ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

The idea of the design of ASRock Z170 OC Formula remained unchanged. There are several auxiliary buttons, switches and several indicators. The most important system voltages can be measured on their own, by means of a multimeter. A dozen nests includes three SATA SATA-E, the same number provided for M. 2. Available footprint for the installation of modern compact adapter wireless networks.

Accessory kit extreme overclocker will not go away: you can deactivate each of the four full-length PCI-E, there is a special mode for LN2 and Slow Mode activation. There are a couple of chips with firmware and the ability to switch between them. One of the most interesting properties of the series — buttons increase and decrease the number of parameters in real time — has also not been abolished. A common set of capabilities can be understood from the pivot table.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Packaging equipment

The fee is set in a large box, equipped with a handle provided to facilitate transportation. The tagline reads about good ASRock Z170 OC Formula selection for the purpose of installing a variety of records.

Used corporate developments and features of these decisions are vividly described on the back side of the box, there is also a photo of the device.

The package nothing special stands out is:

  • multi-language quick installation guide;
  • guide to UEFI and Formula Drive English;
  • CD with drivers and proprietary software;
  • logo sticker of the company;
  • plug housing, supplemented by a sticker in dark colors with one color and the symbolic marking of all nests;
  • four SATA cables 6Gb/s, two of which are l-shaped connector at one end;
  • one flexible bridge to organize SLI with two graphics cards;
  • three fixing screws for devices of format M. 2;
  • kit to install an expansion card format mini PCI-E (stand and two screws).

The plug has three holes for the needs of antenna switching is possible from the composition adapter of wireless networks.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Appearance

Despite the complexity of the device dimensions remain within the normal ATX. The Board itself is based on eight-layer PCB of the backlight, there is only a small “window” in the center, where is depicted the model name. On the rear side are soldered six white LEDs. General indicators of different types are active only at the time of initialization of equipment, and then everything turns off.

Emptiness on the surface of the Board in the locations of potential devices format M. 2 is misleading, because many electronic components were submitted for the opposite direction. Here their unusual amounts, it is not recommended to use the device without a special stand or fasteners of any kind, because the risk of something damaging is very high. Most notable: the second (!) Multicontroller, external reference oscillator, drivers, including eight pieces for power supply of the CPU and the integrated graphics adapter.

The chipset cooler is huge and therefore securely fixed with screws.

The main group of SATA sockets are located along the surface of the Board, four outputs are tied to an external pair of controllers ASM1061.

A couple, United in a single SATA-E is not quite a familiar place. The lower right corner busy with a variety of buttons and switches. In addition to the massive Power and Reset, there is a small button, head of the ability to boot directly to the UEFI environment immediately after starting the system. Useful switch between two chips with firmware.

On top of the cooler soldered the USB port is the third revision type A and two pads to connect the case cables with the same version of the interface. At the bottom face a couple more for the second generation, there is even support for serial COM port.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

At the upper right corner of the soldered pad with the possibility of fixing it probes for the measurement of six groups of strains, has all the basic (vccm voltage multi-adjustment — powered memory module). Right behind her soldered four red LEDs, which symbolize the stages of initialization of basic system components, this step is already familiar on the products of the closest competitors. Don’t forget about the full POST code display.

CPU the PCI-E to share with three slots, while the bottom uses a line from ASRock Z170 OC Formula among the four.

At the same time with SATA-E to use the M. 2 will not work, you will have to choose between one and the other, though today the advantage of the compact form factor is almost undeniable.

The top nest is a compact mini PCI-E, next to the possibility to mount complete rack (there is a threaded hole directly in the body of the Board).

The sound system is nothing special, there is a Realtek ALC1150 codec and a pair of Texas Instruments NE5532 OPAMP.

Voltage regulator of the processor decided to equip a normal set of two radiators and heat pipes. Any excess in the form of products or that is served under a similar form.

The tube is far from the reason, because it acts more as decoration, in any case, the efficiency of its use is clearly not high, the pair of heat sinks forms a relatively symmetrical, it is unlikely one of them will be heated more than the second.

At the core of the stabilizer laid eight-channel PWM controller IR35201 the production of International Rectifier. The six lines form a voltage regulator for the CPU and two for the integrated GPU. To help him put in charge of eight drivers doublers IR3598. Thus, each of them tied to a couple of highly effective elements Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D. Closer to the center of the Board complements the scheme of the implementation of the stabilizer SA CPU, which includes a set of one throttle and power builds. Additional power is provided in the form of connector EPS12V.

To the rear there is a reset button, two of the most modern digital video output, multiple USB ports, different generations, Ethernet and sound stand with five analog outputs and one optical. Do not forget about classic PS/2. It is a modern and comprehensive set, in my opinion.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Possible UEFI

Firmware upgrade brought brand tool Instant Flash. In addition to using the most recent assemblies allowed a rollback to the stale version, including those where overclocking feature of the CPU has not yet been restricted (for models with proprietary multiplier). In this survey involved just the latter of these is P2.20.

Model for enthusiasts features including a simplified mode settings.

The full set of features in the extended menu.

In the OC Tweaker section there are kits with the finished settings of the system; the authorship with nickshih’s OC profile will be of interest to professional venceram, but for ordinary users procured more than a simple overclocking of your computer. Custom settings can be stored in five profiles or on external media.

In addition to these, conspicuous, mechanisms I want to mention the variety of settings for memory chips are Hynix and Samsung. High voltage in these profiles clearly indicates the target audience — extreme overclockers. In addition to the usual, understandable to the common users of items, to change the available set of special settings that are, apparently, supposed to help in the delicate adjustment of the system when carrying out nitrogen sessions.

A large number of points with stresses of different kinds and other variables, or otherwise influencing the power sources.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

Among the secondary setting also has a number of interesting points, for example, you can select the version of Microcode Update.

Also stated the possibility of downgrading MEI. Other specialty tools available in the series of ordinary products.

The monitoring system is equipped with a number of temperature sensors. Unfortunately, UEFI to focus on them to be only looking at the names, their location, the visual character harvested in proprietary software, available in the Windows environment.

Facilities include six coolers. For four case in the role of a reference temperature, you can choose an abstract index of area on the PCB. This does not cause problems with conventional production, where such a sensor is only one, but here it was quite different. Obviously, the potential user of ASRock Z170 OC Formula such details are not needed, although the idea has the right to development.

Despite the complexity of the device, the survey procedure of the equipment is quite fast, in any case, the mechanisms of different kinds to control the progress of the load are available.

Experts of the company decided to clearly define product positioning, resulting in a software snap any bonus surprises could not be found. Sound and network subsystem is not completed, there is no other exclusive related proposals.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Software

Branded APP Shop (3TB+ Unlocker Utility AppCharger, Cloud, Disk Health Report, Fast Boot, Formula Drive, OMG (Online Management Guard), Rapid OC, Rapid SATA Switch, Restart to UEFI, USB Key, ASRock XFast

Complex setting-up the system from the utility of the familiar kind, now it is made in shades of yellow and referred to as Formula Drive (for gaming the Fatal1ty series takes place red theme, and the complex is called F-Stream). New no absolutely nothing, is a traditional ASRock Z170 OC Formula support for the Windows environment.

The complex exceeds the capabilities of UEFI when working with refrigerants. Here you can calibrate the items to their subsequent adjustment be based on the unique passport. Had no problems with both four-wire and three-wire fans.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

A unique feature is the map of location of temperature sensors.

Auxiliary Rapid OC utility will allow to do some manipulation with the settings on the fly. This can be used as a dedicated hardware buttons are soldered on the Board itself, and the keybindings on the keyboard. In the latter case, there is some input lag, because the first way seems much more convenient in practice. A little more about the actual usage can be read in the next section of this review.

The sound does not stand out. There is only brand Configurator from Realtek with the usual set of features.

For the networking subsystem harvested the usual bonus from ASRock in the form of a product of cFos Software development, called XFast LAN. Work with a fresh build of Windows was stable.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Overclocking potential

For the test bench involved an engineering sample Core i5-6600K with the standard thermal interface under the heat-spreading lid, the overclocking capability of it is very good.

Software complex Formula Drive as F-Stream, feature in three different ways fast acceleration PC. The first Optimized CPU OC Setting. We have managed to achieve stability at around 4.6 GHz.

Interestingly enough, the ring this time was intact, and RAM. The BCLK frequency was increased to 1 MHz, the CPU voltage was increased up to 1,344 V. In a simple frequency is not reduced.

For the scenario Advanced Turbo best “Gear 2” showed the same result as in the previous embodiment. Except that the CPU voltage was recorded explicitly as profile LLC.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake

The value actually amounted to 1,376 In, it is not changed in time, as the frequency of the processor, and the base was a standard 100 MHz.

C the third scenario (Auto Tuning) there was an incident — he was unavailable, instead of activating the Start button POPs up a notification urging to get a CPU with a free multiplier.

