Tag Archives: Intel Z170

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GTN Mini-ITX Motherboard Announced

BIOSTAR Racing Z170GTN Mini-ITX Motherboard Announced

Taipeh, 12 September 2016 –  BIOSTAR is pleased to announce its latest and greatest motherboard to join the prestigious RACING series motherboard family with the unveiling of the BIOSTAR Z170GTN mini-ITX motherboard.

Everything that makes the RACING series motherboards from BIOSTAR now comes in a tiny form factor giving you all the power you need without compromising size and space. Gamers who want unrestricted performance but want a compact machine for their entertainment and gaming needs, the BIOSTAR RACING Z170GTN delivers everything you need.

 

BIOSTAR RACING Z170GTN

The BIOSTAR RACING Z170GTN allows full control of your system with support for unlocked 6th-generation Intel Core processors allowing you to fully maximize the capability of your system and increase performance. Support for memory speeds up to DDR4-3200 allows high-speed memory to compliment the overclocked system for improved responsiveness.

The Intel Z170 chipset allows a full array of connectivity including rich USB3.0 connection and high-speed storage via built-in U.2 connector with up to 32Gbps bandwidth for next-generation storage allowing users to utilize the fastest storage platforms of today for super-fast access to data so games load faster so you can get to the action quicker.

BIOSTAR RACING Z170GTN supports full-speed x16 PCIe 3.0 x16 graphics cards for maximum support for the latest graphics card from both AMD or NVIDIA allowing gamers to enjoy unhindered performance with their latest graphics card.

BIOSTAR RACING signature stylish feature that allows gamers to be able to show-off their personal style is back with the RACING Z170GTN with BIOSTAR’s exclusive VIVID LED DJ and 5050 LED FUN joining the B150GTN as the world’s first mini-ITX motherboard with full RGB LED control for both onboard lighting and external lights. Both of these features allows customizable lighting for gamers who want a color-themed rig making your system the flash with brilliance.

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To compliment the colorful offering of the VIVID LED DJ function, BIOSTAR is giving everyone purchases a BIOSTAR RACING Z170GTN an exclusive free gift: get a free BIOSTAR VIVID LED FAN to stylize your chassis absolutely free with ALL BIOSTAR RACING SERIES motherboards including the BIOSTAR RACING Z170GTN.

The VIVID LED Fan features full customizable color and lighting effects to compliment your RACING series motherboard. Install your own custom 5050 LED strip and customize your system, fully supported by the BIOSTAR RACING series motherboards and controlled by the VIVID LED DJ software.

BIOSTAR equips the RACING Z170GTN with its high-quality BIOSTAR HI-FI audio solution for full aural immersion in your entertainment experience. High-powered and high-clarity brings excellent sound quality to your system and supports high-impedance headphones. Featuring BIOSTAR’s unique Hi-Fi Ground isolation technology, analog signals are isolated from the rest of the board for the purest audio digital reproduction.

With upgraders in mind, BIOSTAR has placed a legacy PS/2 port in the RACING Z170GTN to allow players who prefer legacy peripherals to still use their devices on this motherboard. Video display output via DVI and HDMI are present with four (4) USB3.0 ports for high-speed connection to modern devices. A vertical M.2 slot allows a Wi-Fi card to be installed for added flexibility of wireless network connection or added high-speed solid-state storage.

 

BIOSTAR Racing Series Features

 

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ASUS Z170-WS ATX Workstation Motherboard Announced

1 September 2016ASUS today announced the Z170-WS, a new ATX workstation motherboard packed with multiple exclusive technologies to maximize performance, stability, ease-of-use and upgradability, enabling organizations and professional users to unleash the full potential of the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors.

 

ASUS Z170-WS

Based on the new Intel Z170 Express chipset, the ASUS Z170-WS features ultimate graphics power with four full-length PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 x16 slots, ultimate transfer speeds with the latest USB 3.1, U.2 and dual M.2 connectivity, and ultimate server design with flexible support for a diverse range of graphics, networking and RAID hardware.

Z170-WS also boasts the ultimate exclusive extras with 5-Way Optimization for one-click performance boosts and Q-Code Logger for quick diagnosis and maintenance.

 

Four full-length PCI Express 3.0 slots with multi-GPU support

Z170-WS is equipped with four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots for up to 4-way/quad-GPU NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD CrossFireX dual-width configurations, setting it apart as an excellent workstation choice for graphics professionals who depend on powerful graphics in areas such as design and modeling, medical research, plus processing-intensive simulation and rendering applications.

Z170-WS also has ample room for the latest PCIe-based storage devices, RAID cards, video-capture solutions and many other devices — offering extensive expandability for the workplace.

 

Latest USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C, U.2 and dual M.2 connectivity

With the latest USB 3.1 connectivity built in and both Type-A and reversible Type-C ports for the fastest USB data transfers, Z170-WS delivers data-transfer speeds of up to 10Gbit/s — or twice (2X) as fast as USB 3.0. The next-generation Type-A standard is completely backward-compatible with existing USB devices, while Type-C offers any-way-up convenience, so users of Z170-WS are all set for USB 3.1’s breakneck speeds. ASUS-exclusive USB 3.1 Boost technology automatically accelerates USB 3.1 performance even further, for an added edge.

NVM Express (NVMe) is the revolutionary specification that unlocks the full potential of the latest SSDs, and Z170-WS has a U.2 connector on board. This enables plug-and-play ease for data-transfer speeds of up to 32Gbit/s, and frees up a PCIe slot for another expansion card.

Z170-WS also has onboard dual M.2 sockets with x4 PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth for up to 32Gbit/s speeds — enabling data transfers that are up to 3.5X faster than traditional SSDs. Z170-WS’s dual M.2 sockets also enable RAID 0 configurations for maximum performance, with tested read and write speeds that are respectively up to 90% and 30% faster than single-drive configurations, or RAID 1 setups for redundancy and reliability.

 

12K solid capacitors, ProCool power connectors and extensive testing

ASUS Z170-WS couples innovative thinking with ultra-high reliability and longevity, representing the ultimate server design. With 12K solid capacitors and exclusive ProCool power connectors, Z170-WS is built to stay cool under pressure — and boosts performance, power efficiency and product longevity to extreme levels.

