ASUS Z170 Deluxe Preview
Category : Z170
Published by Marc Büchel on 05.08.15
With the Z170 Deluxe, ASUS for sure has one of the most interesting boards ready at launch. First of all there is a great looking color scheme and apart from that there are countless features. A quick look reveals for example that there is support for NVMe drives as well as an M.2 x4 SSD slot. At this point we're already really curious to find out what this board is capable of.


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With their Signature Series motherboards ASUS always have interesting products in their portfolio and in the past it happened quite frequently that the "Deluxe board" from ASUS was the most mature model available at launch day. For obvious reasons, this makes us really curious about what we can expect from this board on the following pages.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion
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Specs and Delivery

Chipset Intel Z170
Memory Dual Channel DDR4, 4 x DIMM, Max. 64 GB DDR4, 3466 (O.C) / 3400 (O.C.) / 3333 (O.C.) / 3300 (O.C.) / 3200 (O.C.) / 3000 (O.C.) / 2800 (O.C.) / 2666 (O.C.) / 2400 (O.C.) / 2133 Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Multi-GPU
  • Supports NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology
  • Supports AMD 3-way CrossFireX Technology
Slots
  • 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
  • 4 x PCIe 2.0 x1
  • 1 x M.2 Slots
Sound Realtek ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
  • Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
  • Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
  • Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
Storage
  • 1 x SATA Express port
  • 1 x M.2 socket 3
  • 6 x SATA 6Gbps port
  • Supports Intel Rapid Storage Technology
Network
  • Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN
  • Intel I211-AT Gigabit LAN
  • WiFi a/b/g/n/ac up to 1300 Mbps
Internal Connectors
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x SATA Express
  • 1 x TPM header
  • 1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU fan with PWM control
  • 4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 x 4 -pin)
  • 5 x Assistant Fan connector(s) (5 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
  • 1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
  • 1 x MemOK! button(s)
  • 3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
  • 1 x TPU switch
  • 1 x EPU switch
  • 1 x EZ XMP switch
  • 1 x Power On Button
Extrenal Connectors
  • 1 x Display Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1x ASUS WiFi GO! module
  • 2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 5 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack(s)
Forfactor ATX (30.5cm x 24.4cm)
BIOS Bios (128 Mb flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS)


   




Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion
[pagebreak]

Features

Digi+

Since quite some time ASUS has been equipping its boards with digital power designs. Using the right software it is not only possible to adjust voltages while being in Windows on can now also control impedances. Furthermore this board features high quality 10K black metallic capacitor which guarantee a long lifespan.
 

ASUS Fan Xpert 3

ASUS Fan Xpert 3 provides customizable settings for fans that have been attached directly to the onboard fan headers. With the Fan Auto Tuning feature, ASUS Fan Xpert 3 automatically detects and tweaks all fan speeds and in the end reduces unwanted noise.
 

EPU

EPU automatically detects the current system load and moderates power usage. It offers a system-wide energy optimization and is able to reduce fan noise.
   

SATA Express

SATA Express is a new port for storage devices that basically combines two SATA connectors and bundles them. Each SATA Express port has been wired using two PCI Express Gen2 lanes offering a total of 10 Gbps bandwidth. Compared to SATA-III with 6 Gbps bandwidth this is quite an improvement.
 

M.2 / NVMe support

The new ASUS Z170 Deluxe motherboard from ASUS features an M.2 slot and included in the delivery there is also a NVMe adapter card. This motherboard can be equipped with an SSD in M.2 format and it is wired directly to the Z170 PCH via four PCI Express Gen 3 lanes, therefore offering x4 bandwidth. In other words up to 32 Gbps can be pushed over the bus through this slot.
 

Crystal Sound 3

With Crystal Sound 3 you get ASUS' interpretation of high quality onboard audio. Supporting up to eight channels, the Crystal Sound 2 solution received shielding from other onboard components. Apart from that there are high quality ELNA capacitors offering as clear as possible audio.


Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion
[pagebreak]

Layout


With the Z170 Deluxe ASUS decided to use the same color scheme, which is already in place with their X99 offerings. You find a black PCB as well as coolers with white elements and a white cover for the back I/O panel, which reaches over to the Crystal Sound 3 solution as well. As you might have expected, the layout has been well thought and there is for example enough clearance around the CPU socket to install even todays largest CPU coolers. If you want to install extra long graphics cards, there will be no issues, thanks to the angled SATA ports.



