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ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 7, 2015 1:38 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: ASRock

Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption

 

System power usage is measured at the AC/DC PSU (the Corsair AX1200i) which I have connected to another system to measure the test system and as a backup I have a wall meter to verify. The CPU power is measured through the 8-pin connector which is hooked up to a hall effect IC which measures current and puts out a voltage in proportion to the current. That voltage is logged by a National Instruments ADC which logs the DC voltage level, which I then convert into current.

 

asrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-review

 

Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board; I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about then I will state it, otherwise I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C then there really isn't anything to worry about.

 

All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and backside of the PCB. Keep in mind that the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.

 

Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:

 

The image on the left is always at idle and the image on the right is at load. During ALL TESTs Fans above the VRM that cool the CPU cooler's (H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

 

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Full frontal.

 

asrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-reviewasrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-review

 

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

 

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Up-close of the back of the VRM.

 

 

Thermal Testing at 4.5GHz Overclocked Speeds:

 

asrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-reviewasrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-review

 

Full frontal.

 

asrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-reviewasrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-review

 

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

 

asrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-reviewasrock-fatal1ty-z170-gaming-k6-intel-motherboard-review

 

Up-close of the back of the VRM.

 

The highlights of this VRM are its chokes and capacitors which together make up the output filter. The inductors are pretty high quality and should run cooler to accommodate the large doubled up phases, especially during load conditions. The hybrid-digital PWM does a good job of keeping idle temperatures and power consumption pretty low, as it has the ability to use only one of the PWM phases during idle.

 

There is a slight increase in thermals going from 4GHz stock to 4.5GHz, but there is no negative impact on overclocking to 4.8GHz stable, at least not at the 1.35-1.4v range which I run the CPU. Skylake's overall low power consumption, even when overclocked, means you don't need an X99 quality VRM to overclock the CPU, but it could potentially help. While the VRM should do okay under normal conditions, if you are going for more extreme overclocks ~5GHz+, I would make sure that there is some type of airflow over the VRM, otherwise the large heat sink should cool the VRM well.

 

Anything under 60C is great, 60-80C is acceptable, and anything above 80C is a bit worrisome (if at stock).

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