ASRock Z270 Killer SLI Intel LGA 1151 Motherboard Review

Layout, Design and Features …

As already explained in the unboxing video on our OCinside YouTube Channel you can use not only the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors, but also the previous Intel Sky Lake processors on this Z270 board.

Here’s again the ASRock Z270 Killer SLI socket 1151 motherboard unboxing video (English subtitles):

Here you see the stylish ASRock Z270 Killer SLI Socket 1151 motherboard cardboard box.
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The back of the package already shows some features like Dual Ultra M.2, Aura RGB LED and much more.
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Let us open the box and get a first look at the content.
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The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI sapphire black board looks very high-quality processed and has very durable Nichicon capacitors, as well as 8 Power Phase Design, Digi power and 7.1 Sound with Nichicon Fine Gold Audio capacitors.
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The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI offers no more Dr. Debug 7-segment LED post code display, but it offers two fast Ultra M.2 slots for PCIe Gen3 x4 modules with up to 32 GB/s. On the picture you can see the M.2 slot, which can be equipped with conventional 2230/2242/2260/2280 M.2 modules.
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On this picture you can see one Ultra M.2 slot, that we have tested with a Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD.
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Here you can see one of the two new PCIe steel slots.
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This white 4-pin 12V RGB header is also new. Here, you can connect conventional RGB stripes in order to lighting, for example, the chasssis.
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ASRock has also RGB LEDs under the chipset cooler integrated, which can be controlled as desired. The following image shows a few freely-selected colors:
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The RGB LED header and the integrated RGB LEDs are controlled by the supplied ASRock AURA RGB LED software or over the BIOS – in the course of this review, we’ll explain you all UEFI settings.
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Here you can see the 24-pin ATX power connector beneath to the internal USB3.0 connector and some of the high-quality capacitors.
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Here you can see a motherboard side view with the protective I/O panel cover (pictured right) and the relatively small heat sink made of aluminium alloy, which is carefully installed on the MOSFETs and chipset.
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Alike the previous Z170, H170, etc. motherboards, the Z270, H270, etc. also have the LGA1151 Socket.
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So let us install the new Intel Core-i5 7600K Kaby Lake CPU in the LGA1151 Socket.
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This is how two of four possible memory modules have to be installed on this Z270 motherboard to get dual channel mode support.
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Here is again a side view of the correct memory assembly.
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Here is the LGA 1151 test system.
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Here you can see the four cores of the Intel Core-i5 7600K Kaby Lake CPU in Windows 10 Task Manager.
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Equipment and other features …

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI motherboard came with a manual, software setup guide, DVD, two SATA data cables, SLI HB Bridge 2S, two screws for the M.2 sockets and an ATX I/O shield. USB Slot brackets and the ASRock 3.5-inch USB 3.0 front panel are optional available.

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI offers numerous features like for example the ASRock A-Tuning Tool, ASRock Instant Flash, ASRock Internet Flash, ASRock UEFI System Browser, ASRock Easy RAID Installer, ASRock Easy Driver Installer, ASRock UEFI Tech Service, 8 Power Phase Design, Digi Power, ASRock AURA RGB LED and ASRock FAN-Tastic Tuning.

Expansion cards …

The Board two PCI Express 3.0 slots for AMD CrossFireX or nVidia SLI, whereby either one graphics card with x16 bandwidth or two graphics cards with x8 lanes bandwidth can be installed. The motherboard comes with a SLI HB Bridge. More SLI/XFire switch cards are not required to obtain optimum performance for single or CrossFireX. In addition to both PCI Express 3.0 slots, there are four PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.

Memory …

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI can be equipped with up to four DDR4 modules and is expandable depending upon operating system used (see list) up to maximally 128GB memory.

Here you can see a picture of the four DDR4 memory slots with dual channel support, you should install them first in the slots DDR4_A2 and B2 or A1 and B1:
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The Intel LGA1151 motherboard supports DDR4 memory modules and can be optimized in the BIOS for DDR4-2400 Dual Channel modules with an Intel Kaby Lake processor. UEFI offers the selection for DDR4-800, DDR4-900, DDR4-933, DDR4-1000, DDR4-1066, DDR4-1100, DDR4-1200, DDR4-1300, DDR4-1333, DDR4-1400, DDR4-1466, DDR4-1500, DDR4-1600, DDR4-1700 … up to DDR4-4133 and higher clock-rates are currently possible with Intel BCLK overclocking.

Thanks to XMP support (Intel Extreme Memory Profiles), XMP memory modules are set correctly with one mouse click in the UEFI and of course there are far more memory adjustments and more OC-options, but more on that later. Before buying the RAM, you should check the officially supported RAM modules at the ASRock memory support page.

Hard disk drive connectors …

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI offers 6 angled SATA3 ports.

Here you can see the SATA3 ports, whereby depending on the M.2 modules used, the SATA_0 and/or SATA_5 are disabled:
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The SATA 3 ports are supporting RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage Technology 15, Intel Smart Response Technology, NCQ, AHCI and the Hot Plug function in AHCI mode (AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface and can/should be selected in the UEFI). Thanks to the UEFI BIOS also drives with more than 2 TB for the installation of Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7 x64 can be installed. Installing the drivers was absolutely no problem with Windows 10 and the Windows 10 installation was done very quickly. At the review date, there was no Windows 7 HD 630 video card driver available, so we used Windows 10 for the Integrated GPU tests.

Drivers for Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 32-Bit and 64-Bit can be installed over the Easy Driver Installer or Easy RAID Installer button in the UEFI, are provided on the DVD, and can be downloaded at the ASRock support page.

USB and FireWire …

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI has one USB 3.0 Type-C port at the ATX panel (bottom, can be inserted in both directions).
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Furthermore it has five USB 3.0 ports on the ATX Panel. Internally there are three more USB 2.0 connectors for up to six optional USB 2.0 ports, as well as one USB 3.0 connector for up to two optional USB3.0 ports are available. The 20-pin connector can be connected either to an optional USB3.0 front panel or to an enclosure with USB3.0 support.

Network …

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI motherboard is equipped with an Intel I219V, offering the 10/100/1000 network connector on the ATX panel. The LAN connection is WoL capable, offers LAN cable detection, supports the 802.3az energy efficient Ethernet standard and supports ASRock Full Spike Protection, PXE and more.

Serial port and parallel port …

The serial COM port is available as internal connector on the motherboard. It does not provide a parallel port.

Sound …

The ASRock Z270 Killer SLI motherboard is equipped with the ALC892 audio codec with content protection, which supports 7.1 surround sound for example analog over 5x 3.5mm connectors on the ATX panel or over an internal frontpanel audio connector. Additionally, there is an optical SPDIF digital output and premium Blu-Ray audio support. So most users do not need to buy an additional sound card with digital outputs.

ATX back panel connectors …

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From left to right, you can see HDMI, 1x PS/2 connector for PS/2 keyboard or PS/2 mouse and 2x USB 3.0, DVI-D, USB 3.0 Type-A port and USB 3.0 Type-C port, Intel RJ45 Gigabit LAN and 2x USB 3.0, optical SPDIF output and 5x 3.5mm jacks for sound.

ASRock Z270 Killer SLI BIOS and Overclocking …