ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

Gradually the niche compact PC there is a growing recognition among users. Thanks to the efforts of chipmakers, lots of different interfaces does not require many third-party controllers on the surface of the motherboard. Once Assembly employing a small plat was considered as the basis of an entertainment center in the format of “living”, but recent trends suggest a complete revision of views, especially when compared to other components of the system stands now cooling the CPU. Enthusiasts important issue is the ability of babies to work in extreme conditions, i.e., with overclocking CPU and RAM. For the audience, ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming, as planned, to meet such requirements, and the asking price tag is considerably less than the product of a series of Impact.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

The device is already equipped with a wireless network adapter that features a compact M. 2 socket, a considerable share of the attention went to the sound subsystem. For a better understanding of potential Board propose to study the table with its characteristics.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Packaging equipment

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming is in a box, it is protected with its own tray. On the bottom there are a variety of accessories. Package dimensions unusual for components to the PC.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

On the back of the packaging there is a photo of the product, the table with characteristics and a schematic picture of the arrangement of ports I / o on the rear panel.

Package includes:

  • user’s manual, which details illustrated and described subparagraphs UEFI (English);
  • short multilingual user manual;
  • additional booklet with information about the necessity of observance of security measures in the Assembly and operation of the system;
  • CD with drivers and proprietary software;
  • logo sticker of the company;
  • a set of twelve labels to mark SATA cables;
  • branded plastic retainer for the processor;
  • mounting screw and rack device, format M. 2;
  • plate-extension cable with screw for mounting devices M. 2 type 2242;
  • plug housing, supplemented by a sticker in black with the symbolic marking of all nests. Back part are covered with noise absorbing material;
  • four SATA cables 6Gb/s, two of which are l-shaped connector at one end;
  • external Wi-Fi antenna with the ability to fix just one position, has a stand with built-in magnet;
  • adapter for easy connection chassis connectors ASUS Q-Connector.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Appearance

The layout ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming is made as a full-fledged boards: the CPU socket is shifted closer to the top edge, a little below that is the chipset. Literally the entire surface is covered with various electronic components.

Around the holes for installation of the cooling system there is nothing, while the rest and the rear surface generously abounds in all kinds of electronics. The audio subsystem is backlit in the face of five LEDs luscious red glow.

The radiator system logic illumination no, it’s a simple element with a decorative plate. There is a network activity indicator, it is also a red glow.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

For the needs of the disk subsystem provided by the socket SATA-E, which includes a couple of SATA, there are two conventional pads are the most popular type of drives.

Compact M. 2 completes the set, it is on the opposite side of the Board.

Auxiliary circuits are in different places, Multicontroller small, soldered closer to the rear panel. Have an external clock, the chip with the firmware one, removable.

Responsible approach to the implementation of the sound system. The codec is under the screen, there are also several LEDs, thanks to the inscription SupremeFX may be illuminated. Took care of a special capacitor, a operational amplifier.Slightly below the visible indicator VGA_LED from the composition of the solution Q-LED. The LEDs are spread all over the Board, they will understand the essence of the hitches during the troubled passage of the stage of initialization of the equipment.

Just to the product ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming, you can connect three of the cooler. Radiators low, quite compact, they can not be a hindrance in the process of installation of the cooling system.

To deal with power, just look at the reverse side of the Board. There are six small external drivers and a couple of elements a little more. Fans to consider the “phases” of the chokes will be based on the number eleven. Clockwise we get: single channel voltage-CPU IO, followed by another — the CPU SA, then a pair for the CPU. All four power assemblies are under a smaller heatsink. The fifth inductor input is tied to +12 V. the Sixth and seventh, as a related pair of elements, completing the circle of participants of the scheme stabilize the CPU Voltage.Get four channel. This is followed by steam for the needs of the integrated graphics. No external drivers cost another two channels in the memory power.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

Used PWM controllers ASP1400B and ASP1103. In the role of assemblies is selected: from the main channels — CPU and GPU —BSG0812ND from Infineon Technologies, and secondary — IO, SA and DRAM NTMFD4C86N from ON Semiconductor. The bottom line get to one of the radiators and four power elements —CPU IO, SA and half of the CPU. The other will serve the remaining pair of CPUs and two assemblies for memory, if you use a discrete graphics card. This engineering solution deserves sympathy, it remains to examine the operating temperature of the system.

Filling the rear panel is fully consistent with the expectations of a modern motherboard, slightly spoils the General trend of the lack of symmetrical USB socket, the latest generation of type C, there are only two high-speed standard type A.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Possible UEFI

Through the built-in UEFI EZ Flash utility was able to successfully update the firmware to the latest version.

