ASROCK Z170 EXTREME 7+ MOTHERBOARD
Our chosen motherboard is the newest ASRock Z170 Extreme 7 which is not only ASRock’s newest flagship,but also, it just might be one of the top Z170 releases available. Highlights of this board include two USB 3.1 ports on the rear and front capable of 10 Gb/s as well as it being the only board available to sport 3 x Ultra M.2 slots that are each PCIe 3.0 X4 for a max of 32Gb/s.
There are also 4 x PCIe 3.o x16 slots for graphics heaven, a half-size mini-PCIe for Wi-Fi cards, 10 SATA 3 ports, 8 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0, Display port 1.2 and a host of other qualities.
Although this is one of the most updated and complete boards we have seen, it lacks Wi-Fi and a U.2 port which would have been a definite bonus. This board runs at Amazon for under $300.
INTEL SKYLAKE I7-6700K CPU
This Test Bench contains the Intel Skylake I7-6700K which is unlocked, contains the Z170 chipset, supports DDR4 memory, has Intel HD Graphics 530, as well as support for three monitors with a display resolution of up to 4096 x 2304.
This is a Quad-Core LGA 1151 processor and has a base clock of 4GHz, although we easily bumped it to 4.8GHz and did a bit of a test with Intel Extreme Tuning Utility since it was supported:
A simple click within the motherboard’s UEFI allows you to bump the clock speed to 4.8GHz without any system hesitation whatsoever. This CPU is also well priced at under $400 at Amazon, which is actually very surprising considering its feature set.
CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM DDR 4 MEMORY
To complement the motherboard and CPU, 4 x 8GB sticks of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory are installed and running smoothly at 3000MHz. These modules contain hand-picked IC’s, DHX cooling and also present in each package of two is a Dominator Airflow Platinum LED Fan.
This memory is 2800MHz and has built-in XMP 2.0 support to which we have all four modules bumped to 3000MHz.
The 32GB package is just under $600 on Amazon and well worth the stretch.