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ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6 (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 3)

By: Steven Bassiri from Aug 7, 2015 @ 8:38 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: ASRock

Circuit Analysis


In my opinion, motherboards look best when they don't have any heat sinks on them, but I know a lot of you like your heat sinks so I will take them off and do the circuit inspection so you don't have to!


If you count the phases, there are a total of 13 shown in the image above. There are four major input rails to the CPU for Z170; VCC (VCore), VCCGT (Graphics core), VCCSA (System Agent), and VCCIO (CPU IO). A single phase boxed in green powers the VCCSA, the eight phases boxed in blue power the VCore, and the four phases boxed in red power the graphics voltage. ASRock is using a 4+2 phase PWM which has its phases doubled to 8+4. ASRock is using 60A inductors along with their 12K gold capacitors.


The Intersil ISL95824 is a hybrid digital PWM which has a total of 4+2 phase outputs with three integrated drivers. The PWM provides two integrated drivers for the CPU VRM, which ASRock compliments with two ISL6625A located on the backside of the motherboard, and the third integrated driver powers half the iGP voltage output and ASRock compliments it with another ISL6625A located on the top side of the PCB. ASRock isn't using phase doublers, so the VRM is like a big doubled up four phase VRM.

Each inductor gets one pair of Sinopower SM4336 for the low-side MOSFET and one SM4337 for the high-side. I would estimate each phase can output around 20A and stay cool enough, which is acceptable considering the low power nature of Skylake. I think most manufacturers have decided to go with four phase PWMs for the CPU output, as I look at other products from other brands, I see this same configuration, with more expensive products having more phases.


The VCCSA and VCCIO are each powered by their own Anpec APW8720B single phase voltage mode analog PWMs with integrated drivers. While the VCCSA uses the same 60A inductors as the VCore phases, the VCCIO uses a lower profile power inductor but the same MOSFETs. The memory VRM uses a single PWM phase from the Anpec APW8720B and doubles up the MOSFET and inductor count just like the VCore and iGP voltage VRMs.


Another single phase Anpec VRM setup is used right below the memory slots, it could be used to power the DDR VPP or the PCH.

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