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Old 6th January 2017, 9:34 AM   #1
headin2001 Thread Starter
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Default ASROCK Z270 FATAL1TY GAMING K6 – User

ASROCK Z270 FATAL1TY GAMING K6 – User Review





Introduction

Kaby Lake has arrived!!!!! What better way to get started than with Asrock’s new gaming focused board, the Z270 Fatal1ty Gaming K6.

The Fatal1ty line-up is aimed at the gaming community, and now includes an upgrade to the integrated sound, an extra M.2 socket, reinforced PCIe slots, LED board lighting, AURA RGB lighting control and connections, dual LAN connections and Asrocks’ Super Allow power components.

The new 7th generation board has minor incremental updates over the previous 100 series of boards. By incremental, I mean, not a lot has changed. We still have the same RAID support, same USB count, same PCIe lane setup, well, it 80% the same……but, what we do get is support for Intel’s Optane Technology, an update to the Rapid Storage Technology and 4 extra PCIe lanes which will generally be used by an available M.2 port. The rest is in the manufacturers using what they learnt from the older 100 series boards and improving on that basis. Oh, and we can still use the older Skylake CPU’s on the new boards too! So weird saying older for something that’s only a year old.

Let’s get to cracking this one open.





Specifications

• Gaming Armor
Power
- Hi-Density Power Connectors (24 pin and 8 pin)
Memory
- 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM Slots
VGA Card
- 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE2)
Internet
- Intel® LAN
Cooling
- XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
- Heat Pipe Design
Audio
- Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3

• Unique Feature
ASRock USB 3.1
- ASRock USB 3.1 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s)
- ASRock USB 3.1 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s)
ASRock Super Alloy
- XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink
- Premium 45A Power Choke
- Premium Memory Alloy Choke (Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke)
- Combo Caps (Nichicon 12K Black Caps)
- Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
- I/O Armor
- Matte Black PCB
- High Density Glass Fabric PCB ASRock Intel® 4-Layer Memory POOL (Planes on Outer Layers) Technology ASRock Steel Slots
ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3) ASRock Ultra USB Power
ASRock Full Spike Protection
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop

• CPU
- Supports 7th and 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors (Socket 1151)
- Digi Power design
- 10 Power Phase design
- Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel® K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK Full-range Overclocking
- Supports ASRock Hyper BCLK Engine II

• Chipset
- Intel® Z270

• Memory
- Dual Channel DDR4 Memory Technology
- 4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
- Supports DDR4 3866+(OC)*/3733(OC)/3600(OC)/3200(OC)/2933(OC)/2800(OC)/2400**/2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory*
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
- Max. capacity of system memory: 64GB**
- Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
- 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM Slots

*7th Gen Intel® CPU supports DDR4 up to 2400; 6th Gen Intel® CPU supports DDR4 up to 2133.
Please refer to Memory Support List on ASRock's website for more information.

**Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS. For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation.

• BIOS
- 2 x 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support (1 x Main BIOS and 1 x Backup BIOS)
- Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
- ACPI 6.0 Compliant wake up events
- SMBIOS 2.7 Support
- CPU, GT_CPU, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCST, VCCSA, VCCPLL Voltage Multi-adjustment

• Graphics
- Supports Intel® HD Graphics Built-in Visuals : Intel® Quick Sync Video with AVC, MVC (S3D) and MPEG-2 Full HW Encode1, Intel® InTru™ 3D, Intel® Clear Video HD Technology, Intel® Insider™, Intel® HD Graphics
- Gen9 LP, DX11.3, DX12
- HWAEncode/Decode: VP8, HEVC 8b, VP9, HEVC 10b (For 7th Gen Intel® CPU)
- HWA Encode/Decode: VP8, HEVC 8b; GPU/SWEncode/Decode: VP9, HEVC 10b (For 6th Gen Intel® CPU)
- Max. shared memory 1024MB**
- Three graphics output options: D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI
- Supports Triple Monitor
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 24Hz / (3840x2160) @ 30Hz
- Supports DVI-D with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports D-Sub with max. resolution up to 1920x1200 @ 60Hz
- Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI Port (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
- Supports HDCP with DVI-D and HDMI Ports
- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) playback with DVI-D and HDMI Ports

*Intel® HD Graphics Built-in Visuals and the VGA outputs can be supported only with processors which are GPU integrated.

