In years past, it was typical to find the high-end motherboard market split into dedicated gaming and overclocking series, but more recently we have seen a shift towards consolidating the different models into a more gamer-focused lineup. While the dedication to overclocking has waned in recent years for some major brands, it has become even stronger for others. ASRock is a company that will build a product designed to meet the needs of niche markets, and whether it is successful or not, they do get a fair amount of respect from the community for undertaking the endeavor. ASRock has decided to produce a product optimized for the highest memory overclocks.
The Z170M OC Formula is a contender for the overclocking-paradox; a feature that puts the motherboard ahead of its competitors in the overclocking arena also reduces its overall competitiveness on the open market. Voltage regulator upgrades, buttons, and special features usually help on both fronts, but when it comes to memory DIMMs, fewer is usually better. Most Z170 motherboards have two DIMMs per channel. The second DIMM for each channel is typically empty during overclocking, and can have a detrimental impact. Memory DIMM trace routing is extremely important, and more recently DDR4 specifications include a lot of T-topology, which is much better than the daisy-chain topology for two DIMMs on a single channel, but can be worse than daisy chain for single DIMM usage because of the "T" juncture.
By removing the second DIMM for each channel, it is much easier to route the traces to each channel and optimize trace lengths to improve timing. The absence of the second DIMM for each channel is one reason why many memory overclockers prefer smaller motherboards since they typically only have one DIMM per channel. Without further delay, let's dig into the Z170M OC Formula.
The ASRock Z170M OC Formula has a lot of high-end features such as Ultra M.2, Intel Gbit LAN, 7.1 Audio, support for 3-way CrossFireX and 2-way SLI, 8x SATA 6Gb/s, and even two SATA Express connectors that are shared with four of the SATA 6Gb/s ports.
The Z170M OC Formula is available from many large retailers for roughly $199, which is expensive for a Z170 Micro-ATX motherboard, but people who buy this product won't care since it's a relatively decent price for the overclocking potential.
PRICING: You can find the ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for $219 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z170M OC Formula Overview]
- Page 3 [ASROCK Z170M OC Formula Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASROCK Z170M OC Formula Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [The BIOS]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Sony pulling underhanded tricks to sell $70 games
- Shadow of Mordor sequel optimized for Project Scorpio
- Nintendo Switch will have handheld-only mobile games
- Weekly hardware deals: Jet's extra $30 off GTX 1080
- Samsung introduces Gear VR with Controller
- Will the PC-Q17 ever be released in the U.S?
- Blind BIOS update both backup and main BIOS chips are empty
- Main and backup BIOS are damaged or wipped
- Halo Wars 2 Xbox One Review
- Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5s rear camera is not working
- FutureMark reveals new VR and server benchmarking tools
- LG preparing VR HMD
- Dolby Laboratories and LG Electronics announce first smartphone to support Dolby Vision
- Meet the HUAWEI P10, a stunning combination of technology and art
- Samsung expands tablet portfolio with Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book, offering enhanced mobile entertainment and productivity