Monday, October 3rd 2016

ASRock Unveils the Z170M-PIO2 Motherboard with Parallel Expansion Slot

ASRock unveiled the Z170M-PIO2, a micro-ATX socket LGA1151 motherboard with a unique angled PCI-Express gen 3.0 x16 slot that lets you install a graphics card parallel to the plane of the motherboard. It takes away the need for PCIe riser cables in certain PIO form-factor compliant SFF chassis. The PIO form-factor is an emerging standard of compact SFF cases that you mount along the VESA wall-mount bolts of your display. Technically, the board conforms to the uDTX form-factor, but is compatible with micro-ATX and PIO form-factors.

Its star-attraction aside, the Z170-PIO2, as its name suggests, is based on the overclocking-ready Z170 Express chipset. It supports up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory with its two memory slots. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors. Besides the angled PCIe x16, you get an mPCIe slot (for WLAN cards), and one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. Four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, 6-channel HD audio, four USB 3.0 ports, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of its connectivity.
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23 Comments on ASRock Unveils the Z170M-PIO2 Motherboard with Parallel Expansion Slot

#1
Chaitanya
Thats awful specific placement of slot. Although where are cases to support that one specialized motherboard?
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#2
ppn
No case needed, It gets attached on the back of the TV ghetto style open stand. Smaller MITX 17x17cm size with angled SATA ports would be nice.
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#3
bogami
Great idea with regard to lack of space and cooling and moding ! Slot on the other side and a turning cooling field above. I can not praise the moderate components Z170 audio is minimal all together is more like B110 chipset.
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#4
RejZoR
Chaitanya, post: 3532927, member: 93474"
Thats awful specific placement of slot. Although where are cases to support that one specialized motherboard?
Isn't most of ITX cases designed to accommodate graphic card there, but you have to use ribbon raiser connector to offset the graphic card? This one does it natively.
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#5
silentbogo
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z170M-PIO2/

Perfect for bench table and/or wall mounted madness.
The only thing that bothers me is where to find a compatible case? So far I've seen none....

RejZoR, post: 3532976, member: 1515"
Isn't most of ITX cases designed to accommodate graphic card there, but you have to use ribbon raiser connector to offset the graphic card? This one does it natively.
In most cases you'll have GPU slot below motherboard, but not above it :roll:
Some have a GPU mounting options right over the CPU, but it still requires PCIe ribbon.

bogami, post: 3532939, member: 102090"
Great idea with regard to lack of space and cooling and moding ! Slot on the other side and a turning cooling field above. I can not praise the moderate components Z170 audio is minimal all together is more like B110 chipset.
And in best traditions of AsRock, there a H110M-PIO and B150M-PIO that look almost exactly the same. Don't know whether I should thank or hate AsRock for that, but Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and others also sell the exact same board as "highest quality premium design".

My friend/colleague even did a "poor repairsman" chipset flipping on some dead motherboards from AsRock for fun (leftover unfixed junk).
Still have a Z77 Pro4 which was re-born, like a phoenix, as a B85 Pro4. Still use it on my testbench. Some FM2+ boards even have stickers placed over the original "high-end" labels.
But that's what makes them so cheap :rockout:
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#6
TheLostSwede
RejZoR, post: 3532976, member: 1515"
Isn't most of ITX cases designed to accommodate graphic card there, but you have to use ribbon raiser connector to offset the graphic card? This one does it natively.
This is not a mini ITX board, it's mini DTX and the connector is on the wrong side for that to work in a desktop style case.
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#7
erixx
What case problem? Just dremel your case:

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#8
$ReaPeR$
this level of specialization is impressive! the only thing missing is 3D printed cases.
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#9
XiGMAKiD
ppn, post: 3532936, member: 159444"
No case needed, It gets attached on the back of the TV ghetto style open stand. Smaller MITX 17x17cm size with angled SATA ports would be nice.
This
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#10
hojnikb
Any ideas what happened with h110m hyper ? It was announced last month, but now its gone from their site.
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#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Can't hate ASRock for being ASRock. They're the most innovative motherboard designers.
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#12
lukart
Chaitanya, post: 3532927, member: 93474"
Thats awful specific placement of slot. Although where are cases to support that one specialized motherboard?
Actually I think many users who mod their cases will love the idea :=)
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#13
jdon
This is perfect for a briefcase computer idea I've been kicking around for a while!
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#14
Blueberries
I think this is a cool idea and the placement of the USB3/M.2 are actually really nice, however, I've never seen a case that has the expansion bay on that side of the motherboard (kind of defeats the purpose).


