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H170 series chipset seems more suitable for Watchout!


Thomas Leong
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Ref:

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-100-series-chipsets,29993.html

 

The standout feature is that the H170 locks the cpu's 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes to the first PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. Motherboard manufacturers are not able to split these 16 lanes to other slots for Crossfire or SLI - features which Watchout cannot use anyway. With the Z series, manufacturers' priority has always been towards gamers who may want to use 2 or more graphics cards, so lanes are re-distributed when other slots are used, and it becomes a shopping nightmare if we eventually want to add a capture card or two.

 

Loss of other features versus the Z series, such as over-clocking, a couple or more USB 3.0 ports, 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes from the motherboard's platform controller hub (pch) are unimportant to the majority of Watchout users.

 

And to be frank the i7 6700 cpu is quite capable as a processor. I have been using the i7 4770 and 4790 with the Z97 boards, and it would seem I wasted some $ with that chipset as I do not use most of the extra features, and instead have to worry about losing PCIe lanes when I add a M.2 SSD. The H170 seems to be the answer to my prayers so that's the direction I'm going with my next build.

 

Thomas Leong

 

 

 

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Hi Thomas 

 

 

With the Z series, manufacturers' priority has always been towards gamers who may want to use 2 or more graphics cards, so lanes are re-distributed when other slots are used, and it becomes a shopping nightmare if we eventually want to add a capture card or two.

Take a look at Asus, Asrock or Gigabyte Z-160 Mainboards. There are some that support 2 x 32 or 32 & 8 lanes without sharing. This is very usefull when using a capture card. Other manufactory might have this option too,

 

 

 

 

Loss of other features versus the Z series, such as over-clocking, a couple or more USB 3.0 ports, 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes from the motherboard's platfraidorm controller hub (pch) are unimportant to the majority of Watchout users.

But the new M.2 SSD with PCIe connection and fast NVMe are very usefull, because of their speed you don´t need to set up raids to play (more than one) 4k-video.

 

/Tom

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Hi Tom,

 

Think you meant Z170, not Z160?

In any case, granted you, I and some others who know what to look for may not have so big a problem. However, the cost of a H series motherboard is far cheaper than the Z series, meaning not paying for features we don't use.

 

The loss of 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes versus the Z series does not necessarily meant loss of M.2 32GB/s slot. The H series pch still has 16 PCIe lanes to distribute depending on manufacturer's choice - less USB 3, single LAN rather than 2, number of SATA outlets, SATA Express or not, etc. Since M.2 is getting popular, it is time to take those 4 lanes from SATA, SATA Express etc rather than from the primary graphics slot which is what has been happening with Z97 motherboards.

 

Thomas

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