Asrock's Z170 Gaming K6

Over the past year we have extensively used and tested many Asrock Z97 and X99 motherboards from the Extreme and Gaming series.

During Computex 2015 four new Z170 motherboards were announced by Asrock, the flagship model being the Z170 Extreme 7, while the Z170 Fatal1ty Gaming K6 and Z170 Fatal1ty Gaming K6 were also unveiled. The fourth was the Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC, a motherboard we'll have to check out in the near future.

All Z170 motherboards featured impressive designs and the Z170 Fatal1ty Gaming K6 looked particularly striking with its red and black theme.

As luck would have it, Asrock has supplied us with the Z170 Fatal1ty Gaming K6. Before we check the board out a little closer let's compare the Z170 to the Z97 chipset.

When it comes to storage both chipsets are identical supporting just six SATA 6Gb/s ports with Intel's Rapid Storage Technology.

The Intel Management Engine Firmware has been updated from 9.1 to 11, while support for the Extreme Tuning Utility remains the same.

The key updates include the DMI interface and PCIe lanes. The DMI 3.0 interface connected the Z1750 to the CPU provides speeds of up to up to 8 GT/s.

This enables the Z170 to support more PCI Express slots. Whereas the Z97 features eight PCIe 2.0 lanes, the Z170 can accommodate 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

Getting back to the Z170 Fatal1ty Gaming K6, the board supports DDR4 memory and has 8 SATA 6GB/s ports plus two SATA Express ports. Asrock has included a Dual BIOS feature along with a Diagnostic LED. There are three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots and a single Ultra M.2 slot that supports PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth.

The I/O panel features eight USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port (supported by the Killer E2200), a 7.1 Channel audio jack, PS/2 port, HDMI and DVI display outputs. Sound is provided by Asrock's Purity Sound 3 which is positioned on an isolated PCB.