  

The ASUS Z170 Deluxe comes with a digital 20+2 phase power design. The CPU gets 20 phases and the memory gets a stable current supply from two individual phases. Furthermore ASUS equips this board with high quality chokes, which can cope with high current per phase. A closer look at the capacitors reveals there are 10K Black Metallic Caps, which have an average life span of 10'000 hours.



  

Totally you'll find four DIMM-slots on the Z170 Deluxe. Officially supported are DDR4 3466 (O.C) / 3400 (O.C.) / 3333 (O.C.) / 3300 (O.C.) / 3200 (O.C.) / 3000 (O.C.) / 2800 (O.C.) / 2666 (O.C.) / 2400 (O.C.) / 2133. There is engough space between the DIMM-slots and the CPU socket which means that you wont encounter compatibility problems with big coolers even when you choose to install RAM with big heatspreaders. Also supported are Xtreme Memory Profiles (XMP) in version 2.0.


On the Z170 Deluxe the southbridge is being cooled by a passiv cooling block. A closer look at the area where the VRM is, shows that there are two more heatsinks, which have been connected to eachother by a heatpipe. Since this is a high-end motherboard build quality is on an exceptionally good level. Apart from that all the cooling blocks are very heavy and that extra weight leaves a good impression.

  


Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion
[pagebreak]

Connectors and I/O


ASUS equipped the Z170 Deluxe with six angled SATA ports. All of them offer 6Gbps bandwidth. Other than that there is one SATA Express port, natively wired to the PCH as well as an M.2 x4 Gen 3 slot. You'll also find practical onboard power- and reset-buttons as well as a debug LED on this board, which is definitely something you can expect from todays high-end board. What's standard since quite a few generations is the MemOK buttons which has proven useful quite a few times. ASUS also decided to place a PCIe x1 slot right below the I/O panel on the back of the board. After that one there is a PCIe x16 Gen 3 slot. This means that it's well possible to remove a graphics card even if a large CPU heatsink has been installed.


  

There is a total of seven fan headers on the Z170 Deluxe which is more than enough, to provide a well equipped high-end or workstation with fresh air. The fan header are located close to the CPU as well as spread over the board. Other than that it's a good thing that all of them feature four pins, which allows for rpm regulation in BIOS as well as under Windows.


  


  

Looking at the external connectors directly at the back-panel ASUS equipped the Z170 Deluxe with six USB 3.1 ports whereas there is one Type-C connector, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, two Intel gigabit ethernet ports, as well as an optical out and an analogue audio panel. Furthermore there is also an HDMI and a DisplayPort out and there is even an onboard WiFi modules with screw threads to attach an antenna.




Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion
[pagebreak]

Conclusion

Overall   + -
The Z170 Deluxe from ASUS means business. Already at launch day, ASUS has a mature motherboard in its portfolio. Compared to the predecessor the motherboard maker changed the color scheme from black/gold to black/white, which in our opinion is quite a bit more attractive. As usual you get a plethora of features with ASUS's Deluxe motherboard. In this regard it doesn't matter wheter you're looking for a beefed-up audio solution or the possibility to install setup a multi card system. Apart from that we also like it that there are several ways to connect storage media to this board. There are SATA and SATA Express connectors, there is an M.2 slot and through an adapter you can even connect NVMe drives.   - Design
- Features
 
       
Layout   + -
The ASUS Z170 Deluxe'sl layout has been very well thought. Once more practical are the angled SATA connectors as well as the power- and reset-buttons. There is also a debug display which is very useful in case you should have issues with a component in your system or the board itself. Apart from that also the placement of the PCI-Express x16 slots is very well chosen. There is a total of three full sized PCI Express slots and between the first two PCI Express x16 slots there are two PCIe x1 slots. This means that there is plenty of space for graphics card in multi GPU setups to breathe. Should you want to do that you can go ahead and build a triple-GPU system using this board as a basis. As we already mentioned we also like the flexibility regarding storage connectors.   - Angled SATA connectors
- Space around the CPU socket - Placement of PCIe slots - Number of different storage connectors
 




Page 1 - Introduction Page 4 - Layout
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 5 - Connectors and I/O
Page 3 - Features Page 6 - Conclusion