Intel's Z170 chipset landed recently and with it comes a slew of enticing motherboards. Many brands have done their best to diversify their lineups with unique features and aesthetics to compliment the new chipset and its rich connectivity.
ASRock has carried over their Fatal1ty gaming line up to the Z170 platform, and today I have the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, which is aimed at mainstream users who want an affordable gaming motherboard. The chipset is loaded with 26x I/O ports which can be configured as USB 3.0, SATA6G, or PCI-E 3.0. Out of those 26 ports, six must be USB 3.0, leaving 20 of which four can be allotted to more USB 3.0 or PCI-E. Out of those leftover 16 ports (all of which can be PCI-E 3.0), there is support for a maximum of six SATA6G ports, which can be configured as SATA6G or PCI-E 3.0.
To take things to a new level, those 16 ports also support three sets of 4x PCI-E lanes with iRST support for M.2 slots which can be used in RAID (each M.2 slot must also have two SATA connections blended in). This means that there will be many motherboards with different configurations catering to the target users of each individual motherboard. In the past, the Fatal1ty series has done a nice job of satisfying the needs of gamers and enthusiasts alike, so let's see how ASRock's newest Fatal1ty board does.
The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 K6 has a large feature set, most of them from the PCH, and a few others added to increase port count. Above the included SATA and USB 3.0 from the PCH, ASRock has added two extra SATA ports and two USB 3.1 ports (one type-A and one type-C). ASRock is also using Killer's latest gaming NIC, and they upgraded the audio section of the board. The motherboard supports 2-way SLI and 3-way CrossFireX.
The price of the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 is currently $185 on Newegg, and the price of the K6+ version (comes with front panel USB 3.1 bay) is $200. This puts the K6 is the mid-range of currently available Z170 motherboards.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6]
- Page 3 [Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- 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]