**The size of maximum shared memory may vary from different operating systems.

***Due to chipset limitation, the Blu-ray playback of Intel® HD Graphics is only supported under Windows® 8 / 8 64-bit / 7 / 7 64-bit.

****Intel® InTru™ 3D is only supported under Windows® 8 / 8 64-bit / 7 / 7 64-bit.

• Audio
- 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray Audio support
- Supports Surge Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps
- 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier
- TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets)
- Pure Power-In
- Direct Drive Technology
- PCB Isolate Shielding
- Impedance Sensing on Front Out port
- Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel
- AURA RGB LED
- Gold Audio Jacks
- 15μ Gold Audio Connector
- Supports Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3

• LAN
- Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
- 1 x Giga PHY Intel® I219V, 1 x GigaLAN Intel® I211AT
- Supports Wake-On-LAN
- Supports Lightning/ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- Supports Dual LAN with Teaming** Teaming is not supported on Win 10.
- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports PXE

• Slots
- 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE2/PCIE4/PCIE6: single at x16 (PCIE2); dual at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4); triple at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4) / x4 (PCIE6))*
- 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slots (Flexible PCIe)
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™ and SLI™
- 1 x M.2 Socket (Key E), supports type 2230 WiFi/BT module
- 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE2)

*Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks

• Storage
- 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 15 and Intel® Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug*
- 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug
- 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_1), supports type 2230/2242/2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
- 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_2), supports type 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**

*M2_1, SATA3_0 and SATA3_1 share lanes. If either one of them is in use, the others will be disabled.
M2_2, SATA3_4 and SATA3_5 share lanes. If either one of them is in use, the others will be disabled.

**Supports Intel® Optane™ Technology
Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks
Supports ASRock U.2 Kit

• Connector
- 1 x COM Port Header
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 1 x AURA RGB LED Header
- 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)*
- 1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)**
- 2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin)***
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector (15μ Gold Audio Connector)
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (5-pin)
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector (10-pin)****
- 3 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports) (Intel® Z270) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) (Intel® Z270) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) (ASMedia ASM1074 hub) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
- 1 x XMP Switch

*The CPU Fan Connector supports the CPU fan of maximum 1A (12W) fan power.

**The CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan supports the water cooler fan of maximum 1.5A (18W) fan power.

***The Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan supports the water cooler fan of maximum 1.5A (18W) fan power.
CHA_FAN1 and CHA_FAN2 can auto detect if 3-pin or 4-pin fan is in use.

****Only one Thunderbolt™ AIC Card is supported.

• Rear Panel I/O
- 2 x Antenna Ports
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x D-Sub Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM2142) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM2142) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
- 3 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel® Z270) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))* Ultra USB Power is supported on USB3_34 ports.* ACPI wake-up function is not supported on USB3_34 ports.
- 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 3.0) (Intel® Z270) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
- 2 x RJ-45 LAN Ports with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks)

• Software and UEFI
Software
- ASRock F-Stream
- ASRock AURA RGB LED
- ASRock Key Master
- ASRock APP Charger
- ASRock XFast LAN*
UEFI
- ASRock EZ Mode
- ASRock Full HD UEFI
- ASRock My Favorites in UEFI
- ASRock Instant Flash
- ASRock Internet Flash
- ASRock Crashless BIOS
- ASRock UEFI System Browser
- ASRock UEFI Tech Service
- ASRock Easy RAID Installer

*These utilities can be downloaded from ASRock Live Update & APP Shop.

• Support CD
- Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), Google Chrome Browser and Toolbar

• Accessories
- Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
- 4 x SATA Data Cables
- 1 x ASRock SLI_HB_Bridge_2S Card
- 3 x Screws for M.2 Sockets

• Hardware Monitor
- Temperature Sensing: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
- Fan Tachometer: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
- Quiet Fan (Auto adjust chassis fan speed by CPU temperature): CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
- Fan Multi-Speed Control: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans
- Voltage monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCSA, VCCST

• Form Factor
- ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
• OS
- Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit (For 7th Gen Intel® CPU)
- Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit / 8.1 64-bit / 7 32-bit / 7 64-bit (For 6th Gen Intel® CPU)*

*To install Windows® 7 OS, a modified installation disk with xHCI drivers packed into the ISO file is required. Please check our User Manual for more detailed instructions.
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Old 6th January 2017, 9:34 AM   #2
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Unboxing

The Asrock Z270 Gaming K6 comes in a glossy box in box arrangement to keep it securely packaged. Logo’s all around tell the story of what is inside well. The Red and Black theme really stand out on this one.






