Monday, December 7th 2015

ASRock Intros Cost-Effective Z170X1-3.1 Motherboard with USB 3.1

ASRock unveiled one of the first sub-$100 socket LGA1151 motherboards with USB 3.1 ports, the Z170A-X1/3.1. This narrow ATX board can seat 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors, with support for up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, at speeds of up to DDR4-3400 MHz via overclocking. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and uses a simple 5-phase VRM to condition it for the CPU.

Expansion slots on the Z170A-X1/3.1 include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 wired to the CPU, a PCIe 3.0 x16 (electrical x4), wired to the Z170 PCH, and three other PCIe 3.0 x1 ports. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The centerpiece of this board's feature-set is its pair of 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 ports, including a type-A, and a type-C. There are eight other USB 3.0 ports, six on the rear panel, two by headers. Gigabit Ethernet, driven by an Intel-made controller, and 6-channel HD audio with ground layer isolation, make for the rest of it. ASRock is eyeing a sub-$100 price point.
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20 Comments on ASRock Intros Cost-Effective Z170X1-3.1 Motherboard with USB 3.1

#1
micropage7
looks like over sharpening btw why they put wheels on that, to make it running faster?
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#2
hojnikb
Whats the point of 8pin cpu power connector, if VRMs are not powerful enough to take advantage of that ?

Other than that, seems like a nice board. Hopefully they make a cheap h110 board with decent functionally (like their previous HDS series).
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#3
Ferrum Master
hojnikb
Whats the point of 8pin cpu power connector, if VRMs are not powerful enough to take advantage of that ?

Other than that, seems like a nice board. Hopefully they make a cheap h110 board with decent functionally (like their previous HDS series).
Less voltage drop, lower resistance. More secure and mechanically safe. A wise engineering choice IMHO.
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#4
AsRock
TPU addict
micropage7
looks like over sharpening btw why they put wheels on that, to make it running faster?
Yeah strips are not as fast as wheels.

Don't like the SATA connectors so i would not be buying it if i was in the market, although nice to see a <$100 from them.
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#5
Ferrum Master
AsRock
Yeah strips are not as fast as wheels.

Don't like the SATA connectors so i would not be buying it if i was in the market, although nice to see a <$100 from them.
There is no front USB3 header too... gosh...
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#6
GhostRyder
Ferrum Master
There is no front USB3 header too... gosh...
There is a USB 3.0 front header on the board, look between the top PCIE 16x and memory slots.

Eh, nice to see a budget board on the platform that still supports overclocking. Though I am not a big fan of the copper look on the board but that's just my opinion.
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#7
Ferrum Master
GhostRyder
There is a USB 3.0 front header on the board, look between the top PCIE 16x and memory slots.

Eh, nice to see a budget board on the platform that still supports overclocking. Though I am not a big fan of the copper look on the board but that's just my opinion.
It just can't be more retarded placed.
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#8
n-ster
Lack of M.2 forcing you to use a PCIe card for NVMe is a bit of a bummer, as I like to relegate my old SSDs to laptops usually, but otherwise looks like a solid choice in the Z170 series. 1 x16 PCIe for GPU, 1 for NVMe SSD, x1 for Wi-Fi if needed. Looks well built, but as said, with these SATA ports and USB3 header, this isn't meant for Windowed case as much it seems
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#9
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I like seeing 4 DIMM slots on a budget board. Too often cutting two of the DIMM slots is the first thing they do to save money.
n-ster
Lack of M.2 forcing you to use a PCIe card for NVMe is a bit of a bummer, as I like to relegate my old SSDs to laptops usually,
I don't really see a lot of people buying expensive PCIe based NVMe SSDs to put in a sub-$100 motherboard. If you are going to do that, spend a little bit more on a better board.
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#10
Ferrum Master
And I only see 3 FAN headers... really? Only one around CPU, none for exhaust fan, and two for the front intakes?
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#11
n-ster
newtekie1
I don't really see a lot of people buying expensive PCIe based NVMe SSDs to put in a sub-$100 motherboard. If you are going to do that, spend a little bit more on a better board.
Even so, I like using the M.2 SATA for budget boards, a M.2 850 EVO would be perfect for a build with this Mobo and could be easily relegated to laptop duties in the future
Ferrum Master
And I only see 3 FAN headers... really? Only one around CPU, none for exhaust fan, and two for the front intakes?
That is a bummer indeed, I think it's 1 exhaust 1 intake and 1 CPU in their minds perhaps? Placement for the exhaust fan isn't great but still doable I guess.
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#12
natr0n
I kinda like it minimal.
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#13
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
n-ster
Even so, I like using the M.2 SATA for budget boards, a M.2 850 EVO would be perfect for a build with this Mobo and could be easily relegated to laptop duties in the future
Yeah, but the 2.5" version pretty much fits the same idea. Unless you are using it to upgrade an ultra-slim, but those are moving towards permanant soldered drives on the system board.
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#14
[502]
Can't complain anything for that price and features, though I'd prefer those heatsinks be painted black instead of copper.
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#15
GhostRyder
I agree with @newtekie1 , its a budget board so expecting someone to fork over for an NVMe SSD. Regular SSD's are cheaper which would fit the criteria for someone looking at this board.

Its a great budget board, I just think the copper stands out more than I would prefer on the board but other than that its a great value.
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#16
SimpleTECH
If Intel wasn't charging so much for their chipset design, this board would easily sell for under $70 considering how minimal stuff is on there.
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#17
ironwolf
Ferrum Master
It just can't be more retarded placed.
Sure it could have: between the two PCIe x16 slots just next to the chipset/heatsink. :roll:
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#18
The Von Matrices
newtekie1
I like seeing 4 DIMM slots on a budget board. Too often cutting two of the DIMM slots is the first thing they do to save money.
That's due to Intel, not the motherboard manufacturers. H81 and H110 are limited to one DIMM per channel, so you will never see more than two DIMM slots on a cheap Intel board.
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#19
GC_PaNzerFIN
SimpleTECH
If Intel wasn't charging so much for their chipset design, this board would easily sell for under $70 considering how minimal stuff is on there.
Would you prefer motherboard being cramped full of ICs and chipset being cheap? I mean, surely you do not expect to get all the IP licenses/patents/design work/etc. that goes to making that highly integrated chipset for free. :)
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#20
hojnikb
The Von Matrices
That's due to Intel, not the motherboard manufacturers. H81 and H110 are limited to one DIMM per channel, so you will never see more than two DIMM slots on a cheap Intel board.
*khm* Asus H81-Gamer *khm*

Although its still limited to 16GB of overall ram.
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