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ASUS Z170-A (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Jan 7, 2016 2:40 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

Circuit Analysis

 

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I think all motherboards are more interesting when their heat sinks come off.

 

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Z170-A has an 8+2 phase VRM controlled by an unknown PWM. Judging by pin count, it is probably not an IR35201 or IR35203 since they have different pin counts. It's also probably not one of the common Intersil PWMs since those have integrated drivers, but this PWM seems to only have PWM outputs, which number at least 4+2 phases (since that is what is being used). CPU phases are doubled by doubling up on the number of MOSFETs and inductors per phase, which is common at this price point. Each iGPU phase has two low-side and one high-side MOSFET.

 

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There are four drivers labeled "CE1" for the CPU phases and two for the two iGPU phases. MOSFETs are from ON Semiconductor, NTMFS4C09N (high-side) and NTMFS4C06N (low-side). Each iGPU phase gets two low-side and a single high-side MOSFET. The VCCSA comes from a single phase VR and the VCCIO from an integrated regulator from Texas Instruments, the TPS51362 10A converter.

 

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The memory VRM is a single phase using two low-side MOSFEts and one high-side MOSFET. Overall this VRM is decent for the price range; many competitor boards carry the same type of VRs and phase counts since the Skylake CPU doesn't require too much power even during overclocking.

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