Great Value, Tons of Features
Both new Asrock motherboards impressed us for a few good reasons. Out of the box, I thought there was no way they would be sub-$200 motherboards, but as it turns out they can both be had for well under that price with the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 set at $170 and the Z270 Extreme4 at only $150.
We were particularly impressed with their audio solutions, dual Ultra M.2 slots, USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-B, Intel LAN, Nichicon 12K black capacitors and reinforced PCIe slots which also improves EMI shielding. Given how similar the boards are overall, the Z270 Extreme4 is clearly the better bargain, but we wouldn't talk you out of buying the Fatal1ty model either.
Each comes in a fairly complete package with all the M.2 screws you'll need including a third for the Wi-Fi adapter, should you purchase one separately. Both motherboards also ship with a high-bandwidth SLI bridge, so that's a huge bonus for those going SLI as this can cost north of $30 to purchase separately.
Another big plus is Asrock's UEFI BIOS design, which in my opinion is one of the best out there. The BIOS is easy to navigate, looks great, and makes overclocking dead simple. Manually bumping our Core i7-7700K up to 4.9GHz was a two-step process and Asrock's overclocking presets also worked well.
There's still a little room for improvement but nothing major. I'd much rather drop the dated VGA output in favor of a DisplayPort connector. Of course, these boards will likely only be used with a discrete graphics card, but DisplayPort makes more sense than VGA nonetheless.
- Asrock Z270 Extreme4 on Amazon
- Asrock Z270 Extreme4 on Newegg
- Asrock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 on Amazon
- Asrock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 on Newegg
Overall, given the relatively low cost, Asrock has crammed these boards full of quality features. As mentioned earlier, the Z270 Extreme4 impressed us the most given its better value and I wouldn't expect there will be many other Z270 boards that are so well rounded at the $150 price point.
Pros: Quality construction and sharp aesthetics at a competitive price with plenty of features including dual Ultra M.2 slots, USB 3.1 Type-C/B, and premium integrated audio.
Cons: We'd trade the VGA connector (and even the PS/2 port) for DisplayPort. The Fatal1ty board slips a bit value-wise.