ASRock does not stop improving its devices, and now, with the release of a new series of chipsets from Intel, experts have demonstrated an updated line of «gaming» motherboards, which is the easiest to distinguish from other products thanks to the Fatal1ty prefix introduced into the name. Using the Z270 implies that the product is ready for overclocking, and massive heatsinks in the power circuit reinforce this image. The sound is based on the older codec from Realtek and complemented by a functional utility from Creative. Surprisingly, the network adapter is not used by Killer at all, which has already become a habit for a number of similar boards, here we settled on a proven Intel solution.
Also at the disposal of the user will be three M.2 sockets. There are no more bonuses, since this model is the simplest in the series. The backlight system has been seriously modified, this is also reflected in its name, now the phrase AURA RGB LED is used, actually cloning one of the main competitors.
|Model||ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K4|
|Official product page on the Web||asrock.com|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S, Kaby Lake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2800*/2933*/3200*/3600*/3733+*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
|M.2||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 (Key E, 2230)
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel HD 510/530/610/630|
|Video connectors||HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub|
|Number of connected fans||4x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||8 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel (one type C), Z270)
7 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z270)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z270)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z270)|
|Built-in sound||Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments NE5532
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 224|
|Additional features||Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0), RGB LED Strip Header, Thunderbolt Header, Rear Dual Antenna Stand, AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Support, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3|
|Retail price, $||165|
Packaging and equipment
The product begins to win the sympathy of the buyer with its packaging. It consists of a large black box, equipped with a carrying handle, and a decorative «cover» is put on top of it. The workmanship deserves an excellent rating.
A description of the features is on one side, along with a small photo of the board, a schematic of its rear panel, and a table with the main characteristics.
The delivery set is not the most impressive, there is:
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- UEFI and F-Stream manual in English;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- company logo sticker;
- postcard with the emblem of the series (there is a place for the stamp);
- three mounting screws for M.2 format devices;
- a plug for the body, complete with a black sticker with color and symbol designation of all sockets;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one end.
The device fully complies with the ATX format and has ten mounting points in the case. There are no system status controls (buttons or switches), and no auxiliary diagnostic indicators. But the backlight is implemented in three places — under the overlays near the chipset, in the audio codec wiring area and inside the visor above the rear panel. It is allowed to connect a third-party LED strip, for which one block is prepared on the board.
At the bottom, you can note the presence of screws that secure the radiators, and there are no electronic components at all.
The dismantling of the decorative element demonstrates the overall simple topology of the board. You can see a place for a large unsoldered adapter, most likely, it could be an additional network controller.
The heatsink for the PCH is equipped with a translucent overlay, through which the light from the LEDs soldered directly on the board will break through. The metal structure itself is very massive, there will be no problems with cooling.
Drives can be connected to six longitudinal SATA sockets.
A pair of M.2 has been prepared, where you can mount devices up to eight centimeters long, and another slot is provided for a wireless network adapter.
Using the sockets on the case, you can use four USB outputs of the latest, third generation, and five of the second, obsolete type.
All sixteen PCI-E lines from the CPU go to one armored socket, the rest work with the participation of the PCH.
Capacitors for the needs of the audio component are chosen from Nichicon products, although ASRock used to prefer ELNA. The contact group for resetting the CMOS settings is unusually located — just below the PCI-E x16 slot.
The network and sound controller do without shielding elements. There is one operational amplifier. The insulating section in the textolite is made more for the sake of appearance. The backlight here was organized using three RGB elements.
The power subsystem is equipped with two massive radiators with small fins, they are low. An overlay rises above one of them, where there is a window for illumination.
The power subsystem turned out to be exactly the same as that of the Z270 Pro4 model. Unless, the capacitors are used differently, with a declared service life of 12 thousand hours, in addition, instead of nine pieces of 820 µF, now there are ten of them here.
They did not save on the area of thermal conductors, as well as on their cross section, excellent clamping is provided by screw fastening.
The rear panel is very similar to that of the ASRock Z270 Pro4. Now there are two USB sockets of the second generation, and in addition there are five gold-plated audio sockets (instead of three), and an optical output has also appeared. An exhaustive set for a modern motherboard.