ASUS H170 PRO Gaming Motherboard Review
With the Intel's new Skylake platform we have some nice new processors along with new motherboards and new chipsets. New chipsets come in 3 main variants, Z170 and H170 with a budget H110 chipset. ASUS is ready with a comprehensive range of motherboards targeting every segment from overclockers to enthusiast to gamers and more, complementing almost every PC build . Earlier we have reviewed the ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING Motherboard and now we have the honour of reviewing the first H170 chipset based board ASUS H170 PRO Gaming Motherboard.
H170 chipset is all same in supporting technology as Z170 chipset but main differences are that H170 don't support overclocking, DDR4 RAM speed supported is 2133Mhz, only 8 USB3.0 ports and last supports one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot only. So H170 chipset based boards are for gamers looking for single card non overclocking solution.
But ASUS has incorporated many exclusive gaming optimized features in the ASUS H170 Pro Gaming motherboard like SupremeFX Audio with Sonic Radar II, Intel Gigabit Ethernet for superior gaming networking and speed along with LANGuard, GameFirst and RAMCache packages for the best gaming experience.
Now let's see what this ASUS board have for us.
- LGA1151 socket for 6th-gen IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢ i7 / Core i5 / Core i3, PentiumÂ® and Celeron Processors
- Dual DDR4 2133 support
- SupremeFX: Flawless audio that makes you part of the game
- Sonic Radar ll: Scan and detect your enemies to dominate
- Intel Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst III: Top-speed protected networking
- RAMCache: Speed up your game loads
- Gamer's Guardian: Highly-durable components and smart DIY features
- USB 3.1 Type-A/C and M.2: Ultra-speedy transfers for faster gaming
SupremeFX Audio - SupremeFX audio technology achieves near-lossless audio quality and has multiple light effects to illuminate the exclusive red-line shielding, plus Sonic Radar II technology to locate battlefield enemies before they spot you!.
Sonic Radar II - Sonic Radar II displays a stealthy overlay that shows what your opponents and teammates are up to on the battlefield, all managed via a simple control panel and customizable game list. See the direction and origin of key in-game sounds, and practice your enemy-pinpointing skill, plus exclusive Audio Enhancement technology clarifies every last blast.
INTEL GIGABIT ETHERNET - Features the very latest IntelÂ® Ethernet (I219-V) for faster, smoother gaming â€” always. Intel's LAN has the serious double advantage of reducing CPU overhead and offering exceptionally high TCP and UDP throughput, so there's more power for your game and your gameplay.
LANGuard ASUS LANGuard is hardware-level networking protection that employs signal-coupling technology and premium anti-EMI surface-mounted capacitors for rock-solid gaming connections and better throughout for online play, plus electrostatically-guarded and surge-protected components for greater tolerance to static electricity and improved protection against surges.
GAMEFIRST III - Victory and defeat are separated by just milliseconds, so exclusive GameFirst III prioritizes game-related packets and allocates more bandwidth to games, eliminating laggy gameplay, streaming stutters and file-sharing slowdown â€” ensuring you're always the frontrunner. Choose from Optimization, Game, Media Streaming or File Sharing presets and watch your network fly!
Gamer's Guardian - Protect your back in the game and let H170 Pro Gaming protect all sides in the real world! Motherboard self-protection with loads of brilliant defenses, including our unique smart DIY features ensures long-term gaming is in your future.
ESD GuardsASUS ESD Guards actively protect against sudden electrostatic discharge (ESD), meaning the components will last much longer â€” and you get protection that's up to twice as resilient as industry standards!
RAMCache â€“ Uniquely-intelligent technology that effectively caches an entire storage device so that favorite games and apps launch at breakneck speeds, getting to work the moment it's activated. RAMCache turns milliseconds into microseconds to boost game-load times to stratospheric levels!
Board comes in a nice Red/ Black cardboard box with model number, image of the board and details about supporting technology and features.
Inside the box
Board comes with very nice set of accessories:
Board made with a black PCB of size ATX (30.5 X 24.4 cm).
Detailed layout of board.
1. Intel LGA 1151 socket
2. ASUS H170 PRO GAMING is equipped with four DIMM for dual channel DDR4 memory supporting max. 64GB at 2133MHz.
3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)
4. ATX CPU Power Connector 8-pin ATX12V_2x4.
5. Back I/O Ports - 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s), 1 x DVI, 1 x D-Sub, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s), 1 x , USB 3.1 (red)Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0 , 2 x USB 2.0 , 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 5 x Audio jack(s)
6. 7. 8. 17. 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
9. USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
10.1 x SATA Express connector: gray, Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports,4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
11. M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
12. 13.System Front panel(s) (Q-Connector) and 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector.
14. USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s) and USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
15. ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
16. TPM connector(s)
18. COM port connector(s)
19. Front panel Audio connector
20. Expansion Slots - 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black), 4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1
Heatsinks are made up of dense aluminum with thermal pad installed, giving great passive cooling to VRM MOSFETs and H170 chipset.
Let's now see what all components ASUS have planned for this board.
1. Digital 10-phase CPU Power VRM Section with ON Semiconductors NTMFS4C09N MOSFETs rated up to 40A each along with 60A Ferrite Chokes and 10K Black Capacitors.
2. Asus DIGI+ VRM Asp 1400 voltage controller chip.
3. Two separate DRAM Power section with ON Semiconductors NTMFS4C06N MOSFETs
4. Asmedia ASM 1442K chip managing output display ports..
6. ASMedia ASM1142 is PCIe-to-two-port USB 3.1 controller
7. Intel's i219v is used as the integrated GBit LAN solution.
8. The nuvoTon NCT6793D is the main SuperIO controller used for fan control, voltage and temperature monitoring, and the PS/2 port.
10. Intel H170 Chipset.
11. UEFI BIOS is stored in a Winbond 25Q128fV 128MB 8-Pin DIP Package chip, installed in a DIP socket 8-Pin for easy user replacement.
12.ASUS custom TPU controllers.
13. ASUS SupremeFX audio solution is powered by Realtek ALC1150 audio codec coupled with audio amplifier TI R4580I to drive headphones with an impedance of 300 ohms and high quality audio capacitors ELNA.
A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference.
RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing test ASUS H170 PRO GAMING audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by on-board audio.
RMAA Asus Xonar DX
RMAA SupremeFX Audio
|CPU||Intel Core i5 6600K |
|Board|| ASUS H170 PRO GAMING |
|RAM||2 X 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws4 DDR4 3000Mhz|
|SSD||Kingston SV300 120GB|
|Cooler||Corsair H100i /Intel Cooler |
|Display||Acer S220HQL |
|OS||Win 8.1 Pro / Windows 10 |
Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.
- Great looks
- Lot of Gaming features
- Nice Audio
- Nice Price Rs.11.5K approx
If one keep the OC capability of Z170 chipset aside than ASUS H170 PRO GAMING gives a head on competition to its OC variant the ASUS Z170 Pro gaming board that to at a great price. ASUS has feature packed this motherboard for gamers looking mid budget gaming solution.
Finally, at a price tag of Rs.11.5K the new ASUS H170 Pro GAMING motherboards is perfect for an entry-level, budget friendly gaming build and is worthy of our PC TeK REVIEWS VALUE Award.