ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac

Introduction

ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept.

Official product link:

http://www.asrock.com/MB/Intel/Fatal1ty%20Z270%20Gaming-ITXac/index.asp

Packaging and accessories

The motherboard comes packaged in a two-tone cardboard box, the background is composed of the letter G and the emblem of the Fatal1ty series.
On the front side of the packaging there are printed both the model of the motherboard alongside the name and logo of the manufacturer. On the lower side there are listed a couple of the motherboard’s features.

 

On the sides of the box we find printed both the name and logo of the manufacturer and the name of the product with a few of its features.

 

The back of the box presents in detail the product and enumerates the specifications & features of the motherboard. In the middle, the motherboard and the main features are showcased. On the lower side, the I/O panel is described in depth while to the right the specifications of the board are listed.

 

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
– 1x Manual
– Quick Installation Guide,
– 1x Support CD,
– 1x I/O Shield
– 1x SATA Data Cables
– 1x M.2 slot screw
– 1x ASRock emblem
– 1x Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna (2T2R)

 

Specifications

MODEL: Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac
CPU SUPPORT: Intel 7th and 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron®
SOCKET: LGA 1151
CHIPSET: Intel Z270
POWER DESIGN: 8 Power Phase design
FORM FACTOR: Mini-ITX Form Factor: 17.0 cm x 17.0 cm
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS: No
MEMORY: 2x DDR4 DIMM Slots
– Supports DDR4 4000+(OC)*/3866(OC)/3600(OC)/3200(OC)/2933(OC)/2800(OC)/2400**/2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
– Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
– Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB
BIOS: 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support
Expansion Slots:
– 1x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1: x16 mode)*
– 1x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E) with the bundled WiFi-802.11ac module (on the rear I/O)
– 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE1)
STORAGE:
– 6x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 15 and Intel® Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug.
– 1x SATA Express 10 Gb/s Connector**
– 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket, supports M Key type 2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s).
NETWORKING:
– 1x Intel® 802.11ac WiFi Module (Free Bundle)
– Supports Bluetooth 4.0 / 3.0 + High speed class II
– Supports Dual-Band (2.4/5 GHz)
PORTS:
– 2x Antenna Ports
– 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1x HDMI Port
– 1x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1x Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 (Compatible with USB 3.1 Gen2 and USB-C Display)*
– 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 5x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 3.1 Gen1) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1x Clear CMOS Switch
– HD Audio Jacks: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
AUDIO: 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
FAN HEADERS: x 3-Pin

Features:

– 2T2R 802.11ac WiFi Dual Band (2.4/5 GHz): No one has time for weak WiFi signals and sluggish internet! That’s why this motherboard comes with an exclusive 2T2R 802.11ac WiFi (2.4G / 5G WiFi) module that supports up to 867Mbps wireless networks and Bluetooth v4.0. Experience up to 289% speed boost compared to your old WiFi!
– PCI-E STEEL SLOTS: The advanced PCI-E Steel Slots packed with solid cover that prevent any signal interference with graphics cards. It also ensures the heavy graphics cards to be well-installed in the PCI-E slots safely.
– Ultra M.2 32 Gb/s (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3): The PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 interface pushes data transfer speeds up to 32Gb/s. In addition, it also supports SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules, and is compatible with ASRock’s U.2 Kit for installing some of the world’s fastest U.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 SSDs.
– 8 Power Phase: Designed with an 8 Power Phase Design, this motherboard provides completely smooth power delivery to the CPU and offers unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature.
– Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM): Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM) is another innovative MOSFETs design by ASRock. The silicon die area is increased by stacking two dies into one MOSFET. The larger the die area, the lower Rds(on). Compared to traditional discrete MOSFET, DSM with larger die area provides extreme lower Rds(on) 1.2 mΩ, so the power supply for the CPU Vcore is more efficient.
– Nichicon 12K Black Caps: Supreme 12K black capacitors with lifespans of at least 12,000 hours. Compared to other counterparts on high-end motherboards that merely have lifespans of around 10,000 hours, ASRock applied Nichicon 12K Black Caps that offer 20% longer lifespans and provide more stability and reliability.
– Premium 60A Power Choke: Compared to traditional chokes, ASRock’s premium 60A power chokes effectively make the saturation current up to three times better, thus providing enhanced and improved Vcore voltage to the motherboard.
– Digi Power: Unlike traditional motherboards that use analog power, this motherboard uses a next generation digital PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) design, which provides CPU Vcore voltage more efficiently and smoothly, so that the stability and lifespan of the motherboard is greatly enhanced.

