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ASUS Z170-PRO (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 11)

By Steven Bassiri on Mar 8, 2016 08:36 am CST
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

Here are key points about the ASUS Z170-Pro.

What's Hot

Intel USB 3.1 and LAN: The Z170-Pro has Intel's pricey USB 3.1 controller providing two USB 3.1 ports. Both Type-A and Type-C USB 3.1 ports can be found on the back panel IO. ASUS also uses the Intel i219v PHY on the Z170-Pro.

High-Speed Memory Compatibility: I was quite shocked to find that all my high-speed memory kits work quite well with this motherboard. My TridentZ 3733MHz and Corsair Vengeance 4000MHz kits worked perfectly with XMP.

Higher Quality: The Z170-Pro offers higher quality for a higher price. Compared to the Z170-A, quality is much higher. Manufacturers typically remove quality features such as extra copper in the PCB or higher-end power components as price goes down. In this case, the Z170-Pro provides that high level of product quality in line with its price. It is hard to see quality, but the thermal tests done on both the Z170-A and Z170-Pro revealed that the Z170-Pro had much better load temperatures, perhaps due to a higher quality PCB.

Great Fan Control: ASUS's Fan Xpert 3 in Windows, Q-Fan in the UEFI, and expansion port for more headers all work quite well and add value to the Z170-Pro. Each header can also work in either PWM or DC mode to support all types of fans.

What's Not

Some premium features missing: The first time I boot up any motherboard my eyes are glued to the POST Code display. If there is an issue, more times than not the POST code display saves me a lot of time. I was surprised to see the Z170-Pro does not have one, and I was surprised to find the motherboard does not have USB BIOS Flashback. I should mention that the board does have Q-LED, which lets you know which component isn't working correctly, but exact codes are more helpful.

Final Thoughts

ASUS's Z170-PRO is an interesting product. Having looked at the Z170-A, I was a bit surprised when I was working with the Z170-Pro. The Z170-A has almost identical VRM, more switches, some extra legacy features, and an almost identical modern feature set.

What the Z170-Pro offers over the Z170-A is quality. The USB 3.1 controller is Intel on the Z170-Pro and ASMedia on the Z170-A, the Z170-Pro uses the ALC1150 while the Z170-A uses the ALC892, the Z170-Pro has a much better looking and higher quality PCB, and the Z170-Pro has a better accessory package including a higher quality IO shield.


Overall, the Z170-Pro feels like a high-end product, and specifications and hardware aren't the only things which make that true. Overclocking on the Z170-Pro was also much better than one might expect, especially when dealing with memory. But, at close to $200, the Z170-Pro is not a cheap motherboard. While you can find less expensive motherboards with almost the same feature set, the Z170-Pro offers higher quality in areas not readily apparent.

Performance (including Overclocking)93%
Quality including Design and Build93%
General Features93%
Bundle and Packaging89%
Value for Money85%
Overall Rating91%

The Bottom Line: The ASUS Z170-Pro provides a healthy amount of features with premium controllers and a good amount of hidden quality.

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records under his belt. He brings that knowledge and experience to TweakTown.

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