Here are two of ASRock's next-gen Z170 motherboards

Next week's Computex show will likely be filled with Skylake motherboards based on Intel's next-gen Z170 chipset. ASRock apparently can't wait, though. The company has already lifted the curtain on a couple of enthusiast-oriented models, including the Z170 Extreme7 pictured below.

Source: ASRock

The accompanying press release is short on details, but it confirms that 100-series boards are built for Intel's 6th-gen Core processors—Skylake, in other words. The processor supports DDR4 memory, and ASRock's "Super Alloy Series" boards have Type-C USB 3.1 ports. That next-gen USB mojo probably comes from a third-party controller rather than the chipset. None of the rumors we've seen about the Z170 suggest it has native USB 3.1 support.

We expect the Z170 to offer PCIe Gen3 connectivity, a first for Intel chipsets, and the Extreme7 seems to confirm that suspicion. It boasts three "Ultra M.2" slots, each of which should be tied to four Gen3 lanes. There's plenty of additional PCIe expansion, as well, including four x16 slots for graphics cards and one Mini PCIe that looks ripe for a wireless module.

The angled image obscures the port cluster, but I think I can make out one reversible USB connector along with a Type-A USB 3.1 jack. A similar setup appears to grace the Z170 Gaming K6:

The Gaming K6 is less extreme (ha!) than its sibling, but it still serves up multiple PCIe x16 slots, one Ultra M.2 slot, and what looks like a fair amount of SATA connectivity. There's a Killer NIC, because gaming, plus Fatal1ty branding, because... contractual obligations? The name of a retired Quake champion doesn't seem all that relevant anymore.

Expect more details on these and other Z170 boards next week.

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