ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard Review
Every generation ASUS goes all out on their Deluxe series in an effort to make them genre-defining motherboards that bring new meaning to the term 'Deluxe'. Essentially, these are the products that ASUS packs full with every conceivable current and potentially next generation feature regardless of price and they do so while still maintaining a holistic design approach. For example the last generation Z97 Deluxe was a phenomenal product which was not only feature-packed but also one of the best examples of what that generation of boards could accomplish in the overclocking space. The same was true of the Z87 before it. Now ASUS is launching the Z170 Deluxe and itís one heck of an impressive board.
On the surface of things, any Deluxe board geared towards the Skylake generation does have a lot of potential concerns that could easily keep it from living up to expectations. After all, Intel chose to not bake USB 3.1 support into the PCH, PCI-E 4.0 is still waiting in the wings, and the number of PCI-E 3.0 lanes originating from the CPU hasnít undergone a shift in what seems like forever. However, digging below the surface, thereís a massively capable PCH which has been equipped with a very adaptable set of 20 PCI-E lanes so connectivity will never be an issue.
As with the Z97 Deluxe before it, the Z170 Deluxe represents the pinnacle of ASUS engineering and they took those available lanes and have accomplished some amazing things. Even with just a quick glance at the features this board boasts it is obvious that ASUS' engineers have taken upon themselves the task of fitting in as many features as possible on to a single ATX-sized motherboard. Usually when engineers make things personal, upper management gets worried, but this time ASUS wisely let them have free reign.
To be honest there are so many stars of this show, it would be impossible to list them all in a single page introduction. Suffice to say that ASUS has included damn near every advanced feature under the sun in an effort to appeal to as many different consumer groups as possible.
This however is only the beginning as ASUS has also gone in a new direction with their Z170 Deluxe's aesthetics. So much so that we doubt anyone will ever call this board 'gaudy' or "Ghetto Fabulous" like some accused the previous generation of being. There are also advanced overclocking features which will allow anyone to get the absolute most out of their new LGA1151 CPU and expensive DDR4 memory. These features run the gamut from a dedicated base-clock generator (PRO Clock), to a highly refined UEFI BIOS, to even a new and improved 'one click' overclocking solution. Most of these features we have seen before on other Asus Z170 motherboards, but when combined with a truly Deluxe power delivery system they bring new meaning to the phrase "overclocking friendly".
Of course with an asking price of $320, the Z170 Deluxe will hold little interest to budget orientated consumers, but considering the cost of upgrading, some may be willing to sacrifice some coin to insure they are covered for some time to come.
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