The concept of enabling overclocking on non-Z170 motherboards and for non-K CPUs has been considered by essentially every motherboard manufacturer, but following disagreements with Intel and the release of firmware updates to prevent it, motherboard OEMs have largely abandoned the idea. Except ASRock. The company designed its Hyper OC series of motherboards exclusively for BCLK overclocking, and it will release these motherboards in July.
ASRock is not launching the entire Hyper OC product line. Only three of these boards will be commercially available: the H170 Pro4/Hyper, the B150 Pro4/Hyper and the H110-DS/Hyper. All of these motherboards contain a third-party clock generator that enables the board to increase the BCLK of the CPU without raising the clock speed of other hardware components. The H170 Pro4/Hyper is the most feature rich of these three boards.
The H170 Pro4/Hyper uses the H170 chipset, so it offers nearly the same amount of connectivity as Z170. Typically the three main disadvantages that come with H170 relative to the Z170 chipset is the loss of overclocking support, multi-GPU support and the loss of a few HSIO lanes. The H170 Pro4/Hyper obviously mitigates the overclocking issue. The loss of a few HSIO lanes in the grand scheme of things doesn't actually have a major impact on the motherboard, as there are still plenty of HSIO lanes to support a wide array of third-party controllers, PCIe slots and storage connections.
For most gamers, the worst part about this board will be its lack of support for multi-GPU configurations, but ASRock also somewhat mitigates this problem by enabling the board to use a four-lane PCIe connection to the chipset to operate a second GPU. It won't offer the same level of performance as a Z170 chipset board would while using multiple GPUs, however, so the addition of overclocking features to the H170 chipset motherboard doesn't completely bring it up to performance and feature parity with Z170.
There are also the B150 Pro4/Hyper and the H110M-DS/Hyper. We don’t have a solid idea what these boards will cost, but a product manager said that both boards would likely be priced at around $100. At this price, they are slightly more expensive than low-end Z170 boards, but because most Z170 boards can’t overclock non-K CPUs, it still fills a niche in the market and it will attract enthusiast overclockers.
The ASRock representative we spoke with estimated that the H170 Pro4/Hyper would be priced around $120, however, which will likely make it the more popular option in the Hyper OC series.
ASRock gave us the specs on a number of other boards in the Hyper OC series, but it did not have them on display and didn’t say when they would be released. The three boards mentioned above, however, will be out in July.
|ASRock Hyper OC Motherboards|
|Model||Fatal1ty H170 Performance|
|Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4/Hyper||B150A-X1|
|RAM Slots||4 x DDR4||4 x DDR4||4 x DDR4||4 x DDR4||4 x DDR4||2 x DDR4|
|PCI E||PCI-E x 16, PCI-E x 4, 3 x PCI-E x 1||PCI-E x 16, PCI-E x 4, 3 x PCI-E x 1||PCI-E x 16, PCI-E x 4, 3 x PCI-E x 1||PCI-E x 16, PCI-E x 4, 3 x PCI-E x 1||PCI-E x 16, PCI-E x 4, 2 x PCI-E x 1||PCI-E x 16, PCI-E x 1|
|Storage||Ultra M.2, 6 x SATA-III||Ultra M.2, 4 x SATA-III||6 x SATA-III||Ultra M.2, 6 x SATA-III||Ultra M.2, 6 x SATA-III||4 x SATA-III|
|USB||7 x USB 3.0 Type-A, USB 3.0 Type-C, 6 x USB 2.0||8 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 4 x USB 2.0||6 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 6 x USB 2.0||6 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 6 x USB 2.0||6 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0||4 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 8 x USB 2.0|
|Audio||Realtek ALC1150 + Purity Sound 3||Realtek ALC892||Realtek ALC1150 + Purity Sound 3||Realtek ALC892||Realtek ALC892||Realtek ALC887|
|LAN||Intel i219V||Intel i219V||Killer E2400||Intel i219V||Intel i219V||Realtek RTL8111GR|
|Availability||N/A||July 2016||N/A||N/A||July 2016||July 2016|