ASUS Refreshes The Z170 Pro Gaming With AURA Lighting & More

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅27.07.2016 14:45:23


ASUS are in the process of refreshing their Z170 and X99 motherboard lineups to take advantage of new developments and demands in the gaming and enthusiast sectors, and the latest entrant into this refreshed lineup is the Z170 Pro Gaming/AURA. A model very much intended for the gaming market, it now features a wealth of customisation options including not only the AURA lighting technology, but also the facility to create and install custom 3D Printed nameplates.

At its core the Z170 Pro Gaming/AURA is the now familiar Z170-chipset ATX design that has become almost ubiquitous since Intel's Skylake launch this time last year. Best paired with an unlocked 'K'-class Core i5/i7 6000-series Skylake CPU, it features full overclocking capabilities including CPU multiplier, base clock and DDR4 RAM frequency - the latter of which benefits from an up-to DDR4 3466MHz OC profile. Whether you just dabble in a spot of overclocking, or fancy pushing pretty hard, this board will serve you well.

Naturally the capabilities of the board aren't limited to pure overclocking. As a part of the ASUS Pro Gaming lineup it also features ASUS SupremeFX audio technologies for improved on-board audio. Motherboard audio has come a long way since the days of discrete cards being the fashion but interference from high powered components can still cause problems, especially in an overclocked gaming system. SupremeFX implements a shielded design and an EMI cover for the audio electronics, all with the aim of substantially reducing interference and electrical noise. An over-volt protected 5V line should also improve stability, letting the Realtek ALC1150 codec get on with its task without having to cope with poor quality power.

Other gaming features included in the Z170 Pro Gaming are Intel Ethernet - an implementation which provides some of the best ethernet standards to reduce latency - LanGuard - protection for your motherbaord against power surges through ethernet cables - and ASUS GameFirst multi-adapter network traffic optimisation.

New to the refreshed ASUS Z170 motherboard lineup is Safeslot, which is described thus:

SafeSlot is the PCIe slot reinvented by ASUS and engineered to provide superior retention and shearing resistance. Manufactured in a single step using a new injection-molding process integrates the slot with the fortifying metal for an inherently stronger slot, which is then firmly anchored to the PCB through additional solder points.


Despite ever more efficient GPUs cooling solutions are becoming ever more elaborate, and heavy as a consequence. Reinforcing the PCI-E slot where appropriate makes a whole lot of sense, especially if you expect the motherboard to remain in service for a long time but see many updates to the graphics card in use.



Finally, also new to the Z170 Pro Gaming/AURA is the ability to install custom 3D printed nameplates. The plates slot into an unoccupied M.2 slot and add a touch of customisation alongside the AURA LED lighting options, which is always a nice bonus for owners who want to add their own flair to a system. ASUS provide the dimension information so you can 3D print your own nameplate in whatever design you like.

More information on the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming/AURA can be found at http://www.asus.com/uk/Motherboards/Z170-PRO-GAMING-AURA/. It's currently available to pre-order for £145.99 inc. V.A.T.

Selected Technical Specifications

CPU Support:
- Intel® Socket 1151 for 6th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors

Chipset:- Intel® Z170

Memory:
- 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3100(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
- Dual Channel Memory Architecture
- Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Graphic:- Integrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support

Multi-VGA output support:- HDMI/DVI/DVI-D/DisplayPort ports

Multi-GPU Support:
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
- Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
- Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
- Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots:
- 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (Single at x16, dual at x8/x8)
- 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)
- 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

Storage (Intel® Z170 chipset):
- 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)*1
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
- Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10

LAN:
- Intel® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring GAMEFIRST IV
- Anti-surge LANGuard

Audio:

SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-recording, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 115 dB SNR stereo playback output

Audio Feature :

- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic Radar II

USB Ports

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
- 1 x USB 3.1 port(s) (1 at back panel, red, Type-A)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
- 1 x USB 3.1 port(s) (1 at back panel, , Type-C, Reversible)

Intel® Z170 chipset :
- 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

Intel® Z170 chipset :
- 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 6 at mid-board)

Back I/O Ports:
- 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x D-Sub
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
- 1 x USB 3.1 (red)Type-A
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
- 4 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
- 5 x Audio jack(s)

Internal I/O:
- 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
- 3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)
- 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
- 1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
- 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
- 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
- 3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
- 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
- 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
- 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
- 1 x System panel(s)
- 1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
- 1 x CPU OV
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
- 1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
- 1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
- 1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector


Special Features

ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App

Gamer's Guardian:
- ESD Guards on LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB3.0/2.0 ports
- DRAM Overcurrent Protection
- Stainless Steel Back I/O
- Highly Durable Components
- DIGI+ VRM

Gaming Aesthetics :
- 3D printing friendly
- AURA-RGB Lighting



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