Z170 Board differences?

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Re: Z170 Board differences?

Post #2 by RawZ » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:33 pm

Hey Huddy,

I'll admit M5 & M7 are similar but there are some slight differences that may help you choose.

Just looking at the bare PCB pictures there are differences in the audio dept with a lot more audio capacitors on the M7. There's also an extra front USB 3.0 port, power/reset buttons, clear CMOS button, and generally a lot busier PCB but I wouldn't know what's going on behind the scenes on that one to have so much more circuitry than the M5 - Performance related no doubt. Aesthetically you get the I/O cover on the M7 as well as the MOSFET heatsinks getting the nicer design to them compared to the M5 (a somewhat metallic red when you see the M7 board in the flesh on both chipset and MOSFET heatsinks). There's also better VGA ports on the rear I/O but of course wouldn't matter to those installing a graphics card.

The M7/9 and XPOWER have an OC switch on the MB too. This used to be called OC Genie but it's now "dummed down" so to speak to 'Game Boost'. This is a dial you can choose from 7 OC presets from 4.3 to 5GHz. Of course it's CPU pot luck if you get 5G to work.

We also have BIOS flashback on the M7 and above boards too so no need to have a CPU & RAM installed to update the BIOS. More useful to SI or etailer RMA dept's I would guess but a useful feature to have nethertheless.

Performance wise they will differ ever so slightly. I don't just mean OC speeds with the M7 having more phase, but our BIOS team are spending a little more time on making the M7 and XPOWER boards the best they can be as these are the two important OC'er boards.

However on the grand scheme of things, the M5 does represent the better value for money aspect though being £35 cheaper.

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Lance Corporal
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Re: Z170 Board differences?

Post #3 by Luumi » Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:14 am

Asrock z170 oc formula for the win, get it for best memory overclocking on skylake ;P. Cheapest price in germany atm is around 260.

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Re: Z170 Board differences?

Post #4 by huddy » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:33 pm

Bit over my budget I'm afraid..

Will most likely go for the m5 tbh. Thanks for information. Much appreciated ;)

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