ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac Review

System Configuration, BIOS, and Software

Testing Hardware

  • ASRock Z170 Gaming 7 Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7 6700K Processor
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 2666MHz DRR4 Memory
  • PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo Graphics Card
  • Crucial M550 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Spotswood Small Tech Station
  • XFX PRO850W XXX Edition 850w Silver Power Supply

Drivers

  • Radeon Catalyst 15.7

CPU Cooling:

  • XSPC X20 750 pump/reservoir combination
  • XSPC RS360mm Radiator
  • 6 Corsair 120MM .38A fans in push/pull configuration

Testing Operating System:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home

General System Benchmarks:

  • PCMark 8
  • Super Pi

CPU Benchmarks:

  • Fritz Chess
  • Handbrake
  • Cinibench R15
  • 7-Zip

Memory Benchmarks:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0
  • SiSoft Sandra

Storage Benchmarks:

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • CrystalDiskMark 3.0
  • AS SSD
  • Passmark Performance Test 8.0

Game Benchmarks:

  • 3Dmark
  • Bioshock: Infinite
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Thief
  • Tomb Raider

BIOS

The Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac BIOS is similar to the previous generation of ASRock motherboards. The sheer number of screens and settings are far too numerous to display here, so we will just take a look at the basics. The screens are fairly self-explanatory.

UEFI BIOS is where all the overclocking action really happens. Every imaginable setting for clock speed or voltage is available, for both the CPU and the memory. Multiple profiles can be saved and named. Recent settings can be recalled. There is even a search feature included, to assist in finding any setting needed.

I found the BIOS to be flexible and easy to use. I did not have any difficulty finding the settings that I wanted to change and everything seemed to be logically laid out.

Software

ASRock has unified some their included utility software under what is called A-Tuning. A-Tuningis a one stop source area for almost every performance setting and feature the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/achas to offer. The A-Tuning has a simple and easy to use interface.

The Operation Mode tab allows control over the system’s base power settings.

The Tools tab has settings for memory, LAN, and boot acceleration. There are also settings for many of the more diverse features included with the motherboard.

The OC Tweaker tab is where all the overclocking fun happens. All the basic settings are included. I found it rather easy to use and was particularly helpful when reaching those higher clocks.

System Info tab allows you the hardware monitor information on the desktop to view the system status at any time.

The Tech Service tab allows for easily submitting of technical and support questions to ASRock’s support staff.

The Settings tab features the basic setting for the A-Tuning software.

 

A Live Update tab launches an application that is also included called App Shop. APP Shop is designed for convenience. It provides various apps and support software for users to download.

An in application browser allows you the select the software you want to download and install.

Downloading software is quick and easy. Once selected, the application is automatically downloaded.

 

ASRock XFast LAN utility provides options in an advanced viewing interface.

The real-time analysis interface ensures you to obtain control of web related programs. With the status window, you can recognize which data streams you are currently transferring.

You can configure your internet related applications’ priority ideally and/or add new programs.

Traffic shaping allows you to control which files have priority.

 

Now onto Performance Testing.



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