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ASRock Z170 OC Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 3)

By: Steven Bassiri from Sep 9, 2015 @ 9:24 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASRock

Circuit Analysis


The Z170 OC Formula looks nice in the nude.


If you count the phases this VRM is a 12+4+1+1 phase VRM (VCC + VCCGT+VCCSA+VCCIO). There are four major input rails to the CPU for Z170; VCC (VCore), VCCGT (Graphics core), VCCSA (System Agent), and VCCIO (CPU IO). Counting the phases from the top left to the bottom right, the first single inductor (choke) is in charge of VCCSA, following it are 12 inductors for the CPU VCore and the remaining four are for the VCCGT (graphics). ASRock is using International Rectifier's (now part of Infineon) latest PWM and eight of their doubler/dual driver chips, the IR3598, to double all the PWM's phases to provide 12+4 phases of output for the VCC + VCCGT.

ASRock's Z170 OC Formula uses a much higher phase count digital PWM from International Rectifier instead of the hybrid-digital PWM from Intersil with less true phases. The IR PWM is also better suited for overclocking. ASRock is using their 60A high current inductors as well as a mixture of 12K gold capacitors and a few tantalums and MLCCs for the output filter. Needless to say, this VRM is overkill for Z170, but in some cases overkill is what people want and ASRock is delivering.


ASRock put International Rectifier's latest PWM, the IR35201, in charge of the phases. The IR35201 has two operating modes and ASRock is using the 6+2 phase operation mode, all six phases for the VCC and two phases for the VCCGT are doubled by eight backside IR3598 doublers/dual drivers to 12+4 phases. Each phase consists of a Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D, which are [email protected]% efficiency NexFETs, and have integrated high-side and low-side MOSFETs in a single package. This is a very powerful VRM design for overclockers. The VCCSA is using a single NexFET and is controlled by a Richtek RT8120 (not pictured), and the VCCIO is using two Advanced Power Electronics AP4034GYT for the high-side and low-side and is using a Richtek RT8120 as the PWM (pictured on the right).


The memory VRM is controlled by a UPI Semiconductor UP1674 (no datasheet), which I would think provides at least two phases of output. The same high quality Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D NexFETs are used for the memory VRM in a two phase configuration. The memory VRM is enough for any DDR4 arrangement. The Z170 OC Formula also has an external clock generator, an IDT 6V41542NLG, which provides higher BLCK overclocks. Two Texas Instruments HD3SS415 are PCI-E quick switches which switch around all the PCI-E bandwidth system wide.

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