Included in the packaging is a DVD with all of the drivers and bundled software to get you started, as well as the Multilingual Quick Installation Guide, and Software Setup Guide to assist you through setup and configuration. Not as comprehensive as others, but sufficient for anyone to get moving. Other Accessories include a Fatal1ty Branded IO Shield, 4x SATA3 cables, 3x screws for the M.2 sockets, Asrock Gaming postcard and finally, an Asrock HB SLI Bridge. The HB SLI Bridge is setup for a 2 Slot separation and can only be used between PCIE Slot 1 and 2.




The board is packaged the same as other Asrock Motherboards I have used previously. It is hidden under the accessories, contained in a large anti-static bag, with a foam frame zip-tied for extra reinforcement for while it’s packaged. Be very little chance of it being damaged in its packaging.




Out of all the packaging, aesthetically it’s a very nice looking board. The PCB is a matt black finish, with red highlighted areas around the M.2 Slots. The black plastic IO cover features an Intel Gigabit LAN logo and some RED LED Lighting. Some shots below.












As we move around the board, the board is setup with the Intel 1151 Socket to suit both Skylake and Kaby Lake CPU’s. The socket is fed though Asrocks’ Super Alloy components comprising of 12 phases, 45A Chokes and Nichicon 12k Caps. These are cooled by what appears to be red brushed and anodised aluminium heat sinks which are connected to each other via a nickel plated heat pipe. Power is supplied through the usual top located 8pin EPS connector and 24pin ATX.






The rear IO has connectors aplenty! At the top edge is provision for an optional M.2 Type 2230 Wifi/BT Module (purchased separately). Then we have the usual PS2 keyboard/mouse port, the Fatal1ty mouse port (USB3.0), and another USB3.0 port. Display connectors comprise of a D-SUB VGA port, DVI-D Port and also HDMI Port. Further connections are 2 Intel RJ-45 LAN Ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x Type-A USB 3.1 and 1x Type-C USB 3.1. Rounding it all off is the 7.1 Channel Audio Connectors and Optical SPDIF Out Port.




Under the plastic IO Cover, we find the M.2 connector for the optional Type 2230 Wifi/BT Module.




Audio is controlled by a PCB separated Realtek ALC1220, controlled though the Creative Sound Blaster 3 software. Sound is crisp, and up there with all other boards I have tried. But, I am no audiophile. For gaming and general music, it was totally up to the task. Asrock rate the system at up to 120dB SNR.








To the bottom edge, we find the usual HD Audio connectors, UBS front panel connectors, Com Port and TPM Headers. What we also find though, is the AURA RGB Headers which are controlled by the included F-Stream Software (CHECK). Beside the AURA RGB Headers is an XMP switch, which you can simply set and it automatically enables the XMP settings in bios, a great little addition that will help those that are daunted in bios. There is also the old BIOS reset Jumpers in there too.




Next to the Front Panel Headers, is a Chassis Fan Header which can double as a water pump PWM header. Probably a handy spot for those running a custom loop with a PWM type pump to save on the dreaded cable routing. Dual BIOS and a Debug LED round off the connections area.




Asrock have included an upgraded look the PCH area, now with a more simplified heat sink. Although it looks simpler than previous generations, it is accompanied by red LED lighting below which gives off a slow blinking glow to match that of the IO Cover LED in stock form. There is some AURA RGB software for adjusting the colours on individual areas, or complete, for the PCH, IO Cover, Sound Cover and AURA RGB Headers.




Now, SATA connections. This is where things can get a bit complicated. The board contains no less than 6 Intel SATA3 6Gb/s connectors, plus another 2 ASMedia ASM1061 controlled SATA3 6Gb/s connectors. Where it gets interesting is when an M.2 drive is installed. When the M.2 slot above PCIe Slot 1 is used, 2 of the lower Intel SATA ports will be disabled, and when the Lower M.2 port is used, the upper Intel ports will be disabled. Both M.2 ports support both PCIe 4x NVMe SSD’s as well as SATA3 drives. They also support Intel’s latest Optane Technology which is yet to flow through to consumers. I like that the M.2 Ports are located away from under the GPU’s to allow for better heat control, visibility and also the ability to remove the drive if necessary with everything installed.




Further up the edge, we have 2x USB Front Panel Connectors, the 24pin ATX Power Connection, and LED lit Power and Reset buttons with a cool Fatal1ty symbol. It’s the little touches like that I appreciate.




The Z270 Fatal1ty Gaming K6 supports up to 4 DIMM’s of DDR4 memory modules in Dual Channel, up to 3866+ when Overclocked. There is a maximum capacity of 64GB available. The manual states 3866+ only with single DIMM installed, but I will check that out in the overclocking section.




PCIe support is much like all other “Z” series motherboards. Setup consists of PCIe x1, PCIe x16, PCIE x1, PCIe x8, PCIe x1 and PCIe x8. In reality, the support is for up to 3-way SLI or Crossfire. Single GPU allows for full bandwidth x16, Dual is at x8 for both lanes and 3-way will be at x8-x8-x4. The slots are reinforced and soldered to the PCB to provide extra strength for those heavier GPU’s. The PCIe x1 slots are also rebated at the ends to allow longer add-in cards to be used, albeit possibly not at their rated throughput.


Last edited by headin2001; 6th January 2017 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 6th January 2017, 9:35 AM   #3
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Overclocking

Bios OC

In the Advance menu of the bios, Asrock have included pre-set overclocks to get those lazy people out there a helping hand. There is a couple of ways to set, though either setting the Advanced Turbo to Mode 1 or 2, which allows for either a setting of 4600/4500 or 4800/4500 at 1.35v & 1.38v respectively.



The other option is the Optimised CPU OC Settings which has a few more options available, ranging from 4.6ghz up to a 5ghz overclock. Keep in mind that not all CPU’s will be stable at these setting through many factors, but the voltage settings on these are set in the generous to high zone. For reference, the 5Ghz CPU/4.5Ghz Cache setting allows for 1.45v, which IMO is well above what is required for stability on these in an AIO/Watercooled environment.















Manual OC

Ok, now I’m what I would like to call an “enthusiast overclocker”. I have been in the hobby now for many years, and like to delve in and fine tune my BIOS to suit me. With the Asrock Z270 Gaming K6, all this is quite easy. As with most modern motherboards, the auto setup itself for most voltages are well set, and really only require changing literally a couple of settings to find your maximum OC off the bat.

So, with only changing:
1. Set the DRAM to XMP, or alternatively, use the switch at the bottom of the motherboard.
2. Set the VCore to Fixed and apply a voltage you are comfortable with. For me, it was 1.4v as my maximum.
3. Set the multiplier you would like for the CPU (in my circumstance, went straight for 48x to start)
4. Hit F10, save the BIOS and check it out in windows
5. Adjust the Cache ratio if you would like to push higher. Again, I went for 48x to start.
6. Run your stability tests and increase the Core Ratio until you either hit your thermal limit, or it fails you selected stability tests.
7. Once you are happy with the stability speed, you can then adjust the VCore one step at a time to find the best possible voltage setting for the CPU to be stable. If you hit a point where it become unstable, increase the VCore 0.01v and test once more.

A quick note for Kaby Lake. New for the series in bios is the ability to set an offset multiplier for AVX instruction sets, much like has been adopted on the 2011-3 platform for a while now. Depending on the CPU’s ability, you may be able to achieve a stable OC for daily/gaming at 100-200Mhz higher than Prime/Realbench/XTU speeds. With trial and error, you will find the best setting for all uses with this addition.

Now, we all have our own process, and obviously finding a maximum stable clock at a voltage isn’t always this simple, but with what’s above, it’s basically that simple. Mine is 3x XTU Bench Runs, 3 consecutive passes of Cinebench (a bad OC will usually show within these 2 quite quickly), a good hour pass with Asus Realbench V2, as it is a good overall system stability test, followed by some good old fashioned gaming, in my case, Battlefield 4. I find Battlefield the best to bring things to their knees, pushing the RAM, CPU and IO’s, PCH and GPU. It all gets a hammering. I’m not a fan of Prime95, but if you want to run it for days on end, it’s totally up to you.

