Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the Z170-A motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. The board was able to hit a maximum base clock speed of 267MHz (thanks to the decoupled CPU clock generator of the Z170 board design) with a CPU speed of 4.5GHz, a matching 4.5GHz ring bus speed, and a 2490MHz memory speed. With the base clock rolled back to 167MHz, we were able to push the CPU to 4.67GHz with a 4.5GHz ring bus and 2672Mhz memory speeds. With the base clock rolled back even further to its stock 100Mhz speed, we pushed the CPU to a cool 4.7GHz with a 4.5GHz ring bus and 3200MHz memory speeds. All overclocking sessions remained stable for over 4hrs. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 16GB (2 x 8GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 and 16GB (4 x 4GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.

267MHz Base Clock Stats

167MHz Base Clock Stats

100MHz Base Clock Stats with 3200MHz Memory

Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.

Performance

ASUS has a true champion in the Z170-A motherboard. Both its stock and overclocked performance is nothing short of stellar with the board taking everything we threw at it without a hitch.

Pricing

As of August 26, the ASUS Z170-A motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $163.99 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $164.99 and from B&H for $165.00.

Conclusion

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this board. It has a very stunning appearance with its white and black coloration, suitable for just about any build. All integrated components are placed well and easily usable. Further, ASUS did not appear to scrimp on the quality of any of the integrated components despite its price point. This is especially evident in the inclusion of the latest version of the Intel network controller(the I219-V) and in its overclocking potential and stability. The board was rock-stable no matter how far I pushed it.

Strengths

  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking performance
  • Board aesthetics, layout, and design
  • Motherboard manual details and quality
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Quality of included power circuitry
  • Intel GigE network controller performance
  • M.2 port location
  • CMOS battery placement

Weaknesses

  • Inclusion of PCI slot
  • Circuitry in close proximity to socket on underside of board

« PreviousNext »