Software And Firmware
ASRocks promotes its A-Tuning software for the Z270 SuperCarrier, but it wasn’t ready for the board yet at the time of this test. Its Aura LED software works, and controls three on-board, separate zones (plus the single RGB case LED output).
The Z270 SuperCarrier defaults to an EZ Mode menu. Pressing the F6 key lets you enter Advanced mode, whereupon the boot mode can be changed to Advanced mode.
Normally capable of 4.80 GHz at 1.30V, our Core i7-7700K sample requires excessive voltage increases to go noticeably farther, regardless of the motherboard. Rather than reach that 4.80 GHz zenith, ASRock’s flagship board reached an AVX-capable stability limit of only 4.70 GHz.
Rated at DDR4-3866 for four modules at 1.35V, our DRAM hasn’t actually reached that rating (yet) without a little over-voltage. The Z270 SuperCarrier gets there with two modules installed, but only pushed a stable DDR4-3734 with four DIMMs in place.
ASRock’s CPU Load-Line Calibration works like several of its competitor’s technologies to keep the CPU voltage from dropping under heavy loads, and its Level 2 setting was most appropriate for our specific CPU and overclock settings. It still pushed the voltage beyond our desired 1.30V target however, and dropping to Level 3 caused the CPU voltage to plummet under load. A 1.280V nominal voltage setting is combined with Level 2 Load-Line Calibration to reach our target loaded voltage.
Voltmeters measure an average over a short measurement period, and ours indicates that the Z270 SuperCarrier’s 1.330V setting produces 1.349 to 1.354V at the DIMM slot. Though the extra voltage of a motherboard-default XMP-voltage setting might have produced a higher overclock, differences between manufacturers and even between products make this the most consistent method of giving every manufacturer and product an equal opportunity in the overclocking test.
The UEFI Tool menu provides settings such as Instant Flash, Internet Flash (which polls an ASRock server and downloads the file to a thumb drive for Instant Flash), and even a cached RAID driver for your Windows installation. Aura RGB menu appears identical to the Windows software version. The System Browser utility shows detected hardware, which might be useful for determining whether a part that doesn’t appear in Windows is being detected by the motherboard. The COM port is highlighted arbitrarily, since certain legacy devices aren’t detectable from UEFI.
Only two of the fan headers — CPU_Opt and CHA_Fan3 — are capable of controlling three-pin fans via voltage, and these are the same headers with 1.5A capability. Other headers are limited to PWM-based control, and have a 1A output limit.