Here is the results, which I have put through my suit of stability testing and found to be totally reliable in gaming, 3D rendering and googling.


http://imgur.com/qaKO2Wv




Also, I thought I would add a max OC for reference.





http://imgur.com/NRueiCo

Last edited by headin2001; 6th January 2017 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 6th January 2017, 9:35 AM   #4
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Benchmarks

Test Setup
CPU – Intel i7 7700K, stock 4500/4200, OC - 5000/4800
Cooler – Enermax Liqmax II 240 AIO
Thermal Paste – Coolermaster Mastergel Maker Nano
Motherboard – Asrock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6
Ram – Zadak511 Shield 3200C16 2x8GB – ZD4-SHK3200X16-08GAS (XMP Profile, Samsung B-Die IC)
Storage – Zadak511 250GB SSD
Graphics – EVGA GTX 1070 FTW
PSU – Coolermaster GX750
OS – Windows 10 Pro x64



Comparison System 2
CPU – Intel i7 6700k, stock, 4500/4500, 4800/4600
Intel i7 4790k @ 4500/4500 cache
Intel i7 2600k @ 4500
Intel i7 6950X Extreme, stock, 4300/3600
Cooler – Enermax Liqmax II 240 AIO
Thermal Paste – Coolermaster Mastergel Maker Nano
Motherboard – Asrock Z170M OC Formula
Asus Maximus VIII Hero
MSI X99A Pro Gaming Carbon
Asus Gryphon Z97 (BIOS 2101)
Asus P8Z68-V Pro (BIOS 3402)


Ram – Zadak511 Shield 3200C16 4x8GB – ZD4-SHK3200X16-08GAS (XMP Profile, Samsung B-Die IC)
G.Skill Ripjaws V 3466C16 4x4GB – F4-3466C16Q-16GVK (XMP Profile, Samsung D-Die IC) For M8H
Corsair DDR3 Vengeance 2x4gb – CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 (XMP 1t Timings, Nanya IC)
Storage – Zadak511 250GB SSD
Graphics – Asus 750ti OC DirectCUII 2GB
Graphics – EVGA GTX 1070 FTW
PSU – Coolermaster GX750
OS – Windows 10 Pro x64



Methodology

For benchmarking this motherboard, I have come up with a suite to show mostly CPU and memory performance.

Software used:
Intel XTU (tests both CPU and memory performance)
Geekbench 3
Cinebench R11.5 – CPU Test only
Cinebench R15 –CPU Test only
Aida64 – Memory Benchmark and Latency
3DMark Fire Strike Physics

All tests were done at both stock CPU clocks of 4500/4200 cache, and overclocked to 5000/4800 cache. Memory was set to XMP. Each benchmark was run 3 times, and the best score recorded discarding any obviously glitched runs.














Last edited by headin2001; 6th January 2017 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 6th January 2017, 9:36 AM   #5
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Conclusion

First up, I would like to say a little about Kaby Lake. When you look at the results in the graphs, you can see there is very little difference between the Skylake based 6700k and the new Kaby Lake 7700k. This was to be expected, as the architecture between the two has had no real change, especially to the IPC. What we can see though is the Overclocking potential of the new 14nm FinFET process Intel have used on the 7700k. A marked improvement which is now allowing, once again, what I would call a stable 5ghz CPU once again.

To the board, Asrock have produced a solid product in the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 motherboard. The layout is well thought out, in particular for me the PCIe layout and the M.2 positioning. I love that it will enable simpler drive changing if needed, and the spacing allows for airflow for all of the Add-in cards. The addition of the M.2 for a Wifi/BT module is also a plus, for those that prefer to run wireless over the conventional wired LAN connection.

The addition of a High Bandwidth SLI bridge is also welcomed, especially for those running the newer Nvidia GTX card that want everything to run at its optimum. Unfortunately I do not have 2 GPU’s on hand to test, so I cannot comment on it performance.

Sound quality for me is excellent, and the Creative software provided all of the necessary changes I needed to adjust to my ears and headphones.