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Z170-WS’s Japanese-made 12K solid capacitors are ultra-resilient, able to withstand temperatures as high as 105°C for up to 12,000 hours, far exceeding everyday demands. At a typical operating temperature of 65°C, ASUS 12K capacitors have an expected lifespan of 1.2m hours — or well over a century of real-world use.

ProCool is Z170-WS’s ASUS-exclusive reinvented power connector. ProCool connectors ensure an exceptionally close and secure connection with the motherboard. The design is much stronger than traditional connectors, and ProCool also benefits power efficiency: the flush connection enables lower impedance and better heat dissipation, allowing cooler operating temperatures.

In addition, Z170-WS is designed for and tested with a vast array of professional-grade graphics, networking and RAID equipment, ensuring the best speeds, compatibility and upgrade flexibility.

Q-Code Logger is Z170-WS’s quick-diagnosis tool that lets users easily check system status at any time. Plug a flash drive into the adjacent USB port, press the motherboard’s dedicated Q-Code Logger button and all ASUS Q-Code event logs are copied to the drive — even when the system is switched off.

 

Dynamic auto-tuning with one-click 5-Way Optimization

Z170-WS includes ASUS-exclusive 5-Way Optimization technology to take care of complex tuning with a single click. 5-Way Optimization dynamically optimizes essential aspects of Z170-WS systems based on real-time use – delivering superb CPU performance, everyday energy savings, ultra-stable digital power, plus cooler operation and quieter fans. The one-click technology even ensures that networking and audio settings are optimized for the apps currently in use.

 

ASUS Z170-WS Availability & Pricing

Launch Price : RM 1899 / ~US$475
Warranty : 3 Years
Availability : Now

 

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Colorful iGame Z170 Ymir-G Motherboard Announced

August 4th, 2016 ShenzhenColorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, proudly announces its feature-packed gaming motherboard: the iGame Z170 Ymir-G for the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors.

The latest part of the iGame family of high-performance products intended for gamers and enthusiasts, the iGAME Z170 Ymir-G motherboard boasts features for any and all kinds of gamers from modders to streamers.

 

COLORFUL iGAME Z170 Ymir-G

The COLORFUL iGAME Z170 Ymir-G motherboard loads everything a gamer needs and more into a single motherboard. Supporting 6th-generation Intel processors for the LGA1151 socket, this motherboard supports processors up to 125w and delivers solid power to the CPU thanks to its 14-phase power delivery design which also helps in stable overclocking.

The motherboard features rich connectivity options including a wide range of internal expansion and external I/O: high-speed storage via 32G/s M.2 port, 16G/s SATA Express ports, 10G/s USB3.1 as well as USB Type-C, quick charge USB ports and dual-LAN support with both Intel i211 and Killer E2201 chips onboard.

The board supports multi-GPU solutions for extreme gaming with support for both NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire configurations. For easy maintenance and power-user purpose, the COLORFUL iGAME Z170 Ymir-G has onboard buttons for Power, Reset, OC, Memory compatibility adjustment and CMOS reset.

All of this is presented in an aggressive black and red colorscheme with LED light function available in red, green and blue lighting options.

 

iGame Z170 Ymir-G Features

Robust power delivery – 14-phase power design built with reliable, high-performance components for excellent stability and reliability

Dual-LAN – Killer E2201 gaming-grade network chip and Intel i211 NIC both available onboard for maximum throughput, optimal network performance and bandwidth traffic management

Gamer Voice – professional Hi-Fi audio system featuring 120dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) hi-fi chip for clear and high power audio together with Nichicon Japanese capacitors.

Everything at your fingertips – dedicated physical buttons on-board for maintenance (power on/off, reset, CMOS clear) and a one-key overclocking button to instantly boost performance by up to 20-30%.

Dual BIOS – protect your system with dual BIOS ROMs. Switch and recover from a secondary BIOS or maintain to different BIOS versions for maximum compatibility.

Support for high-speed storage – SATA Express and M.2 ports allow users to utilize the latest in storage technology providing more bandwidth and transfer speed than conventional SATAIII speeds.

Multi-GPU support – scale your graphics performance with both NVIDIA and AMD multi-GPU solutions to power the most demanding games. NVIDIA 2-way SLI and AMD 3-way CrossfireX supported.

User-customizable LED lighting – tweak the lighting of the audio area to your own style with user-customizable multi-color LED lights

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iGAME Z170 Ymir-G Specifications

 

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ECS Launches Z170-LIGHTSABER & LIVA PRO mini PC

Taipei, TaiwanElitegroup Computer System (ECS) proudly introduces its brand new LEET GAMING motherboard Z170-LIGHTSABER and LIVA Pro mini-PC in 2016 Computex.

Z170-LIGHTSABER adopts the Killer E2400 Gaming high-performance Gigabit Ethernet Controller that prioritizes bandwidth automatically to decrease gaming latency. It implements an independent power solution and Nichicon audio capacitors to provide better audio quality.

In addition, it features Illumination LED with 7 colors to go well with your gaming components and chassis! ECS launches new LIVA mini PC – Pro, adopting a MINI STX motherboard. It supports the latest Intel desktop processors and the fastest DDR4 memory to offer amazing performance within a 1.3-liter size! LIVA Pro brings desktop grade flexibility and performance into the mini PC market.

 

Z170-LIGHTSABER – LEET GAMING motherboard

Z170-LIGHTSABER adopts gamers’ favorite Killer E2400 Gaming high-performance Gigabit Ethernet Controller that prioritizes bandwidth automatically to decrease gaming latency. Z170-LIGHTSABER features Superior Audio – an independent audio power solution, which protects from electromagnetic interference, a changeable audio amplifier that suits the gamer’s audio taste, and Nichicon audio capacitors delivering great stability and reliability.

Z170-LIGHTSABER offers a brand new USB power supply design to support high power USB devices such as VR glasses, and gaming equipment USB ports with 1000Hz response rate for high-end gaming keyboards or mice! On top of these rich features, Z170-LIGHTSABER has special Illumination LED with 7 colors. Gamers can switch LED color to go well with their gaming equipment and chassis! From the inside and out, Z170-LIGHTSABER is unique for you!