Quick setup implemented in EZ mode. The basic mechanisms are: calendar and clock, activate XMP profiles for chillers, an interactive list of boot devices, and even the master on the simplified procedure of overclocking.

Full set of features in Advanced Mode. The first section will allow you to collect there favorite set of the points of UEFI for easy access.

Ai Tweaker menu for overklokerov contains a large number of items has everything you need for a professional approach to the acceleration of the system. In the presence of multiple profiles LLC and other tweaks. Under Advanced you can configure the operation of the periphery. Here you can disable the backlight.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

Unfortunately, monitoring in real time for voltage, CPU SA (and not only) there.

Control CPU fan only implemented by changing the duty cycle of the PWM is also quite a strange moment. With types two basic models can be determined independently.

The POST slow, to speed up you can try to change anything on the page Boot.

Useful among support mechanisms, I want to highlight eight of the profiles to save the settings of the system. There’s a simple browser capabilities RAM.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Bundled software

Utilities are very abundant, the reason is good care of the sound component and the presence of the adapter of wireless networks.

Novelty is a EZ Installer. This assistant will help write the augmented Windows 7 image on a “memory stick”.

A core set of programs included with Ai Suite third generation.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

This chamber is provided with a configuration wizard system, called Dual Intelligent Processors 5.

It includes: TPU, Turbo App, EPU, Fan Xpert 2 and DIGI+ VRM.

Calibration of the fans worked properly, version 2+ will not allow you to configure the coolers in the enlarged lower end of the revs, as it is able the third stage in the evolution of the product.

Backlight control simple.

There are a number of special features, such as Mobo Connect, there are also widespread sort of Push Notice.

Sound tuning performed with the help of the Configurator from Realtek. There are several profiles to select the type of the connected equipment, they are not much, but still have an impact on the generated signal.

Bonus is a special gaming tool — Sonic Radar II.

The network part is the highlight — GameFirst IV, it is possible to rely entirely on intellectual distribution priorities among applications, and you can select the target profile using a PC, or resort to a fully independent setting of access control programs to the Network.

The owners of modern keyboards with a USB connection can be useful a simple utility Boot Setting (for a successful immersion in the UEFI settings, after rebooting the PC).

The wireless interfaces turned out to be exactly the same as high in the internal hierarchy ASUS — soprano, is a Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA364A.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Overclocking potential

In testing took part an engineering instance of Core i5-6600K without replacement of the original thermal interface.

First look at the automatic overclocking. In scenario EZ Tuning Wizard the highest Planck frequency of the CPU is 4326 MHz, and memory — 3021 MHz, in accordance with the XMP profile of our data set.

The CPU voltage increased to 1,344 In, which was enough for stable operation in different applications.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format

Another approach is ready the values from the mechanism of the TPU. The first will allow you to operate the processor at a frequency of 4.3 GHz, but in Turbo Boost technology.The real frequency is rarely more than 4,1 GHz, from memory it is 2933 MHz, slightly below its established capacity is probably reassurance against possible instability. But it is just not there, the voltage at the CPU has exceeded the 1.33 V.

The second profile a more aggressive approach, frequency promises to be 4.4 GHz for any load, but for memory all remain unchanged against the background of the first scenario.

The voltage has not risen even more, but the stability of the system is preserved. So there are three perfectly good mechanism for dispersal of “one-click” (most importantly, that the processor got lucky).

For overclocking reference clock, I use the same settings on all boards, they have managed to conquer the bar in 355,5 MHz.

The true level voltage SA CPU and memory itself is unknown, we have to believe blindly held settings.

CPU overclocking was limited by the heating of the kernels when using LinX 0.6.6. The secondary voltage remains in normal position, I the CPU was enough to set 1,385 In for the final frequency 4629 MHz. The memory worked in the border frequencies of regular opportunities to XMP profile.

The use of a “fifth level” LLC did not allow the voltage to exceed the level of 1,376 In addition, there was very rare jumps to 1.36 V. the Following account of the profile leads to a significant voltage relative to the set value, that is, temperatures are rising even faster.

So, the most intriguing part of the review: heat stabilizer did not exceed 65 °C, and a smaller radiator is not heated over 45 °C! Great result. Consumption of the stand within the 45-182 watts.

