Asrock Fatal1ty H170 Performance Review

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We test out another gaming motherboard from Asrock, can this be a top choice for gamers who wants a mid-range rig upgrade?

We previously featured a review for Asrock’s B150M Gaming K4 motherboard and so far it is worth its money, but this time we will be testing a different chipset provided by Asrock. This time making sure they are slapping the Fatal1ty branding to the gaming motherboard that promises an optimal performance that is aimed for hardcore gaming, but can it really deliver? We’ll soon find out in our review.

Let us take a look at the specs of the Asrock Fatal1ty H170 Performance motherboard:

  • ASRock Super Alloy
  • Gaming Armor – Memory / VGA Card / Cooling / Internet / Audio
  • Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors (Socket 1151)
  • Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR4 2133
  • 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  • AMD Quad CrossFireX™
  • Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI
  • 1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound™ 3 & DTS Connect
  • 1 SATA Express, 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  • 8 USB 3.0 (5 Type-A + 1 Type-C, 2 Front)
  • Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop, F-Stream, Key Master, XSplit

The Intel Skylake processor requires a new socket in the form of LGA 1151, and this means a new set of motherboards are required. However there are several chipsets that supports the Skylake CPU but has different features and capabilities that are aimed to certain target market. In the recent review, the B150 has a chipset that is originally meant for small businesses yet it was released for gaming. This time the H170 is built for consumer level users but in an affordable price range. Though it may not be able to exceed the level that from the enthusiast-level of the Z170, the H170 can still hold its ground well.

Having a similar color scheme and look as with the B150, the Fatal1ty H170 Performance still wants to maintain a killer look on the design department for PC enthusiasts and gamers who wants to have that awesome rig setup. Named after the famous eSports athlete Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel who became famous in FPS titles such as Quake in the early 2000s, the branding ensures that users will be expecting an optimal performance on the motherboard. But despite labeling for gaming, the H170 Performance does not have any LED gimmicks which are found in some gaming motherboards nowadays, it is most likely due to its target price tag that is more of a mid-rather than as an expensive high-range rig, but even without the LED effects, the motherboard’s main focus is the durable parts to increase its lifespan from your ordinary boards.

For its connection ports, it has the standard DVI-D and HDMI ports, 8 USB 3.0 ports with 1 Type-C and 5 Type-A and 2 on front. It also has 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 that can fit two high-end graphic cards, it also supports AMD Quad CrossFireX to optimize two identical AMD Radeon cards, and just the same with the B150 motherboard, it has no Nvidia SLI support. Another similar addition was the Fatal1ty mouse port; this help improve the connected gaming mouse on its polling rate up to 1000Hz, though take note that some mice might not be compatible to the feature, especially wireless mouse and those that are connected to a USB hub. The new feature is the inclusion of the USB 3.0 Type-C port where you can use any USB 3.0 Type-C devices and connect it to your rig, another one is the Ultra M.2 32 GB/s that provides a faster transfer speeds on your connected storage drives, this is also compatible with any SATA3 6Gb/s M.2 modules. Originally the H170 lacks any overclocking feature, but Asrock added an overclocking feature for their Fatal1ty H170 for DDR4 memory modules. But the compatibility for the Non-Z OC is only limited, as only certain brands such as Kingston and Samsung line of DIMMs are supported.

And now for the performance, surprisingly the Fatal1ty H170 Performance has almost the same score as with the B150M when it was tested on Cinebench 15. When tested with 3DMark for the graphical performance along with a mounted GTX 1060, the scores are not that good when it was outperformed by the B150 Gaming K4. The same goes with the temperature as the H170 is hotter than the B150 in both idle and loaded performance, but not in the sense that it is alarming.

To sum everything up, the Asrock Fatal1ty H170 Performance may lack some important features for any hardcore PC enthusiasts (overclocking), but it can still provide good performance for a mid-range budget. And with some features similar with the B150 Gaming K4 that can give boosted gaming experience such as the dedicated Fatal1ty mouse port and Key Master, it also has the Ultra M.2 32 GB/s for faster reading speeds and the Non-Z OC for overclocking supported DDR4 RAMs. But it has the same negative sides such as the lack of overclocking feature (the included Non-Z OC for RAM has a very limited compatibility for new DDR4 RAMs) and SLI could be a turn off for some. But if you are in need to a very durable gaming motherboard with great computing performance, you can opt for the Asrock Fatal1ty H170 Performance.

Good parts

  • Very durable build
  • Fatal1ty mouse port
  • AMD CrossFire support
  • RAM OC for select DDR4 memory modules

Bad Parts

  • No Overclocking feature
  • No SLI support
  • Fewer compatible memory modules for Non-Z OC

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