Asrock has introduced its new Fatal1ty-branded mini-ITX high-end motherboard for gaming PCs. The new system board is designed for Intel “Skylake” processors and sports numerous advanced features that modern PC platforms can offer. Among the highlights are unique voltage regulator module, extreme overclocking capabilities, HDMI 2.0 connector that supports 4K output at 60Hz, USB 3.1 type-A and type-C ports as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The Asrock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac is powered by the Intel Z170 core-logic and supports the latest central processing units in LGA1151 form-factor. The motherboard is built on a matte black glass-fabric eight-layer printed circuit board and uses various high-quality components, including solid-state Nichicon “12K platinum” capacitors with lifespans of at least 12000 hours, Elna audio capacitors and so on. One of the unique features of the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac is eight-phase digital voltage regulator module (VRM) that supports 60A current and consists of solid-state inductors and dual-stack MOSFETs.
The advanced VRM should enable high overclocking potential for Intel’s latest processors, such as the Core i7-6700K or the Core i5-6600K. Moreover, Asrock claims that thanks to well-thought memory signal circuitry and high-quality power supply, the motherboard will be able to run two DDR4 memory modules at clock-rates beyond 4GHz (providing CPUs over 64GB/s of bandwidth).
Another unique feature of the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac is HDMI 2.0 output, which is enabled by a special controller chip. The IC fully supports output in 4K resolutions (3840*2160, 4096*2160, etc.) with 60Hz refresh rate as well as HDCP 2.2, which is required to playback Ultra HD Blu-ray movies. The HDMI 2.0 connector only works with Intel integrated graphics, which is a pity, as Intel’s “Skylake” processors in LGA1151 packaging do not feature high-performance integrated graphics cores.
The Asrock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac sports two DDR4 memory slots, one PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot for graphics adapters, one high-performance M.2 connector (with PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface) for high-end solid-state drives in 2260/2280 form-factors, one SATA Express connector, four Serial ATA-6Gb/s ports, 7.1-channel audio, one USB 3.1 type-A and one USB type-C (up to 3A current supported) port, six USB 3.0 connectors, and so on.
Like competing high-end mini-ITX motherboards, the Asrock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac features one Intel’s Gigabit Ethernet (I219-V) controller as well as a 2×2 (2T2R) dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi mini-PCIe module with up to 867Mb/s transfer rate and Bluetooth v4.0 technology.
The Asrock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac motherboard is a yet another premium platform for small form-factor PCs with incredible performance. Bearing in mind the unique feature-set, high-quality components, overclocking potential and support for high-end hardware, do not expect this mainboard to be affordable. Exact pricing is unknown, but it will cost above average mini-ITX system boards.
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KitGuru Says: It looks like mini-ITX is a new major trend in the world of gaming PCs. When makers of motherboards openly advertise overclocking on such platforms, it means a lot of gamers are actually interested in building small form-factor PCs, but want to sustain overclocking features. Now, companies like AMD and Nvidia have to find a way to enable multi-GPU in such systems.