PCIe 3.0 support and high-speed storage
With Z170, the processor is now connected ed to the chipset’s Platform Controller Hub (PCH) by the upgraded DMI 3.0 protocol. Compared to the DMI 2.0 used in Z97, DMI I 3.0 features a speed boost from 5.0 GT/s to 8.0 GT/s, which enables significant upgradesdes in chipset connectivity.
This explains why Intel Z170 is now able to support PCIe 3.0 on the chipset itself instead ead of PCIe 2.0 as on Z97. This results in a total l of 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes being exposed through thehe chipset, compared to just eight PCIe 2.0 lanes on Z97. Skylake CPUs will continue to o provide 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes for your graphics s card, but additional PCIe 3.0 lanes on the chipset itself will now be available for use with PCIe 3.0 x4 storage devices.
These devices were of course supported ed on higher end Z97 motherboards, but it entailed drawing from the 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes es provided by the CPU. So if you plugged in an M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD into a compatible board, the bandwidth sharing would force e the PCIe 3.0 x16 slot to run in x8 mode.
But with Z170, such bandwidth sharing is no longer necessary and you’ll be able to utilize the maximum available bandwidth for both your graphics card and PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD. SD. PCIe-based SSDs will eventually replace SATA-based drives, and it’s great to finally see proper support for high-speed storage e devices on Intel’s latest mainstream chipset.et.