Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Not so long ago, Asus has launched its modified version under the name Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura. Differences between Asus Z170 Pro Gaming and Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is not much, but they are. The new model focuses more on modding enthusiasts and has a system of adjustable LED backlighting. So, consider this new product details.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Packaging and Packaging

Since the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura does not apply to Asus elite series, set her delivery rather modest.

It comes in a fairly compact box which this board painted with all dignity. There are also traditional advertising game World of Warships, and bought this card and registering it, the user receives a premium account for 15 days in the game World of Warships and unique ship.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

The package includes a user guide (in English only), DVD-ROM with software and drivers, four SATA-cable (all connectors with latches, two cables have angled connector on one side), the SLI bridge on two cards, plug for the rear panel. In addition, there is a special plastic mounting frame, which is designed for the safe installation of the CPU into the socket. There is a complete set of plastic and ties (in option board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming such ties were not), and even a special mounting kit for installation on board of decorative elements made by the 3D-printer.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: configuration and features

Summary table board features Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is listed below, and hereafter we will look at all of its features and functionality.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Form Factor

Fee Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura made in the ATX form factor (305 × 244 mm), and for its installation in the housing standard nine holes are provided.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: The chipset and processor socket

Fee Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is based on the new Intel Z170 chipset only supports Intel Core processors 6th generation (code name Skylake-S) with built-in LGA1151.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Memory

To install the memory modules on the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura has four DIMM-slot. The user manual says that the motherboard supports unbuffered memory DDR4 (non-ECC), and the maximum memory capacity is 64 GB (when using modules with a capacity of 16 GB).

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Expansion Slots

To install the graphics cards, expansion cards and storage devices on the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura has three slot form factor PCI Express x16, three PCI Express 3.0 x1 and M.2 connector, which allows the storage size 2242/2260/2280 / 22110.

Two first (from the socket) slot form factor PCI Express x16 implemented using 16 lines PCIe 3.0 Skylake-S processor which, using the multiplexers / demultiplexers are grouped in either a single port PCI Express 3.0 x16, or two-port PCI Express 3.0 x8. That is, if activated, only one slot form factor PCI Express 3.0 x16 (the closest to the processor socket), it will operate at x16 speed, and if both slots at the same time, they will operate at x8 speed.

Another slot form factor PCI Express x16 is implemented on the basis of four lines PCI Express 3.0 Intel Z170 chipset. In fact, this slot PCI Express 3.0 x4, but in a form factor PCI Express x16.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Note that the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming Nvidia supports the SLI technology and AMD CrossFireX and allows the installation of two Nvidia graphics cards and up to three graphics cards from AMD.

Three slots PCI Express 3.0 x1 (with closed ends) implemented by Intel Z170 chipset.

M.2 slot supports PCIe devices and SATA. For its implementation, a four-port chipset PCI Express 3.0 and SATA 6 port Gbit / s, providing bandwidth 32 GT / s (PCIe-connected devices).

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Video Connections

Since the processors Skylake-S has an integrated graphics core, there is a video DisplayPort 1.2 (the maximum resolution of 4096 × 2304 @ 60 Hz), HDMI 1.4 (4096 × 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 × 1600 @ 60 Hz) to connect the monitor on the rear panel, DVI-D (1920 × 1200 @ 60 Hz) and VGA (1920 × 1200 @ 60 Hz). By the board can simultaneously connect three monitors.

About the video output VGA (connector D-Sub), we recall that the processor Skylake-S is no more FDI bus to connect to the chipset and VGA video output is realized by further converting the digital video output in analog.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: SATA-ports

For connecting hard drives or optical drives on the motherboard provides six SATA ports 6 Gb / s, which are implemented on the basis of an integrated in Intel Z170 chipset controller. These ports also support the ability to create for RAID-arrays levels 0, 1, 5, 10.

Note that the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming also had SATA Express connector, but in the embodiment of Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura he’s gone. In fact, in terms of a set of different slots, connectors and ports, lack Express SATA connectors on the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura – is the only difference between this card and Asus Z170 Pro Gaming.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: USB-connector

To connect all kinds of peripheral devices on the motherboard provides six ports USB 3.0, eight USB 2.0 ports and two ports USB 3.1.

Six USB 3.0 ports and eight USB 2.0 ports implemented on the base of chipset Intel Z170 (recall that the chipset supports up to 14 USB ports, of which up to 10 ports are USB 3.0). Four USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports brought to the board’s rear panel and to connect two additional USB 3.0 ports and six USB 2.0 ports on the board provides a USB 3.0 connector and three USB 2.0 connector.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

To implement two USB 3.1 ports on the motherboard uses dual controller ASMedia ASM1142. Moreover, this controller is connected to the two lines chipset PCIe 3.0.

The two USB 3.1 ports on the rear panel of the board. One port has a conventional connector Type-A, and the other port has a symmetrical connector Type-C.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Network interface

To connect to the network on board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura has a Gigabit Ethernet interface based on the PHY-controller (PHY controller) Intel i219-V (used controller MAC-level, integrated in the chipset). This controller chipset employ to connect the PCIe port.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: How it works

Recall that Intel Z170 chipset has 26 high-speed I / O ports, which can be as ports PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb / s. Part of the high-speed I / O ports is strictly assigned to the USB ports 3.0, still a part of the ports can serve only as a PCIe 3.0 ports, but there are also ports of dual-use items, which can be configured as either a PCIe 3.0 ports, as either SATA ports 6 Gb / s, and there are ports that are configured as either a port PCIe 3.0, or as a USB 3.0 port. Given the dual-use ports, a USB 3.0 port chipset have 10 high-speed I / O ports, a SATA 6 Gb / s – 6 ports, and ports for PCIe 3.0 – 20 ports.

Now let’s see how it is implemented in an embodiment of the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura.

Actually, it is very simple and is shared only one port SATA 6Gb / s. If M.2 connector is used in SATA mode, the first port SATA 6Gb / s will be unavailable. If activated the first port SATA 6Gb / s, then M.2 connector can only be used in PCIe mode.

If you count the total number of realized chipset high input output ports, they would be no more than 26, according to. This six ports USB 3.0, six ports SATA 6 Gb / s PCIe 3.0 and fourteen ports.

A block diagram of the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is shown in Fig.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Additional features

In addition to the lack of SATA Express connector, motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura differs from the model Asus Z170 Pro Gaming presence of two additional features focused on modding enthusiasts.

First of all, on the back of the back board on its front edge (under the 24-pin power connector) is a panel of ten the RGB-LED, operation of which can be adjusted. There are 12 different illumination modes, and you can even choose the mode in which the LED color will correspond to the current CPU temperature. For moddingovyh buildings such illumination can be profitable and loses possession.

Lights also audiopath area. On the reverse side of the board, along the translucent strip that allows a sound section zone, the red LEDs are located. Light from the LEDs is very bright, due to the reflection of the chassis which carries the motherboard, the effect of the backlight board is created.

Moreover, in one of the corners there is a special card space (3D Mount), which is intended for mounting decorative elements printed on 3D-printer. And on the website of Asus can even download a version of the drawing element to the Asus logo.

Another innovation on the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is that the two slot form factor PCI Express x16 got a metal casing. Such casings on slots – this newfangled trend. It makes no sense, but it is beautiful.

In the rest of the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura does not differ from Asus Z170 Pro Gaming. In it there is no separate power and reset buttons or indicator POST-codes and so forth.

There are only two jumpers: Clear CMOS (reset BIOS settings) and CPU Over Voltage (for overclocking, and allows you to increase the CPU voltage in a wide range).

Also, perhaps, it is worth noting the presence of a special connector ROG Extension, which is intended to connect various ROG-accessories that are sold separately.

In addition, there is also a special connector FAN Extension, designed to connect the special card (not included), to which you can connect a few extra fans, and temperature sensors.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Supply system

Like most motherboards, the model Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura has a 24-pin and 8-pin connectors for the power supply.

CPU voltage regulator in this case is exactly the same as on the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming board. This 10 channel PWM-controller-based power Digi + VRM c marking ASP1400. Sami supply channels are constructed using MOSFET-transistors and NTMFS4C09B NTMFS4C06B company On Semiconductor.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Cooling system

To cool the different fuel components on the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura provides a total of three radiator. One of them is installed on the chipset, and two are located on either side of the socket is closed and MOSFET-transistors CPU voltage regulator.

In addition, for an effective heat dissipation system, four-prong five fan connectors provided on the board. Traditionally, the speed of any of the body of the fan, the fan and the CPU cooler fan water cooling system can be configured either through the UEFI BIOS, or through utility Fan Xpert 3.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: Audio Subsystem

The board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura audio subsystem based on the audio codec Realtek ALC1150. All elements of the audio section are isolated at Layer PCB from the other components of the board and in a separate area.

To test the sound output path, designed for headphones or external speakers, we use an external sound card Creative E-MU 0204 USB in conjunction with the utility Right Mark Audio Analyzer 6.3.0. Testing was conducted to stereo mode, 24-bit / 44.1 kHz. According to the results of testing the audio section on the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura board was rated “very good.”

Full report with the test results in RMAA 6.3.0 program submitted on a separate page , the following is a brief report.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: UEFI BIOS

According to its interface and capabilities of UEFI BIOS on the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is not very different from the UEFI BIOS on the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming board. The only difference is that in an embodiment of the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura item was added that allows disconnect the RGB-illumination. Describe all the possibilities of a completely standard UEFI BIOS we will not and if someone is interested, read about the UEFI BIOS feature in an article devoted to board the Asus Z170 the Pro Gaming .

We only note that, as on most motherboards from Asus company, the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura we managed to overclock our version of the Core i7-6700K processor the Intel up to 4.9 GHz clock frequency.

True, the acceleration to a frequency in a stressful CPU mode (Prime95 utility) processor instantly reaches a critical temperature, and as a result of throttling the clock speed is lowered to 3.8 GHz. But the most important thing is that the computer while working steadily.

Measuring temperature radiator MOSFET-transistors using a pyrometer showed that stress CPU operation temperature does not rise above 56 ° C. Low idle was 35 ° C.

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura: conclusions

As we have already mentioned, Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura is an updated version of the motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming. The differences between these boards is minimal. The updated model has adjustable lighting, have a special place for attaching decorative items made by the 3D-printer, no SATA Express connector, and two slots form factor PCI Express x16 got a metal casing. That’s all the difference.

Fee Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura – this is not a top product, there is no unnecessary “bells and whistles”, but there is all that is needed. Somewhat surprising presence of video connector VGA (it is implemented not by the chipset, and by further converting the digital signal into an analog). It is not clear why we need this outdated video connector, especially if the card is positioned as a game and is focused on the use of a discrete graphics card.

In general, we can say that the board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura, as the model Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, is quite suitable for the creation of productive computers with lots of features, and for the assembly of powerful gaming PCs. In addition, it realizes excellent opportunities for overclocking.

If you choose between Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura and Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, the new model should be preferred in the event that you are fond of modding. Of course, there is no way to connect RGB-ribbon, and indeed the lights on top of Asus far steeper than on the board board Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura. But there is and the cost is quite different. If all these “Christmas Garland” only annoying, it is better, of course, stay at the Asus Z170 Pro Gaming board.

Source: asus

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming / Aura review motherboard was last modified: November 25th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby