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ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Jun 14, 2016 6:15 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%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 that I then convert into current.

 

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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 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, 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 (Corsair H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

 

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Full frontal.

 

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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:

 

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 (Corsair H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).

 

asrock-z170m-oc-formula-intel-z170-motherboard-reviewasrock-z170m-oc-formula-intel-z170-motherboard-review

 

Full frontal.

 

asrock-z170m-oc-formula-intel-z170-motherboard-reviewasrock-z170m-oc-formula-intel-z170-motherboard-review

 

Up-close of the front of the VRM.

 

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Up-close of the back of the VRM.

 

The VRM on the Z170M OC Formula uses extremely high-quality components for the VRM. The quality is so high that the performance is almost overkill. There is a very minimal rise in temperature between idle and load conditions, and this is due to the high quality of components.

 

I did see that the heat was more widespread during load, but overall hotspots remained at roughly the same temperatures as when the system was idle. At idle only a few phases are active, and then at full speed, the load is distributed among all phases, which explains why at load the hottest spot might have been lower than at idle. Overall temperatures were under 40C, which is just excellent.

 

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

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