The ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 Skylake ATX motherboard is a board designed for high end performance. The board is made for graphics design, 3D modelling and above all gaming. The device looks the part and comes with a whole host of marketing but does it live up to expectation. The ASRock Z170 is of ATX form factor with a vast array of ports and sockets. With all components in black it looks great. There is a set of super alloy heat sinks dotted around the board which have that razor blade metal look and feel to them. These take away the heat from key areas of the board aiding the stability of your system. The motherboard is to cater for the enthusiast and if you have an ASRock Z170 you will want to show it off with a clear panel case.
ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Skylake ATX Motherboard Review
ASRock Z170 Price Compare
Compare ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Price against other Skylake motherboards.
|ASRock||ATX, DDR 4 Memory speeds up to 3200 max 64GB, 3X PCI-E, 6X SATA 3.0, RAID|
|MSI||ATX, DDR 4 Memory speeds up to 2133 max 64GB, 2X PCI-E, 6X SATA 3.0, 12 USB, Gaming LAN, Audio Boost 2 Sound|
|ASUS||ATX, DDR 4 Memory speeds up to 3400 max 64GB, 5X PCI-E, 6X SATA 3.0, RAID, 4K Graphics|
|MSI - (micro ATX)||ATX, DDR 4 Memory speeds up to 2133 max 32GB, 3X PCI-E, 4X SATA 3.0, RAID, Micro ATX|
|Gigabyte - (micro ATX)||ATX, DDR 4 Memory speeds up to 2133 max 32GB, 3X PCI-E, 4X SATA 3.0, 10 USB|
The ASRock Z170 Extreme Skylake ATX motherboard supports socket 1151 CPUs of the newer Intel Skylake architecture. This will take an Intel Core i7 6700k 4.0GHz delivering the power to run any game or development task. Perhaps the main selling point of this motherboard is the support of both NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro graphics cards. Three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots sit side by side supporting both of these high end cards and also standard graphics solutions. The boards Ultra M.2 interface boots the transfer speeds from these PCIe slots up to 32 Gb/s. The same interface is also used to improve the performance of solid state hard drives providing a fast all round system.
The ASRock z170 Extreme Skylake ATX motherboard is built using quality components which offers two benefits. Nichicon 12K platinum capacitors offer a 20% better lifespan than standard capacitors and provide more efficient and responsive CPU vcore power. This will aid the efficiency of a standard CPU and also allow over clockers to achieve far better results. The high density glass fabric PCB the board is built on reduces the chances of a short circuit caused by air moisture by more than double.
And what about sound? Most motherboards on the market today come with a standard onboard sound device. The ASRock Z170 comes with a Purity Sound 3 device which provides 7.1 CH HD audio and uses the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec. On testing the sound produced from this device is sensational and you will have no requirement for a dedicated sound card.
So what does all of this technical spiel mean for gamers? Well you get a motherboard that can support the latest CPU technologies and latest graphics card technologies and a supporting chipset that really extracts the full potential from these devices. If you want the very best gaming PC with the best possible performance then this motherboard is for you.
ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Skylake ATX Motherboard Specifications
The table below shows the basic ASRock Z170 specs. For all advanced technologies continue reading this article.
|CPU||Socket 1151||Audio||7.1 CH HD Onboard||Storage||6x SATA 3, 3x SATA|
|Chipset||Intel Z170||LAN||Gigabit 10/100/100 Mb/s||USB Connectvity||6x USB 3.0 Rear + Internal|
|Memory||Dual Channel DDR4 (X4)||Expansion Slots||3x PCI Express X16||OS||Windows 7 Upwards|
The full ASRock Z170 Extreme4 manual can be downloaded from the vendor website.
ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Skylark ATX Motherboard Price
This motherboard comes in at around twice the price of todays baseline motherboards at around the £100 mark but when you look at the performance it provides and the stability of your system it is well worth the additional spend. This motherboard will take the very latest components and if you are going to invest in these you will want the best system board to fit them in. This board will unlock their full potential and deliver the gaming performance you want.
ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Skylake ATX Motherboard Advanced Features
Hyper BCLK Engine
A technology that offers a range of frequencies and precise clock wave forms using an external base clock generator. This is the perfect solution for overclockers to gain a greater level of control over their systems.
UEFI EZ Mode
A dashboard solution allowing you to pull back vital statistics for your system including CPU performance, RAM frequency, SATA data and fan speeds.
Motherboard utilises a Pulse Width Modulisation (PWM) power design. Unlike traditional anologue boards the technology offers a more stable power supply to CPU Vcore providing a more efficient solution and improving the longevity of your system.
Win 7 USB Patcher
The ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 motherboard is designed for Windows 8 and upwards operating systems. The Win 7 USB patcher allows you to patch your Windows 7 ISO to make it compatible with this chipset.
A-Tuning is a software based tuning solution. Here you can control how your ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 operates and modify settings such as CPU clock rates and voltages. The A-Tuning software makes ASRock Z170 Extreme4 overclocking simple.
With Live Update both your ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 motherboard and your Windows drivers will always be fully up to date. The software continually checks online for available updates and notifies you when an update or ASRock Z170 Extreme4 drivers are ready to download.
Gamers want performance and this motherboard will give you just that. ASRock have created a feature rich motherboard of superb build quality. The ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 is designed to accommodate the world’s leading processors (Intel’s Skylake architecture) and the best graphics cards (NVIDIA Quadro & AMD FirePro). Every interface has been designed to get the very best out of your components and to protect them during heavy load. Nowadays when enthuisiasts purchase performance products they don’t just want them to work well but look good also and the ASRock Z170 certainly does. Its design implies power and it is a motherboard you would want to be visible through a clear panel case. The fact that the motherboard is of ATX form factor means that it is not suitable for some of the smaller HTPC media centre cases but this level of performance requires the bigger size. In terms of price you can pick up a main board at half the cost but it’s performance just won’t come close to the ASRock Z170. In our humble opinion the ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 Skylark ATX motherboard is the best affordable motherboard for gaming.