Asus Debuts Z170 Motherboards
A few weeks ago, ASUS Philippines flew us to Bangkok, Thailand, to witness the regional launch of the new wave of Z170 motherboards that will support the new Intel Skylake processors.
Note: We have the video version of the article down below that shows more of the actual motherboards during the event.
The boards that were featured during the launching event are as tricked out as it can get, sporting the company’s trademark technologies along with new features to truly maximize the potential of the new Intel chips.
Under the Republic of Gamers (ROG) lineup, the company launched a total of four new Maximus VII motherboards comprising of Maximus VIII Ranger, Gene, Hero and Extreme, as well as two Z170 Pro Gaming series boards (Z170 Pro Gaming & Z170I Pro Gaming).
These boards sport a slew of features which include a built-in U.2 connector for NVMe SSDs (Maximus VIII Extreme), M.2 Socket with support for 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices on PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s modes (Maximus VIII Hero, Ranger and Gene), USB 3.1 with both Type-A and the new Type-C connectors with up to 36W power delivery, Thunderbolt Gen 3, and SupremeFX 2015.
On the software side, these boards are equipped with Sonic Studio II, KeyBot II, Lighting Control, RoG Overwolf, LAN Guard with GameFirst technology, and ROF RAMCache. In addition, the usual set of software under AI Suite is also present on these boards like USB 3.1 Boost, EZ Flash 3, EZ XMP, and Ai Charger +.
The Taiwanese firm also launched a lone Z170 board under the premium TUF (The Ultimate Force) series, the Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1.
Most of the aforementioned features on the ROG mobos are also present on this board like support for NVMe SSDs and up to 22110 M.2 card, USB 3.1 with Type-A and Type-C ports. However, it lacked some key features like SupremeFX 2015 and GameFirst that are present on its ROG Z170 cousins.
In exchange, though, users get a TUF Detective 2 feature which allows them to diagnose system issues using a smartphone (complete with a dedicated USB port), a dedicated chip called TUF ICe which monitors the system temperature and automatically adjusts the fans independently to maximize heat dissipation and/or lessen noise, and Thermal Radar 2.
Of course, the Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1’s main feature is its military-grade armor that’s designed to withstand a fair amount of beating and maximize air flow to key components on the motherboard.
Also present during the launch were the Asus Z170 Signature series boards which consist of Z170-Deluxe, and the Z170-A. Like the more premium cards above, these boards also support M.2 and U.2 storage devices, USB 3.1 with the new Type-C interface, and Lighting Control (on Z170-Deluxe) which can be used to set the color of the light on the board based on its current temperature.
Instead of SupremeFX 2015, these boards are equipped with Realtek ALC892 with Crystal Sound 3 audio technology that goes hand-in-hand with its shielded Japan-made audio caps. Furthermore, the Z170-Deluxe features a 3×3 802.11ac Wi-Fi module for improved wireless connectivity.