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ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC Motherboard Review

DSC_8334 It used to be that small form factor meant you would have to trade performance for size. Over the last few generations of motherboards and CPUs that stigma is changing. The Mini-ITX or ITX is one of the smallest form factor boards you can purchase. The ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC motherboard is part of the Fatal1ty (fatality) line of products and is geared towards gaming. Like all Z170 motherboards, the supported CPU Intel’s 6th Generation Core i series CPUs and supports two memory DDR4 memory modules up to 4000 MHz.  Perhaps the ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC would be a perfect compliment to a light weight LAN box or a media center/steam PC.

 

Review Sample Provided by: ASRock
Product Name: ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC
Price at time of review: $ 190.00 USD
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

 

The packaging for the Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC clearly shows this product is part of the Fatal1ty gaming line. The backside of the box delves into more details as to the reason ASRock feels this board is a small powerhouse with extra details on features, board layout, and specifications.

 

Internally, you’ll find the motherboard and accessories separated by a cardboard shelf with the motherboard tucked underneath.

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The accessories that are included with the ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC are a user manual, driver CD, IO Shield, SATA cables and a 802.11 AC Wireless antenna.

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General
Gaming Armor CPU Power
– Hi-Density Power Connector
– Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
Memory
– 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM Slots
VGA Card
– 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE1)
Internet
– Intel® LAN
Cooling
– 8 Layer PCB
– 4 x 2oz copper
– Heat Pipe Design
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
– Premium 60A Power Choke
– Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM)
– Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)
– Matte Black PCB
– High Density Glass Fabric PCB
ASRock 802.11ac WiFi
ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
ASRock Full Spike Protection
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
CPU – Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors (Socket 1151)
– Digi Power design
– 8 Power Phase design
– Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
– Supports Intel® K-Series unlocked CPUs
– Supports ASRock BCLK Full-range Overclocking
Chipset – Intel® Z170
Memory – Dual Channel DDR4 Memory Technology
– 2 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
– Supports DDR4 4000+(OC)*/3866(OC)/3600(OC)/3200(OC)/2933(OC)/2800(OC)/2400(OC)/2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory*
– Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operate in non-ECC mode)
– Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB*
– Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
– 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM Slots

*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.
Please refer to Memory Support List on ASRock’s website for more information.
4000+(OC) memory frequency can only be achieved when a single memory module is installed (Single channel memory).
BIOS – 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support
– ACPI 5.0 Compliant wake up events
– SMBIOS 2.7 Support
– CPU, GT_CPU, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCPLL, VCCSA Voltage Multi-adjustment
 Audio, Video and Networking
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 510/530
– Pixel Shader 5.0, DirectX 12
– Max. shared memory 1024MB*
– Three graphics output options: 2 x HDMI ports and DisplayPort 1.2
– Supports Triple Monitor
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2160) @ 24Hz / (3840×2160) @ 30Hz (on HDMI1)
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2160) @ 60Hz (on HDMI2)
– Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096×2304) @ 60Hz
– Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI Ports (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
– Supports Accelerated Media Codecs: HEVC, VP8, VP9
– Supports HDCP with HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 Ports
– Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) playback with HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 Ports

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

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

***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 ALC1150 Audio Codec)*
– Premium Blu-ray Audio support
– Supports Surge Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
– Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps
– TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets)
– Supports DTS Connect

*To configure 7.1 CH HD Audio, it is required to use an HD front panel audio module and enable the multi-channel audio feature through the audio driver.
LAN – Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
– Giga PHY Intel® I219V
– Supports Wake-On-LAN
– Supports Lightning/ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
– Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
– Supports PXE
Wireless LAN – Supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
– Supports Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz)
– Supports high speed wireless connections up to 867Mbps
– 2 antennas to support 2 (Transmit) x 2 (Receive) diversity technology
– Supports Bluetooth 4.0 / 3.0 + High speed class II
 Expansion / Connectivity
Slots – 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1: x16 mode)*
– 1 x Half-size Mini-PCI Express Slot: For WiFi + BT Module
– 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE1)

*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 14 and Intel® Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug
– 1 x SATA Express 10 Gb/s Connector*
– 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket, supports type 2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**

*If M2_1 is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_0, SATA3_1 and the SATA function of SATA_EXP0 will be disabled.
Support to be announced**Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks
Connector – 1 x Chassis Intrusion Header
– 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
– 2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)*
– 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
– 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
– 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
– 1 x USB 2.0 Header (Supports 2 USB 2.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x USB 3.0 Header (Supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))

*CPU_FAN1 and CHA_FAN1 can auto detect if 3-pin or 4-pin fan is in use.
The CPU Fan Connector supports the CPU fan of maximum 1A (12W) fan power.
Rear Panel I/O – 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 2 x HDMI Ports
– 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 5 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel® Z170) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 3.0) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
– HD Audio Jacks: Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
 Other Features / Miscellaneous
Software and BIOS Software
– ASRock F-Stream
– ASRock Disk Health Report
– ASRock USB Key
– ASRock Key Master
– ASRock APP Charger
– ASRock XFast LAN
– ASRock XFast RAM
– ASRock Fast Boot (Fast Boot, Restart to UEFI)*
UEFI
– ASRock EZ Mode
– ASRock Full HD UEFI
– ASRock My Favorites in UEFI
– ASRock Instant Flash
– ASRock Internet Flash
– ASRock Crashless BIOS
– ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard)
– ASRock UEFI System Browser
– ASRock UEFI Tech Service
– ASRock Easy RAID Installer
– ASRock Easy Driver 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, XSplit
Accessories – Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield
– 2 x SATA Data Cables
– 1 x ASRock WiFi 2.4/5 GHz Antenna
– 1 x Screw for M.2 Socket
Hardware Monitor – CPU/Chassis temperature sensing
– CPU/Chassis Fan Tachometer
– CPU/Chassis Quiet Fan (Auto adjust chassis fan speed by CPU temperature)
– CPU/Chassis Fan multi-speed control
– CASE OPEN detection
– Voltage monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA
Form Factor – Mini-ITX Form Factor
– 8 Layer PCB
– 4 x 2oz copper
OS – Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit / 8.1 64-bit / 7 32-bit / 7 64-bit*

*To install Windows® 7 OS, a modified installation disk with xHCI drivers packed into the ISO file is required. Please see our online tutorial or check our User Manual for more detailed instructions.
For the updated Windows® 10 driver, please visit ASRock’s website for details.
Certifications – FCC, CE, WHQL
– ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)
Caution:
Please realize that there is a certain risk involved with overclocking, including adjusting the setting in the BIOS or using the third-party overclocking tools. Overclocking may affect your system stability, or even cause damage to the components and devices of your system. It should be done at your own risk and expense. We are not responsible for possible damage caused by overclocking.

The specification is subject to change without notice in advance. The brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Any configuration other than original product specification is not guaranteed.

***Specifications are provided by ASRock and may be subject to change without notice.



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About Tom Brokaw

Tom is a network and computer hardware enthusiast. He has been reviewing hardware products around for various sites around the net since 1999. He has modded a few cases back in the day, such as cutting a side window or two.

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