset: Intel® Z370| Memory: Dual Channel Memory Architecture| Graphic: Multi-VGA output support|

REASONS TO BUY

Overclocking is well integrated

Customized lighting options

CrossChill waterblock

REASONS TO AVOID

The tendency for quite a few codes to show up when first booting up

A motherboard that’s designed for overclocking would be a good choice if you regularly overclock.

It features an integrated overclocking function and a full VRM water block, so you can safely overclock it. Because this motherboard comes equipped with a CrossChill water block directly connected to the VRMs, it is even better suited for overclocking.

There are six SATA ports and two SATA Express ports, as well as one M.2 port on the Asus ROG Maximus VIII Formula.

Additional features include the ROG Aura RGB Strip Header, three-zone RGB illumination which can be customized using 1.6 million colors, and a 1.6-megapixel webcam. It is a motherboard that can be customized if you are an aesthete.

EVG X299 FTW K

SPECIFICATIONS

Chipset : Intel X299| SATA: 8 Native SATA 6.0Gb/s Ports| Form Factor: E-ATX| Features: CPU Temp Monitor|

REASONS TO BUY

Cheaper option

Two U.2 ports

Fourteen USB ports

REASONS TO AVOID

Basic BIOS

Fewer RGB

We finish with another EVG motherboard, and this time it is minimalistic as opposed to some of its competitors, but it also happens to be more affordable than some of the other options. This motherboard still appeals to gamers, even though it has a minimalist design and no flashy RGB.

Although the BIOS is simpler than many others, it still means you can adjust the fan headers to suit your needs.

In addition to four PCI Express slots, six SATA 6GB/s ports, three M.2 sockets, and two U.2 ports, this motherboard have periods of processor cards entry of customization options that are a lot of the more expensive solutions don’t include. These motherboards are a good choice for gamers who want to make a budget-friendly purchase.

EVGA Z390 Dark

Best High-End Motherboard for Ryzen 5 3600X

SPECIFICATIONS

Chipset: Intel Z390 | Socket: EVGA Z390 Dark| Form Factor: E-ATX| Memory: 2 DIMM Dual-Channel|

REASONS TO BUY

Sleek design

Effective cooling system

Well-designed for overclocking

REASONS TO AVOID

Reports that some may arrive with a dead CMOS battery

In terms of design, this motherboard is a bit different from the other motherboards offered by EVGA, which is an American brand based in southern California. Black is the only color available in contrast to the many multicolored options we’ve seen so far.

With many features, including its cooling system, it is highly effective for overclocking. If you plan on running at higher core clock rates, the VRM is cooled via a large, passive heatsink.

On the side of the board are the 24-pin power connector and the 8-pin CPU power connector. Furthermore, it has six SATA ports and two M.2 ports.

EVG X299 FTW K
EVG X299 FTW K

Gigabyte AORUS X299 Gaming 3

SPECIFICATIONS

Very expensive: Support for Intel| Chipset: Intel® X299 Express Chipset| I/O Controller: iTE® I/O Controller Chip| BIOS: Support for DualBIOS™ |

REASONS TO BUY

Turbo B-clock tuning IC

Advanced LED digital lighting system

Excellent cooling system

REASONS TO AVOID

Very expensive

With the Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 3, you can’t go wrong for enthusiasts. It has a built-in turbo B-clocking IC, which overclockers can use to adjust BCLK frequency as needed.

As you can adjust from 90MHz to 500MHz, you won’t have any restrictions on what you can do when overclocking. Moreover, Smart Fan 5 has nine temperature sensors and eight hybrid fan headers that have interchangeable headers so that you can adapt the temperature sensors to different places according to the requirements.

There are many customization options for this device, so if you’re into customizing then it’s the perfect choice for you. The motherboard also has two M.2 sockets, 3-way graphics support, and eight memory slots, making it the ideal platform for maximizing the many features of Skylake processors. Newer technologies work best with this advanced setup.

ASUS WS X299 Sage

Best High-End Motherboard for Ryzen 5 3600X

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel® Socket 2066 | Chipset: Intel® X299| Form Factor: CEB Form Factor| Weight: Net Weight: 5.55kg|

REASONS TO BUY

Seven PCI Express slots

It can work both as a workstation and for gaming

460 W of power

Huge amount of features

REASONS TO AVOID

Larger than most

Expensive

A large motherboard, it’s 14.312.9910.7 at the longest end, and it’s not from the ATX or EATX families. It’s called an SSI motherboard. You should therefore verify that it fits your PC.

