Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K, Core i5-8600K, Core i5-8400 CPU Review on ASRock FATAL1TY Z370 Professional Gaming i7 Motherboard
ASRock FATAL1TY Z370 Professional Gaming i75th October, 2017
ASRock Z370 Professional Gaming i7 Motherboard - Close Up
The ASRock Z370 Professional Gaming i7 is styled in black and silver. This is a top tier product that retails over $300 US so expect lots of features packed inside this motherboard. The motherboard comes in the standard ATX form factor.
The board uses the LGA 1151 socket to support Intel Core processors. The socket is compatible with Intel's 8th generation core family only at the moment. The socket has a protective cover on top of it that points out the exclusivity with Coffee Lake CPUs and refrains users from running a older 6th or 7th generation CPU as it could damage the socket.
Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB dual channel memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 4333 MHz (OC Plus). Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation.
The ASRock Z370 Professional Gaming i7 packs a 12 phase super alloy power design. The design is packed with 2 phase power for the DRAM and uses Premium 60A power chokes, Premium Memory Alloy Chokes, Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM), Combo Caps and Nichicon 12K Black caps that deliver un-precedented stability and overclocking capabilities.
As you can see, the VRMs are getting ample cooling from the two metallic heatsinks that are beefy in terms of overall size. This motherboard is designed for overclocking so expect stable operation of the electrical circuitry when this board is running.
If you look in closely, the heatsink solution comes with heatpipe coolig that runs across the entire length of the dual heatsinks. ASRock is also using fin based heatsink under the IO cover which can provide even better thermal operation under load.
The CPU is supplied power through a single 8-pin power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 150W of power. Most Intel CPUs will be shipping with TDPs under 100W but that changes when users overclock, since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speed.
Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16, three PCI Express 3.0 x1 and three M.2 slots. The board can support four-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe gen3 x4 and Intel Optane series memory.
ASRock is using a metallic cover on the sides of the expansion slots which provides protection to some extent. It adds more retention and shearing resistance by reinforcing the slots with metal plates. Aside from adding more protection, they do look really sweet.
The PCH is cooled off by a large metallic heatsink which runs next to the SATA ports. The PCH heat sink has embedded RGB LEDs and provide a good light show for those that are interested in RGBs trend. You can also turn off the LEDs entirely through ASRock's bundled software if you are not a fan of such LEDs.
Storage options include eight SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support eight different storage devices at once. There's also a right angled USB 3.0 front panel connector. Many fan headers and jumpers can be found beneath the storage ports.
The Sound Blaster Cinema 3 onboard system powers the audio on this board. The most unique component that was added to the solution in this generation is the Realtek ALC1220 Audio Code which powers the 7.1 channel audio. This new codec features an unprecedented 113dB SNR line-in and 120dB SNR line-out that allows users to stream and record with minimal noise.
ASRock is using the Intel 802.11ac WiFi Module to power wireless connectivity such as 802.11ac WiFi (2.4G / 5G WiFi) and Bluetooth 4.2. In terms of Ethernet, there's dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a 10 Gigabit Aquantia LAN port which means networking on this board is going to be really impressive.
ASRock has placed two very interesting, gold colored buttons at the bottom right hand corner of the board. The purpose of these switches is to allow users to easily Power or Reset the board in overclock and system tuning cases. A bunch of other connectors for chassis power, RGB and fan headers can be spotted next to them.
Finally, we have the I/O panel which includes the Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac module, PS/2 port, HDMI, Display Port, Dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (Type-A + Type-C) and a 7.1 channel audio jack.