The most interesting — the baby has inherited all the features from the more prestigious colleagues, here I want to mention the brilliant performance in the acceleration phase of memory. Our set of four modules can operate at 3.2 GHz at 1.41 V. when Using two pieces, I was able to conquer the mark of 3553 MHz, which is even greater than it was with the elite representative of a series of ROG! For the sake of it didn’t have to increase the CPU IO and SA, they recorded a modest 1.1 V, and the modules operated 1.45 (according to set parameters).Most likely, this is not the limit of our memory, but such a result is enough to see the bright potential ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming in the sphere of work with the RAM.

To install delays used standard diagram — main unit only type setup 18-18-18-39-1T.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Test bench

The test bench included:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K (3.5 GHz);
  • cooler:Cryorig R1 Ultimate;
  • thermal interface: Noctua NT-H1;
  • memory: GeIL GPR416GB3000C16QC(4×4 GB, 3000 MHz, 16-16-16-36-2T, 1.35 V);
  • video card: MSI GTX 780Ti Gaming 3G(GeForce GTX 780Ti);
  • storage: Silicon Power Slim S55(240 GB SATA 6 GB/s, AHCI mode).
  • power supply: SilverStone SST-ST65F-PT(650 W);
  • operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
  • drivers: Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility (10.1.1.27), Intel Management Engine Interface (11.0.6.1194), the Intel IGP Driver (15.40.25.64.4463), Intel Serial IO Driver (30.63.1603.05), GeForce 355.60 (10.18.13.5560), PhysX 9.15.0428.

All OS updates available for download via Windows Update was installed. Third-party antivirus products are not plumbed fine-tuning of the system was not made, the paging file size was determined by the system itself.

As tests, we used the following apps:

  • AIDA64 5.80 (Cache & Memory benchmark);
  • Super PI 1.5 XS;
  • wPrime 2.10;
  • x265 HD Benchmark;
  • MAXON CINEBENCH R15;
  • POV-Ray 3.7.0;
  • LuxMark v3.0;
  • Futuremark 3DMark 13;
  • DiRT 3 Complete Edition (1.2.0.0);
  • BioShock Infinite (1.1.25.5165);
  • Hitman: Absolution (1.0.447.0);
  • Total War: Attila (1.2.1.0).

During testing representatives to Intel LGA1151 platform version software regularly updated. For possible correlation of the results they are summarized in a comparative table:

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Test results

During activation, the XMP in the UEFI environment to get to increase overall performance. This refers to the operation of the processor at a frequency of 3.9 GHz, so behave a fee. In this regime, we conducted comparative testing.

Along with the change in the frequency of memory and its delay, there is a slight increase in secondary voltage — CPU IO and SA. In addition, I want to make the obvious accent, used only a couple of RAM modules, not four of the set, as is usually the case.

Noticeable reduced write operations ‘ speed and, as a consequence, copying, but high latency.

In simple benchmarks the overall performance is excellent.

In more complex scenarios, the system revealed itself as a fully functional stand with an appropriate level of performance.

Had no problems in 3DMark.

For gaming this system to work the best.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: 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.

Despite its modest dimensions, a champion of energy efficiency, the product becomes. Consumption was on a level with ordinary cards, and not forget the presence of the adapter of wireless networks, which is not disconnected at the time of testing, although the network connection was wired. In addition, the processor frequency was increased, and a number of accompanying stress, which, quite possibly, can be lower if you do configure the system on their own.

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming: Conclusion

The tests identified in the test highly non-trivial product. Overclocking passed without problems, temperature was great, also, if necessary, increases the reference frequency, and, to a very decent level. However, the greatest merit lies in the special approach to work with a pair of memory modules. Managed to overclock our kit to hitherto unknown speeds.

Filling UEFI not enough in what concedes to the overall product. And for overclocking, and for the other parts, including in place mechanisms for setting up a system of coolers, there can be used three fan. Had no problems with the functioning of your wireless adapter working in a Windows environment 10. Sound system decorated in the best traditions of full-length boards, and there is also a bonus.

Perhaps someone will find the lack of an indicator POST-codes and, say, a button to reset the settings, if you look at the price of the product. But I never seriously regretted their absence. In some cases, will help a set of diagnostic LEDs, Q-LED, and in a very difficult situation — overclocking Plata will allow you to perform the customization patch, by initiating the download with safe parameters.

I can easily recommend this model to all without exception enthusiastic, no matter how many skeptics are not gathered around the discussion of its modest dimensions. The most significant disadvantage of ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming — a small number of voltages available for monitoring, but the CPU is there, and this is important. For beginners prudently procured a number of mechanisms, among which exactly is efficient, and not formally, but really overclocking as the CPU and memory.

Source: asus

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming Review and test motherboard Mini-ITX format was last modified: November 28th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby