ASUS Z170 PRO Gaming Motherboard Review
With the new Intel's new Skylake platform ASUS is ready with a comprehensive range of Z170 chipset based motherboards targeting every segment from overclockers to enthusiast to gamers and more, complementing almost every PC build . Earlier we have reviewed the top mid-range ROG motherboard, the ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING Motherboard and now we have the honour of reviewing the ASUS Z170 PRO Gaming Motherboard, a new product from ASUS Pro Gaming series of motherboards designed for today's value-conscious gamers, demanding the very best of technologies at an affordable price.
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard, an ATX gaming motherboard packed with many exclusive gaming optimized features like SupremeFX Audio with Sonic Radar II, Intel Gigabit Ethernet for superior gaming networking and speed along with LANGuard, GameFirst and RAMCache packages for the best gaming experience.
Now let's see what this ASUS board have for us.
- LGA1151 socket for 6th-gen IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢ desktop processors.
- Dual DDR4 3400 (OC) support.
- PRO Clock technology, 5-Way Optimization and 2nd-generation T-Topology: Easy and stable overclocking
- SupremeFX: Flawless audio that makes you part of the game
- Intel Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard & GameFirst III: Top-speed protected networking
- RAMCache: Speed up your game loads
- USB 3.1 Type A/C & M.2: Ultra-speedy transfers for faster gaming
- Gamer's Guardian: Highly-durable components and smart DIY features
- Sonic Radar ll: Scan and detect your enemies to dominate
SupremeFX Audio - SupremeFX audio technology achieves near-lossless audio quality and has multiple light effects to illuminate the exclusive red-line shielding, plus Sonic Radar II technology to locate battlefield enemies before they spot you!.
Sonic Radar II - Sonic Radar II displays a stealthy overlay that shows what your opponents and teammates are up to on the battlefield, all managed via a simple control panel and customizable game list. See the direction and origin of key in-game sounds, and practice your enemy-pinpointing skill, plus exclusive Audio Enhancement technology clarifies every last blast.
One-stop performance-optimization panel - AI Suite 3 is an exclusive ASUS dashboard-style control panel that lets you fine-tune almost every aspect of your Z170 Pro Gaming-based system for the best balance between performance, stability, efficiency and aesthetics â€” all via a simple and intuitive interface.
ASUS PRO CLOCK TECHNOLOGY â€“ A dedicated base-clock (BCLK) generator designed for 6th-generation IntelÂ® processors that allows overclocked base clock frequencies up to 400MHz. This custom solution works in tandem with the ASUS Turbo Processor Unit (TPU), to enhance voltage and base-clock overclocking control â€” granting an exciting new way to boost performance to extreme heights.
DDR4 OVERCLOCKING STRENGTH IN NUMBERS â€“ ASUS 2nd generation T-Topology allows DDR4 memory overclocking to reach new heights: over DDR4-3400 MHz with all memory slots populated. Featuring a customized trace layout for reduced crosstalk and coupling noise, ASUS 2nd generation T-Topology ensures time-aligned signal transfer for improved memory stability and compatibility.
INTEL GIGABIT ETHERNET - ROG features the very latest IntelÂ® Ethernet (I219-V) for faster, smoother gaming â€” always. Intel's LAN has the serious double advantage of reducing CPU overhead and offering exceptionally high TCP and UDP throughput, so there's more power for your game and your gameplay.
LANGUARD Signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted components ensure a more reliable connection and better throughput. Additionally, electrostatically-guarded and surge-protected components (ESD Guards) allow for 1.9x-greater tolerance to static electricity and 2.5x-greater protection (up to 15kV) against surges!
GAMEFIRST III - Exclusive GameFirst III prioritizes game-related packets and allocates more bandwidth to games, eliminating laggy gameplay, streaming stutters and file-sharing slowdown â€” so you'll always be the frontrunner. Choose from Optimization, Game, Media Streaming or File Sharing presets and watch your network fly!
Gamer's Guardian -Motherboard self-protection with loads of brilliant defenses, including our unique smart DIY features. Individually they're tough, together they're unstoppable.