 

LIVA Pro mini PC

Since 2013, ECS LIVA mini PC series has won lots of awards and received positive feedback from worldwide media and customers. In 2016, ECS and Intel co-developed a brand new form factor solution – a MINI STX motherboard into the DIY desktop market. Its’ size is 29% smaller than MINI ITX, but keeps the hardware configuration of a traditional DIY motherboard. The size of LIVA Pro with MINI STX motherboard is only 1.3 liters!

Supporting Intel’s latest Core i processors, and standard LGA115x coolers and featuring DDR4 SO-DIMMs up to 32GB! In addition, it supports USB 3.0 with the Type-C connector, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, dual display outputs via HDMI and DisplayPort, and 2.5” HDD/SSD. LIVA Pro brings great flexibility and performance into the mini PC market to satisfy more users’ requirements.

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ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 Motherboard Review

ASRock is a relatively new motherboard manufacturer, and it shows in their designs. They are more willing to come up with edgier designs, with a particular emphasis on marketing-friendly features. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their Fatal1ty-branded motherboards based on the Intel Z170 chipset – the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4.

 

ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 Specifications

SpecificationsASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4
ChipsetIntel Z170
CPU Support6th Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors (Socket 1151)
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK & Hyper BCLK Engine Full-range Overclocking
CPU Power10-phase digital power design
Memory SupportUp to 64 GB of non-ECC, unbuffered DDR4 memory
- Four DDR4 DIMM slots with 15 μ gold-plated contacts (dual-channel)
- Supports up to DDR4-3866+ (OC) with a single memory module
- Supports DDR4-3600 (OC) / DDR4-3200 (OC) / DDR4-2933 (OC) / DDR4-2800 (OC) / DDR4-2400 (OC) / DDR4-2133
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operating in non-ECC mode)
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOSTwo 128 Mbits AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual GUI support
- Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
- ACPI 5.0 & SMBIOS 2.7 Compliant
- Supports CPU, DRAM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA voltage adjustments
Processor Graphics Support- Supports Intel HD Graphics with up to 1792 MB shared memory
- Built-in DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 output supports triple monitors
- Maximum DVI-D resolution : 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Maximum HDMI resolution : 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
- Maximum DisplayPort resolution : 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Audio SupportASRock Purity Sound 3
- Realtek ALC1150 7.1-channel HD audio codec
- Nichicon Fine Gold series capacitors, 115 dB SND DAC with two Ti NE5532 amplifiers
LAN SupportKiller E2400 Gigabit LAN
- Supports Energy-Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports Lightning & ESD Protection
Expansion Slots2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots
- x16 (PCIE2) and x4 (PCIE4)
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX and CrossFireX

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots (Flexible PCIe design)
Storage Ports2 x SATA Express (10 Gb/s) ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support
- each can be converted into two SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/s) ports

2 x SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) ports

1 x Ultra M.2 socket
- Supports Type 2230 / 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 M.2 modules
- Supports M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen 3 x4
Connectors- 1 x COM Port Header
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 2 x CPU Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 4 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
Rear Panel I/O- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x USB 2.0 Port (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 2.0 Fatal1ty Mouse Port (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 5 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Type C Port (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
Hardware Sensors- CPU & chassis temperature sensors and fan tachometers
- Voltage monitoring for +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA
Form FactorFull ATX : 30.5 cm x 21.8 cm / 12.0" x 8.6"
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7
Certifications- FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)
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Unboxing The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 comes in a typical motherboard box – a large cardboard box with its key features printed on the underside. Let us show you what’s inside the box in this unboxing video…

Inside, the box is divided into two layers by a simple cardboard insert. Under it is the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard in an anti-static bag with a pink polyethylene anti-static sheet wrapped around it.

When you remove everything, you will find the following items :

Next Page > The Motherboard, CPU Power & Performance, PCI Express

 

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The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 Motherboard

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 is a full ATX-sized motherboard that boasts the following key features :

  1. [adrotate banner=”4″]ASRock Super Alloy
  2. Gaming Armor – Memory / VGA Card / Cooling / Internet / Audio
  3. Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  4. Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
  5. Supports DDR4 3866+(OC) memory modules
  6. 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  7. AMD Quad CrossFireX and CrossFireX
  8. Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI
  9. 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound 3 & DTS Connect
  10. 2 SATA Express, 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  11. 8 USB 3.0 (5 Type-A & 1 Type-C) – 2 Front, 6 Rear)
  12. Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop, F-Stream, Key Master, XSplit

We also prepared a special video to show you the key design features of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard. Enjoy!

 

CPU Power & Performance

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard features a 10-phase power design. This is most likely an 8+2 design, with 8 phases dedicated to the CPU. That ensures a cooler and more efficient power conversion compared to voltage regulator modules (VRM) with fewer phases. Its MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by large aluminium alloy heatsinks, which helps ensure reliability and longevity of the VRM.

The Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 uses digital pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control its VRM. The PWM is critical in ensuring a stable power supply. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

ASRock also equipped the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 with Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors, which not only boasts faster response times and lower voltage noise but also a much longer lifespan (12,000 hours @ 105 °C). In general – this motherboard is designed to last.

To support CPU coolers with two fans, or a DIMM cooler, The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 has two CPU fan headers – one on each end of the four DIMM slots.

 

PCI Express Slots

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard has 5 PCI Express slots – 2 full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and 3 much smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The upper PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE2) operates at full x16 speed while the lower PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE4) only operates at x4 speed.

The three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots are of the flexible design. That basically means an open-ended slot. This allows you to use any PCI Express card in those x1 slots, even x16 cards. The only downside is that they will only run at x1 speed.

Next Page > DDR4 Memory, Ultra M.2, SATA Ports, Purity Sound 3, Dual BIOS

 

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DDR4 Memory Slots

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots, their contacts gold-plated to protect them against oxidation and corrosion. Even though the Intel Z170 chipset only supports non-ECC memory, these DIMM slots can accept ECC memory modules – with their ECC capability disabled.

