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Review: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming/Aura

by Tarinder Sandhu on 1 September 2016, 15:30

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Test Methodology

Comparison Motherboard Configurations

Asus Z170 Pro Gaming/Aura
Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3
Reviewed Price
Firmware Version
Intel Core i7-6700K
CPU Cores / Threads
4 / 8
CPU Base Clock / Turbo
4.0GHz / 4.2GHz
CPU Cache
Corsair Vengeance LED 16GB (2x8GB)
Memory Speed
Memory Timings
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW
Graphics Driver
GeForce 372.54
Storage Device
SK hynix Canvas SC300 512GB
Power Supply
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 (1,000W)
Operating System
Windows 10 Home AE (64-bit)

CPU and Memory Benchmarks

HEXUS PiFast Our number-crunching benchmark stresses a single core by calculating Pi to 10m places.
Cinebench Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses all cores.
Handbrake Free-to-use video encoder that stresses all CPU cores.

Storage Benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark Popular free-to-use storage benchmark, used to gauge read and write performance via M.2 (256GB Samsung 950 Pro NVMe), SATA (512GB SK hynix Canvas SC300) and USB 3.1 (512GB SK hynix Canvas SC300).

Gaming Benchmarks

3DMark Run using Fire Strike Ultra 4K UHD test.
Dirt Rally Benchmarked at a 4K UHD resolution with 4xMSAA and ultra quality settings.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Benchmarked at a 4K UHD resolution with DX12 enabled, FXAA and very-high quality settings.

Miscellaneous Benchmarks

Power Consumption Noted at idle, while running the HandBrake video-transcoding test and when playing Dirt Rally.


We've historically had a large number of benchmarks detailing performance between chipsets. Due to the levels of integration in the processor practically all modern motherboards benchmark at the same levels, give or take a per cent or two, so 30-odd graphs showing near-identical performance isn't what you (or we) want to see.

We're running a nine benchmarks - three each for CPU, storage and gaming - to see if the boards perform at the expected levels. This is more of a sanity check than anything else, and we'll then dabble with a touch of CPU overclocking.