This motherboard is perfect for workstations or games, and its one-click overclocking process helps to ensure a comfortable gaming experience. It can also pump 460 W of power. When you have four GPUs in your system, you will need water cooling.

Seven PCI Express slots and eight SATA ports are on board. This motherboard makes the most of the PCI Express lanes in Skylake by providing two M.2 sockets and two U.2 ports.

It’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to take advantage of every slot on this motherboard before you purchase it.

ASRock B365 PHANTOM GAMING Motherboard

Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming 4

SPECIFICATIONS

Socket: AMD AM4| Chipset: AMD X570| AMD X570: ATX | USB Ports: 15|

REASONS TO BUY

Very attractive price

Respectable performance

Has Intel i9-9900K 9-Core CPU

Has 16GB of DDR4 3200MHz memory

Has Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU

Has 2TB of the best SATA 3.0 storage

Has 8-Channel Audio

REASONS TO AVOID

No Thunderbolt 3 port

As always, we recommend checking out ASRock’s website for the most up-to-date motherboard reviews, as they have been instrumental in shaping the gaming motherboard market and continue to do so with their X570 Phantom Gaming 4. The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 is a great pick for anyone looking to build a Ryzen 9 3900X system, offering great value and performance.

First and foremost, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 is a full-sized ATX motherboard that supports AMD’s new processors. It comes equipped with an impressive array of features, such as eight DIMM slots that can support up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, 10 SATA 6Gbps ports, and 4 M.2 slots that can support up to 240GB of storage, and a variety of connectivity options.

Additionally, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 features a robust audio section that includes seven audio ports (including two SupremeFX 8-channel audio ports), as well as Realtek’s ALC1220 codec.

Overall, the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 is a great choice for anyone looking to build a powerful Ryzen 9 3900X PC.n

What to Consider When Buying Motherboards

Expansion slots

Choosing the right motherboard is key when building a PC, and the amount of expansion slots is crucial. If your motherboard limits your processor, it will not matter how powerful your processor is.

Form factor

Its size is determined by its form factor. Despite this, the number of expansion slots is often dictated by the processor. ATX is the most common form factor, offering seven expansion slots.

There were also a few with the E-ATX form factor, intended for servers and featuring seven expansion slots. A larger SSI CCB form factor was then used.

Memory

As a result, if you can, opt for an option that has more memory slots as they can help with the performance of the computer and also tend to increase its lifespan. As before, the large sizes tend to be more expensive.

Cooling

If you tend to overclock or operate an expensive computer for longer periods of time, you should consider how much cooling can be extended by the cooling system. Be sure the layout will not cause excessive heat and that it has enough fan headers.

Conclusion

You should now be able to select a motherboard that fits your needs having gone through these factors. Various sizes and features are available, so there are many options out there.

If you are deciding on a PC, you need to consider its primary purpose and the extensions you are planning on adding. Now that you understand our recommended Skylake motherboards, it’s time to choose your favorite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will skylake motherboards support coffee Lake?

The 300 series chipsets, while using physically identical LGA 1151 socket to the 100 and 200 series chipsets, are officially only compatible with Coffee Lake CPUs, meaning that older motherboards do not officially support Coffee Lake processors, and 300 series motherboards do not officially support Skylake or Kaby Lake

What is the difference between Z170 and Z270?

One of the major differences between the Z170 and Z270 platforms is the maximum number of PCI Express lanes the motherboard can support. On the Z170 platform, the maximum number of PCI Express Lanes is 20, while on the Z270 it is 24 lanes.

Does Z170 support the 8th gen?

The story here is that while Intel’s 8th-gen processors are compatible with the pins on an older LGA 1151 socket motherboard – i.e. Intel’s Z270 or Z170 motherboards – they won’t officially work thanks to slight differences on the power front 

Prashant Sharma
Hi, I'm Prashant Sharma. I love traveling, computer hardware, and software. I’m constantly trying to learn new skills and programming languages. Reviewing new pieces of hardware is one of my favorites hobbies. Drop by any time to leave me a message if you have any questions.