ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac Review
For this new generation, ASRock have created a new UEFI theme and a refreshed EZ Mode dashboard that presents multiple system status details in an easy to read format. What this means is that the UEFI is once again divided across two distinct modes. The EZ Mode is simplified and features a mouse-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) for basic tasks, while the Advanced Mode is still mouse-compatible but also has all the settings, options, and features that you could ever want. From within the Easy Mode you can switch to the Advanced Mode by pressing F6, and vice-versa to get back to the Easy Mode. Overall, the UEFI was very smooth and responsive, as we have come to expect now that UEFI has been around for a few years.
The EZ Mode makes very good use of the graphical user interface (GUI) and was designed to be used with a mouse. It obviously does not have all the functionality of the Advanced mode, but it is not meant to. It simply gives novice users an easy way to visualize and alter some of the most common settings. First and foremost, the top-right corner shows CPU and motherboard temperatures, as well as CPU core voltage. The Fan Status feature can be found in both BIOS modes, but fundamentally it gives you very basic manual control over the CPU and systems fans. You can enable or disable RAID, as well as selecting which storage device to boot from. The CPU EZ OC button enables an automatic overclocking feature; you just click on the icon, save & exit, the system reboots and the overclock is applied. The Instant Flash feature allows you to update the UEFI via a USB flash drive, while the Internet Flash feature allows you to update directly from the internet. The System Browser button pops up a full diagram on the motherboard, and if you drag your cursor across the various parts of motherboard, some additional information about the ports or the installed components is listed. There is the FAN-Tastic Tuning feature which gives you full manual or preset-based control over the CPU and systems fans.
The first section in the Advanced Mode is the Main tab, which displays some basic system information. This section lists some rudimentary specification info, including the BIOS date & version, the type of processor and the amount of memory installed. You can also access the My Favorite sub-menu, which allows you to have all your most useful or most used settings in one place, so you no longer have to search through the whole bios to find what you need time and time again.
Next up is the OC Tweaker section, which is where all the fun happens. First and foremost, there is the Optimized CPU OC Setting, which is an automatic overclocking feature with four available options, ranging from Turbo 4.4Ghz to Turbo 5.0Ghz. You can check how effective this feature is in our Overclocking Results page. Next we have three sub-menu dedicated to the three key overclocking areas, namely the CPU, DRAM, and voltage. Once you have everything dialed in properly, ASRock have provided a means of saving those settings as a user profile, with up to five different profile slots available. You can also save those profiles to a storage device and share it with friends.
The CPU Configuration sub-menu is where you will find all of the essential system clock control options: CPU multiplier with an all core and per core option, maximum and minimum cache multiplier, BLCK frequency, FCLK frequency, as well as the option to enable or disable Intel SpeedStep and Turbo Boost technology. You can also adjust the processor’s current and power limits.
As its name suggests, the DRAM Configuration section is where you will find all the memory-related settings. Within this section you can enable the XMP Profile, select the memory frequency, change the BCLK frequency, and obviously tweak all of the primary, secondary and tertiary memory timings. It had just about every memory setting that an enthusiast or overclocker will need to fine-tune their memory modules.
The Voltage Configuration section is where you can adjust all of the primary and secondary system voltages. There are no drop-down options for the individual voltage options, but you can manually type in your desired voltage. There are also readouts for all of the voltages.
- Packaging & Accessories
- A Closer Look at the Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac
- A Closer Look at the Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac pt.2
- Hardware Installation
- BIOS Rundown
- BIOS Rundown pt.2
- Included Software
- Included Software pt.2
- Test Setups & Methodology
- Feature Testing: Onboard Audio
- Feature Testing: M.2 PCI-E 3.0 x4
- Auto & Manual Overclocking Results
- System Benchmarks
- Gaming Benchmarks
- Voltage Regulation / Power Consumption