ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


Z170 and Skylake are here, finally! The true successor to Haswell and Haswell Refresh and the first 100% successful 14nm process. Broadwell works, but due to limitations and problems, it was an extremely late release and didn’t really wow us. Skylake is set to change that by bringing back true overclocking with a fully unlocked BLCK to really allow users to fine tune an overclock thanks to the 1MHz increments. Along with this, Z170 also brings huge connectivity through 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes and 10 USB 3.0 lanes; although some manufacturers may not utilise the full amount of lanes.

ASRock is a big player in the motherboard market, producing the renowned Extreme series across both Intel and AMD CPU’s. The Extreme series offers top quality components with great style and functionality. In recent years, the series has taken multiple different colour schemes from blue and white, black and silver and now the best (in my opinion), black and copper. Along with that, the simply huge arrowhead style heat sink covers are gone and replaced with a much more subtle design.

Today we have the top of the line Z170 Extreme 7+, although I would expect an Extreme 9 in the near future. Featuring all of the key features that ASRock motherboards have incorporated for many years such as Ultra M.2 and Purity Sound. Thanks to the new Z170 chipset, ASRock has gone above and beyond with the connectivity. Typically you see one M.2 port, however, ASRock added an extra two. This might not seem amazing, but when you consider the ultra fast Intel NVME SSD drives, adding three in RAID 0 would make for an incredibly fast storage solution; let’s find out how well it performs in today’s review.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, ASRock is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

  • USB 3.1
  • USB Type-C
  • Turbo M.2
  • Purity Sound 3
  • NVIDIA SLI
  • AMD Crossfire
  • Dual Intel LAN
  • USB 3.1 Front Panel
  • Digi Power
  • Super Alloy
    • XXL Aluminium allow heatsink
    • Premium 60A Power Choke
    • Dual stack MOSFET
    • 12k Platinum capactiors
    • Premium memory alloy choke

Packaging and Accessories

The box is very similar to the rest of the Extreme range; a strong outer case with a carry handle.

On this particular box, it puts a main focus on the Super Alloy features of the motherboard.

Inside the box is a conservative amount of accessories, driver disk, manual, I/O shield, rigid SLI bridge and 4x SATA 6Gb/s cables.

Along with those, ASRock is also bundling in an additional USB front panel connection interface, but not traditional USB 2.0 or even 3.0, but USB 3.1 in Type A and Type C formats. The cables below are what are needed to enable the fastest possible data transfers and plug into the SATA Express ports on the motherboard.

When you look at the front cover, it is relatively plain. Personally I would have mounted two PCBs on top of each other to give 2x of each port or even temperature monitoring LED’s.

There is so much room behind the panel, maybe you could use it for cable sorting?

ASRock Unviel Z170 Extreme7 Motherboard @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – In the world of technology, it is all about being the best, and ASRock is no stranger to offering some of the best products on the market.

At a press event during Computex 2015, we were given information regarding the brand new Z170 Extreme 7 motherboard. Suited for the 6th Generation Intel Skylake processors and DDR4 support, this is set to be one of the best enthusiast motherboards money can buy.

This motherboard will feature the usual specifications such as USB 3.1/ 3.0, M.2 and high-speed PCIe lanes with multi-card graphic support and also include the newest USB form factor, USB Type-C.

This is an on-going press event, we will keep you updated.

ASRock Z170 Motherboards Pictured Ahead of Launch

Ahead of next week’s Computex in Taiwan, ASRock has released pictures of their latest motherboard. Based around Intel’s next-generation 100 series chipset for Skylake, the Z170 will be the top platform for the mainstream segment. The pictures show the Z170 Gaming K6 and the Z170 Extreme 7 in their full glory along with Intel’s LGA 1151.

For the Gaming K6, it’s quite obviously targeted towards gamers with the red and black aesthetic most OEMs are using with their gaming products. Branding remains the same with the Fatal1ty line with the name etched on the board but not in the model. M.2 slot resides pretty much where we have come to expect as well as the now prevalent SATA Express along with the SATA 3 ports. As expected DDR4 is used for the 4 DIMM slots.

The Extreme 7, targetting a more enthusiast audience comes with the industry standard black and gold theme. In line with it’s with enthusiast status, the Extreme 7 comes with not 1 but 3 M.2 slots. Being based on Z170, not all of the M.2 and PCIE slots can be used at the same time. Another differentiator also appears to be two removable BIOS chips, great for eliminating risk when messing with the firmware.

Both boards tout key features offered by Z170, mainly the 20 PCIE 3.0 lanes which is particularly useful for the Extreme 7 with it’s 4 x16 slots. Both boards are expected to feature Realtek ALC 1150 onboard audio, branded Purity Sound 3 with prominent EMI shielding. As high-end boards, both also offer onboard buttons and BIOS code readouts. The large number of USB 3 ports are also prominent with Z170, coming standard with the chipset. With Biostar having also teased their Z170 board, Skylake is sure to be right around the corner.