ASUS Z170-A Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅05-08-15

Product on Review: Z170-A Motherboard
Manufacturer & Sponsor: ASUS
Street Price: £115.99 GBP

Intel’s 6th Generation Core ‘Skylake’ product line is launched today, and complementing that release is a range of motherboards from top-line vendors eager to have their hardware inside your new PC. However, for the first time Intel’s release range is limited to only K-series desktop CPUs – namely the Core i7 6700K and i5 6600K, so naturally motherboard vendors are highlighting their overclocking range of Z170 designs at launch this time around. With the H- and B-class motherboards scheduled for later in the year today’s range of available models is perhaps the most streamlined it’s ever been.

Intel’s Z170 chipset, codenamed Sunrise Point, is the first in the mainstream to features DDR4 support and an LGA 1151 socket. As a result new systems will tend to have a higher upgrade cost than previous generations, which could at least inherit DDR3 DIMMs from older systems, or otherwise take advantage of a depressed memory market price. The higher than usual costs necessitate hard work from partners to make their own motherboard designs – based on the standard Intel chipset and their own secret sauce – even greater value to get over this upgrade hurdle. Given how strong Z97 was, they truly have their work cut out for them; thankfully new chipset features not available for Z97’s launch, such as USB 3.1 and NVMe RAID, will help.

ASUS are well-known throughout consumer electronics, with a major presence in the motherboard and VGA market. However they have also gradually diversified into peripherals, monitors, and more recently wearables. By any measure they’re a hardware giant, but for today we’re focussing on just one small product, the ASUS Z170-A.

ASUS split their motherboard lineup into a number of distinct sub-brands: Republic Of Gamers, which naturally caters to the hardcore gaming market; Pro Gaming, a recent addition for budget-focused gamers; a Signature series, occupying more mainstream markets; and the high-end TUF models which include the distinctive TUF armour. Signature series motherboards (often colloquially known as 'Channel' designs) tend to have more neutral aesthetics, are orientated towards productivity and QoL over gaming, and above all focus on bang for your buck within a price bracket. Even so, ASUS certainly aren't above pushing the boat out if they need to, as evidenced by the feature-rich Deluxe models at the premium end of the market.

The Z170-A is sits firmly in the mid-range of the ASUS’s Signature series, as as a consequence it's about as mainstream as you can get. It slots between the Z170-K, a budget model that doesn’t support SLI and has a more affordable range of on-board components, and the Z170 Pro models which builds on the core chipset with proprietary ASUS features and optional extras. Essentially, if you’re an enthusiast on a budget but really aren’t keen on ‘gamer’ branding, ASUS have precisely this board in mind for you.

Competition at this price point is fierce, especially during a new launch, and the Z170-A seeks to differentiate itself through the use of premium components and features such as Intel LAN and robust audio design. Much of the value will however come from what’s under the hood, items such as a comprehensive UEFI BIOS for overclocking, or perhaps simply proven build quality. Don’t be surprised to see the Z170-A on the go-to list for recommendations across multiple forums whenever build advice is solicited for Skylake systems.

ASUS on their design philosophy
”In search of Incredible”, ASUS motherboard believes technology design trends exists with a purpose, to convenience life and living. For the last 30 years, computer industry has grown rapidly along with time even though the purpose to satisfy mankind stays the same, but people’s perspectives aren’t, they grow and change with time and the affecting reasons that’s behind the perspective is the passion and to believe. ASUS loves their customers and believe in their needs, we promise to continually present the best product to accomplish our journey on perfection, and to keep persists on ASUS DNA, Lean Thinking, Innovation and Fundamental Focusing.

Through the rigorous design and quality confirmed by the Z170-A design team, we are pleased to present you four big exclusive key circumstances – Superb Performance, Seamless Entertainment, eSports Champions, EZ DIY. Each circumstance we have fulfilled with many ASUS designs to meet your needs.

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