ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Final Thoughts


Pricing

The ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ is currently available in the UK from Scan.co.uk £211.93. In the US it isn’t currently available from our recommended retailers, but we can estimate the price to be around $260.

Summary

Well, that was it, the most Extreme (excuse my pun) motherboard from ASRock currently for the Z170 range. It also gave us a glimpse into the performance of the i7-6700K and how well it performed compared to the older i7-4770K and i7-5820K. Overall it performed well and it should considering how completely bonkers it is with three M.2 slots and more connections than you could possibly ever want or need.

When I first opened the box to this, I was taken back. It doesn’t scream extreme, well it does, but it also manages to be extremely understated at the same time. The black and copper colour scheme works really well together and just makes you want to hang it from a wall rather than cram it into a case. This board would work really well in builds from clean and pristine to steam punk. It’s nice to see a motherboard manufacturer not fold to the red and black theme, although that will likely be saved for the Fatal1ty range. The layout of the of the board is very well thought out, the three M.2 slots are positioned perfectly between the PCIe lanes and one PCIe x1 slot has been removed to allow for one longer M.2 SSD can be fitted.

Performance was really where we expected it to be. It performed better than the i7-4770K, obviously, but it performed on par with the i7-5820K. When you consider it, the 5820K has 6 physical cores with hyperthreading, creating a huge 12 core CPU. The gaming performance is great thanks to the already high bandwidth PCIe lanes allowing the GTX 980Ti to really stretch its legs. When it comes to the storage speeds, we are now at the limit of the drives themselves rather than the motherboard ports; if you take the new U.2 drivers for example, they can read at around 3000Mb/s compared to an M.2 SSD which can read at around 800Mb/s.

The software bundled with this board is really good. In recent years ASRock software has required a slight refinement here and there, but A Tuning has nailed it. It is clean, clutter free and easy to use; something which you can’t say with other manufacturers software which think “more is better”. Sometimes, stripping back the software to the bare essentials and making it work right is the best way to go. The tech service is also a very good addition; I know it has been incorporated with ASRock motherboards for a few years now, but it’s still a great option to have.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • High quality audio
  • Feature packed
  • Attention to detail is second to none
  • Huge storage options

Cons

  • High Price for Z170
  • High adopters premium due to DDR4

“The ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ might be on the pricey side, but you get so much potential and features, some of which put the X99 Extreme series to shame.”

ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Thank you to ASRock for providing us with this sample.