Skylake-Based Z170 Gaming Mini ITX Motherboard

Ail

n00b
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Messages
51
Does the heatpipe really make a difference?
. Probably not huge but if you're trying to OC in one of the smaller itx cases having extra cooling is not going to hurt. Also not sure if the caps are higher quality or not but they usually beef them up on the gaming boards. Hopefully these will be available some time this week.
 

vmirjamali

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
170
I went and picked up the asrock z170 itx gaming today. If anyone wants any info/pics/ or tests to be ran on them let me know.
 

Sanguineus

n00b
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
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35
Does it support PCIe bifurication? I know the answer is probably "no", though.

Yeah, I wanted the same answer... Just read about Broadwell-E coming in the 1st quarter of 2016 and was wondering if investing in ASRock X99E-ITX board wouldn't be a better idea anyway. And the X99 board definitely supports bifurcation.
 

tbonepat11

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Messages
412
The first manufacturer to release a mitx board with HDMI 2.0 for 4k at 60Hz clearly stated will win the hearts and minds of htpc enthusiasts everywhere.

Many of these boards just list hdmi with nothing else. I do not want to dig through technical specs etc just to find out that important info. I do not want to wait for a low profile gtx 950 to possibly materialize in the distant future.
 

Aircoookie

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
375
I went and picked up the asrock z170 itx gaming today. If anyone wants any info/pics/ or tests to be ran on them let me know.

Here you go: ;)

Has it got black painted IO shield (pic)?
How is the fan control? Is it silent? (Depends on the cooler ofc)
Does everything work nicely or are there some issues with drivers etc.?
Whats the boot time (until windows login screen)?

Thank you :)
 

Ail

n00b
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Messages
51
The first manufacturer to release a mitx board with HDMI 2.0 for 4k at 60Hz clearly stated will win the hearts and minds of htpc enthusiasts everywhere.

Many of these boards just list hdmi with nothing else. I do not want to dig through technical specs etc just to find out that important info. I do not want to wait for a low profile gtx 950 to possibly materialize in the distant future.

...so you want a feature but it has to be on the front of the box? A Google search and 2 clicks gets you to the specs on all of these boards, maybe another 3 seconds to scroll to the video section. Regardless, the asrock lists 4k @60fps on hdmi 2. Not sure if this means it's 2.0 or if you need to use both ports, the manual is available for download..... I think alpine ridge can utilize the display port to send a hdmi 2.0 signal as well but I guess that would only be a gigabyte feature if they have alpine ridge exclusively for now.

Quick list of the video specs, should be able to tell hdmi Version based on max resolution info. Looks pretty much like 1.4 across the board.

MSI z170i Gaming Pro AC
• 1 x HDMI™ port, support a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24Hz, 2560x1600@60Hz
• 1 x DisplayPort, support a maximum resolution of 4096x2304@24Hz, 2560x1600@60Hz, 3840x2160@60Hz, 1920x1200@60Hz


Asrock Fatal1ty z170 Gaming-ITX/AC
- Supports Intel® HD Graphics Built-in Visuals : Intel® Quick Sync Video with AVC, MVC (S3D) and MPEG-2 Full HW Encode1, Intel® InTru™ 3D, Intel® Clear Video HD Technology, Intel® Insider™, Intel® HD Graphics 510/530
- Pixel Shader 5.0, DirectX 12
- Max. shared memory 1792MB
- Three graphics output options: 2 x HDMI ports and DisplayPort 1.2
- Supports Triple Monitor
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 24Hz / (3840x2160) @ 30Hz (on HDMI1)
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 60Hz (on HDMI2)

- Supports DisplayPort 1.2 with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2304) @ 60Hz
- Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI Ports (Compliant HDMI monitor is required)
- Supports Accelerated Media Codecs: HEVC, VP8, VP9
- Supports HDCP with HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 Ports
- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) playback with HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 Ports


Gigabyte z170n Gaming 5
Integrated Graphics Processor-Intel® HD Graphics support:
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60 Hz
* The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24 Hz
* Support for HDMI 1.4 version.
Maximum shared memory of 512 MB


Gigabyte z170n-wifi
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60 Hz
* The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
2 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160@24 Hz
* Support for HDMI 1.4 version.
Support for up to 3 displays at the same time
Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
2
Just got off the phone to GIGABYTE AUS and they have advised me Gaming-5 does not support thunderbolt 3.......... Not sure if this is something confirmed and tested - or if they're just going off their general webpage.

Why would the European manual explicitly label a chip as Intel Thunderbolt 3 controller ?

Really had high hopes for the board to be good.......... Asrock seems more value for $ at this point.
 

vmirjamali

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
170
Here you go: ;)

Has it got black painted IO shield (pic)?
How is the fan control? Is it silent? (Depends on the cooler ofc)
Does everything work nicely or are there some issues with drivers etc.?
Whats the boot time (until windows login screen)?

Thank you :)



Yes it is black and looks cool.

Fan control is AMAZING. Ability to custom set all the various fans through various temp stages is really cool. I used my case fan from the v1 and a noctua a9 and it's virtually silent until it hits 45 degrees Celsius, then i set it to stage up to to whisper quiet. Using the msi gtx 970 gaming 4g.

All the drivers work great out and box and are stable.

Boot time has 3 options.

Normal, fast, and ultra fast. Ultra fast bypasses the bios completely and goes directly to windows in literally half a sec. It's so fast you'd have to reset the bios or go via the pc software they provide to disable it.
 

vmirjamali

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
170
Just got off the phone to GIGABYTE AUS and they have advised me Gaming-5 does not support thunderbolt 3.......... Not sure if this is something confirmed and tested - or if they're just going off their general webpage.

Why would the European manual explicitly label a chip as Intel Thunderbolt 3 controller ?

Really had high hopes for the board to be good.......... Asrock seems more value for $ at this point.

Keep me updated on this one, I'm looking forward to thunderbolt 3 and this would be the only reason to go with it over the asrock version which i'm loving so far.
 

veryrarium

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
125
Regardless, the asrock lists 4k @60fps on hdmi 2. Not sure if this means it's 2.0 or if you need to use both ports, the manual is available for download..... I think alpine ridge can utilize the display port to send a hdmi 2.0 signal as well but I guess that would only be a gigabyte feature if they have alpine ridge exclusively for now.
Looking at Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming ITX/ac I see MegaChips MCDP2800 right behind the top HDMI port, the same DP1.2-to-HDMI2.0a bridge chip that's on Gigabyte Z170X Gaming G1 and ASUS Z170 Deluxe. ASRock's already providing the necessary HDMI firmware update on their site noting that the latest Intel graphics driver supoorts 4Kx2K@60Hz.
 

576190

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
90
No unfortunately not.

We that's most of us here looking to build ITX 170 boards are still waiting for the major players to released their boards. If you look on their web sites you can even down load the manual and compatibility charts, although these are sill being updated, so check these again before purchasing components for said board.

Yep I think we are ALL fed-up with waiting...Hopefully soon, as in very!
 

Aircoookie

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
375
I don't understand Asus. They have 20 chipset pcie 3.0 lines, ok they may use two for sata express, usb 3.1 audio and network one each, but they'd still have 10+ lanes left. Why the f... they have to use the processor lanes for m.2 and reduce graphics performane? :/
 

jb1

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
500
I don't understand Asus. They have 20 chipset pcie 3.0 lines, ok they may use two for sata express, usb 3.1 audio and network one each, but they'd still have 10+ lanes left. Why the f... they have to use the processor lanes for m.2 and reduce graphics performane? :/

It could be that it was easier for them to implement since they already had m.2 wired up that way from their Z97 chipset. Another thing is that the DMI bus has a bandwidth limit, maybe they were worried about hitting that with USB 3.1 and M.2 at the same time?

But yes, I agree with you, it's ridiculous! The extra chipset lanes and greater bandwidth of the DMI bus seem to be the biggest improvement of Skylake versus Haswell. Big fail on Asus' part!
 

iFreilicht

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
1,348
I don't understand Asus. They have 20 chipset pcie 3.0 lines, ok they may use two for sata express, usb 3.1 audio and network one each, but they'd still have 10+ lanes left. Why the f... they have to use the processor lanes for m.2 and reduce graphics performane? :/

They run PCIe3.0x8, right? That's a little faster than PCIe2.0x16, you will not be able to tell the difference.

And I think a lot of people would want the maximum performance for their M.2 SSDs and god knows what crazy stuff they plan to connect to USB3.1, so I guess they went for the most balanced solution there.
 

Blk

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
153
I don't understand Asus. They have 20 chipset pcie 3.0 lines, ok they may use two for sata express, usb 3.1 audio and network one each, but they'd still have 10+ lanes left. Why the f... they have to use the processor lanes for m.2 and reduce graphics performane? :/

It's 4 for the PCH, which is network, usb and so on.
A m2 slot could steal all bandwith from these things and therefore it's on the pcie

The pcie's 16 is for the pcie slot and the m2.
If the m2 is used for 4 (technically it removes 8), it's not 12 left to use.
It's 16 or directly down to 8.

But since a gpu today is barley effected by that..
 

jb1

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
500
They run PCIe3.0x8, right? That's a little faster than PCIe2.0x16, you will not be able to tell the difference.

And I think a lot of people would want the maximum performance for their M.2 SSDs and god knows what crazy stuff they plan to connect to USB3.1, so I guess they went for the most balanced solution there.