The Intel Z170 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2133 MHz in frequency, but the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 3600 MHz with selected modules. It even supports 3866 MHz, but only if a single memory module is installed.

 

Ultra M.2 Socket

The Ultra M.2 socket is a unique ASRock feature. The M.2 socket is usually connected to the Z170 chipset using two PCI Express lanes. ASRock has instead connected the M.2 socket directly to the Intel Core processor using four PCI Express lanes. This not only doubles the maximum bandwidth to 32 Gbits/s (4 GB/s), it also reduces the M.2 socket’s latency.

Of course, you will need an M.2 SSD that supports PCIe x4. Even so, PCIe x2 SSDs may benefit slightly from the lower latencies associated with the Ultra M.2 socket being directly connected to the CPU, bypassing the Z170 chipset.

 

SATA Ports

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 specifications officially quotes 2 SATA Express ports as well as 6 standard SATA 3 ports. However, this is not really the case – it only comes with 2 SATA Express ports and 2 SATA 3 ports.

Of course, each SATA Express port can be “converted” into 2 standard SATA 3 ports. After all, the SATA Express port is really just two SATA 3 ports with a smaller PCI Express port that delivers two PCIe lanes. In other words, it supports up to 2 SATA Express drives and 2 SATA drives, or up to 6 SATA drives.

Depending on how many drives you intend to use in your system, this may or may not be sufficient. But the good news is that they did stack the connectors, like they did in the ASRock Z170 Extreme4. This makes the Z170 Gaming K4’s connectors must easier to access.

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ASRock Purity Sound 3

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard comes with the ASRock Purity Sound 3 audio solution. This is a combination of the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec with a 115 dB SNR DAC, two Ti NE5532 amplifiers as well as EMI and PCB shielding.

One of the Ti NE5532 amplifiers is used as a differential amplifier, which avoids the distortion caused by audio capacitors. The other Ti NE5532 amplifier is dedicated to driving the headphone port, allowing you to use high-impedance headphones without a separate amplifier or sound card.

 

Dual BIOS

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 was designed with techies in mind. It sports two 128 Mbit BIOS chips, with a physical switch. This allows you to quickly switch to the backup BIOS if you make an unrecoverable mistake in the BIOS setting, or the BIOS is corrupted after a flash failure.

Next Page > Fatal1ty Mouse Port, I/O Ports & Armor, Other Accessories, Our Verdict

 

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Fatal1ty Mouse Port

This is the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4‘s “killer feature” – the Fatal1ty mouse port. This red-coloured mouse port is supposed to impart Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel‘s skills to the user when a mouse is plugged in. How is that supposed to happen?

With the ASRock F-Stream software installed, the Fatal1ty mouse port is set to use Fatal1ty’s personal preferred mouse polling rate of 500 Hz. The ASRock F-Stream software also allows you to change the mouse polling rate from 125 Hz to 1000 Hz. Of course, the higher polling rates may not be supported by some mice.

Frankly speaking, this is really just marketing fluff. Any gamer who takes gaming even half-seriously would be using a half-decent gaming mouse. And most (if not all) half-decent gaming mice allow you to change the mouse polling rates, amongst other things. There is no need to even use a special mouse port to achieve this.

If you have a good gaming mouse, it will even allow you to change the polling rate or sensor resolution on-the-fly… and yes, it would work with any USB port. So why bother with the Fatal1ty mouse port?

 

I/O Ports & Armor

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 has a ton of I/O ports at the rear, including a legacy PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports (the top port being the Fatal1ty mouse port), a Type C USB 3.0 port (note that this is not the faster USB 3.1 port) as well as 5 standard USB 3.0 ports. In addition to the 5 audio and line-in port, it also sports a single Gigabit LAN port. For display purposes, it offers a DVI-D port and a HDMI port.

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 also features what ASRock calls their I/O Armor. It is ostensibly a protective cover that protects the rear I/O ports from static damage. Frankly speaking, this is only useful if you are using the motherboard outside of a chassis. When installed in a chassis, that job is fulfilled by the I/O shield (also included) that is installed into the chassis.

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Other Accessories

Here is a closer look at the other accessories included in the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 package – the manual and driver CD. A case sticker can be found inside the driver CD sleeve.

It also comes with four SATA 3 cables and a small plastic bag with a single small screw – this is used to lock the Ultra M.2 SSD in place.

 

Our Verdict

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard has all of the hallmarks of a decent gaming motherboard. It boasts a 10-phase power design with a digital PWM and Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors. The entire power supply is further cooled by large aluminium-alloy heatsinks. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring an efficient power conversion, stable power supply and longer lifespan.

There are decent expansion options with 2 full-sized PCI Express x16 slots and 3 small PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x1 slots are even the “flexible” type that will accept any PCI Express card. Audiophiles will appreciate the better audio quality courtesy of its Purity Sound 3 module. Their Ultra M.2 socket is also a nice touch although it has minimal effect on your M.2 SSD’s performance unless it supports PCIe x4.

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 comes with plenty of USB ports and headers, and even a Type C port. However, we should point out that it does not support the latest USB 3.1 standard. Even the Type C port is a USB 3.0 port. It allows you to attach USB 3.1 devices but it will only transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds, which is roughly half that of USB 3.1. If you must have USB 3.1 support, you need to consider the higher-end ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard.

But the greatest disappointment is the Fatal1ty Mouse Port feature. It is really nothing more than marketing fluff, since it is just a USB 2.0 port. Its ability to adjust the mouse polling rate is through the bundled F-Stream software. This is a standard feature in all gaming mouse software that does not require any special USB port.

If you are looking for a decent gaming motherboard based on the Intel Z170 chipset, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 is worthy of consideration. It has plenty of genuine hardware features that will ensure long lifespan and high reliability. Just don’t expect the Fatal1ty brand or the Fatal1ty Mouse Port to impart any gaming benefit. That’s pure marketing. Focus on the real features and you won’t be disappointed.

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The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard Review Rev. 2.0

ASRock is a relatively new motherboard manufacturer, and it shows in their designs. They are more willing to come up with edgier designs, with a particular emphasis on marketing-friendly features. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their Intel Z170-based motherboards – the ASRock Z170 Extreme4.

