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ASUS Z170-A Review (i7-6700k Skylake)

ASUS Z170-A Review (i7-6700k Skylake)

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ASUS Z170-A Review (i7-6700k Skylake) – Conclusion

When creating the Z170-A ASUS were clearly looking to find a good balance of price, performance and features for enthusiasts on a budget. Overall they have succeeded. Starting with the build quality and design of the board we have a great looking product which looks that bit different to the usual Black/Red models which are common nowadays. The lighter metal should look great in a LED lit case, though it is a shame that (no doubt to keep costs down) there are no significant onboard LEDs.

The overall layout of the board is good, plenty room for the largest M.2 drives for example. 3 slot GPUs are supported too, due to intelligent placement of the PCI slot which few people will use and high quality components are used across the board, including those in the audio  area.

As far as value goes, with an RRP of £115 the Z170-A is a very competitively priced product with all the key features we need for this platform. These being DDR4 support, PCIe Gen.3, USB 3.1, M.2, Skylake CPUs and decent audio/LAN controllers.

That brings us to performance where the Z170-A can often compete with a high end X99 board. It looses out in some obvious areas (CPU based performance, memory bandwidth) but elsewhere in areas such as PCIe speed, USB speed and the like the experience is the same. The board tends to outperform Z97 (while having more advanced features too) and easily passes the AMD equivalent. In comparisons with another Z170 based product, and a more expensive one at that, the Z170-A offered near identical results with our CPU topping out at 5.0Ghz (liquid cooled) on this board when manually overclocking.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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