Looking to build a Skylake system on a budget? Motherboards based on the new H170 chipset are for you. Here's a list of what's available.
The H170 chipset loses multi-GPU support (compared to the Z170 chipset), and the CPU’s PCI-E 3.0 lanes can only go to a single GPU. H170 also loses overclocking support, four HSIO lanes and two USB 3.0 lanes. These reductions have little effect on the the system, however, as there are still 22 HSIO lanes available, which should be more than enough for most motherboards, there are eight USB 3.0 ports available.
Intel 100 Series Consumer Chipsets
|CPU PCI-E 3.0 Config Support||1 x 16 or 2 x 8 or 1 x 8 + 2 x 4||1 x 16||1 x 16|
|Independent Display Support||3||3||2|
|Memory Channels/ DIMMs per Channel||2/2||2/2||2/1|
|CPU Overclocking Support||Yes||No||No|
|Intel Smart Sound Technology||Yes||Yes||No|
|Intel Small Business Advantage 4.0||No||Yes||No|
|Intel Small Business Basics||No||Yes||Yes|
|Intel RAID Support 0/1/5/10||Yes||Yes||No|
|Intel Smart Response Technology||Yes||Yes||No|
|Max Intel RST for PCI-E||3||2||0|
|I/O Port Flexibility||Yes||Yes||No|
|Maximum HSIO Lanes||26||22||14|
|Chipset PCI-E Support||20 PCI-E 3.0 Lanes||16 PCI-E 3.0 Lanes||6 PCI-E 2.0 Lanes|
|USB Support (USB 3.0)||14 (10)||14 (8)||10 (4)|
|SATA 3.0 Ports||6||6||4|
Although a few features were cut, if you’re not planning to overclock or use multi-GPU configurations, you’ll hardly notice the difference between this chipset and Z170. Of the three 100-series chipsets to support RAID (the others are Z170 and Q170), this one is the most budget-friendly and is expected to carry a lower overall price. H170 also supports other helpful features such as Intel Smart Sound, RST and Smart Response technology.
With this mixture of features, H170 is expected to fill the same role as the H(X)7 chipsets always have — as a budget-friendly option for enthusiasts. As such, a large number of motherboards using this chipset fall into gaming-oriented product lines.
Micheal Justin Allen Sexton is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter.