ASRock Z170 Extreme6 Intel LGA 1151 Motherboard Review

Layout, Design and Features …

Already on the black box of the ASRock Z170 Extreme6 we can see, that this board is “Stable and Reliable”, from the ASRock Super Alloy series and providing special features we want to preset you later on.

The back of the package is already showing some powerful features of the ASRock Socket 1151 motherboards and the scope: Designers and Enthusiasts.

Let us open the box and take a first look at the content that is relatively spartan.

Even at first glance, the mat High Density Fibre PCB of the ASRock Z170 Extreme6 makes a very high-quality impression. You can recognize the very durable Nichicon 12K Platinum Caps capacitors, Premium 60A Power Chokes, the 12 power phase design, Digi Power and Purity Sound 3 with Nichicon Fine Gold audio capacitors.

Here you can see the Dr. Debug 7-segment LED P.O.S.T. code display, a stylish ASRock lettering and rightmost two socketed BIOS modules, but more on that on the UEFI review page. However, we miss the useful HDD Saver power connector, which switched on hard drives during operation by software and can turn them off.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme6 has no switch for both UEFI BIOS ICs, but the backup BIOS jumper should be enough for most users.

Plus, there are two buttons for power and reset … the two buttons for power and reset were moved to the top right corner of the motherboard, close to the memory modules.

In addition, the buttons are LED back lit and provided with the Power and Reset lettering.

Furthermore, the fast Ultra M.2 Slot PCIe Gen3 x4 modules with up to 32 Gb/s connection has been integrated on the Z170.

Recently we have tested a 80 mm Plextor M6e 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD in the Ultra M.2 Slot. With that we have already
reached very high transfer rates at PCIe Gen2 x2. The Ultra M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 Slot supports M.2 cards (NGFF) with a length up to 110 mm and a bandwidth up to 32 Gb/s.

Here you can see the internal USB3.0 port, above the high quality 12K platinum capacitors, next to them the 24-pin ATX power connector and in the corner two of the six 4-pin fan headers.

Here you can see a side view of Super Alloy motherboard with the large XXL heatsinks made of aluminum alloy, which were very carefully mounted on the MOSFETs and the chipset.

Here you can see the LGA1151 socket, which is not backwards compatible with the LGA1150 socket.

So let us put in the Intel Skylake CPU and remove the plastic cap.

Add the four DDR4 modules – because Skylake supported as Haswell-E the DDR4 memory – however not with quad-channel support, but with dual-channel support.

Here you can see the LGA1151 test system. For the Z170 mainboard reviews we use a 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5-6600K Skylake CPU in the LGA1151 socket.

Equipment and other features …

The Z170 Extreme6 motherboard ASRock comes with a manual, DVD, four SATA data cables, SLI bridge, screws for the M.2 socket and an ATX I/O panel. More USB slot brackets or the ASRock USB 3.0 front panel are optional.

ASRock Z170 Extreme6 vs Extreme6+ … If you ordered the ASRock Z170 Extreme6+ motherboard, in addition, you get the ASRock Front USB 3.1 Panel for the SATA Express port with cables and screws.

The ASRock Fatality Z170 Extreme6 has many features like the ASRock A-Tuning Tool, ASRock Instant Flash, ASRock Internet Flash, ASRock APP Charger, ASRock Fast Boot, ASRock Restart to UEFI, ASRock XFast LAN, ASRock XFast RAM, ASRock Crashless BIOS, ASRock OMG Online Management Guard, ASRock UEFI System Browser, ASRock UEFI Tech Service, ASRock Dehumidifier Function, ASRock Easy RAID Installer, ASRock Easy Driver Installer, ASRock Good Night LED, ASRock USB Key, Purity Sound 3, Secure Backup UEFI, 12 Power Phase Design, Digi Power and the ASRock FAN-Tastic Tuning.

Expansion cards …

The motherboard offers three PCI Express 3.0 slots for AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI, which is either a graphics card with x16 bandwidth, or two graphics cards at x8 bandwidth or two graphics cards at x8 bandwidth and one connected with x4 bandwidth. The motherboard comes with a SLI bridge card. More SLI / XFire Switch cards are not required to obtain the optimum performance for the single or CrossFireX or 3-Way CrossFireX mode. In addition to the three PCI Express 3.0 slots, there are three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.

Memory …

The ASRock Z170 Extreme6 board can be upgraded with up to four DDR4 modules and is depending on your operating system (see list) upgradable to a maximum of 64 GB of memory.

Here you can see an image of the four DDR4 memory slots with dual-channel support, for that you have to install the modules in the two black slots DDR4_A1 and DDR4_B1 or DDR4_A2 and DDR4_B2:

The Intel LGA1151 motherboard supports DDR4 memory modules and can be optimized in the BIOS with a Skylake processor to DDR4-2133 dual channel modules. In UEFI there are adjustments for DDR4-800, DDR4-1000, DDR4-1066, DDR4-1200, DDR4-1333, DDR4-1400, DDR4-1600, DDR4-1800, DDR4-1866, DDR4-2000, DDR4-2133, DDR4 -2200, DDR4-2400 to DDR4-4133 available and higher memory clock speeds can be selected with manually Intel BCLK overclocking thanks to new Hyper Engine BCLK.

Thanks to XMP support (Intel Extreme Memory Profile) XMP memory modules are correctly set with a mouse click in UEFI and there are of course more memory adjustments and/or more OC options, but more on that later on the UEFI OC page. What specific RAM modules are officially supported, you should read before buying on the ASRock memory support page.

Hard disk drive connectors …

The ASRock Z170 Extreme6 offers 8 angled SATA3 ports and two shared SATA Express 10 Gb/s ports. Six of them are realized via the Z170 chipset and two of them over the ASMedia ASM1061 chip.

Here you can see the eight SATA3 ports, you should run the Boot Device on SATA3 0:

The SATA 3 ports SATA3_0 to SATA3_5 (Intel Z710) support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage Technology 14, Intel Smart Response Technology, NCQ, AHCI and the Hot Plug function in AHCI mode (AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface and can, and should be selected with a SSD in UEFI especially). Thanks to the UEFI BIOS also drives with more than 2 TB can be used with Windows 10 x64, Windows 8.1 x64 and Windows 7 x64.

Drivers can be installed via the Easy Driver Installer or Easy RAID Installer point in UEFI. They are also supplied with a DVD for both 32 bit/64 bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 and can be downloaded from the ASRock support.

USB and FireWire …

The ASRock Z170 Extreme 6 now also has two new USB 3.1 ports at the ATX panel: 1x USB 3.1 Type-A (top) and 1x USB 3.1 Type-C (bottom, both sides can be inserted), each with up to 10 Gb/s.

The mainboard has also six more USB 3.0 ports on the ATX-panel. Internally there are two USB 2.0 connectors for up to four optional USB ports and a USB 3.0 connector for up to two optional USB 3.0 ports. The 20-pin pin header can be connected, either to an optional USB3.0 front panel or a case connector with USB3.0 support.

Network …

The ASRock Z170 Extreme 6 was equipped with the Intel I219V, bringing the 10/100/1000 network connector on the ATX panel is realized. The LAN connection is WoL capable, offers LAN cable detection,
supports energy efficient Ethernet after 802.3az standard and supports Intel Remote Wake Technology, ASRock Full Spike Protection, PXE and more.

Serial connector and parallel port …

The serial COM port is available as an internal motherboard connector.

Sound …

The ASRock Z170 Extreme 6 mainboard provides the ALC1150 Audio Codec with Content Protection, 115dB SNR DAC, TI NE5532 premium headset amplifier and Purity Sound 3, which supports 7.1 surround sound output on the 5x 3.5mm jacks at the ATX panel or over the internal front panel audio connector. Furthermore, there is an optical SPDIF digital output and premium Blu-Ray support. Thus, an additional sound card with digital outputs for most users is not necessary.

ATX back panel connectors …


From left to right you can see the PS/2 connector for PS/2 keyboards or PS/2 mouse and 2x USB 3.0, Clear CMOS button, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, 2x USB 3.0, Intel RJ45 gigabit LAN and 2x USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type-A Port and USB 3.1 Type-C Port, optical SPDIF output and 5x 3.5mm audio jacks for the sound out/input.

ASRock Z170 Extreme6 BIOS and Overclocking …