ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

A large part of motherboards for overclocking implemented in the framework of the motherboard. Smaller products still carry the status of niche products, however, some interest from buyers they have. Today we look at low-cost model where the CPU power stabilizer is actually taken with the previously considered Z170-P D3, deserved our sympathy.Besides the obvious transition to DDR4, there is more overall Multicontroller, promising better control over operating parameters.

In addition, the SATA interface is now six, given the SATA-E, and for greater importance at the rear is the USB output of type C. Network controller used by Intel, sound system remains as at the time of the initial level.

ASUS Z170M-Plus: Packaging equipment

Box small, the quality of printing is high, inside a cardboard o-tray Board.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

On the reverse side is a photo of the product, description, explicit features, except as already noted above, the symmetric port USB type-C.

The package is not rich, there are:

  • user’s manual, which details illustrated and described subparagraphs UEFI (English);
  • This QR code DIY Guide leading to the pageof the official website contains detailed instructions on the Assembly of the PC;
  • 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;
  • plug housing, standard, with embossed symbols and icons symbols of nests;
  • two SATA cables 6Gb/s, one of which has an l-shaped connector at one end;
  • mounting screw and rack device, format M. 2.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

ASUS Z170M-Plus: Appearance

Attachment points only six. No additional controllers, a user can see their own opportunities Intel Z170. No auxiliary buttons, switches and indicators. Got rid of even branded buttons MemOK!

The back surface of the device is completely released from the electronic components. At the sound insulating part of the area of the PCB there are places for LEDs, but the volume indicators.

Small and cute for the radiator system logic with his task without comment.

SATA-E is starting to move away into oblivion, never managed to gain popularity, there is provided one such nest.

Compact type M. 2 is more popular among producers of final products is also available a single instance.

Facilities include a couple of case cables for USB ports of both generations, thus increasing the final number to eight pieces.

There are modules for COM interfaces and even LPT. As chose codec Realtek ALC887, and available near the place the operational amplifier at the last moment decided not to unsolder.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

All the PCI-E from CPU among 16 pieces wound up on the top PCI-E grey, the lower works from PCH, there are more than four lines to concentrate will not work.

Only the Board has three pads for fans, all of them are four-pin.

Cooling system power components turned out to be exactly the same as in the case Z170-P D3, again surprised savings on square pads.

The build system stabilizers voltage fully similarly, the model in ATX format, as expected. Used premakeready PWM controller ASP1400B, he help six external drivers. Two channels are used for the work of the integrated video controller, they consist of the products NXP Semiconductors — PH4030AL and PH6030AL. The CPU voltage is four phases, each included three elements, additionally attracted another PH4030AL to the specified pair.Under the radiator assembled a group of three channels along with the voltage regulator of the CPU SA, and the fourth of this company works with a natural cooling.

The back panel looks rather unusual. There are four standard USB ports, the fifth — has repeatedly mentioned the new format. Three video outputs include a classic set, where you do not get the most fresh — DisplayPort. All because of the lack of support D-Sub forces Skylake-S, this is used here an external Converter IT6516BFN. Have HDMI other signal levels ASM1442. Outputs to audio jacks of all three, optical is only on the PCB (the contact group). Justify it all with the suffix “Plus” in the title — as usual, everyone decides for himself.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

ASUS Z170M-Plus: Possible UEFI

The most recent firmware successfully integrated through EZ Flash before testing.

EZ Mode — a simple wrapper with minimal tools to customize the system. You can set the time, activate the profile for the memory (if any used sets), specify the priority in the list of boot devices, choose the mode of operation for the chillers.

Advanced Mode — advanced method of controlling the device. The first section — My Favorites — totally clean and free for self-fulfillment. To restrict access to the settings help page Security on the Main tab.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

To disperse the system will help the feature set of Ai Tweaker. Settings simply, the greatest simplification in the background of the older boards are less available to change the voltages, but all the major. Sorry, read off the value of only the CPU Voltage, whereas the other parameters have to blindly believe.

As well as the structure of the stabilizer, the limits and the step change of the basic quantities the same as on the Board Z170-P D3.

Item Advanced is intended for the peripheral parts of the system.

For all three coolers are available in a choice of way of working — the change in the duty cycle of the PWM or voltage reduction.

Qfan Tuning tool will allow you to establish the exact lower bound in the manual method of preparation of the algorithm of the fans, but in a Windows environment, using proprietary software, can much more thoroughly come the entire process of setting up cooling.

On the Boot page it is possible, among other things, to change the start menu display mode UEFI.

Among the support tool from useful found eight profiles to save the system settings.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

ASUS Z170M-Plus: Software

At the Board entry-level set of utilities poor, the main thing is a proprietary blend of Ai Suite.

It includes proprietary tools to configure the system, known as Performance and Power Saving Utilities.

There are: DIGI+ VRM, EPU, TurboV EVO, and Fan Xpert 3. Single master configuration system here.

Today the older version of Fan Xpert allows you to use low speed chillers in a wider range, having the form of a mysterious interest. After calibration of the devices to form intricate algorithm of their work, or record the speed at the desired level until the CPU heating up to 75 °C when the fans start to run at maximum speed.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

Other functionality is available literally everywhere, it should be familiar to fans motherboard ASUS.

Configuring the audio subsystem is only with a Configurator from Realtek. There are options for selecting the type of sound-reproducing equipment, they allow a significant fraction to change the presentation of the material, it is the only multimedia asset of the product.

ASUS Z170M-Plus: Overclocking potential

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

The trial was attended by engineering Core i5-6600K, the thermal interface under the heat spreader were replaced.Overclocking potential is good.

First explore the possibilities of the product to accelerate dispersal. One of the mechanisms is the EZ Tuning Wizard.Choosing the suggestions of the wizard Gaming/Media Editing and Water cooler, you can count on the CPU frequency value 4326 MHz.

C recently here: ASUS began to activate XMP, and increased to 3 MHz adds BCLK frequency memory modules even more. To this our subject was clearly not ready. Simple tasks like the backup worked without error, but LinX was too hard. However, far more dangerous than the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming/Aura also blundered here.

The following method — ready profiles, referred to as OC Tuner, although on older boards use a different name — TPU.The essence is the same. The first of the profiles, with the involvement of Turbo Boost will allow the CPU to run at 4.3 GHz.

The frequency of the memory was slightly reduced with respect to the formal establishment, because the probability of a favorable outcome was greater. Failed low voltage CPU: again in 7-Zip no problem, but LinX was adamant before the system instability.

Second ready profile OC Tuner refuses to Turbo Boost technology, now the frequency for all the processor needs to reach 4.4 GHz, and memory is also all — 2933 MHz for our kit.

The outcome, unfortunately, was similar to the previous scenarios. The voltage of the processor was too low. Possible culprits are the secondary group of voltage — CPU IO, SA and their real values can be obtained only armed with a multimeter.

To lighten the mood will help the next stage. The maximum possible mark the reference frequency is 340 MHz proved to be quite efficient without any waste testing methods of circuit boards, that is at normal level all voltages, I install in UEFI.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

Overclocking was not a cakewalk for items in UEFI. It turned out, CPU IO must fairly raise below used a set of RAM allowed the tests to complete without error, although the memory type DDR3L (low frequency compared to the current 3 GHz) Z170-P D3 did not require deviation from the nameplate values. In the end, the barrier at 4.6 GHz were taken with a voltage of 1,385 In along with a profile of LLC “Level 5”.

LinX had to use the outdated version 0.6.5. Our ascalifornia CPU overheating with a fresh build.

Heating in the area of the voltage regulator of the CPU did not changed numbers since the tests Z170-P D3. The peak value was 71 °C, the radiator is hot while up to 45 °C. the Consumption of the test rig 44-184 updated “platinum” watts.

Craving for increased CPU IO Voltage is manifested in all its glory when overclocking DRAM. Our kit has a ceiling at 3.2 GHz with a voltage of 1.41 V. Here, the boundary had to be moved to 1.47 V, CPU IO I installed at the highest psychological level of 1.3 V for air overclocking events. Measurements on the throttle showed more numbers.

All this is possible to achieve frequency value only 3109 MHz with a calibrated set of delay — 18-18-18-39-1T.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

ASUS Z170M-Plus: 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 5.75 (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).

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

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 Z170M-Plus: Test results

The use of profile memory activates the XMP ASUS MultiCore Enhancement, thanks to the CPU frequency 3.9 GHz will be equal to any test, this way it behaves on several other boards.

Considerably higher available voltage level CPU and IO SA allowed the RAM to work without errors.

Simple benchmarks also worked without anomalies.

Complete stability and high productivity in a more complex test scenarios.

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard

Nice results in 3DMark.

Brilliant performance in games of a different sort, Z170M-Plus was able to overtake a lot of more sophisticated products.

ASUS Z170M-Plus: 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.

No third-party controllers allowed the product well to manifest itself in the idle system, the numbers are very attractive. However, the higher the voltage in the tests with activated XMP significantly affect consumption during the active use of the computer. And, as shown by a handwritten overclocking, it is unlikely that they will seriously reduce. But all within reasonable values, to worry too much about.

ASUS Z170M-Plus: Conclusion

I have not been deceived overclocking potential of the Board is wonderfully inherited from the ASUS Z170-P D3. The CPU was able to overclock to the maximum possible marks “in the air”, while a large number of profiles LLC made it possible to find any acceptable variation from the target voltage. Heat stabilizer has not changed, despite the transition to DDR4 memory type. UEFI has a full range of thoughtful treatments of overclocking.

Not very fond device high frequency for DRAM. The rise of the secondary voltage with the activation of XMP, if you search high frequencies they also have to deal with. It is appropriate to recall about the actual lack of any helpers, manifesting itself in difficult times the search for stability. Lean can be, except that, at the buzzer. Voltage monitoring is very modest, to observe only the CPU. In other cases, you will just trust carried out the installations. Predefined profiles for overclocking proved to be poorly fitted under the load of high level.

Goes, increased Multicontroller required for implementation of legacy interfaces such as LPT. Therefore, I do not understand the use of the suffix “plus” in the title, because the previous version (Intel LGA1150) could boast notable difference from the ordinary “office” motherboards. Software bonuses there are also no.

Pleased with the performance of a product in all tests done without any interference into the settings. Also on hand can play the possibility of using three coolers of any execution, and complex Fan Xpert 3 allows to do without the fan controller, making it easier for subdue the temper of the fans.

Despite the long presence on the market, the price tag of a product installed at a fairly high level, it is fair for the world market, not only for local shops. Probably the employees of ASUS can’t see the competitors for this compact model. I’m not ready to declare the actual domination on the market, especially given the relatively small set of characteristics and comparing the requested level of compensation for it.

Source: asus

ASUS Z170M-Plus Review and test motherboard was last modified: November 14th, 2016 by Casey Rembrandt