ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

by - 7 years ago

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Final Thoughts


Pricing

The ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming motherboard is currently available from OverclockersUK for just £119.99. Once available from the rest of the world, we will update this article.

Summary

So there we have it, the Z170 chipset being unleashed onto the world. I can say that performance of the actual chipset isn’t a massive improvement over Z97, but performance is greatly limited to the hardware being used such as the M.2, SATA and USB drives. What the Z170 brings to the table is the absolutely huge connectivity. As standard, it comes with USB 3.1 Type A and Type C and six USB 3.0, which was previously unheard of due to the limitations of the chipset and CPU.

ASUS know how to pile on the software. You are able to download the Ai Suite, which hosts all of the usual features such as quick tuning, USB boost and fan tuning; all of these features enable you down reap the maximum potential from your system. Along with the Ai Suite, you can also download Sonic Radar, which is extremely effective during certain gameplay as you can tweak which sound frequencies you want to monitor and display them on a mini HUD to give an estimated direction of origin. Lastly is Game First III; this is an ASUS/RoG specific program that monitors your network usage and prioritises certain applications to your preference. This worked well when I tried to play Battlefield and download from iTunes; my downloads were decreased to allow for optimal connection for Battlefield.

I’m not completely sold on how the board looks; maybe I’m just so used to huge heatsinks and full board covers. This is definitely a function over form design with small MOSFET heatsinks and a modest chipset heatsink. Thankfully, ASUS seem to be moving from red; if you haven’t been paying attention to the latest series of motherboards from all manufacturers, they are red and very annoying to not only look at, but also design an attractive computer around. The small splashes of silver are refreshing and the overall black theme allows for a huge compatibility of colour matching components.

Now onto the performance; I won’t delve too much into how the i7-6700K performed here as we have a separate review for that here. The CPU performance was amazing, almost comparable to the i7-5820K which is simply amazing for a mainstream consumer CPU. The audio was extremely good, especially when coupled with the Sonic Radar software. Overall the performance of the entire board is now approaching the X99 level of performance.

Something I’ve noticed with the Z170 chipset is the increased number of PCIe lanes, this means you can see multiple M.2 ports on a single motherboard. I think ASUS have missed out here by not including at least another port to not only enable the use of ultra-fast U.2 drives but also connect them in RAID for some seriously fast storage performance.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • High quality audio
  • Feature packed
  • Attention to detail is second to none
  • Low price point considering features

Cons

  • None, but an additional M.2 slot wouldn’t hurt

“With excellent performance and RoG features for a low price, the Z170 Pro Gaming is a great option for even the most premium of consumer.”

gamers-choice

ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Thank you to ASUS for providing this review sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS and Overclocking
  5. Software Overview
  6. CPU Performance
  7. GPU Performance
  8. Memory Performance
  9. SATA, M.2 and USB Performance
  10. Networking Performance
  11. Audio Performance
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Final Thoughts
  14. View All

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