Today, the Ukrainian market of motherboards is saturated with various solutions based on Intel Z170, and in the middle price range, one cannot ignore the representative of ASRock’s charged Extreme series with an index of «four». Here you can see the care for the processor power subsystem, made with a reserve for possible overclocking, and we will soon find out how good it is.
The rest of the set of features is based on the chipset, only on the rear panel there are a couple of different sockets of the latest USB 3.1 interface — types A and C, implemented using ASM1142. This series is characterized by a network controller from Intel, while the «gaming» Fatal1ty models use Killer from Qualcomm Atheros. The table contains all the main features of the product:
|Model||ASRock Z170 Extreme4|
|Official product page on the Web||asrock.com|
|Processor socket||Socket 1151|
|Processors||Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S)|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400*/2800*/2933*/3200*/3600*/3866*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4|
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||Intel HD 510/530|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D|
|Number of connected fans||5x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (A and C), ASM1142)
8 x 3.1 Gen1 (6 connectors on the rear panel, Z170)
4 x 2.0 (no connectors on the rear panel, Z170)
|SATA Express||3 (Z170)|
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z170)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z170)|
|Built-in sound||Purity Sound 3 (7.1, HDA):
2x Texas Instruments NE5532
|Networking||Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||POST indicator, buttons: power on, reset and reset CMOS settings; two independent UEFI ROM chips, Thunderbolt header, support for AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI, DTS Connect|
|Retail price, $||$151|
Packaging and equipment
The box is large, inside the board is on a polyethylene foam pallet. The design is strict, it is impossible to make a mistake with the identification of the model.
The key features of the product itself and the series as a whole are placed on the back side. There is a photo of the product and a table with its main features.
The delivery set is quite pleasant, it is:
- multilingual quick installation guide;
- UEFI and A-Tuning manual in English;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- company logo sticker;
- 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 of the ends;
- one hard bridge for organizing SLI from two video cards;
- fixing screw for M.2 devices.
There are nine mounting points, the size of the board fully complies with the ATX standard. There is an indicator of POST codes, a pair of chips with firmware and a switch for working with them. These are nice bonuses for a cohort of enthusiasts.
The reverse side is notable for the external reference frequency generator and USB 3.1 interface adapter placed there.
Material for the manufacture of the system logic cooler was not spared. The radiator is fixed with screws.
All SATA outputs are assembled into high-speed SATA-E. Two are located at the right edge, they are of the longitudinal type. Next to them are cribs with UEFI chips and red LEDs. When starting the PC, only one indicator lights up, indicating the active unit.
The remaining SATA-E, transverse type, was placed closer to the corner; this would be appropriate for cramped cases. There are also buttons that are highlighted in red, but only at the moment the equipment is being initialized, as well as the POST indicator works only at that moment. When the operating system starts, all illumination is turned off.
For the needs of case USB ports, there is one block of the third version of the interface, there are also two pieces — the second revision.
There are only six PCI-E expansion slots. A pair of high-speed can share 16 lines from the CPU. It is noticeable even by the number of legs — the bottom socket has only four lines, which are wound up from the chipset. Small-sized sockets are open type, that is, you can connect a variety of devices there.
The only M.2 allows switching products of various sizes.
The Purity Sound 3 sound system is unchanged for the third reviewed ASRock board in our lab. There are no backlights and shielding elements. Codec only and a pair of Texas Instruments NE5532 op-amps.
There are no heat pipes in the cooling system; only older models got them. At first glance, it’s okay, but it is in this product that their presence would definitely not be superfluous.
Separate two parts of the cooler, as it turned out, are responsible for exactly different systems. There are no questions about the very quality of their performance, except perhaps not enough ribs.
So, the top zone in the picture is the CPU voltage regulator, and on the right is the group for the GPU. Already without measurements with a voltmeter — by marking alone — it is clear: the first pair of power elements is needed for the needs of CPU SA, the second — for CPU IO. Only six pairs remain in favor of the processor stabilizer. Let me remind you that for all of them a one-piece radiator was provided. The neighbor on the right will cool four channels from the integrated GPU circuit. The PWM controller is the same as the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, it is ISL95824 from Intersil Corporation. He knows how to work on the principle of 4 + 2 phases, which means that not all the potential was used here. Three drivers are built inside it, and two more can be found in the performance of external ones on the board itself, it turns out that there is a doubling of power elements. The pair is made up of Sinopower products — SM4336NSKP and SM4337NSKP (only for CPU IO both of the latter types are used).
The filling of the back panel is exactly the same as that of a colleague in the shop with a higher rank — an absolutely modern and very comprehensive set of ports. I want to note the button present here for resetting the settings. The HDMI output is supplemented with an ASM1442 signal level converter.