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ASRock Z270 Extreme4 Motherboard Review (Page 2)

By Steven Bassiri from Jan 12, 2017 @ 8:40 CST
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASRock

Packaging and Overview

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ASRock's box design has changed a bit, back to a star-filled view of space, and the emphasis on the "Xtreme." Packaging is what we have come to expect from ASRock's mainstream products; your motherboard should arrive unharmed.

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The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s cables, SLI-HB Bridge, IO panel, M.2 screws, ASRock case badge, driver DVD, and manuals.

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ASRock offers five PWM/DC mode fan headers on the motherboard - I have circled them in red and blue. The two red headers support up to 1.5A current and include W_PUMP in their name as they are designed to double as water pump headers. The other headers circled in blue provide 1A current. You can choose between PWM (4-pin) or DC/Voltage (3-pin) fan operation mode in the UEFI or through ASRock's A-Tuning application in Windows.

The motherboard's black and white color theme is a popular one this round, and ASRock has a competitive product in that regard. I like how the PCB silk screen matches up with the PCH heat sink and IO shield's design. You can imagine the white as busses through which motherboard data moves, or just a link between different components, or just take it as what it is, decoration.

ASRock has moved components around so that the white of the motherboard isn't broken by ICs or other PCB components. The rear of the motherboard has a few components; the most notable are two quick switches that were moved to the rear of the PCB so that they wouldn't interfere with the white silkscreen.

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The rear IO panel offers four USB 3.0 ports, PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse, WIFI Antenna brackets, VGA(D-SUB), DVI, HDMI, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, 1Gbit Intel NIC, and 7.1 audio outputs with S/PDIF TOSLINK.

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The PCI-E layout is very simple. The first and second full sized x16 slots operate at x16/x0 or x8/x8, and they are also reinforced by metal brackets to ensure heavy GPUs don't damage the slots. The last x16 slot is wired to the PCH at x4 PCI-E 3.0 and will support an NVMe boot device. There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports, six of from the PCH while two are from a third-party controller.

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The motherboard also carries two x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slots that share bandwidth with some of the Intel-based SATA slots, the manual describes scenarios where using an M.2 slot will disable SATA ports.

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Two USB 3.0 internal headers are located right below the 24-pin PSU power header. At the bottom of the motherboard, you will find multiple USB 2.0 headers, as well as an RGB LED header. The RGB LED header uses AURA LED technology and is compatible with accessories that advertise AURA compatibility.

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The heat sinks and shields are held down by screws and make excellent contact with PCB components.

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