The much awaited 100 series motherboard is here at goldfries’ lab and it’s a beautiful one from ASRock.
If you’ve watched my video coverage of ASRock’s showcase of Intel 100 series motherboard in Computex 2015, you’ll probably guess it correct when it comes to the board’s color scheme.
The Extreme series has always been the “Blue Ranger” of ASRock’s boards but with the 100 series the boards in Extreme series are now in black and brown which is quite similar to the Z87 Extreme series.
Starting off at the upper corner, the distinct difference between this and the previous generation boards is the covering over the I/O area.
That aside you see the usual combo of 2 large heatsinks covering the 10 Power Phases.
The ATX12V connector is at the upper corner as always and with sufficient clearance between it and the heatsinks so it’s all good in that asepct.
Next up is the RAM – the Z170 Extreme4 comes with 4x DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 3500+ speed with maximum capacity of 64GB. It’s of a 2-phase power design. The USB 3.0 port is next to the ATX power connector and speaking of which, the Z170 Extreme4 comes with USB 3.1 support.
And here’s what I love about ASRock boards, I have both the Z87 and Z97 Extreme4 models and now I have the Z170 Extreme4 in the lab and all of them come with this awesome POWER / RESET button with debug LED.
That aside, you’ll see that the board comes with many SATA ports, supporting up to 3x SATA Express devices. Not only that, it comes with Dual-BIOS as well – just in case you love meddling with weird BIOS configuration to bring the best out of the board.
Moving to the other corner of the board we see 3x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots. The PCI-E slots run at x8 / x8 for Dual-card setup while x8 / x8 / x4 for Tri-card setup. The board supports both AMD CrossfireX and Nvidia SLI.
Right under the first PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot is the Ultra M.2 mounting point that supports M.2 SATA 3 6GB module and M.2 PCI-E Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32Gb/s)
What I don’t like about this design is that the Ultra M.2 is right under the slot – meaning it will be running VERY HOT should one put the graphic card under intensive use AND it’s difficult to access should one design to swap the storage device.
The Z170 Extreme4 comes with Purity Sound 3 – 7.1 Channel audio system with Realteck ALC1150 Codec.
Notice also that there is a cover on the audio processor area (refer to previous photo as well) and what this means is that there’s very little room to do cable routing under the PCI-E components. 🙁
As as for the I/O panel – it comes with a host of USB 3.0 ports, including even the USB 3.1 Type A and USB 3.1 Type C ports. they’re the USB ports located next to the audio I/O ports.
Note also that the Z170 Extreme4 comes with a CMOS reset button and even a PS/2 port to support legacy input device.
The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 is a feature-rich board, retailing at around RM 835. It’s certainly not a budget board but you get quite some neat features on it, like USB 3.1, Ultra M.2 and multiple SATA Express device support.
ASRock’s range of 100 series motherboard is expected to hit Malaysian shores next week.
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