I have decided to reduce the CPU VCore to 1.4v applied (I will measure real VCore at the output capacitors), and see how high I can validate. On most boards it's 5.0. I have also decided to add real voltage levels compared to what is set for all motherboards, if they don't have voltage read points I will mark where I read the voltage.
The Z170-A overclocks where I expect it to. I did have to use Intel's XTU to change the multiplier inside Windows, but even with a slightly added load, it was able to validate 5GHz.
On the Z170-A, I was able to run 4.8GHz with XMP and 4.2GHz cache. The motherboard worked quite well.
The BIOS LLC levels can be a bit confusing; Level 7 is the most vdroop reduction and level 7 is the least amount of vdroop reduction. I liked level 4 for 1.3v. CPUz is also okay at providing voltage readings, but if you want to be more accurate, you can read the voltage from the read points indicated above (I use the read point).
Compatible Memory Overclocking Kits
Test 1: 4x4GB (16GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 3200Mhz C16
This kit worked well with XMP, and I used the XMP switch to make sure it works.
Test 2: 2x4GB (8GB) G.Skill Trident Z 3733MHz C17
This kit did not work at XMP, but if I lower the multiplier from 37.33x to 36x, it did boot with XMP timings at 3600Mhz. This is not a high-end motherboard so you should not expect crazy memory overclocking. If you want higher speed memory, and you want to make sure ASUS supports it, there is a list of compatible kits on ASUS's site.
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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