Cheaper than Z170 but packed with features, the H170 motherboards try to be “high end on a budget.” Today, we compare the ASRock H170M Pro4, Biostar Gaming H170T, Biostar Hi-Fi H170Z3, Gigabyte GA-H170-D3HP, and MSI H170I Pro AC in features and value.
Today marks the culmination of a month and a half of testing an initial batch of H170 motherboards. I started out thinking I would review just three boards, but I pushed it to five since three is not much of a sample of available boards and there were enough differences to make additional boards worthwhile. Finally, I had made some revisions to my test environment and procedures that allowed me to test boards more quickly.
The H170 is an upper-mainstream chipset, with features above those provided by the more basic H110 and B150 chipset boards. There will be additional connectivity options, and features like RAID support that are not present on lesser boards. They’re still not for overclocking though, and are not the best choice if you’d like to run multiple graphics cards. If you’d like those features, you’ll need to step up to the Z170 chipset.
In today’s round-up we’re taking a look at the Gaming H170T and the Hi-Fi H170Z3 from Biostar, ASRock’s H170M Pro4, MSI’s H170I PRO AC and the GA-H170-D3HP from Gigabyte.
Prices on these products vary considerably, and some in particular, like those from Biostar, are difficult to find; they are not available at Newegg, Amazon, SuperBiiz or NCIX (United States and Canada). I did not focus on a particular price range so much as on the chipset itself. Various boards do distinguish themselves with specific features, as we’ll see.
H170 Motherboard Features Comparison
|P/S 2 Ports|
|Digital Audio Out|
|PCIe 3.0 x16|
|PCIe 3.0 x4|
|PCIe 3.0 x1|
|PCIe 2.0 x16|
|PCIe 2.0 x4|
|PCIe 2.0 x1|
Biostar Gaming H170T
Biostar Hi-Fi H170Z3
ASRock H170M Pro4
MSI H170I PRO AC
|LGA 1151||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||LGA 1151||LGA 1151|
|DP, HDMI, DVI-I, VGA||DP, HDMI, DVI-I, VGA||DP, HDMI, DVI-I, VGA||DVI-D, HDMI||HDMI, DVI-D, VGA|
|4 (3.0), 2 (2.0)||4 (3.0), 2 (2.0)||6 (3.0)||2 (3.0), 4 (2.0)||2 (3.1 Type C, 1x Type-A), 2 (3.0), 2 (2.0)|
|✗ (HDMI-only)||✗ (HDMI-only)||✗ (HDMI-only)||✗ (HDMI-only)||✗ (HDMI-only)|
|✗||LPT and COM headers||LPT and COM headers||COM header||COM header|
|1 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)||1 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)||1 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)||1||1 (x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4)|
|6 (6Gb/s, Shares 2x SATA-E, 1x M.2)||6 (6Gb/s, Shares 1x SATA-E, 1x M.2)||6 (6Gb/s, 1x M.2)||6 (6Gb/s, 1x M.2)||2x SATA Express + 6x SATA 6Gb/s|
|0, 1, 5, 10||0, 1, 5, 10||0, 1, 5, 10||0, 1, 5, 10||0, 1, 5, 10|
|1 (3.0), 2 (2.0)||1 (3.0), 2 (2.0)||1 (3.0), 1 (2.0)||1 (3.0), 1 (2.0)||2 (3.0), 2 (2.0)|
|5 (4-pin)||5 (4-pin)||3 (4-pin), 1 (3-pin)||2 (4-pin)||5 (4-pin)|
|✗||✗||✗||Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260||Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260|
|Intel I219V, Realtek 8111H||Intel I219V||Intel I219V||Realtek 8111H||Intel GbE|
|8 Phases||7 Phases||6 Phases||5 Phases||7 Phases|
|2 digit||✗||✗||4 LEDs||✗|
|3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
Let’s go through them quickly so that we can get to the test results.