Updated @ 2016-05-03 : Updated the review with additional information, particularly with regards to its PCI Express and SATA Express ports.

 

ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Specifications

SpecificationsASRock Z170 Extreme4
ChipsetIntel Z170
CPU Support6th Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors (Socket 1151)
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK & Hyper BCLK Engine Full-range Overclocking
CPU Power10-phase digital power design
Memory SupportUp to 64 GB of non-ECC, unbuffered DDR4 memory
- Four DDR4 DIMM slots with 15 μ gold-plated contacts (dual-channel)
- Supports up to DDR4-3866+ (OC) with a single memory module
- Supports DDR4-3600 (OC) / DDR4-3200 (OC) / DDR4-2933 (OC) / DDR4-2800 (OC) / DDR4-2400 (OC) / DDR4-2133
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operating in non-ECC mode)
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOSTwo 128 Mbits AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual GUI support
- Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
- ACPI 5.0 & SMBIOS 2.7 Compliant
- Supports CPU, DRAM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA voltage adjustments
Processor Graphics Support- Supports Intel HD Graphics with up to 1792 MB shared memory
- Built-in DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 output supports triple monitors
- Maximum DVI-D resolution : 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Maximum HDMI resolution : 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
- Maximum DisplayPort resolution : 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Audio SupportASRock Purity Sound 3
- Realtek ALC1150 7.1-channel HD audio codec
- Nichicon Fine Gold series capacitors, 115 dB SND DAC with two Ti NE5532 amplifiers
LAN SupportIntel I219V Gigabit LAN
- Supports Energy-Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports Lightning & ESD Protection
Expansion Slots3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots
- x16 with single card / x8-x8 with two cards / x8-x8-x4 with three cards
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and CrossFireX
- Supports NVIDIA Quad SLI and SLI

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots (Flexible PCIe design)
Storage Ports3 x SATA Express (10 Gb/s) ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support
- each can be converted into two SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/s) ports

1 x Ultra M.2 socket
- Supports Type 2230 / 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 M.2 modules
- Supports M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen 3 x4
Connectors- 1 x COM Port Header
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 2 x CPU Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 3 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
Rear Panel I/O- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 6 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel Z170) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
Hardware Sensors- CPU & chassis temperature sensors and fan tachometers
- Case Open detection
- Voltage monitoring for +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA
Form FactorFull ATX
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7
Certifications- FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)

 

Unboxing The ASRock Z170 Extreme4

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 comes in a typical motherboard box – a large cardboard box with its key features printed on the underside. Let us show you what’s inside the box in this unboxing video…

Inside, the box is divided into two layers by a simple cardboard insert. Under it is the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard in an anti-static bag with a pink polyethylene anti-static sheet wrapped around it.

When you remove everything, you will find the following items :

Page 2 > The Motherboard, CPU Power & Performance, DDR4 Memory

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The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 is a full ATX-sized motherboard that boasts the following key features :

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  1. ASRock Super Alloy
  2. Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  3. Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
  4. Supports DDR4 3866+(OC) memory modules
  5. 3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  6. NVIDIA Quad SLI, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX
  7. Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2
  8. Supports Triple Monitor
  9. 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound 3 & DTS Connect
  10. 3 SATA Express, 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  11. 2 USB 3.1 (1 Type-C & 1 Type-A), 8 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 6 Rear)
  12. Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop

We also prepared a special video to show you the key design features of the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard. Enjoy!

 

CPU Power & Performance

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard features a 10-phase power design. This is most likely an 8+2 design, with 8 phases dedicated to the CPU. That ensures a cooler and more efficient power conversion compared to voltage regulator modules (VRM) with fewer phases. Its MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by large aluminium alloy heatsinks, which helps ensure reliability and longevity of the VRM.

The Z170 Extreme4 uses digital pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control its VRM. The PWM is critical in ensuring a stable power supply. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

ASRock also equipped the Z170 Extreme4 with Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors, which not only boasts faster response times and lower voltage noise but also a much longer lifespan (12,000 hours @ 105 °C). In general – this motherboard is designed to last.

To support CPU coolers with two fans, or a DIMM cooler, the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 has two CPU fan headers placed at the top of the board, right next to the four DIMM slots. Finally, the Z170 Extreme4 features an external base clock generator, which gives you finer control of the BLCK frequency- in 0.0625 MHz steps. Of course, the utility of such fine control of the BCLK clock is questionable…

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DDR4 Memory Slots

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots, their contacts gold-plated to protect them against oxidation and corrosion. Even though the Intel Z170 chipset only supports non-ECC memory, these DIMM slots can accept ECC memory modules – with their ECC capability disabled.

The Intel Z170 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2133 MHz in frequency, but the Z170 Extreme4 allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 3600 MHz with selected modules. It even supports 3866 MHz, but only if a single memory module is installed.

Page 3 > PCI Express, Ultra M.2, SATA Ports

 

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PCI Express Slots

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard has 6 PCI Express slots – 3 full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and 3 much smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The top-most PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE2) operates at full x16 speed with a single card.

If you have two graphics cards, you will need to install them in PCIE2 and PCIE4 and they will both run at x8 speed. If you install a third graphics cards in the PCIE6 slot, it will only run at x4 speed.

The three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots are of the flexible design. That basically means an open-ended slot. This allows you to use any PCI Express card in those x1 slots, even x16 cards. The only downside is that they will only run at x1 speed.

 

Ultra M.2 Socket

The Ultra M.2 socket is a unique ASRock feature. The M.2 socket is usually connected to the Z170 chipset using two PCI Express lanes. ASRock has instead connected the M.2 socket directly to the Intel Core processor using four PCI Express lanes. This not only doubles the maximum bandwidth to 32 Gbits/s (4 GB/s), it also reduces the M.2 socket’s latency.

Of course, you will need an M.2 SSD that supports PCIe x4. Even so, PCIe x2 SSDs may benefit slightly from the lower latencies associated with the Ultra M.2 socket being directly connected to the CPU, bypassing the Z170 chipset.

