Here are key points about the ASRock Z270 Extreme4.
Lots of USB and SATA: Many boards that cost more only have six SATA6Gb/s ports while the Z270 Extreme4 has eight. Many motherboards that cost more carry only a few back panel USB 3.0 ports, the Z270 Extreme4 offers four. The Z270 Extreme4 also provides two USB 3.0 internal headers along with three internal USB 2.0 headers, something not all motherboards offer.
New Asthetics: The Z270 Extreme4 has a much different look than ASRock's previous iteration of the motherboard. It's clear that ASRock put a lot of effort into matching the PCB silkscreen with the heat sinks, and while it's not everyone's cup of tea, a few people I have talked to really like the design. I like how ASRock added in their onboard RGB LEDs - the light diffusion is excellent.
AURA RGB LED Header: Many people have already heard of AURA RGB LED headers, as ASUS introduced it last year, and now ASRock's Z270 series motherboards also carry it. The good news here is that all the AURA compatible products are compatible with the ASRock Z270 Extreme4 as well.
Backpanel VGA: VGA isn't dead. In fact, there are still monitors being sold today that use the analog connection, and it's nice to see ASRock add in extra ICs to support the display output.
Purity Sound 4: ASRock's latest iteration of Purity Sound is quite good. While the ALC1220 in itself is an upgrade over the previous ALC1150, it only offers a single amplifier. I was happy to see that ASRock took the initiative to add in an external amplifier to boost front panel audio quality as well. It also scores well in RMAA.
VRM is Basic: The Z270 Extreme4's VRM is pretty much the basic VRM you might want to use for overclocking. While temperature never went into the forbidden zone, they could have been better.
The Z270 Extreme4 is a mixture of premium features and value. ASRock has balanced its feature set decisively to offer what they deem more important features for their target audience rather than what might be considered wasteful. An example can found in fan header design; the Z270 Extreme4 offers fewer headers with fewer features compared to more expensive motherboards and instead trades the savings for VGA on the rear IO or more SATA ports.
I was surprised to see ASRock supplied two M.2 slots, and I was even more surprised to find out that the bottommost PCH linked x4 slot is actually capable of supporting NVMe boot drives.
The audio was sound (no pun intended), USB 3.1 present, and the PCI-E layout is what most people want. The only thing I can really nitpick on is the VRM, but even that isn't much of an issue unless you are doing extreme overclocking. At this price range, you also don't find many overclocking features, but at under $150, you really can't expect them either.
Overall, the Z270 Extreme4 is one of the most value-packed motherboards at the sub-$200 price point and should be on your list of contenders if you don't want to break the bank.
|Performance (including Overclocking)||88%|
|Quality including Design and Build||89%|
|Bundle and Packaging||89%|
|Value for Money||95%|
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a mixture of premium features and unique aesthetics at a very fair price point, the ASRock Z270 Extreme4 might be the right motherboard for you.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Z270 Extreme4 Overview]
- Page 3 [ASRock Z270 Extreme4 Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASRock Z270 Extreme4 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]