On the overclocking side, the board provided most of the simple settings required for a basic overclock, and also a few extra’s to help those that need to tune a bit more. The Auto Overclock setting in Bios I found to be on the higher side when it came to voltages, which in-turn added some extra unnecessary heat output, but, worked flawlessly with my particular CPU and cooling, especially once I had delid the CPU to improve its temperature.

Memory wise, it is seemingly able, but lacks the ability to adjust RTL/IOL settings. This in turn would hamper what could be a well set memory setting. Probably not a big thing for most users as they will be running XMP anyway, but for those that like to play around, it may become frustrating for you. I did manage to have my Samsung B-Die based ram sitting comfortably at 3600C15-15-1t at a reasonable 1.48v. This provided Game and Bench stable. I was unfortunately unable to get them to boot to any 3733 speed in dual channel on this particular board. It may be possible with more time to test, but I cannot confirm.

The standard setting on the board when it came to memory timings could do with some tweaking for a bit of extra performance, but overall, it performed on-par with the much more OC focused Z170M OC Formula, and in some circumstances, was better in the synthetic benchmarks. The only downfall with it not quite able to match the Z170 board in CPU overclocks at this stage. A more mature bios might help this match.

The inclusion of the AURA RGB control is a great addition for those that love the bling. The only bug-bear I have is that the LED’s on the motherboard lack of control in BIOS. The software though once in Windows is great, and very simple to use.

Power saving between the older Z170 and the new Z270 appear to be quite noticeable, with the Idle power usage at stock at around the 55w mark, and the Z170 platform at a higher 78w. If power usage is something you are interested in, the Z270 wins out here.

Pricing and availability are available now starting at around $280+ AUD mark, so check out your local stores for stock.


Last edited by headin2001; 6th January 2017 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 6th January 2017, 12:42 PM   #6
Myne_h
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Interesting that the Z170 uses slightly lower volts and clocks higher.

Product maturity?
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Old 6th January 2017, 1:14 PM   #7
headin2001 Thread Starter
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Possibly, but the Z170M OC Formula is an overclocker board. So I was not sureprised it did a bit better.

Further Bios revisions might help it though. I do see further potential.
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Old 6th January 2017, 1:42 PM   #8
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Great review mate
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Old 6th January 2017, 6:38 PM   #9
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Great read, I've got to get an Asrock board again one of these days, have always been really impressed with their BIOSes.
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Old 9th January 2017, 10:50 AM   #10
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i was tossing up between this board and the MSI z270 gaming pro carbon

i am more leaning towards the msi board to go with my msi rx480

what do you guys think?

i will be new to overclocking.. not sure i will overclock straight up but i will be running a h115i
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Old 9th January 2017, 4:17 PM   #11
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Good review! Saw it too late though, bought this board on Friday
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Old 11th January 2017, 10:13 PM   #12
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I like your review. Lots of information.

What I would like to know is how Sli 2 way or 3 way cross fire would perform. Seems like the reviews I have read, seem to neglect testing this feature.
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Old 11th January 2017, 11:32 PM   #13
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Nice review. ASRock boards have always been nice and reliable for me.
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Old 14th January 2017, 5:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XQDMRick View Post
i was tossing up between this board and the MSI z270 gaming pro carbon

i am more leaning towards the msi board to go with my msi rx480

what do you guys think?

i will be new to overclocking.. not sure i will overclock straight up but i will be running a h115i
Hard for me to say mate as I haven't tried or checked out the Carbon Gaming board yet. Gut feel is they would be similar, but MSI tend to have a greater software suite and the RGB lighting is a heavier feature.

This one is a genuine solid gaming board without being too OTT like others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sindarin Ultra View Post
Good review! Saw it too late though, bought this board on Friday
Nice one man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkStyle View Post
I like your review. Lots of information.

What I would like to know is how Sli 2 way or 3 way cross fire would perform. Seems like the reviews I have read, seem to neglect testing this feature.
I would have loved to be able to test it out to show, but unfortunately I'm a one GPU man. If I had enough for dual SLI or Crossfire, I'd be all over it like white on rice.
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Old 14th January 2017, 8:42 PM   #15
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Great review, thanks.

Could you please provide more info on their fan control mechanism.

Wondering how it stacks up against the Asus FanXpert control, which allows decent fan speed control via the BIOS, and more granular control using their windows software.
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