ASRock's Z270-based motherboards are a little crazy


— 1:00 PM on January 4, 2017

ASRock is the last (but surely not the least) of the major motherboard vendors to announce new models based on Intel's 200-series chipsets. The company has a reputation for its willingness to experiment with esoteric features and exotic visual designs, and these new boards do not disappoint in those departments. The company's only talking Z270-based mobos right now, and has three boards headlining the series.

ASRock might have taken "flagship" to heart, as the top-end model of its Z270 family is called the Z270 SuperCarrier. This motherboard goes whole-hog in every imaginable way. It has four steel-reinforced PCI Express slots, three M.2 sockets, and two Thunderbolt 3 connectors. It also has three Gigabit Ethernet jacks. Two of those are connected to an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers, while the third is powered by an Aquantia AQtion 5Gb LAN chip. The SuperCarrier even includes on-board 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

ASRock's been sticking Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel's tag on products for years. That trend certainly isn't stopping now, as the company has a whole line of Fatal1ty-branded gaming motherboards. The newest, fanciest model is the Fatal1ty Z270 Professional Gaming i7. This board also includes the AQuantia 5Gb LAN connection, plus a Creative SoundBlaster Cinema 3 audio setup. Naturally, since this board is aimed at gamers, there's RGB LED lighting on tap.

Finally, ASRock has a board it calls "the all-rounder," named the Z270 Taichi. This board takes the SuperCarrier's feature set and pares it down somewhat into reality. This model retains the triple M.2 slots and on-board Wi-Fi of its fancier brethren. However, it skips the Thunderbolt connections as well as the 5Gb Ethernet connection in favor of a couple USB 3.1 ports in Type-A and Type-C flavors—ports that might be more useful to the average builder.

ASRock's 200-series motherboards micro-site also shows off boards in the Killer, Extreme, and Pro families, but doesn't have a lot of details yet. We're sure ASRock will soon have a bevy of boards for eager builders upgrading to Kaby Lake.

 
   
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