ESD GuardsASUS ESD Guards actively protect against sudden electrostatic discharge (ESD), meaning the components will last much longer â€” and you get protection that's up to twice as resilient as industry standards!
RAMCache â€“ Uniquely-intelligent technology that effectively caches an entire storage device so that favorite games and apps launch at breakneck speeds, getting to work the moment it's activated. RAMCache turns milliseconds into microseconds to boost game-load times to stratospheric levels!
Board comes in a nice Red cardboard box with model number, image of the board and details about supporting technology and features.
Inside the box
Board comes with very nice set of accessories:
Board made with a black PCB of size ATX (30.5 X 24.4 cm).
Detailed layout of board.
1. Intel LGA 1151 socket
2. ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING is equipped with four DIMM for dual channel DDR4 memory supporting max. 64GB at 2133MHz in normal and up to 3400MHz when OC.
3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)
4. ATX CPU Power Connector 8-pin ATX12V_2x4.
5. Back I/O Ports - 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s), 1 x DVI, 1 x D-Sub, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s), 1 x , USB 3.1 (red)Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 4 x USB 3.0 , 2 x USB 2.0 , 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 5 x Audio jack(s)
6. 7. 8. 17. 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
9. USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
10.1 x SATA Express connector: gray, Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports,4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
11. M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
12. 13.System Front panel(s) (Q-Connector) and 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector.
14. USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
15. ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
16. TPM connector(s)
18. COM port connector(s)
19. Front panel Audio connector
20. Expansion Slots - 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8), 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode), 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1
Heatsinks are made up of dense aluminum with thermal pad installed, giving great passive cooling to VRM MOSFETs and Z170 chipset.
Let's now see what all components ASUS have planned for this board.
1. Digital 10-phase CPU Power VRM Section with ON Semiconductors NTMFS4C09N MOSFETs rated up to 40A each along with 60A Ferrite Chokes and 10K Black Capacitors.
2. Asus DIGI+ VRM Asp 1400 voltage controller chip.
3. Two separate DRAM Power section with ON Semiconductors NTMFS4C06N MOSFETs
4. Asmedia ASM 1442K chip managing output display ports..
6. ASMedia ASM1142 is PCIe-to-two-port USB 3.1 controller
7. Intel's i219v is used as the integrated GBit LAN solution.
8. The nuvoTon NCT6793D is the main SuperIO controller used for fan control, voltage and temperature monitoring, and the PS/2 port.
9. ASMedia ASM1480 PCI-e lane switch chips.
10. Intel Z170 Chipset.
11. UEFI BIOS is stored in a Winbond 25Q128fV 128MB 8-Pin DIP Package chip, installed in a DIP socket 8-Pin for easy user replacement.
12.ASUS custom TPU controllers.
13. ASUS SupremeFX audio solution is powered by Realtek ALC1150 audio codec coupled with audio amplifier TI R4580I to drive headphones with an impedance of 300 ohms and high quality audio capacitors ELNA.
A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference.
RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing test ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by on-board audio.
RMAA Asus Xonar DX
RMAA SupremeFX Audio
|CPU||Intel Core i5 6600K |
|Board|| ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING |
|RAM||2 X 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws4 DDR4 3000Mhz|
|SSD||Kingston SV300 120GB|
|Cooler||Corsair H100i |
|Display||Acer S220HQL |
|OS||Win 8.1 Pro / Windows 10 |
Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.
- Great looks
- Lot of Gaming features
- Good Audio
- Solid OC
- Nice Price Rs.14.5K only
- Not an alternative of ROG Series of Board.
At a price tag of Rs.14.5K, ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING is a feature packed motherboard for enthusiast and gamers looking for mid budget gaming solution. But also not a straight alternative of ROG Series of Board, even the entry-level ROG board Ranger VIII have little better looks, audio and connectivity.
Finally, with the new Z170 Pro GAMING motherboards, ASUS has provided a great product with perfect balance of features and performance for the asking price and a budget friendly board for an entry-level gaming build.