Intel's Z170 chipset is an interesting one, it's not only rich in connectivity, but I am told it is harder than previous platforms to tune for overclocking. There is an enormous amount of backend BIOS tweaks and tuning that takes place to make certain boards capable of high overclocks, specifically memory overclocking. During the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco recently, we saw one Z170 motherboard tuned specifically for overclocking, the Z170 OC Formula. It took world records left and right, and recently ASRock officially launched the board.
I have already reviewed one of ASRock's mainstream offerings and one of their gaming motherboards, but today I have their sole overclocking model in the test bench ready to undergo a battery of tests and overclocking. ASRock's recent press releases about all the world records that the Z170 OC Formula has taken does set the bar high, I expect the board to not only perform well but also be easily tuned. ASRock does seem to have focused a fair amount on the Z170 OC Formula, so let's see how it does.
The Z170 OC Formula is one of few boards whose primary purpose is overclocking and breaking world records. One of the many advantages the Z170 OC Formula has over other boards are the three full speed M.2 slots which can RAID, offering the hardware needed to take down PCMark world records. Apart from that, the Z170 OC Formula offers 4-way CrossFireX, 2-way SLI, support for very fast DDR4 modules, Purity Sound 3, Intel LAN, and even USB 3.1.
The Z170 OC Formula is priced at $253 on Newegg, but is currently out of stock. This price does seem to be in line with the features offered with the board. We are early providing you with this review, but we expect stock to arrive at most stores soon.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the Z170 OC Formula]
- Page 3 [ASRock Z170 OC Formula Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASRock Z170 OC Formula 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]