jdon, post: 3533266, member: 157668"
This is perfect for a briefcase computer idea I've been kicking around for a while!
Trust me, if you do that, you'll have to establish some form of aftermarket heat-sink on the MOSFETs. Temperatures will quickly rise to 45C+ when heat builds up and it will be very noticeable.
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#15
silentbogo
TheLostSwede, post: 3532990, member: 3382"
This is not a mini ITX board, it's mini DTX and the connector is on the wrong side for that to work in a desktop style case.
It's micro-DTX.
mini-DTX is a quite popular now form factor (sometimes marketed as micro-ATX due to compatibility).
I used to have a bunch of these at work:
http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Product/Product_Detail.aspx?CategoryID=1&DetailID=1478&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=24&LanID=0

uDTX is somewhat a mystery to me, and though it looks interesting, I haven't been able to find a single case that will work with this + dedicated GPU.
Couldn't even find specs for uDTX form factor.
Also dtxpc.org no longer exists, so I could only find old slides from AMD (who initially pushed for a new open standard):
https://web.archive.org/web/20090823194411/http://www.dtxpc.org/_docs/DTX_Overview.pdf
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#16
Disparia
Nice. Time to wait for Lian-Li micro-DTX.

Something like their PC-010, but of course a lot slimmer for this form factor.
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#17
littleodds
Wow. Make it mini ITX (size), make PCIe flush with the mobo, lose legacy IO and D-SUB, add second Gigabyte LAN - and I'll be camping outside the store with a fistful of greenbacks.
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#18
TheLostSwede
silentbogo, post: 3533303, member: 141875"
It's micro-DTX.
mini-DTX is a quite popular now form factor (sometimes marketed as micro-ATX due to compatibility).
I used to have a bunch of these at work:
http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Product/Product_Detail.aspx?CategoryID=1&DetailID=1478&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=24&LanID=0

uDTX is somewhat a mystery to me, and though it looks interesting, I haven't been able to find a single case that will work with this + dedicated GPU.
Couldn't even find specs for uDTX form factor.
Also dtxpc.org no longer exists, so I could only find old slides from AMD (who initially pushed for a new open standard):
https://web.archive.org/web/20090823194411/http://www.dtxpc.org/_docs/DTX_Overview.pdf
There's no such thing as micro DTX, it's either DTX or mini DTX - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTX_(form_factor)
This is clearly a made up form factor by ASRock
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#19
_JP_
I missed this out-of-the-box side of ASRock :)
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#20
silentbogo
TheLostSwede, post: 3533595, member: 3382"
There's no such thing as micro DTX, it's either DTX or mini DTX - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTX_(form_factor)
This is clearly a made up form factor by ASRock
That's what I'm afraid of.

On the other hand, there are few similar boards from other manufacturers, though some of them feature PCI-e x16 both on top (horizontal), and on the bottom (classic vertical).
Like this MSI B150M ICAFE AIO:
http://cn.msi.com/Motherboard/B150M-ICAFE-AIO.html#hero-specification


Only available in China ATM, but it may be the sign that PIO cases may hit the shelves soon, with those pretty tiny boards.
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#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Am I the only one that thought of this when I read the thread title?



Maybe I'm showing my age a little...
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#22
micropage7
newtekie1, post: 3534336, member: 20670"
Am I the only one that thought of this when I read the thread title?



Maybe I'm showing my age a little...
yeah me too, and made me think WTH is this, using parallel port on new board
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#23
R-T-B
newtekie1, post: 3534336, member: 20670"
Am I the only one that thought of this when I read the thread title?



Maybe I'm showing my age a little...
I had my old Iomega zip 100 attatched to one of those, was ghetto even back then...
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