CPU Cooler Fit & Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D15 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
The cooler mounts to the board without issue with adequate room provided by the board design along all side of the cooler. Because of the positioning of the primary PCIe x16 slot, you should face no interference issues between the video and the cooler as well.
The close-up views of the cooler mounting illustrate just how well ASUS designed the CPU socket and component layout, minimizing interference between all sized coolers and the board components.
The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space is available around the CPU socket. The Noctua mounts fits the socket area well with no contact with any of the board's integrated components or heat sinks.
The cooler's backplate rests on the socket backplate, minimizing the risk of direct board contact. However, if the back plate design extend further towards the top and bottom of the board, their could be contact between the mount plate and the chip just above the socket.
The Z170-A motherboard comes with the minimal set of accessories for getting the board up and running.
ASUS' manual included with the Z170-A motherboard does not disappoint, written in a clear and thorough method as we've come to expect with ASUS motherboard manuals. Also included (but not shown) is a driver DVD with all necessary hardware drivers and Window's utilities.
The board's rear panel shield is an aluminum plate with the port identifying text and icons stamped into its surface. Under good lighting, the text and icons are easy to read, but would be challenging to see under poor lighting conditions.
ASUS bundled in three black and white 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated port. The cables have integrated port locks and a mix of straight and 90 degree connectors.
For multi-GPU use, ASUS included a single two-way NVIDIA SLI connector.
For use with the on-board front panel header, ASUS included their Q-Connector header plugs. You simply plug the front panel case leads into the Q-Connector, then plug the Q-Connector into the appropriate board header. It makes the installation of the front panel plugs much easier.
ASUS included a CPU installation tool with the motherboard to ensure easy and proper CPU installation into the board's socket. You simply snap the plastic guide over top of the CPU and place the CPU in the socket with the "This Side Up" arrow placed near the socket hinge. The plastic guide remains in place when you lock the CPU into the socket.