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SATA Ports

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 specifications officially quotes 3 SATA Express ports as well as 6 standard SATA 3 ports. However, that is not really the case – it only comes with 3 SATA Express ports.

Of course, each SATA Express port can be “converted” into 2 standard SATA 3 ports. After all, the SATA Express port is really just two SATA 3 ports with a smaller PCI Express port that delivers two PCIe lanes. So you can attach up to 3 SATA Express devices, or 6 SATA devices, or any combinations in between.

Depending on how many drives you intend to use in your system, this may or may not be sufficient. The stacked side-facing SATA ports also may prove to be troublesome. In tight cases, you may not be able to access the lower SATA Express port, depriving you of the opportunity to attach a SATA Express device, or two SATA devices.

Page 4 > Purity Sound 3, Goodies For Techies, I/O Ports & Armor, Other Accessories

 

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ASRock Purity Sound 3

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard comes with their Purity Sound 3 audio solution. It is a combination of the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec with a 115 dB SNR DAC, two Ti NE5532 amplifiers as well as EMI and PCB shielding.

One of the Ti NE5532 amplifiers is used as a differential amplifier, which avoids the distortion caused by audio capacitors. The other Ti NE5532 amplifier is dedicated to driving the headphone port, allowing you to use high-impedance headphones without a separate amplifier or sound card.

 

Goodies For Techies

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 was designed with techies in mind. It sports two 128 Mbit BIOS chips, with a physical switch. This allows you to quickly switch to the backup BIOS if you make an unrecoverable mistake in the BIOS setting, or the BIOS is corrupted after a flash failure.

They also include physical Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard, for enthusiasts who prefer to use the Z170 Extreme4 outside of a chassis. There is also a 2-digit Dr. Debug LED display that displays an error code during any failure. Very useful indeed.

 

I/O Ports & Armor

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 has a ton of I/O ports at the rear, including a legacy PS/2 port, a physical Reset button, two USB 3.1 ports (one Type A, one Type C) as well as 6 standard USB 3.0 ports. In addition to the 5 audio and line-in port, it also sports a single Gigabit LAN port. For display purposes, it boasts a DVI-D port, a HDMI port and a DisplayPort.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 also features what ASRock calls their I/O Armor. It is ostensibly a protective cover that protects the rear I/O ports from static damage. Frankly speaking, this is only useful if you are using the motherboard outside of a chassis. When installed in a chassis, that job is fulfilled by the I/O shield (also included) that is installed into the chassis.

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Other Accessories

Here is a closer look at the other accessories included in the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 package – the manual and driver CD. A case sticker can be found inside the driver CD sleeve.

It also comes with four SATA 3 cables and an SLI bridge card. There is a small plastic bag with a single small screw – this is used to lock the Ultra M.2 SSD in place.

Page 5 > Our Verdict & Award

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Our Verdict

ASRock has been accused of focusing a bit too much on marketing, at the expense of quality. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 boasts a 10-phase power design with a digital PWM and Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors. The entire power supply is further cooled by large aluminium-alloy heatsinks. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring an efficient power conversion, stable power supply and longer lifespan.

We also like the fact that they added support for USB 3.1. Not just the more common Type C, they also added the larger Type A port. Their Ultra M.2 socket is also a nice touch although it has minimal effect on your M.2 SSD’s performance unless it supports PCIe x4.

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Audiophiles will appreciate the better audio quality courtesy of its Purity Sound 3 module. Enthusiasts who prefer using the motherboard “in the nude” will love their addition of physical Power and Reset buttons as well as a Dr. Debug LED.

There is plenty of expansion options with 3 full-sized PCI Express x16 slots and 3 small PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x1 slots are even the “flexible” type that will accept any PCI Express card.

The only downside is the limited number of SATA ports. This will be a problem in tight cases because 4 of them are stacked and bent perpendicularly. Only two of the SATA ports are conveniently located at the lower right corner of the motherboard.

Overall, this is one sweet Intel Z170 motherboard, especially for a hardware enthusiast who prefers not to use a chassis. We think it deserves at least our Reviewers’ Choice Award. Congratulations, ASRock!

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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GIGABYTE To Showcase New HEDT & BRIX Products At CeBIT 2016

Taipei, Taiwan, March 14, 2016GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd. invites the world to CeBIT 2016 in Hannover, Germany, where it will be showcasing GIGABYTE Z170 Chipset Motherboards, High-End Desktop (HEDT) Motherboards and the latest BRIX Products at CeBIT 2016, in Hall 15, Booth# D20

CeBIT is an IT show and conference that defines the latest IT trends, presenting renowned speakers, forward-looking panel discussions and showcases of innovative products from all over the world. It’s estimated to welcome roughly 250,000 visitors with more than 3,000 exhibitors from 70 different countries.

 

Motherboards Engineered for Gaming

During the exhibit GIGABYTE will be showcasing a number of boards in its G1 Gaming Series based on the Intel Z170 chipset: the Z170X-Gaming G1, Z170X-Gaming 7, Z170X-Gaming 5 and Z170X-Gaming 3. These boards are targeted at gamers with the exclusive unique GIGABYTE technologies such as, One Piece PCIe Metal Shielding, AMP-UP Audio, Killer Networking and Turbo B-Clock. Select boards even support USB 3.1 with the new Type-C connector, Intel Thunderbolt 3 through the use of the official Intel Thunderbolt Controller.

 

Designing the Future with GIGABYTE HEDT Motherboards

HEDT motherboards bring support for the Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 Processors and ECC DDR4 Memory. This Professional class motherboard is perfect for content creators who specialize in Photography, Designing, Video Streaming and more. It has features that are perfect for creative artists that require the latest connectivity, with support for PCIe Gen.3 x4 M.2 connectors users are able to reach transfer speeds of up to 32 Gb/s.

The utilization of the new Intel 750 NVMe is a perfect example of this technology which improves transfer speeds by 4x that of traditional Solid-State Drives (SSDs). Moreover, with designers and graphics artists requiring an increasingly faster GPU for rendering, GIGABYTE has qualified NVIDIA Quadro Cards on our Approved Vendor List (AVL) through strenuous testing procedures.

