Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z170-A - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Cooler: Corsair H110i GT - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 2666MHz - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - Boot Drive: Samsung 850 Pro 512GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - SATA6G Drive: Corsair Force LS 240GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage - M.2 Drive: Kingston HyperX Predator 240GB PCIe x4 - Buy from Amazon
- Storage - USB Drive: Corsair Voyager GS 64GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Enterprise - Buy from Amazon
- BIOS: 1402
- Drivers: Intel INF: 10.1.1.9, Intel ME: 220.127.116.112, Intel USB 3.0 Adaptation Driver: 10.0.0.42, NVIDIA Graphics: 353.82, Audio: 18.104.22.16834, Intel LAN: 20.2.4001
The Z170-A looks quite nice inside the case; the white IO shield stands out, and the heat sinks do a decent job of blending in with the capacitors and PCB. The LEDs on the backside of the motherboard do very little regarding illuminating more than just parts of the PCB divide.
The new test bench is designed to test every aspect of the motherboard and IO. I have designed it so that the motherboard sits in a case and is cooled by fans always-on at a constant rate to keep the conditions similar during all tests. I have cut out part of the case behind the motherboard so I can get thermal images of the back of the PCB where the VRM heat spreads. System and CPU power measurements are now digitally logged.
I am also using a Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2350 for our network (including wireless AC) tests. The latest M.2, SSD, and USB technologies are also being utilized to test the maximum potential of the motherboards that are tested.
PRICING: You can find the ASUS Z170-A (Intel Z170) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The ASUS Z170-A (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for $157 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The ASUS Z170-A (Intel Z170) Motherboard retails for Â£118 at Amazon UK.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z170-A Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS Z170-A Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS Z170-A 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]
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