As in the case of the model Z170 Gaming K6, CPU SA voltage, and IO high even with the default settings. Plants produced by me when overclocking BCLK for all motherboards based on the Intel Z170, were lower, because the result is restricted primarily because of such actions. However, stable operation at 294 MHz — is much more successful than experiments with “gaming” Board. A number of special features of the ASRock Z170 OC Formula in this test was not used, which likely also influenced the result.

In particular, the use of Rapid OC allowed in a few moments, to raise the level up to 307,5 MHz without loss of efficiency of the operating system.

Before overclocking I stabilized the system memory at its normal frequency according to the XMP profile. Was no need to intervene in the delay settings, and a high auxiliary voltage is clearly being cautious. For the modules was fairly standard 1.35 V CPU SA was found on a passport level of 1.05 V, and only for CPU IO necessitated the allowance of 0.05, the result is 1 V. Under such conditions, the CPU overclocked to 4.7 GHz, the ring was working at 4.4 GHz.

The first profile LLC has a tendency to a significant overstatement of the tension, but the second went better. Under load the voltage level amounted to 1,376 In when you installed in UEFI 1,39 V.

Windows 10 continues to surprise by its activity, manifested even in the regimes of stress testing a PC. The level of consumption amounted to 54-267 W, and if we reduce the numbers to the natural, then the peak will be equal to 201 watts. By the way, measurements were made with a new power supply, this should be considered when comparing with previous measurements performed. Heat in the VRM area did not exceed 53 °C, and the radiators were slightly warm to 40 °C.

For overclocking RAM, I also have not used any special approaches. Installed a set of primary delays — 18-18-18-39-1T. Voltage had to increase to 1.45 V, so the system was completely stable. CPU SA remained at a basic level, and for CPU IO was enough of 1.15 V. When the parameter WTR was unusually hard, if we draw a parallel with competing products. Probably, such approach demanded higher voltage, because typically, such straps, the frequency would be enough of 1.41 V.

The current reading was of 1.48 V. But to upbraid the ASRock Z170 OC Formula. in such trifles as the need to install a little higher voltage, I will not.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Test results

After overclocking events clear excessive approach engineers in the desire to increase the secondary voltages, but all the measurements were performed with a proprietary setting, only activated the XMP profile. Stability issues were noted, although the value tWTR_S was low.

Choice test as the basis for a gaming computer has the full right to life, in games the performance is quite decent, though not record-breaking.

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: System power consumption

Measurements were performed after all the other tests in “established” mode of the computer using the device’s own development. The method consisted in fixing the weighted average consumption of the test stand from the socket while passing Prime95 with the use of profile In-place large FFTs and when the computer is idle after completion of the test.

In our booth upgraded the power supply, so on the chart you can see two results for both idle and load. The advantage of using more efficient devices obviously, but the main goal — fixation difference for future understanding in the difference of consumption between the tested devices. Returning to the current ward, with the efficiency of the Converter it is no problem, but we worked with high secondary voltages. Their reduction will reduce visible marks even more (especially noticeable should it affect the system in idle).

ASRock Z170 OC Formula: Conclusion

Employees ASRock managed to preserve the heritage and to produce a decent ASRock Z170 OC Formula, which is crowned by a series of motherboards based on the Intel Z170 chipset. This primarily refers to the wide range of settings in UEFI, multiple ready-made profiles, as appropriate under extreme acceleration events, and in the case of using conventional air cooling. The abundance of options will allow to squeeze out the maximum, if, of course, have the necessary for knowledge and perseverance.

Upset is completely normal delivery. I was surprised by the stagnation in the development process of software products. In fact, in three years absolutely nothing has changed. Particularly sad to see the potential in the form of multiple temperature sensors, which can with advantage use can not be only to satisfy their own curiosity. Do not see any obstacles in the implementation of the ideas embodied in the TUF series from ASUS competing in the field setting up the system coolers. But such issues will stand in front of the ordinary user, while positioning the ASRock Z170 OC Formula absolutely different.

However, looking at its price, the audience of potential buyers can be formed from completely different categories of people. A normal user should be warned about the number of inflated unnecessarily stresses that can be reduced if the acceleration will not pursue the purposes of finding the maximum value from existing equipment.

Another stumbling block for potential buyers can become weak prevalence of the model in the domestic market, but for the enthusiast this situation has long been not a problem.

Source: asrock

ASRock Z170 OC Formula Review: flagship solution for processors Intel Skylake was last modified: November 7th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby