- Slot: LGA 1151 CPU: Intel Z170
- RAM Slots: 4 RAM Type: DDR4
- Ports: USB 3.0 x4, USB 2.0 x2, USB 3.1 x2 (Type A x1, Type C x1), HDMI x1, DVI x1, DisplayPort x1
- Size: ATX
- Lack of debugging LEDs
- Benchmark Results
- PCMark 8 (Home): 4,132 points
- PCMark 8 (Creative): 4,085 points
- PCMark 8 (Work): 4,289 points
An Affordable Way To Get Your Gaming Rig Up And Running
Thanks to Intel’s sixth generation Skylake CPUs, motherboard manufacturers have gone crazy with the amount of motherboards they’re making. One such company is ASUS, and with the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard, they’re looking to push out affordable enthusiast-level components that suits everyone’s use.
The Z170 Pro Gaming has four DDR4 DIMM slots, which support up to 64GB of memory, with speeds of up to 3,400MHz when overclocked. For your storage needs, the board also has four SATA III 6.0Gbps ports, one SATA Express port and one M.2 SATA Type 3 port, which supports speeds of up to 32Gbps, for the speediest starts for both your operating system and software. It also has three PCIe 3.0 slots, capable of supporting NVIDIA’s SLI and AMD’s CrossFireX multi-GPU configuration builds.
As far as I/O ports go, ASUS is quite generous as it has included four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and one each of USB 3.1 Type A and Type C ports. With the right configuration and devices, these new ports are capable of data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, which is twice as fast as the previous USB 3.0 standards.
If you’re looking to overclock this board, you’ll be happy to know that ASUS has also upgraded its BIOS to make it not only easy to use with EZ Mode, but also put in a variety of optimisation options if you’re looking to tweak every little thing in Advanced Mode.
Thanks to these options, overclocking is made easy and highly customisable, as we were able to clock an i7 6770K CPU to around 4.5GHz on air without much of a hassle. With water-cooling loops, we’re fairly certain we’ll be able to push it even further, as the CPU is quite overclock friendly.
CHIP CONCLUDE: The ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard is an affordable piece of hardware that isn’t far off from what much more premium models have to offer.
(previously published in issue October 2015)