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On Board Peripherals

The Intel Z170 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 those ports are shared with the M.2 slots. The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6+ comes with two additional SATA-600 ports, controlled by one ASMedia ASM1061 chip. The SATA ports are installed on the motherboard edge and rotated 90°, so the installation of video cards will not block them.

Notice that the four left SATA-600 ports are grouped in two pairs, and each pair can be used as a SATA Express port.

ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6+Figure 4: the six SATA-600 ports controlled by the and the two SATA-600 ports controlled by the ASMedia chip

The Intel Z170 chipset supports four USB 2.0 ports and ten USB 3.0 ports. The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6+ offers four USB 2.0 ports, available through two headers located on the motherboard. There are eight USB 3.0 ports, all of them controlled by the chipset, being six of them at the rear panel, and two available through one header. There are also two USB 3.1 ports, one Type A and one Type C, controlled by an ASMedia ASM1142 chip.

One of the USB 2.0 ports (the top-most one on the stack containing the PS/2 port) is a “Fatal1ty mouse port”, which allows you to manually configure its polling rate between 125 Hz and 1 kHz.

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6+ does not support FireWire or Thunderbolt ports.

This motherboard supports 7.1 audio format, i.e., eight channels. On this motherboard, the audio is generated by the chipset using the Realtek ALC1150 codec, which is an excellent audio codec, providing 115 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog outputs, 104 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, and up to 192 kHz sampling rate for both inputs and outputs, with 24-bit resolution. These specifications are good even for the user who wants to work professionally by capturing and editing analog audio (e.g., converting LPs to CDs or MP3, converting VHS to DVDs or any other digital format, etc.)

The codec chip is shielded against electromagnetic interference, and the audio interface is equipped with a TI NE5532 amplifier for the frontal headphone output. The analog audio outputs are independent only if you use a 5.1 analog speaker set. If you install a 7.1 analog speaker set, you will need to use the “line in” jack.

The portrayed motherboard has one Gigabit Ethernet port controlled by an Atheros Killer E2400 chip, a high-performance Gigabit Ethernet controller.

In Figure 5, you can see the motherboard rear panel with a shared PS/2 keyboard/mouse connector, two USB 3.0 ports, Clear CMOS button, DVI-D output, HDMI output, DisplayPort output, four USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one USB 3.1 Type A port, one USB 3.1 Type C port, optical SPDIF output, and the analog audio jacks.

ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6+Figure 5: motherboard rear panel

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Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.