 

Ultra Compact Computing with the Next Generation GIGABYTE BRIX

[adrotate banner=”4″]GIGABYTE’s BRIX has been turning heads ever since it entered the barebone Mini-PC market, and now with the Intel 6th Generation Core Processors it’s doing so once again. With such a small footprint the BRIX is the epitome of innovation for the PC Industry.

With multiple USB3.0 ports and video connectivity via mini DisplayPort and HDMI, the BRIX is perfect for digital signage, a desktop alternative and even as a home theater PC (HTPC). On display at CeBIT there will be the GB-BSi5T-6200 and GB-BSi5A-6200 featuring a USB Type-C connector as well as the GB-BACE-3000 and GB-BACE-3150 which support a fanless design.

The GIGABYTE BRIX are available in a variety of different configurations based on the 6th Gen. Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, allowing users to buy the exact model that meets their needs, while some BRIX offers support for a 2.5” SSD or HDD for users that need the extra storage space.

 

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GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition

Taipei, Taiwan, March 4, 2016 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd. today announced its next competition for the overclocking community with the GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition, to be hosted this March on HWBOT.org.

Kicking off March 12th, the GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition will challenge overclockers to push their motherboards and 6th Gen Intel processors to the limit, in a two category, three stage competition that’s absolute madness. This competition is open to all skill levels, with Novice, Rookie, Enthusiast, Elite and Extreme category levels allowing anyone to participate.

There are a number of cash and hardware prizes up for grabs! The winner for each category will be awarded $500 USD. In addition, participants that submit a score in all stages of their respective categories are eligible to enter a lucky draw for one of three GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 motherboards as the grand prize.

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The GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition

March 12 until April 9 2016, 23:59 (UTC +8).

 

Category 1: Enthusiast, Rookie and Novice Overclockers

Stage 1: XTU

  • Submissions open March 12
  • Submissions close on March 24
  • CPU frequency must be set at 4.5GHz max

Stage 2: HWBOT x265 1080p

  • Submissions open on March 24
  • Submissions close on March 31
  • No restrictions, such madness!

Stage 3: SPI 32M

  • Submissions open March 31
  • Submissions close on April 9
  • CPU frequency must be set at 4GHz max

 

Category 2: Elite and Extreme Overclockers

Stage 1: XTU

  • Submissions open March 12
  • Submissions close on March 24
  • CPU frequency must be set at 5GHz max

Stage 2: Maxxmem Read Bandwidth

  • Submissions open on March 24
  • Submissions close on March 31
  • No restrictions, such madness!

Stage 3: Geekbench Single Core

  • Submissions open March 31
  • Submissions close on April 9
  • No restrictions, such madness!

 

Contest Rules

  • This competition is limited to GIGABYTE Z170 Motherboards only.
  • Every submission must include the competition background and a picture of the rig.
  • To be eligible for the lucky draw, participants must submit in all stages of one category.
  • A participant is eligible to win only once. If a participant is a category winner, he will not be eligible for the lucky draw
  • In case of a tie, the tie-breaker is the best score in Stage 3. If there’s still a tie, the best score in Stage 2, etc.

 

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MSI Offers Free Rainbow Six Siege Bundles

MSI is offering FREE copies of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege with selected Intel X170 motherboard models. Check out the free game bundles :

 

Z170A KRAIT GAMING R6 SIEGE

Promotion Dates: December 1st 2015 to March 1st 2016 or while supplies last
Game Code Expires: June 30th, 2016

* Z170A KRAIT GAMING R6 SIEGE game bundle promotion is available worldwide.

 

Z170A GAMING M5

[adrotate banner=”4″]Promotion Date: December 1st 2015 to March 1st 2016 or while supplies last. The offer is valid for purchases within the promotion period.
Game Code Expires: June 30th, 2016

* Z170A GAMING M5 game bundle promotion is available in selected countries only.

Qualifying Countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.

 

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BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 Motherboard Launched

January 12th, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR is proud to introduce the flagship of the new RACING series, the BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 motherboard.

Flaunting the new Super 5 Design Concept, the BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 flaunts the best of the BIOSTAR RACING series together with its latest motherboard design features including the all new RACING IO armor, carbon-fiber design treatment on the heatsink, checkered flag PCB print on a matte black surface treatment and Titanium-color RACING audio shielding.

 

BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7

The BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 features support the latest Intel 6th-generation Core processors featuring the Intel Z170 chipset. The board supports up to four DDR4 memory modules of speeds up to DDR4-3200(OC) with capacities of up to 64GB. Signature BIOSTAR Hi-Fi audio solution for a better listening experience than standard built-in audio.

Other features include support for USB3.1 Type-C reversible connector for existing and future devices supporting the interface and also SATA Express and PCI-e M.2. Featuring more bandwidth than USB3.0, USB3.1 along with the new reversible Type-C connector allows greater bandwidth and more flexibility to use devices with your motherboard.

Dual-BIOS protection allows greater security against BIOS corruption and damage from faulty BIOS update procedure. A manual switch allows toggling between BIOS chips for full control of which BIOS you want to use.

 

Super 5 Design

Biostar has built the RACING series motherboard from the ground up, taking into consideration the ever-changing needs of gamers and enthusiasts. The new BIOSTAR RACING Series is proud to introduce the Super 5 Design Concept:

  • Super Face – all new racing design theme for visual appeal
  • Super Power – powerful hardware design
  • Super Sound – signature BIOSTAR HI-FI audio experience
  • Super Easy – User-friendly design and accessible touch control
  • Super Fun – unique DIY concept for enthusiasts and modders

 

BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 Specifications

CPU LGA 1151 Processor
Power 9 phase
Chipset Intel Z170
Capacitors 100% Solid Capacitors
Memory 4 x DIMM, support DDR4-3200
Expansion Slot 4 x PCI-E x16 3.0
3 x PCI-E x1 3.0
1 x M.2 32Gb/s(42/60/80mm)
Audio 7.1 channel Blu-ray Audio w/ Double Hi-Fi
LAN Intel i219V
Storage 3 x SATA Express 16Gb/s
Video DVI-D, 2 x HDMI, VGA
USB 3.1 / 3.0 / 2.0 1 x USB 3.1 (TYPE C)
7 x USB3.0 (2+5)
4 x USB 2.0 (4+0)
Feature Vivid LED DJ/ Smart Ear/ BIO-Remote2/ BIOS Online Update

 

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MSI Carbon Edition X99 & Z170 Motherboards Launched

MSI GAMING motherboards are dedicated to ultimate performance and the best gaming experience. With 2 new CARBON special edition models, the Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON and the pinnacle of GAMING, X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON, we managed to make MSI GAMING with Mystic Light better than ever.

