A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
Now that’s refreshing. It’s not a complete direction change from the usual red and black, but the huge white presence just breaks the board up so much, finally!
There isn’t a huge amount of PCI options compared to some other Z170 motherboards, but this does include twin 32GB/s M.2 ports. The PCIe slots themselves are a vibrant red with metal shields. This must have been implemented due to the increasing weight and size of graphics cards and the possible damage to PCIe slots.
The IO options are few, but there are enough to connect what you would generally need on a gaming computer. From left to right there is 1x PS/2 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports (yellow), 1x gold-plated DisplayPort, 1x gold-plated HDMI port, 2x USB 3.0, 2x Gigabit LAN, 1x USB 3.1 Type C, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type A (red), 1x S/PDIF out and 5x gold-plated HD audio jacks.
Moving down the board, there is just an extension of the IO cover. This covers the vast majority of the audio components apart from the SoundCore amp.
Along the bottom is the usual array of headers and switches including front panel audio, USB 2.0, BIOS, BIOS switch and TPM headers.
Moving along the bottom, we then have a Slow Boot switch, fan header, front panel header block and a clear CMOS jumper hidden behind the front panel block.
Moving up the other side of the motherboard, we are presented with 8x SATA 6Gb/s ports and 3x SATA Express.
Opposite the I/O ports, we find 2x USB 3.0 headers, DEBUG LED, Power button, OC and ECO buttons, 24-pin power connector and the four DDR4 slots.
The top of the motherboard is generally sparse due to the heat sinks covering most of this area. However, this motherboard has room for 3 fan headers, a few capacitors and the 8-pin power connector.