Asrock H170 Pro4 & Pro4S Motherboard Review

Builders who don"t have a windowed case or need 7.1-channel analog audio connections on the I/O panel can save a few dollars compared to the H170 Pro4 (non-S), by choosing the H170 Pro4S. It still has the same xúc tích và ngắn gọn components, even if a few audio connectors & a voltage regulator heat sink are missing. Using the same circuit board & even the same ferite-core voltage regulator chokes as the non-S version, those few changes are entirely responsible for the Pro4S" reduced price. If you’re on a tight budget & aren’t one of the very few people who will miss what’s not on the Pro4 version of this board, this one is a good choice.

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Layouts

Both of today’s boards use a fairly heavy PCB that doesn’t have any alarming flex, have the more efficient ferrite vi xử lý core chokes, & use solid capacitors. Cable headers, slot layout, và component placement of the H170 Pro4 & H170 Pro4S are identical, except where a feature is missing, such the three rear panel audio jacks removed from the H170 Pro4S.


Beginning in the upper left & working counter-clockwise, the HD audio connector for the front panel is at the back of the left edge. A COM1 header is next; you"ll need khổng lồ buy a breakout cable khổng lồ use it. Next is a TPM header, then one for a chassis intrusion switch. Next are two USB 2.0 headers, each supporting two ports. The CMOS battery, a common CR2032, is behind those.


Continuing along the edge toward the front, a pair of 4-pin chassis fan headers tư vấn PWM fans. The speaker and one of two nguồn LED sạc headers are next; the latter is spaced for a 3-pin plug. You"ve got the front panel header block, which has another phối of power LED pins spaced for a 2-pin plug. (Although it"s not rare, I wish this were more common.) Behind these last two sạc headers are two SATA Express connectors with four of the chipset’s SATA 6Gb/s ports, arranged vertically. These bởi not alternate, so you will need khổng lồ unplug the rightmost one before unplugging the left one.

Behind these, a nice, shiny, orange heatsink covers the chipset. Behind this heatsink is the M.2 slot. To lớn its right are another pair of SATA 6Gb/s ports. They are horizontal, and alternate, so both clips will be accessible. These two ports are the ones that will be disabled if a SATA M.2 drive is installed. To lớn the right are the USB 3.0 header và 24-pin ATX connector. Behind those, four RAM slots have clips on the right side only. The CPU tín đồ header is behind the RAM slots.

There is nothing on the right side of these boards until we get almost lớn the rear-most mounting hole; just before that is the 8-pin CPU power connector, with its latch facing to lớn the outside. Center rear, just in front of the rear panel connectors, is a 3-pin chassis fan header, & a 4-pin molex connector for additional PCIe power if multiple high-end graphics cards are used.


Just as with micro-ATX versions of these boards, the "S" in the name appears to lớn indicate subtraction, some of it cosmetic. Although both feature 10 VRM phases, only the H170 Pro4 has large orange heatsinks on both groups of VRMs: those behind the CPU and those to lớn its right. Personally I like the way they pop, although these would disrupt some màu sắc schemes. The ProS has a thin orange heatsink only on the VRMs behind the CPU.

Although both boards use the upper-mainstream ALC892 Codec (90db S/N input, 97db S/N output), the "S" version must use front panel ports to tư vấn 7.1 audio, whereas the non-"S" has the necessary jacks on its rear panel. Although ASRock claims both boards have ELNA audio capacitors, the ones on the H170 Pro4 appear to lớn be slightly better versions, denoted by their gold coloring; number and kích thước appear identical. The non-"S" board also has a plastic piece framing the rear panel connectors & extending over many of the audio components, although it does not appear to lớn be metallic, so it likely does not add shielding.

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Each box contains the same add-ons. In addition to the board, you get the driver CD, I/O plate, a couple of SATA cables, and an 8-1/4" x 5-1/2” glue-bound manual which will not lie flat. The text is very small. You get English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, & four pictographic Asian languages, plus Bahasa Indonesian.

Firmware

The ASRock H170 UEFI is familiar; if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all of them for this chipset. In easy mode, it looks lượt thích this: