The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance is a mid range socket LGA1151 motherboard based on the Intel H270 chipset, supporting the sixth (“Skylake”) and seventh (“Kaby Lake”) generation Core i processors. It brings two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six SATA-600 ports, and eight USB 3.0 ports, one of them Type C. Let’s take a good look at it!
The recently launched Intel H270 chipset is the mid range model of the new 200-series. The main differences between the H270 and the high-end chipset, the Z270, is the support to 20 PCI Express 3.0 lanes (the Z270 supports 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes), eight USB 3.0 ports (the Z270 supports ten,) the impossibility to slit the CPU PCI Express 3.0 16 lanes in two slots working at x8/x8 (or even three slots in x8/x4/x4,) besides the H270 having no support for overclocking like the Z270.
Like the high-end model, the H270 supports the future Intel Optane technology, which is a new standard for high-end SSDs, Smart Response (installing an SSD as a cache for the main hard drive), Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while in sleep mode), and Rapid Start (faster boot times) technologies.
You can see the ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance motherboard in Figure 1. It uses the ATX form factor, measuring 12” x 9.6” (305 x 244 mm).
Figure 1: ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance motherboard
The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance comes with two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots and four PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots.
There are also three M.2 slots: two up to 2280, supporting both PCI Express 3.0 x4 and SATA-600, and one 2230 for Wi-Fi modules.
The first PCI Express x16 slot work on x16 speed, while the second PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot works always at x4 speed.
The motherboard supports CrossFire with up to two video cards. There is no support for SLI.
The first PCI Express x16 slot is covered by a stainless steel shield, that works as a shield against interference, and also improving mechanical strength of the slot.
Figure 2: slots
Figure 3: second M.2 slot
Figure 4: third M.2 slot, for Wi-Fi cards
[nextpage title=”Memory Support”]
Intel socket LGA1151 CPUs have an embedded memory controller, meaning that it is the processor, not the chipset, that defines what memory technologies you can have and the maximum amount of memory that is possible. The motherboard, however, may have a limitation as to how much memory can be installed.
These CPUs are compatible with both DDR3L (up to 1,600 MHz) and DDR4 (up to 2,400 MHz) memory. So, it is the motherboard that defines which memory type (DDR3 or DDR4) can be installed, since DDR4 slots are physically different from the DDR3 slots. According to ASRock, the Fatal1ty H270 Performance supports DDR4 memories up to 2,400 MHz.
The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance has four memory sockets. You can install up to 64 GiB with this motherboard if you use four 16 GiB modules.
In order to enable the dual-channel mode, you must install two or four memory modules. When installing two memory modules, use the first and third memory slots to enable dual-channel mode.
Figure 5: memory sockets; install two or four modules for the best performance
[nextpage title=”On Board Peripherals”]
The Intel H270 chipset is a single-chip solution, which is also known as a PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This chip has six SATA-600 ports, supporting RAID (0, 1, 10, and 5). Two of these ports are shared with the M.2 slots.
The motherboard comes with the six ports, all of them installed on the motherboard edge and rotated 90°, so the installation of video cards will not block them.
Figure 6: the eight SATA-600 ports
The Intel H270 chipset supports 14 USB 2.0 ports and eight USB 3.0 ports. The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance offers seven USB 2.0 ports, two on the rear panel and five available through three headers located on the motherboard. There are eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel (one type C and three type A) and four available through two headers.
The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance does not support USB 3.1, FireWire, or Thunderbolt ports.
This motherboard comes with a high-end audio circuit. It uses a Realtek ALC1220 codec, which offers 7.1 audio with a 120 dBA signal-to-noise ratio at the analog outputs. Unfortunately, no more specs of this codec are available.
All the audio section is physically separated from the other circuitry by a line that reduces the interference and helps the audio section to achieve its nominal signal-to-noise ratios. All the capacitors on this circuit are audio models from the Japanese manufacturer Nichicon. The analog audio outputs are independent and the motherboard also comes with an on-board optical SPDIF output. There is also a TI NE5532 op-amp for earphones.
The portrayed motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by an Intel I219V chip.
In Figure 7, you can see the motherboard rear panel with two USB 2.0 ports (black,) a shared PS/2 keyboard/mouse connector, VGA output, DVI-D output, HDMI output, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one USB 3.0 Type C port, three USB 3.0 Type A ports (blue,) optical SPDIF output, and the analog audio jacks.
Figure 7: motherboard rear panel
The Fatal1ty H270 Performance has RGB LEDs around the chipset heatsink and at the white plastic shield. The color of the lights and even a flashing pattern can be set using an application that comes with the product.
In Figure 8, you can see the accessories that come with the ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance.
Figure 8: accessories
[nextpage title=”Voltage Regulator”]
The CPU voltage regulator circuit of the ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance has 10 phases for the CPU. The voltage regulator uses an Intersil ISL95856 controller chip (digital design). Each phase uses two MOSFETs, one PK618BA and one PZ0903BA.
Figure 9: voltage regulator circuit
The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance uses high-end solid capacitors (“12K black capacitors”) and all 40A ferrite coils.
If you want to learn more about the voltage regulator circuit, please read our tutorial on the subject.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance include:
- Socket: LGA1150
- Chipset: Intel H270
- Super I/O: Nuvoton NCT6791D
- Parallel ATA: none
- Serial ATA: six SATA-600 ports, controlled by the chipset (RAID 0, 1, 10, and 5)
- External SATA: none
- USB 2.0: seven USB 2.0 ports, two on the rear panel and five available through three headers on the motherboard
- USB 3.0: eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the motherboard rear panel (one type C and three type A) and four available through two headers, controlled by the chipset
- USB 3.1: none
- FireWire (IEEE 1394): none
- Thunderbolt: none
- On-board video: controlled by the CPU; one VGA, one DVI-D, and one HDMI connectors
- On-board audio: Produced by a Realtek ALC1220 chip (7.1 channels, 120 dB SNR for the outputs, no more information available), on-board optical SPDIF output, and a TI NE5532 audio amplifier for analog headphones
- On-board LAN: one Gigabit Ethernet port, controlled by an Intel I219V chip
- Buzzer: no
- Infrared interface: no
- Power supply required: EPS12V
- Slots: one PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (working at x16), one PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (working at x4), four PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots, two M.2 slots compatible with PCI Express 3.0 x4 and SATA-600 SSDs, and one M.2 2230 slot for Wi-Fi cards
- Memory: four DDR4-DIMM sockets (up to DDR3-3866, 64 GiB maximum)
- Fan connectors: two four-pin connector for the CPU cooler, and three four-pin connector for auxiliary fans
- Extra features: two BIOS chips, RGB LED lights
- Number of CDs/DVDs provided: one
- Programs included: motherboard utilities and drivers
- More Information: http://www.asrock.com
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 150.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this article.
The ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance is the typical mid range motherboard, with focus on cost/benefit ratio, but bringing the features that will satisfy the needs of most users.
Its main limitations are actually imposed by the chipset: the absense of overclocking and SLI support. It also doesn’t bring USB 3.1 ports.
The Fatal1ty H270 Performance highlights include a high-end audio interface, and the three M.2 slots (one for Wi-Fi cards and two for SSDs).
So, if you want a robust motherboard with high quality audio to build a workstation or gaming PC using a sixth or seventh generation Intel Core i CPU, using only one video card and have no intention to overclocking the CPU, the ASRock Fatal1ty H270 Performance is a great choice with excellent cost/benefit ratio.