ASUS Z170 Motherboards Round-Up – Maximus VIII ROG Extreme, Maximus VIII ROG Hero, Z170 Deluxe
The ASUS Z170 Motherboards lineup has been revealed, showcasing the diverse products that are going to be part of their Legacy and ROG lineups. The lineup that launches with Skylake in just a few hours from now will be the first mainstream platform to support DDR4 memory and Intel's latest 14nm processor family with two fully unlocked chips, the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K.
ASUS Z170 Motherboards Roundup - ROG and Legacy Boards Detailed
ASUS is splitting their lineups into two parts, the ROG (Republic of Gamers) lineup which is the high-end gaming and enthusiast aimed lineup with a load of features on board. The second lineup falls in the legacy market and is aimed towards everyone from the hardcore enthusiast to the budget user. The Deluxe series motherboards that are part of this lineup are some of the best looking boards ever made while the entry level lineup keeps the cost low for users who want to enter the DDR4 based Z170 platform. The details for each motherboard is provided in the information below.
ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard:
The ASUS Z170 Deluxe is going to be a flagship legacy offering with a neat white and black color scheme which was featured on the ASUS X99 series motherboards. The ASUS Z170 Deluxe retains the design scheme with a thermal armor design that covers the I/O ports. The ASUS Z170 Deluxe features the socket LGA 1151 which supports Intel’s Skylake processors. This motherboard features a Digi+ VRM with 18 phase power design that is powered by a 8-Pin connector. The motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots that can support up to 64 GB of memory with speeds of 3400 MHz (O.C+).
Expansion slots include three full length PCI-e 3.0 slots (x16/x8/x8 electrical) , four PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots and a single M.2 Ultra slot. For storage, ASUS has featured 8 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and a single SATA Express 16 GB/s port. There are several switches and buttons laid out on the board that can be used for overclocking support and turning on/off the expansion slots, DIMM slots and switch between the dual BIOS on the board. There are two of each USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 internal headers on the board. A large white heatsink is integrated on top of the power phases for adequate cooling that can dissipate heat through a single heatpipe that runs through the three sets while a single PCH heatsink bearing the ASUS logo keeps the Z170 chip cooled. The board also makes use of a PLX chip which is hidden beneath the bottom most PWM heatsink to add more PCI-e lanes when using multiple graphics cards. For I/O, the motherboard features ASUS WiFi GO adapter, 5 USB 3.1 (Type-A), 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.1 (Type-C), Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 6 channel audio jack, SPDI/F port, HDMI and Display port.
ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme:
Starting off with the flagship ROG Maximus VIII Extreme, we are looking at a beast of a design with a full silver metal and red color scheme that looks great on the black PCB. The motherboard features the LGA 1151 socket that supports 6th generation Skylake processors and is powered by a 8-Pin and 4-Pin power configuration. The board is supplied power through the 24-Pin ATX connector. On the PWM, we see a 12 Phase DIGI+ VRM that is surrounded by a large heatsink that incorporates heat pipe cooling for stability while operation and even under overclocks. Four DDR4 DIMMs offer support for 64 GB of memory with speeds of up to 3400 MHz (O.C+). The motherboard is loaded with tuning buttons and switches along with voltage check-points for overclocking and tuning.
Expansion slots include four PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8/x8 electrical), two PCI-e 3.0 x1 aand a single M.2 NGFF SSD slot. A PEG connector adds more power to the board when it is loaded with several expansion cards and graphics cards. There’s a PLX chip hidden beneath the heatsink to the bottom of the LGA 1151 socket which adds more PCI-E lanes. Storage includes 8 SATA III 6 GB/s ports, two SATA Express ports and a U.2 SSD port that leads to a Mini-SAS connector to connect to NVMe SSDs. On top of the ports are two USB 3.0 internal headers with one right angled headers and at the bottom, we can see the Dual BIOS’s and two USB 2.0 internal headers. We can also see SupremeFX audio system powering the on-board audio on the Maximus VIII Extreme which is going to drive the 7.1 channel audio. The whole I/O is covered in a protective armor which looks cool.
ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Hero:
The ROG Maximus VIII Hero is a more toned down version of the Maximus VIII Extreme that retains the color scheme and the protective armor. The LGA 1151 socket is powered by a 8-Pin connector and the CPU socket is surrounded by a 10 Phase DIGI+ VRM. Four DDR4 DIMMs offer 64 GB memory support while expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8 electrical), three PCI-e 3.0 x1 and a single M.2 SSD slot. Storage options include 8 SATA III 6 GB/s ports and two SATA Express ports rated at 16 GB/s. Two USB 3.0 header is found on the board along with two USB 2.0 headers. I/O includes Supreme FX powered 7.1 channel audio jack, USB 3.1 Type-C ports, 6 USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI 2.0, Display port and a LAN port.
ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Gene:
The ROG Maximus VIII Gene is the Micro-ATX form factor motherboard of the ROG lineup. This motherboard being small in size, keeps things on the extreme level with its loaded design scheme. The LGA 1151 socket is powered by a 8-Pin power connector. A 10 Phase DIGI+ VRM that comes with high-end components and black capacitors drives the CPU to its limits and is cooled down by a heatpipe based heatsink solution which blends in with the design nicely. Four DDR4 DIMMs offer support for 64 GB memory (3400 MHz O.C+). A few OC switches can be found to the bottom of the board with the diagnostic LED allocated in the top-right section of the PCB. Expansion slots include two PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x8 electrical) and a PCI-e 3.0 x4 slot.
A single M.2 SSD slot is also located on this board which is useful for NGFF SSDs. Storage includes 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports, two SATA Express port and USB 3.0/USB 2.0 internal headers. I/O includes a Supreme FX powered 7.1 channel audio jack, ASUS ROG Connect port, HDMI, DVI, 6 USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 Type-C port, PS/2 and a Ethernet LAN port.
ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Ranger:
The ROG Maximus VIII Ranger is the most basic and entry level motherboard of the ROG lineup that comes with a 10 Phase PWM, powered by a single 8-Pin connector. This motherboard has two heatsinks covering the PWM that feature heatpipe based cooling design. Four DDR4 DIMMs are located on the board while expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8 electrical), two PCI-e 3.0 x1 and a single M.2 SSD slot. Storage includes 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports. Internal I/O includes two USB 3.0 headers and a single USB 2.0 header. I/O includes 6 USB 3.0 connectors, USB 3.1 (Type-C) connector, 7.1 Channel audio jack, a LAN port and a few display connectors.
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming Motherboard:
The Z170 Pro Gaming, as the name suggests, is a gaming motherboard that's part of the legacy lineup. The motherboard comes with a 10 Phase PWM, powered by a single 8-Pin connector. This motherboard has two heatsinks covering the PWM that feature heatpipe based cooling design. Four DDR4 DIMMs are located on the board while expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8 electrical), three PCI-e 3.0 x1 and a single M.2 SSD slot. Storage includes 6 SATA III 6 GB/s ports. Internal I/O includes a single USB 3.0 header and two single USB 2.0 header. I/O includes 6 USB 3.0 connectors, USB 3.1 (Type-C) connector, 7.1 Channel audio jack, a LAN port and a few display connectors which range from VGA, DVI and Display port.
ASUS Z170-A Motherboard:
The ASUS Z170-A motherboard is a good looking motherboard that retains the new design that ASUS has on their X99 and Z170 Deluxe boards. The motherboard comes with a 10 Phase DIGI+ PWM that features high quality components to keep the board up and running with stable operation. A single 8-Pin connector supplies power to the LGA 1151 socket while four DDR4 DIMM slots offer support for up to 64 GB of memory with speeds of up to 3400 MHz (O.C). Expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8 electrical), three PCI-e 3.0 x1 and a single PCI legacy slot. Storage options include 6 SATA III ports while internal USB headers include two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. For I/O, the motherboard has a single USB 3.1 (Type-C) and a USB 3.1 (Type-A) port. Others include two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, DVI, VGA, HDMI, Display port, Gigabit Ethernet LAN and a 7.1 Channel audio jack.
The rest of the motherboards can be seen below which come with lots of features for the budget users. Do note that these motherboards come with ASUS Pro Clock technology that allow 6.5x the BCLK O.C range for enthusiasts, 1-step BCLK boost, keep the system more stable and add more flexibility to the overall overclock process.