Visual inspection

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac features all the options of a Z270 equipped motherboard, despite its size of just 17.0cm x 17.0cm, due to the mini-ITX format. There are no graphical elements to be found however the red-black color combination is characteristic of Fatal1ty branded motherboards. The motherboard is equipped with one SATA M.2 slot for PCI-E NVMe M.2 SSDs, it is located on the back of the PCB and can support speeds up to 32Gb/s.

 

The motherboard features 3 (three) 4-pin Molex connectors, two are in close proximity to the CPU Socket and the last one is next to the 8-pin Power Connector.

 

The VRM heatsinks in the case of the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac model are simple, these are connected using a 6mm thick heatpipe In the top left corner of the motherboard, there is the CPU 8-pin power connector. In addition, the two heatsinks are mounted on the PCB using two metallic screws each.

 

Around the CPU Socket there is the 8-phase power delivery system. The motherboard uses an International Rectifier IR35201 controller and NexFET MOSFETs made by Texas Instruments. Due to the size and format of the motherboard, the power delivery system and RAM slots are closer to the CPU socket, thus in some cases the CPU cooler might interfere with the VRM and other components.

 

On the right side, there are the board’s two DIMM slots that support DDR4 type memory with speeds up to 4000+(OC). The motherboard supports a maximum of 32GB of RAM.

 

Next to the DIMM slots there are the first two SATA ports alongside a single SATA Express port. Below the only internal USB 3.0 port is located.

 

The motherboard a single metal reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16, the reinforcement helps support the graphics card during shipping and use.

 

Below the CPU socket and next to the chipset heatsink we have the four SATA ports of the motherboard, lower there is the Nuvuton NCT6791D for active monitoring.

 

The audio system has as its center point the Realtek ALC1220 codec while the capacitors used are made by Nichicon and are called Fine Gold. Paired with the ALC1220, the motherboard uses an Texas Instruments made amp, model no.: N5532.

 

On the backside, we have the I/O panel.
The I/O panel is as follows (from left to right):
– 2x Antenna Ports
– 1x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
– 1x HDMI Port
– 1x DisplayPort 1.2
– 1x Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 (Compatible with USB 3.1 Gen2 and USB-C Display)*
– 1x Optical SPDIF Out Port
– 5x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1x Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 3.1 Gen1) (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
– 1x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
– 1x Clear CMOS Switch
– HD Audio Jacks: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

 

Bios

Keeping with the trend of the modern motherboards, the Bios offers two operating modes: the EZ mode, offers all the general information of the system, while the interface is designed to ease the Bios configuration, even for inexperienced users. The EZ mode includes settings such as boot order, storage device configuration, automatic overclocking, fan speed, RAID configuration or Bios update.

 

The Advanced mode uses a separate interface and includes numerous complex settings for memory and CPU, in the case of this motherboard the design of the interface uses a black-red color scheme.

 

Testing

The following system was used to test the motherboard:
– CPU: Intel i5 6600K @ 3.9GHz and overclocked to 4.5GHz
– RAM: Patriot Viper 4 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
– GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition
– HDD: WD 1TB
– SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
– PSU: Antec Edge 550W
– CPU Cooler: Silverstone Tundra TD02
– Display: AOC i2769VM
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White
– OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit

 

The processor was used with the stock turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz and overclocked to 4.5 GHz with a core voltage of 1.280.
The RAM memory was used at its default frequency.

 

Software used for testing the motherboard:
– 3D Mark – FireStrike, CloudGate, IceStorm.
– CineBench r11.5
– SuperPi mod 1.5
– wPrime v1.55
– Grand Theft Auto V
– The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
– Rise of the Tomb Raider
– Deus Ex Mankind Divided

 

The test results are as follows:

 

3D Mark

Overall Score

 

Fire Strike

 

Cloud Gate

 

Ice Storm

 

CineBench r15

 

SuperPi mod 1.5

 

wPrime v1.55

 

Grand Theft Auto V

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

 

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

 

Final thoughts

The main feature of the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac is the Z270 chipset available on a motherboard in the Mini-ITX format, thus offering the potential of assembling a SFF system dedicated to overclocking but with the advantages of the reduced size. The motherboard offers the majority of options found on the Z270 motherboards, starting with the PCIe expansion slot, the six SATA ports, the M.2 slot for SSDs and the six USB 3.0 ports alongside the single USB Type-C port.
In conclusion, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac is a Mini-ITX motherboard with a solid build, that offers an ideal platform for SFF type system while at the same time being dedicated to overclocking and to events such as Lan Parties or eSports. The board also features an integrated Wi-Fi system due to the Intel Wireless-AC 7265 chip.
The power delivery system is very good, having an 8-phase design and being composed out of NexFET MOSFETs made by Texas Instruments, and Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors. These components are often found on motherboards that are in the ASRock Super Alloy category.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *