Monday, April 4th 2016

ASRock Unveils the Z170M OC Formula Motherboard

ASRock got around to launching a micro-ATX variant of its flagship socket LGA1151 motherboard targeted at professional overclockers, the Z170M OC Formula. Although this board spreads across the entire area of 244 mm² that this form-factor allows, it features just two DDR4 DIMM slots, letting ASRock spend the PCB real-estate saved on stronger electrical components. To begin with, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a strong 14-phase VRM, and a 2-phase VRM for the memory.

ASRock is using an expensive 10-layer PCB to minimize electrical interference. Overclockers are treated with onboard clock fine-tuning buttons, next to voltage measurement points, DirectKey auto-overclocking controls, a decoration of diagnostic LEDs all over the board, and manual switching between two redundant firmware EEPROM chips. The HyperBClk Feature is also featured, in which an external clock-generator is deployed to give users finer control over the base-clock. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical x8/x8 with both populated), and a third PCIe 3.0 x16 slot that's electrical gen 3.0 x4, and wired to the PCH. Storage connectivity includes a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s, from which four ports can make up two 16 Gb/s SATA-Express connectors. Two USB 3.1 ports (from which one is a type-C port), eight USB 3.0 ports, ASRock's high-end Purity Audio 3 solution, and an Intel-driven gigabit Ethernet interface, make for the rest of its modern connectivity.
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15 Comments on ASRock Unveils the Z170M OC Formula Motherboard

#1
P4-630
Not bad at all...Good for overclocking.
Some users might just not like the color scheme.
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#2
Caring1
Nice board, and colours, and with real BIOS chips that are user serviceable.
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#3
ensabrenoir
....when i see beautiful boards like this.......i have an over whelming...yet totally unjustified... desire to build something with it.
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#4
zedn
So this is the board that drives 6700K to the world record for now... been waiting for 3 months :)
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#5
buildzoid
glad I didn't get the impact. I hope this will be less than the big OCF.
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#6
awesomesauce
remove integrated power/reset switch and add 2more RAM slot maybe? o_O

also look nice :toast:
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#7
EarthDog
Most people are fine with 16/32GB anyway... (2x8/16GB). That said, the point of the board is to 'extreme' overclock. Using 2 DIMMs is, typically, a lot easier on the IMC than 4 DIMMs allow for higher clockspeeds on the memory. If you know what the board is made for (extreme overclocking) then it makes complete sense why they went this route.
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#9
LTUGamer
How many matx users are extreme overclokers. I know that it is popular to build compact gaming systems but regular matx board would be enough
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#10
EarthDog
Indeed...

However, some of the mATX boards have been showing better memory overclocking abilities for whatever reason. Specific tool for the job, I guess.
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#11
GtiJason
awesomesauce, post: 3440571, member: 104584"
remove integrated power/reset switch and add 2more RAM slot maybe? o_O:toast:
Adding 2 more ram slots would make this board pointless for overclockers and a huge waste of Nick's time. Two dimm boards are more efficient because of their physical layout having a cleaner more direct route to the cpu possibly even when the same distance away thus shortening the traces. Since the 2 slots themselves are closer together this shortens the time it takes for the two to communicate thus allowing for tighter timings on all the tXXXX_dd settings and the same is true for the shortened distance to the cpu relieving stress fom the imc. It's like a race where the slower vehicle wins because it takes a more direct path, where the faster one has to take turns and yeild to oncoming traffic
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#12
awesomesauce
GtiJason, post: 3443393, member: 164086"
Adding 2 more ram slots would make this board pointless for overclockers and a huge waste of Nick's time. Two dimm boards are more efficient because of their physical layout having a cleaner more direct route to the cpu possibly even when the same distance away thus shortening the traces. Since the 2 slots themselves are closer together this shortens the time it takes for the two to communicate thus allowing for tighter timings on all the tXXXX_dd settings and the same is true for the shortened distance to the cpu relieving stress fom the imc. It's like a race where the slower vehicle wins because it takes a more direct path, where the faster one has to take turns and yeild to oncoming traffic
good. so now i am waiting overclocking world record with that board .o_O:laugh:
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#13
EarthDog
Clearly its not for you... however, you waste a shed load of money on an expensive arse board for literally no reason. We are expecting records from YOU! :p
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#14
awesomesauce
EarthDog, post: 3443518, member: 79836"
Clearly its not for you... however, you waste a shed load of money on an expensive arse board for literally no reason. We are expecting records from YOU! :p
someone did it at my place

http://www.3dmark.com/fs/2107849

and it a beautiful MB i have.. i dont mind paying for it thank you
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#15
EarthDog
Great. Enjoy Cookies!

Just don't talk trash about the board when it appears you aren't sure what is marketed towards. There are plenty of "beautiful" motherboards for half the cost... but hey, you keep on keeping on! Who am I?! :)
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