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ASRock Has A Z170 Motherboard For Everyone

ASRock prepped for the release of Skylake by developing no less than fourteen Z170 motherboards across three of its product lines.

Leading the charge is ASRock's new flagship motherboard, the ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+, decked out with all the bells and whistles. Fitting with ASRock's typical strategy, this board features an abundance of connectivity options. In addition to the six SATA 6 Gb/s ports provided by the chipset are four more SATA 6 Gb/s connections supported by a third-party chipset. The board supports up to three individual SATA Express configurations, and for even more storage options, ASRock tacked on three M.2 slots and an mSATA port for ultra fast SSD connectivity.

For adding in extra peripherals, ASRock placed four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and two PCI-E 3.0 x1 headers. As a result, the motherboard is capable of supporting up to four Nvidia GPUs in SLI or three AMD GPUs in crossfire. It also features dual NICs.

The board supports up to four USB 3.1 ports. Two of these ports are on the back of the board, but ASRock also ships these boards with a front USB 3.1 panel, providing an additional two connectors split evenly between Type-A and Type-C. There is a small downside to the front panel in that it will use at least one of your SATA Express ports, but that is likely the reason why ASRock placed three SATA Express connectors on board, which is more than is common for this standard.

ASRock Extreme Series
Board NameZ170 Extreme 7+Z170 Extreme 6+Z170 Extreme 4+Z170 Pro4Z170 Pro4/ D3Z170 Pro4SZ170M Pro4Z170M Pro4SZ170M -ITX/ac
RAM Support4x DDR4- 36004x DDR4- 36004x DDR4- 32004x DDR4- 32004x DDR3- 18664x DDR4- 32004x DDR4- 32004x DDR4- 32002x DDR4- 3500
Power Phases12121010N/A10666
Multi- GPU Support3-Way CFX, Quad SLI3-Way CFX, Quad SLI3-Way CFX, Quad SLIQuad CFXQuad CFXQuad CFXQuad CFXQuad CFXNo
M.2311101110
SATA 6 Gb/s1086666664
LANDual Intel LANIntel LANIntel LANIntel LANRealtek LANIntel LANIntel LANIntel LANDual LAN (Intel + Realtek)
AudioPurity Sound 3Purity Sound 3Purity Sound 3N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Hyper BCLK EngineYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
USB 3.1 RearType A + CType A + CType A + CNoNoNoNoNoNo
USB 3.1 Front PanelYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Form FactorATXATXATXATXATXATXmATXmATXMini-ITX
MSRP$239.99$194.99$173.99$117.99N/A$104.99N/A$99.99N/A

Heading the Gaming series of motherboards is the ASRock Z170 Gaming K6+, which has the side effect of nostalgically reminding us of one of AMD's best products from days past. The motherboard is very similar to the Extreme 7+ board in that it shares a 12-phase Digi power design and supports ASRock's Purity Sound 3 technology. The board also wields the same USB 3.1 front panel, added with the two USB 3.1 ports in the back, for a total of four connectors.

As a lower end part however, it is only natural that some features are lost, and connectivity is hit the hardest by this. The board drops two SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two M.2 slots, one PCI-E x16 header, and the second NIC. Although the loss of the M.2 slots is a little tough to swallow, only users with extensive storage needs and those wanting quad-SLI will really be bothered by this change.

Finally, ASRock announced the Z170 OC Formula, which is both the head of the Formula series and the sole occupant. As the name suggests, this board is prioritized at overclocking above all else. The connectivity support is identical to the Extreme 7+ board, minus the dual NIC, with the biggest change between them being an additional four power phases. These additional phases should help the motherboard achieve higher clocks than the other boards, and it supports higher-clocked DDR4 memory, up to 4000 MHz.

ASRock Gaming & Formula Series
Board NameZ170 Gaming K6+Z170 Gaming K4Z170 Gaming K4/D3Z170 Gaming-ITX/acZ170 OC Formula
RAM Support4x DDR4-36004x DDR4-36004x DDR4-36002x DDR4-36004x DDR4-3600
Power Phases121010816
Multi-GPU Support3-Way CFX, Quad SLIQuad CFXQuad CFXNo3-Way CFX, Quad SLI
M.211113
SATA 6 Gb/s866610
LANKiller LANKiller LANKiller LANIntel LANIntel LAN
AudioPurity Sound 3Purity Sound 3Purity Sound 3N/APurity Sound 3
Hyper BCLK EngineYesNoNoNoYes
USB 3.1 RearType A + CType A + CType A + CNoType A + C
USB 3.1 Front Panel IncludedYesNoNoNoNo
Form FactorATXATXATXMini-ITXATX
Price$199.99$145.99N/AN/AN/A

The rest of the motherboards announced cover a wide price range and various parts of the market, with boards present in every form factor. Expect to see these boards arrive around the release of Intel's Skylake processors (the first of which we reviewed here).

Update, 8/6/15, 12:00pm PT: Fixed some minor details in the chart.

Follow Michael Justin Allen Sexton @LordLao74. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • danlw
    So, I ordered a Z170 Extreme 6 from Newegg, and yeah... so...

    Anybody have any luck finding a 6700K for sale anywhere?
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    16399239 said:
    So, I ordered a Z170 Extreme 6 from Newegg, and yeah... so...

    Anybody have any luck finding a 6700K for sale anywhere?

    The Skylake Core i5 that was reviewed is available on Newegg and Amazon, but both have sold out of stock. Not sure on the Core i7.
    Reply
  • rcj22001
    your "Most Popular Articles" banner is now scrolling with the page, and getting in the way of the articles, particularly the graphs that show the numbers. Please make it stop.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Pretty! Z170 has some of the most beautiful boards yet.
    Reply
  • danlw
    I've been looking all day, and only a few sites even list the i7 (as not available). Most sites have no trace of it. Some sites sell pre-built PCs with an i7 6700K, but I don't want it bad enough to spend $900 extra and try to sell the parts I don't want.

    Places not selling the 6700K... Newegg, Amazon, Allstarshop, MA Labs, Microcenter, OutletPC, SuperBiiz, NCIX, TigerDirect, BH PhotoVideo... The few sites that do list pre-orders error out if you attempt to pre-order. I wish we could get a time when they will go on sale.
    Reply
  • RazberyBandit
    Looks like ASRock dumped the built-in water cooling support on the new OC Formula.
    Reply
  • Dan414
    I really enjoyed that link to the K6 AMD CPU review. Great trip back in time.
    Reply
  • Pedasc
    I really enjoyed that link to the K6 AMD CPU review. Great trip back in time.

    I had the K6 233. It was the first computer I where purchased everything with my own money. I loved that thing.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    The ASRock Z170-Gaming-ITX/ac is a mini-ITX board, not mATX. It has only 2 RAM slots, and it has Realtek's ALC1150. Your sister site, Anandtech, has the right info.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    I really enjoyed that link to the K6 AMD CPU review. Great trip back in time.

    I had the K6 233. It was the first computer I where purchased everything with my own money. I loved that thing.
    I really enjoyed that link to the K6 AMD CPU review. Great trip back in time.

    I'm glad you liked the link. A little fun nostalgic reference to flavor a piece is good now and then :)
    Reply