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ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel Z170) Motherboard Review (Page 3)

By Steven Bassiri on Jun 14, 2016 01:15 pm CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASRock

Circuit Analysis


This board looks great without heat sinks on.


The VRM on this motherboard has an 8+4+1+1 phase configuration. Starting from the top right of the upside-down L shape, we have four iGPU phases, eight CPU VCore phases, a single phase for the VCCSA, and one more for the VCCIO. Instead of using linear regulators for the VCCSA and VCCIO, ASRock is using individual single phase switching regulators that use the same power stage components like the CPU/iGPU phases.

ASRock is using a mixture of 12K solid polymer, tantalum POSCAP, and multilayer ceramic capacitors for the output capacitor bank. The inductors for all the CPU phases are rated for 60A. The CPU VCore and iGPU phases are controlled by an International Rectifier 6+2 phase digital PWM, the IR35201. The IR35201 is a very popular PWM for high-end overclocking motherboards and is almost synonymous with high-performance voltage regulators. In this case, the IR35201 outputs 4+2 phases which are then doubled to 8+4. Each phase uses a single Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D, NexFET Power Block. These NexFETs integrate the high-side and low-side MOSFET into a single package and are rated 40A max with 25A output at 90% efficiency. These are high-quality power stages.


There are six IR3598 phase doubler/dual driver units on the backside of the motherboard. Two of these double two PWM phases to four for the iGPU, and four double four phases to eight for the CPU VCore. Using these doublers is the correct way to double phases, rather than the common yet less effective method of just doubling components. The memory VRM is controlled by a uPI uP1674P PWM that controls two Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D NexFETs (same as the CPU VRM).

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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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