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ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac Review

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Voltage Regulation

Since it is a mini ITX motherboard model, we aren’t surprised that this model does not have any onboard voltage measurement points, which is what we usually rely on in order to accurately measure the various system voltages. As a result, in this abbreviated overview, we utilized the AIDA64 System Stability Test to put a very substantial load on the system while also monitoring the stability of the all-important CPU vCore line. This was achieved with a 90 minute stress test, and in order to increase the strain on the motherboard’s voltage regulation components we overclocked our Core i7-7700K to 4.8Ghz at 1.35V (in the BIOS). Although voltage droop is part Intel’s specifications, we utilized the Load-Line Calibration (LLC) settings in order to see if this motherboard has what it takes to maintain a rock steady vCore line.

As you can see, the Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac has very good power output regulation, but the vCore line was clearly not straight as an arrow. In fact, it rippled pretty consistently throughout the entire test – you are seeing an approximately 15 minute portion of the 90 minute run above – but it only ever wavered between 1.355V and 1.360V. That is mere 0.37% ripple, and it certainly not something that we are concerned about.

Power Consumption

For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the BIOS and the Windows power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced. For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter. For our CPU load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter. For our overall system load test, we ran Prime 95 on all available threads while simultaneously loading the GPU with 3DMark Vantage – Test 6 Perlin Noise.

Unsurprisingly, this motherboard has the best power consumption numbers that we have seen on any Z270 motherboard, and in every category too. Fewer slots and ports means less need for accompanying support circuitry, and that ultimately leads to energy savings. The fact that this motherboard is outfitted with a top-notch CPU VRM definitely helps as well.

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