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Overview of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K4 Motherboard

ASRock continues to improve its devices, and now, with the release of a new series of chipsets from Intel, its specialists demonstrated an updated line of «gaming» motherboards, which is easier to distinguish among the rest of the products due to the Fatal1ty prefix introduced in the name.

The use of Z270 means the product is ready for overclocking, and massive radiators in the power scheme strengthen this image. The sound is based on the older codec from Realtek and supplemented with a functional utility from Creative. Surprisingly, the network adapter used is not produced by Killer, which has already become a habit for a number of similar boards, here the Intel's proven solution is installed.

Also, the user will have three M.2 sockets at one’s disposal. There are no more bonuses, because this model is the simplest one in the series. The backlight system was seriously modified, this was reflected in its name, now the phrase AURA RGB LED is used, actually cloning one of the product’s main competitors.

Main Features

Chipset: Intel Z270
Processor socket: Socket 1151
Processors: Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron (Skylake-S, Kaby Lake-S)
Memory: 4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2800 * / 2933 * / 3200 * / 3600 * / 3733 + * (OC), a maximum of 64 GB
PCI-E slots: 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)
4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1
M.2: 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 (Key E, 2230)
Built-in video core (in the processor): Intel HD 510/530/610/630
Video sockets: HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub
Fans connected: 4x 4pin
PS/2 ports: 1 (keyboard / mouse)
USB ports: 8 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 sockets on the rear panel (one type C), Z270)
7 x 2.0 (2 sockets on the rear panel, Z270)
Serial ATA: 6 x SATA 6 Gb / s (Z270)
RAID: 0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z270)
Built-in sound: Codec — Realtek ALC1220 (7.1, HDA)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments NE5532
S/PDIF: Optical (output)
Networking opportunities: Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
COM: 1 (internal)
TPM: +
Form factor: ATX
Dimensions, mm: 305x224
Additional features: Fatal1ty Mouse Port (USB 2.0), RGB LED ribbon connector, Thunderbolt speaker, dual antenna back panel, AMD 2-Way CrossFireX support, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3


The supplied equipment is not the most impressive one and includes the following:

  • • Multilingual Quick Installation Instructions;
  • • Guide to UEFI and F-Stream in English;
  • • Disk with drivers and proprietary software;
  • • Sticker with the company logo;
  • • Postcard with the emblem of the series;
  • • Three mounting screws for M.2 format devices;
  • • Case cover, supplemented with a sticker in black tones with color and symbolic designation of all nests;
  • • Four SATA 6Gb/s cables, two of which have a L-shaped connector at one end.


The device fully corresponds to the ATX format and has ten points for being mounted in the case. There are no any controls for the system (buttons or switches), there are no auxiliary diagnostic indicators as well. But the lighting is implemented in three places – under the overlays of the chipset, in the audio codec's wiring zone and inside the visor over the rear panel. It is possible to connect a third-party LED tape; one block is prepared on the board for this purpose.

The dismantling of the decorative element demonstrates a generally simple topology of the board. A place for the undisturbed large adapter can be seen, most likely, it could be an additional network controller.

The radiator for PCH is equipped with a translucent overlay, through it the light from the LEDs, which are soldered directly on the board, is well-seen. The very metal construction is quite massive, so there will be no cooling problems.

The drives can be connected to six longitudinal SATA slots.

A pair of M.2 is prepared to make possible mounting devices up to 8 cm long, and one more slot is provided for the wireless network adapter.

Using the sockets on the case, four USB outputs of the last, third generation can be used, as well as five of the second, aging type.

All the sixteen PCI-E lines from the CPU go to the only armored jack, the others work with the PCH.

The audio component capacitors are selected from the Nichicon products. The contact group for resetting the CMOS settings is unusually located – just below the PCI-E x16 socket.

Network and sound controllers go well without shielding elements. There is one operational amplifier. The isolating section in the textolite is made larger just for showing up. The backlights here were organized using three RGB elements.

The power subsystem is equipped with two massive radiators having small and low finning. Above one of them, there is the overlay with a window for backlighting. The subsystem uses ten 820 μF capacitors with a declared lifetime of 12,000 hours.

The manufacturer was not saving the thermal conductors area, as well as their C-section; an excellent clamp is provided by screw fastening.

The rear panel accommodates two second generation USB sockets, as well as five gold-plated audio jacks and an optical output. It is quite a comprehensive set for a modern motherboard.

UEFI Features

To update the firmware, the proprietary utility from the UEFI Instant Flash is to be used. The EZ Mode will allow performing basic system setup, including slowing down all the system fans.

More settings are placed in the Advanced Mode. There is an opportunity to form a list of frequently requested items according to one’s own preferences.

The OC Tweaker Menu includes everything needed for overclocking. For the adjustment of the periphery, a separate section in the Advanced Mode is provided.

Among the branded mechanisms the AURA RGB LED is listed. The ASRock engineers were the first to realize full control of the backlight directly in the UEFI. The features right here are no worse than those available in the proprietary utility when running from under Windows. Interactive map of the equipment works without any problems. The display of the actual values of a number of system parameters is formatted in the H/W Monitor.

The Fan Tuning menu item allows calibrating the coolers by determining the minimum level of their operating state, which will be fixed as a starting point in the manually-generated scenario of the operating algorithm.

Total speed can be changed in four fans. In fact, a control method may be selected just for the only device. The processor one, as well as and one of the case fans use the method of changing the duty cycle of PWM for deceleration, and the other case one changes the supply voltage.

In other categories the administrator password may be set, change the priority among the boot devices’ boot priority may be changed, and a number of other secondary settings may be performed.

Software Supplied

The proprietary APP Shop is to be installed to properly work with the utilities. The supplied software includes the following:

  • Proprietary: APP Shop (AppCharger, AURA RGB LED, Fatal1ty Mouse Port, F-Stream Tuning Utility, Key Master, Restart to UEFI)
  • Sound: Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3
  • Network: XFast LAN

Regarding the set of programs for gaming boards of the previous generation, the appearance of the AURA RGB LED backlight control system and the Creative modifier should be noted.

The F-Stream utility is actually a complete A-Tuning clone from the utilities of more simple motherboards; there are no new functions there. For convenient access to the UEFI settings, Restart to UEFI is quite useful.

The setting of the backlighting differs a little from the procedure available immediately in the UEFI environment. The sound system is based on the Realtek ALC1220 base and is equipped with a proprietary configurator. Quite unexpected is the fact that there is no section for independent playback setting on two different connected devices.


Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K4 fairly occupies the niche of the entry-level game board in the company's assortment. Additionally to the actual availability of the older codec from Realtek and wired network adapter from Intel, bonus software is provided for the device. Let’s not forget the presence of a RGB-type backlights accompanied not only by special software, it is possible to directly influence the operation of LEDs directly from the UEFI.

As for the overclocking capabilities, they are actually similar to those already seen on the company's junior product. The appearance of new radiators is very much welcome, but both power assemblies and PWM-controller remained the same. And the UEFI filling in terms of the steps and different variables limit values proved to be equally valuable.

Outstanding overclocking capabilities in the DRAM field should be separately noted, and therefore, there should be no problems with the company profiles’ high-speed modules. In general, for a high-performance gaming system with the use of a single video accelerator, the considered model may prove to be a fully justified purchase.
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  • 09 March 2017, 12:55
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