ASRock Z170 OC Formula Motherboard Review

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Value Add Software

ASRock-Z170-OC-Formula-Software-Drivers

The ASRock Z170 OC Formula support CD is designed to be used worldwide, the drivers and software are actually downloaded as needed from their servers helping to ensure you have the latest versions.  When you first start up the Support CD, it checks the CD for files and finds the bare minimum.  Using the File Source drop-down you get the choice of your region, selecting it will search the ASRock servers in the region for software and drivers.  When you select a driver, if you already have it installed, it’ll show you the version number, and the version ASRock is providing, allowing you to decide which driver you want.  Of course, there’s an “Install All” option for those that just want everything installed.  One piece of software that is at the bottom is ASRock’s App Shop, it doubles as their Live Update utility, and is where you can find all the additional software the ASRock makes available.

ASRock-Z170-OC-Formula-Software-Utilities

On the Utilities tab, for the USA region, only two options are provided, ASRock 3TB+ Unlocker, and Restart to UEFI.  The 3TB+ Unlocker utilities is only needed if you are running a 32-bit operating system which can’t take advantage of the large hard drives.  The Restart to UEFI utility, is helpful if you enable Fast Boot, to ensure you can boot into the BIOS without issues.

The other three menu options are pretty basic, the Information menu provides links to the documentation on the Z170 OC Formula such as the User Manual, RAID Installation Guide, Intel Smart Response Install Guide and others.  The Contact menu provides their address, email and website in case you didn’t know how to find it.  The Google menu was blank for the US region, other regions it provided links to install Google Chrome.

ASRock-Z170-OC-Formula-Software-App-Shop

Within ASRock’s App Store you can find the additional ASRock applications which are designed to enhance your experience with their motherboards.  For example,  “App Charger” allows you to charge devices faster, “Dehumidifier” works to remove some of the moisture from the motherboard, while “Good Night LED” allows for an easy way to turn off the LED’s on the motherboard.  There are a few non-ASRock applications here as well, Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, Norton Security (limited trial), Ghost Recon Phantoms (with bonus player skins) and others.  The nice thing about the ASRock App Shop is that it is a familiar interface for anybody that has used a smartphone in the past couple of years and you can easily find what ASRock is offering.

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  • Mike C.

    I’m just gonna outright say it. If you are from Pittsburgh, this is a really tempting board just for the design!

  • YOUDIEMOFO

    Maybe I just do not understand the idea of it all, but how are you supposed to have quad graphics cards and still be able to utilize all four cards respectively along with three M.2 drives in a raid??

    Does this not take up more than the available PCI-E lanes allocated for the GFX/disk/HDD’s? I could see with a 2011 socket allowing 40 lanes of PCI-E 3.0 there being no problem…..I just hope someone can enlighten me as I’m always looking at tech just to see what’s avaislble for the ol’upgrade…

    • Georgian

      you the real MVP
      maybe this socket will be used for future generation of cpu on this soket, that will have more pci lanes

      • YOUDIEMOFO

        I see in the specifications of this particular motherboard here on this review it has an * (asterisk) next to where it explains the PCI-e throughput. It does not however explain what that asterisk means in lieu of the PCI-e lanes in question.

    • Steven Kean

      It seems that each motherboard does it a bit differently. The GB Z170 board specifically mentions that the PCI-E lane and SATA ports becomes disabled, where the ASRock Z170 OC doesn’t mention the PCI-E lanes, but does mention disabling the SATA ports. Another one I’m testing is like the ASRock board, only disabling the SATA ports. That seems to be the most common aspect of the M.2 implementation.

      • YOUDIEMOFO

        Nice. And thanks for shedding a bit of light on this for me. Just did not understand the asterisk by the explanation of the PCI-E lanes in the article clipping they took from the manufacturer. I sure there was something elsewhere explaining exactly what that was supposed to mean…

        • Steven Kean

          Sorry, I’ll watch those next time. The * on the PCI-E slots is just that they support NVME as boot drives, nothing to major.

        • YOUDIEMOFO

          Ah’thank you….