Most of the motherboards for overclocking are implemented within the framework of full-format ATX. Smaller products still have the status of niche products, but there is a certain interest among buyers in them. Today we will consider an inexpensive model, where the processor voltage regulator is actually borrowed from the previously reviewed Z170-P D3, which deserved our sympathy. In addition to the obvious switch to DDR4 memory, there is a larger multi-controller that promises better control over the operating parameters.

ASUS Z170M Plus

In addition, there are now six SATA ports, including SATA-E, and for greater significance, there is a USB type C output on the rear panel. The network controller was used from Intel, the sound system remained, as at that time, the entry level. A set of simple characteristics is summarized in the table:

Model ASUS Z170M-Plus
Official product page on the Web asus.com
Chipset Intel Z170
Processor socket Socket 1151
Processors Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S)
Memory 4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400*/2666*/2800*/3000*/3200*/3300*/3333*/3400*/3466*(OC), 64 GB maximum
PCI slots 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
2 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
M.2 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4
PCI slots
Integrated video core (in the processor) Intel HD 510/530
Video connectors HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub
Number of connected fans 3x 4pin
PS/2 ports 2
The port is USB 7 x 3.1 Gen1 (3 connectors on the rear panel (1 — type C), Z170)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z170)
SATA Express 1 (Z170)
Serial ATA 6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z170)
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z170)
Built-in sound Realtek ALC887 (7.1, HDA)
S/PDIF Connector on the board (output)
Networking Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
COM 1 (internal)
TPM
UEFI AMI UEFI
Form factor mATX
Dimensions, mm 244 x 227
Additional features AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX support, LPT header
Retail price, $ 140

Packaging and equipment

The box is small, the quality of printing is high, inside there is a cardboard sealing tray for the board.

ASUS Z170M Plus

On the reverse side there is a photo of the product, a list with a description of the features, there are no obvious features, except for the symmetrical USB type C port already noted above.

ASUS Z170M Plus

The delivery set is not rich, there is:

  • user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
  • DIY Guide QR code, leading to the page of the official website, which contains detailed instructions for assembling a PC;
  • quick multilingual user manual;
  • an additional booklet with information on the need to comply with a number of safety measures when assembling and operating the system;
  • disk with drivers and proprietary software;
  • company logo sticker;
  • plug for the body, standard version — with embossed symbols and icons for designating sockets;
  • two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
  • mounting screw and stand for M.2 devices.
ASUS Z170M Plus

Appearance

There are six attachment points. There are no additional controllers, only the native capabilities of the Intel Z170 are at the user’s disposal. There are no auxiliary buttons, switches and indicators. They even got rid of the branded MemOK button!

ASUS Z170M Plus

The back surface of the device is completely free from electronic components. The textolite section that isolates the sound part has places for LEDs, but for some reason there are no indicators themselves.

ASUS Z170M Plus

A small and nice heatsink for the system logic coped with its task without comment.

ASUS Z170M Plus

SATA-E is beginning to fall into oblivion, and has not gained popularity, there is one such socket.

ASUS Z170M Plus

The compact type M.2 is more popular with end-product manufacturers, and one is also available.

ASUS Z170M Plus

You can connect a pair of body cables for USB ports of both generations to the board, thus increasing the final number by eight pieces.

ASUS Z170M Plus

There are pads for COM and even LPT interfaces. Realtek ALC887 was chosen as the codec, and at the last moment they decided not to solder the operational amplifier to the available space nearby.

ASUS Z170M Plus

All 16 PCI-E lines from the CPU are routed to the top gray PCI-E slot, the bottom one is powered by PCH, so you can’t concentrate more than four lines there.

ASUS Z170M Plus

In total, there are three fan headers on the board, all of them are four-pin.

ASUS Z170M Plus

The cooling system of the power elements turned out to be exactly the same as in the case of the Z170-P D3, again I was surprised by the savings on the thermal pad area.

ASUS Z170M Plus

The construction of the voltage stabilizer system is fully similar to the ATX format model, as expected. A relabeled ASP1400B PWM controller is used, six external drivers help it work. Two channels are used for the operation of the integrated video controller, they consist of NXP Semiconductors products — PH4030AL and PH6030AL. The processor voltage has four phases, each already includes three elements, and one more PH4030AL has been added to the pair just mentioned. A group of three channels is assembled under the radiator along with a CPU SA voltage regulator, and the fourth from this company works with natural cooling.

ASUS Z170M Plus

The back panel looks rather unusual. There are four standard USB ports, the fifth is the new format that has already been mentioned more than once. Three video outputs include a classic set, where the latest one — DisplayPort — did not make it. This is due to the lack of D-Sub support by Skylake-S, for this an external converter IT6516BFN is used here. HDMI has another one — ASM1442 signal levels. There are only three outputs for audio connectors, the optical one is only on the board (contact group). Whether the suffix «Plus» in the name justifies all this — as usual, everyone will decide for himself.

ASUS Z170M Plus

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