The CARBON motherboards full black color scheme, with the new and improved Mystic Light, combines flashiness with sophistication that is sure to make your pc stand out. Besides its strength and futuristic looks, carbon-fiber is also very light to represent the ultimate performance these new CARBON motherboards deliver. Packed with unique gaming features, the new CARBON Edition motherboards are sure to satisfy even the most demanding gamer.

 

X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon Edition

The most powerful gaming solution in the world just got better. The X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON Edition motherboard features the improved Mystic Light RGB LED feature, supporting up to 16.8Million colors and 16 LED effects to style your rig in any way possible.

As a world’s first, Steel Armor technology is now also available for DDR4 Boost on the new GODLIKE motherboard, offering better EMI-shielding and even better signal strength, for optimal memory performance. Together with Audio Boost 3 Pro, Killer DoubleShot-X3 Pro, Turbo M.2 connectivity, 2X Faster USB 3.1 Type-A & Type-C, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON Edition is the most powerful motherboard to serve you in battle.

Besides gaming, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard already proved itself in the world’s top overclocking ranks and carries a rich history of breaking world records inherited from MSI’s legendary Overclocking motherboards.

Featuring the patented Turbo Socket, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON Edition removes all limits by providing extra pins (2036 in total) for better overlocking of the Intel® extreme processors. Dominate the world of gaming and overclocking while looking awesome with the new X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON Edition motherboard.

 

Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon Edition

[adrotate banner=”4″]Sporting the latest Intel® Z170 chipset and the latest version of Mystic Light, the Z170A GAMING PRO Carbon Edition motherboard is sure to offer outstanding performance and customization of your system. Experience superfast online gaming with MSI GAMING LAN powered Intel. Enjoy crystal-clear immersive in game sounds from the premium quality components of Audio Boost 3.

Load your games in the blink of an eye with blazing fast Turbo M.2 data transfer speeds up to 32Gb/s. Steel Armor ensures the most heavyweight graphics card setups are solid and stable. Engineered to provide both a stunning gaming and visual experience, the Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON Edition gives you plenty of reasons to show off.

 

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ASRock SKY OC Overclocks Non-K Intel Skylake CPUs

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Intel® Skylake K series CPUs are on every hardcore overclocker’s wish list, due to the fact that they are the only ones with an unlocked multiplier that allows users to overclock the CPU frequency effortlessly. However, there seems to be a shortage of these ultra high performing processors lately.

Thankfully ASRock has prepared a nice Christmas present for the overclocking community named SKY OC, an alternative for users to overclock any Intel Skylake i7/i5/i3 or even Pentium non-K CPUs on their ASRock Z170 motherboard.

Engineers at ASRock picked up from where they left off last time, and decided that besides DDR4 memory modules, there might be a way to overclock Intel non-K CPUs without tinkering the multiplier. So here you have the game changing SKY OC which is obtainable simply by a BIOS upgrade from ASRock’s official website.

It’s not the same as overclocking an Intel K-series CPU, because it’s mainly changing the BCLK, but it will be an interesting alternative while people are still waiting for their K-series CPUs to come down the chimney. Lab tests show that the once not overclockable Intel Core i5-6400 CPU can now be overclocked up to a 60% frequency boost with SKY OC on ASRock’s Z170 Pro4!

One might wonder, “this is too good to be true, what’s the catch?” Well, if you had to ask, there are two almost unnoticeable limitations. The first one is the onboard Intel graphics will be disabled while ASRock SKY OC is applied, meaning that users are required to install a graphics card. The second limitation is that CPU Turbo Ratio and C-State will also be disabled.

While ASRock SKY OC breathes life into Intel non-K series CPUs, currently it is still exclusive to motherboards with Intel’s Z170 chipset. But have faith in ASRock’s skillful engineers, sooner or later more Christmas gifts from ASRock are going to be delivered.

List of BIOS versions that support ASRock SKY OC:

 

Model BIOS Model BIOS
Z170 OC Formula L1.92 Z170M Pro4 L2.23
Z170 Extreme7+ L2.16 Z170M Pro4S L2.23
Z170 Extreme6+ L1.82 Z170M-ITX/ac L1.83
Z170 Extreme6 L1.82 Z170A-X1/3.1 L1.31
Z170 Extreme4+ L2.01 Z170 Professional Gaming i7 L1.14
Z170 Extreme4 L2.43 Z170 Gaming K6+ L1.92
Z170 Extreme3 L1.61 Z170 Gaming K6 L1.92
Z170M Extreme4 L1.34 Z170 Gaming K4 L2.23
Z170 Pro4 L2.83 Z170 Gaming K4/D3 L1.51
Z170 Pro4/D3 L1.74 Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac L1.53
Z170 Pro4S L2.73

 

 

ASRock SKY OC Disclaimer

  1. Intel® iGPU, CPU Turbo Ratio, AVX and C-State function will be disabled when running SKY OC, a discrete VGA card is required.
  2. [adrotate banner=”4″]For Z170M PRO4S / Z170M-ITX/ac / Z170M Pro4 / Z170M Extreme4, the CPU temperature cannot be read when running SKY OC.
  3. The overclocking results may vary between different CPUs and hardware configurations.
  4. Due to future hardware/firmware updates or other reasons, the availability of SKY OC is subject to change without notice in advance.
  5. There are certain risks involved with overclocking, such as damaging the CPU, memory module, power supply unit, or destabilizing the system. It should be done at your own expense. If you are unsure about the risks of overclocking, please seek professional advice.