You might not be able to tell the difference now, but in the future you could imagine graphics cards will really saturate a PCIe 3.0 x8 bus.
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
I'm pretty sure it's the DMI 3.0 limit. A next-gen M.2 drive that can take full advantage of PCIe 3.0 x4 would saturate the DMI bus.

Edit: oops, left the tab open too long
 

Diverge

Gawd
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
542
I'm pretty sure it's the DMI 3.0 limit. A next-gen M.2 drive that can take full advantage of PCIe 3.0 x4 would saturate the DMI bus.

Edit: oops, left the tab open too long

I have the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac, setup with a Titan X, and a SAMSUNG SM951 M.2 512GB.

GPU-Z reports my slot is still working at x16:
lJNFAqe.gif
 

Ail

n00b
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Aug 20, 2015
Messages
51
The asrock shuts down sata ports instead of the pcie slot. The Asus leaves the sata ports alone but takes away pcie lanes, gotta pick your trade off depending on board.

From the Asrock documentation
Please be noted that if the Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_1) is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_4, SATA3_5 and the SATA function of the SATA Express connector will be disabled
 

Blk

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
153
The asrock shuts down sata ports instead of the pcie slot. The Asus leaves the sata ports alone but takes away pcie lanes, gotta pick your trade off depending on board.

From the Asrock documentation
Please be noted that if the Ultra M.2 Socket (M2_1) is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_4, SATA3_5 and the SATA function of the SATA Express connector will be disabled

Depends if you have AHCI or NVME, Divirge probably has AHCI and that will not be correct on a NVME.
His motherboard might not (most probably won't) be x16 with NVME, which is what most people will get.
 

Phuncz

2[H]4U
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Apr 12, 2009
Messages
2,630
Depends if you have AHCI or NVME, Divirge probably has AHCI and that will not be correct on a NVME.
His motherboard might not (most probably won't) be x16 with NVME, which is what most people will get.
AHCI and NVMe are storage protocols, not device buses or interfaces. So either AHCI or NVMe won't directly affect the PCIe or SATA devices/lanes, that's what the M.2 device does.
 

Blk

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
153
AHCI and NVMe are storage protocols, not device buses or interfaces. So either AHCI or NVMe won't directly affect the PCIe or SATA devices/lanes, that's what the M.2 device does.

Not sure what your point was...

But correct me if I'm wrong but NVME won't "go via" SATA ( PCH/DMI) and therfore both Diverge's (assuming ACHI) and Ail's posts regarding SATA arn't applicable in the discussion earlier where a NVME = PCIE was assumed.
 
Last edited:

jwsg

Weaksauce
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May 6, 2012
Messages
72
If you go for, e.g. the Samsung 850 SATA M2 then the Asrock limitation comes into play - although another 4 SATA ports still remain of course. If you prefer something like a 951 series PCIe M2 (with its higher bandwidth) then the Asus limitation comes into play - regardless of whether the ACHI or NVMe variant.

The Asrock does seem to be the best option at the moment, at least until we get details of Maximus Impact. It has the Intel Ethernet, a 80mm M2 slot (I only see 60mm on the MSI) and no mention of the PCI-e limitation of the Asus. It also has 10Gb/s USB and a Display Port to HDMI 2 (4K/60Hz) converter for which firmware has just been released.
 

Phuncz

2[H]4U
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Apr 12, 2009
Messages
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But correct me if I'm wrong but NVME won't "go via" SATA ( PCH/DMI)...
AHCI won't either, an M.2 SSD can be PCIe and also AHCI. Because PCIe and SATA are not strictly related to NVMe and AHCI.

That's why there is a Samsung SM951 PCIe 3.0 x4 AHCI version and the exact same one (identical hardware) with NVMe.

...and therfore both Diverge's (assuming ACHI) and Ail's posts regarding SATA arn't applicable in the discussion earlier where a NVME = PCIE was assumed.

The SATA ports can also be disabled because they are on a different controller perhaps, which uses PCIe to link to the CPU. But I believe in this case it's done out of technical reasons to not allow a SATA M.2 device and a SATA 2,5" device at the same time that use the same controller to end up short-circuiting or cause issues.
 

EdZ

Gawd
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Jan 28, 2008
Messages
773
To expand on "why does some stuff get disabled when you want a PCIe m.2 SSD":
L5X7Wgh.png

In order to use one of those 4x PCIe chunks for an SSD (NVME or AHCI, the protocol does not matter at all) you need to disable other devices. This will generally be SATA 4/5.

For ITX boards, this is pretty simple, due to the limited number of ports you can actually put on the board anyway. With a full-sized ATX board, you can see that it could take some juggling to get everything that you want installed at the same time, particularly if the board has a weird physical PCIe slot assignment (e.g. sticking that one PCIe storage compatible slot that doesn't kill the two SATA ports you need immediately below the PCIe 16x slot you want to use for a second GPU).
 
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