ASRock Z270 Killer SLI

 

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/Z270%20Killer%20SLI/index.asp

Packaging and accessories

The motherboard comes packaged in a multicolored box with a black background and silver accents.
On the front side there are printed the name of the product, a few features of it and the ASRock logo. The background is composed of the Killer series emblem and solid colors.

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, there is the motherboard while on the sides the main features and functions are presented.

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
–    1x Manual
–    3x SATA Cables
–    1x Software DVD
–    1x I/O Shield
–    1x Installation Guide
–    1x Software Guide
–    1x SLI Connector

 

Specifications

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
FORM FACTOR: ATX Form Factor (30.5 cm x 22.4 cm)
INTEGRATED GRAPHICS: No
MEMORY: 4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots
–    Supports DDR4 3733+(OC)*/3600(OC)/3200(OC)/2933(OC)/2800(OC)/2400**/2133 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
–    Max. capacity of system memory: 64GB
–    Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOS: 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with multilingual GUI support
Expansion Slots:
–    2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE2/PCIE4: single at x16 (PCIE2); dual at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4))*
–    4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slots (Flexible PCIe)
 HDD CONNECTVIITY:
–    6 x 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*
–    2 x Ultra M.2 Sockets, support type 2230/2242/2260/2280 M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen3 x4 (32 Gb/s)**
NETWORKING: Giga PHY Intel® I219V – Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
PORTS:
–    1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
–    1 x DVI-D Port
–    1 x HDMI Port
–    1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
–    5 x USB 3.0 Type-A Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
–    1 x USB 3.0 Type-C Port (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
–    1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
–    HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
AUDIO: Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec – 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection
FAN HEADERS: 3x 4-Pin

Features:

–    ASRock Super Alloy: Premium 40A Power Choke, Nichicon 12K Black Caps, I/O Armor, Sapphire Black PCB, High Density Glass Fabric PCB
–    Digi 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.
–    AURA RGB LED: AURA RGB LED and header allows users to connect LED strip and create their unique PC style easily
–    Dual Ultra M.2 For SSD: Two of the world’s fastest PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 slots that deliver up to 32Gb/s transfer speed, it also supports SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules.
–    2 PCI-E STEEL SLOT: Adopts PCI-E Steel Slot, which is built with more solder points on the PCB for better performance and preventing any signal interference with graphics cards. Allows your graphics cards with enhanced signals and to be well-installed in the PCI-Express slot.
–    Water Pump Header: This header provides a maximum of 1.5A power for supporting the most popular water pumps. User also can adjust the voltage of water pump to get higher cooling performance with lower noise.
–    ASRock Intel® 4-Layer Memory POOL Technology: POOL (Planes On Outer Layers) technology allows 4-layer boards to utilize stripline routing instead of micro-strip routing, making motherboard having better electrical properties and performance.
–    USB Type-C: A latest reversible USB Type-C design that ¬fits the connector either way.

 

Visual inspection

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI motherboard uses the new Intel Z270 chipset; however, it is oriented towards the budget segment of this chipset. The motherboard uses a two-color design, the K letter is positioned in the middle of the board, being also the logo of the Killer line.
Even though it is classified as ATX, the motherboard is narrower than the standard format, measuring just 30.5 cm x 22.4 cm.

 

The motherboard features 3 (three) 4-pin Molex connectors, their position is the following:

 

The VRM heatsinks in the case of this model are of reduced dimensions and use an angular design. In the top left corner of the motherboard, we find the CPU 8-pin power connector. Also the two heatsinks are mounted on the PCB using 2 plastic clips each.

 

The power delivery for the processor is in 8 phases and two for the memory.

 

On the right side, we find the 4 DIMM slots that support DDR4 RAM with speeds up to 3733+(OC). The motherboard supports a maximum of 64GB.

 

Below the CPU socket next to the PCI Express 3.0 x1 there is the first Ultra M.2 slot.

 

The motherboard uses two PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16, x16/x8) slots and two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. The PCIe x16 slots are reinforced with metal in order to support graphics cards with any type of cooling system, this feature is useful when moving the system.

 

Below the superior PCIe x16 slot, there is the I/O Nuvoton NCT6791D chip responsible with the sensors and connected fans on the motherboard.

 

The motherboard uses 6 (six) SATA 6 Gb/s ports, to the right there is the internal USB 3.0 header.

 

The Audio system is isolated from the rest of the PCB, this feature is highlighted by a yellow line traced on the back of the PCB, also the used chipset model ALC 892 by Realtek. The capacitors used in the system are made by Nichicon.

 

The chipset heatsink has a different design than the VRM heatsinks, its design is linear with a black-white color scheme. The ASRock logo is positioned vertically on the right side, being in contrast with the black background of the heatsink.
Also the chipset heatsink features multicolor illumination which can be configured from the board’s Bios or using a software provided by ASRock.

 

The Bios battery is located below the PCIe slots next to the Ultra M.2slot.

 

On the bottom, part of the motherboard there is the 4pin 12v RGB header, dedicated for LED strips.

 

On the backside, we have the I/O panel.
The I/O panel is as follows (from left to right):
–    1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
–    1 x DVI-D Port
–    1 x HDMI Port
–    1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
–    5 x USB 3.0 Type-A Ports (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
–    1 x USB 3.0 Type-C Port (Supports ESD Protection (ASRock Full Spike Protection))
–    1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
–    HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

 

Bios

Like the current generation of 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 settings for memory and CPU, in the case of this motherboard the design of the interface uses a black-red color scheme.

 

Software

The motherboard is accompanied by a few pieces of software, each with a well-defined purpose.  These applications can manage everything from controlling the fans connected to the motherboard up to overclocking and Bios update.

 

Aura RGB

Just like the Bios page, the Aura RGB software allows full configuration of the board’s LEDs.

 

ASRock APP Shop

Included in the package is the APP Shop, it offers for download all the ASRock and their partners apps, also it can check for driver and Bios updates.

 

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: MSI GeForce GTX 660 OC Gaming / MSI GTX 970 Armor 2X
–    HDD: WD 1TB / Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB
–    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

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider (with GTX 970)

 

Deus Ex Mankind Divided (with GTX 970)

 

Final thoughts

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI motherboard, although destined for the budget segment of the Z270 chipset, offers features that are often found on higher priced motherboards.
One of these features is the possibility of building a system with multiple graphics cards, the board being AMD CrossFire and NVidia SLI certified.
In addition, the motherboard offers six SATA III ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port and two Ultra M.2 32Gb/s. ports.
The motherboard uses high quality components in its construction, being included in ASRock’s Supper Alloy category. This is highlighted by the used capacitors, which are made by Nichicon, these are used in the Audio system.
In conclusion, the Z270 Killer SLI offers all the necessary options for building a performance-oriented system, with expansion possibilities such as two graphics cards and two M.2 type SSDs. In addition, the price is justified by the quality of the components and the offered options, all of them with a modern and efficient design.
The motherboard can be improved: by adding some 4 Pin fan headers and by enlarging the PCB to the standard ATX format for a better integration with the ATX type cases.

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