Socket / CPU
Black / Gold
- 2-Way SLI Capable
- CrossFire Capable
PCI-E x16 Slots
PCI-E x8 Slots
PCI-E x4 Slots
PCI-E x1 Slots
SATA 6 Gb/s
Depends on CPU
Onboard USB3.0 Headers
- 14 points
- 40 months ago
from completed build Sh00bDaL00bFragBox
Pricey I know, but you get what you pay for. My inclination for this board started with the IO, this board is under the 200 dollar threshold that I am not willing to surpass and packs on as many features as it can while looking great. Honestly, I'm not that big a fan of the color scheme, but it is very elegant and works with the modern look of the Fractal Design R5. Honestly, I chose this board for its functionality over it's looks. This is the renaissance man without the crazy bells and whistles associated with the upper price threshold of the Z170 motherboard selection. This board is no Gigabyte Gaming 1 or ASUS Maximus but it is the poor man's version of those boards.
It starts with the IO, with many more USB ports than almost any other board on the Z170 platform achieved through ASmedia controllers. Although some purists may complain about latency, I don't give a flying **** because it gets the job done. The only peripherals I need to have zero latency are my keyboard and mouse. Everything else can be laggy as long as transfer speeds are sustained. The back packs on two RJ45 ports that can be teamed using a router that supports it (I have one so don't tell me it's useless) which accelerates transfer speeds to my home server/seedbox. There are 4 USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports (keyboard), and 1 USB 3.1a and 1 USB 3.1c port. In addition to the front connector that adds another 3.1a and 3.1c that's 10 USB PORTS, 10 MOTHER-******! That's more than you're ever going to need! And it packs another two USB 3.0 headers on the board, PREPOSTEROUS! Honestly, the place they source all this IO is voodoo magic. I have a lot of USB devices and this was the main reason I bought this board but there are many more aspects that make this board a steal at the pricepoint.
Now the price is essential, I could have bought an ASUS board and I would have the pleasure of dealing with the ASUS BIOS (the best IMO) and the voltage llc graphs in the overlocking utility is a godsend, but alas i had to go with ASrock. The main reason I did this was because ASUS makes you pay the price for having an ASUS board, it's kind of like paying for the name, and at the price point, the boards offered do not match the features of this board.
The board has a 12 phase power supply, making overclocking a breeze and everything stays rock solid, ALWAYS, no dips, nothing ever goes wrong. Furthermore the board also packs 3 m.2 slots, which fit my future plans of upgrading to an M.2 SSD raid solution. I'm honestly waiting for the price to drop and the boot time associated with booting off an M.2 ssd to resolve itself. The onboard boot button and reset button are a huge godsend and to be honest having this on the motherboard will make me buy it and the DR DEBUG LEDS HAVE SAVED MY BACON TOO MANY TIMES!
The only issues I faced are the Vcore ramping up automatically sometimes due to the lack of an llc graph and the bios update may have gone bad at one point but that was due to my own lack of precautions when I didn't check the MD5 luckily it didnt brick the chip. The BIOS could use a little work but then again I'm used to Asus BIOS's, which have no comparison. The EZ bios makes it super easy to adjust fan speeds and the fan headers are well placed and plentiful for a mid tower build.
This motherboard really is a steal for the price and the color scheme is honestly much more flattering in person. Images don't do the board justice. The accents are actually a copper color, not yellow, and it looks beautiful.
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