• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Need a new MB, either Z170 or Z270 for overclocking!

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

azuza001

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
So I purchased a PC from someone and I feel I got a very good deal. Its a Core I5 6600K system with 16 gigs DDR4 Ram. My problem is the machine, as beautiful as it is, is running in a H170 chipset which means I can't overclock the K processor.

This leads me to looking for a new Z chipset mb so I can overclock the beauty. However looking online I am overwhelmed with the options.

What I am looking for is a good motherboard for overclocking. I plan on just using this machine for gaming, the case its going into is large enough to take any size. Really, just overclocking with a single card is my primary concern.

My budget is 150$ max, obviously I would like to go as cheap as possible but not so cheap that the damn thing is made of cardboard.

What options could you guys give me for a good Z170/Z270 board?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Conventional wisdom says the z170 chipset boards may overclock a little better as that chipset was made for the Sky Lake CPU series. But in reality it might not turn out to be the case.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
The from what I have seen when looking at the memory overclocking is much better on the Z270s Qualified Vendors List. I agree, for CPU overclocking the south bridge chipset on the Z270 and Z170 makes no difference.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
The IMC of KL is a lot better and more of the reason for higher memory clocks...though the chipset does play a role in it.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
I was just looking what the boards memory qualify for in the QVL whether using sky lake or kaby lake on the same Z270. I would think the Z270s are tested with newer memory or they had more time to get the OC timings and memory ruining better than the Z170 QVL.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
IMC (Integrated memory controller) is in the CPU. On the old Front sided bus memory overclocking was limited by dividers and FSB frequency. Now the IMC uses multiplier for memory speed to communicate to the cores.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
That's what I was getting to. The board may support 4600 MHz on the RAM, but only if the improved IMC on KL can handle it. (along with the Z270 chipset)
 
OP
A

azuza001

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
This is all very interesting, thanks for the input and that point, I didn't even consider that a "rated" 270 boards memory settings could be held up by the older processor. I still have not made a decision yet, so any other input I greatly appreciate.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Sometimes I wonder If the IMC plays a part in memory overclocking. I spoke to Xidax who builds custom computers and they say when setting up all the PCs with high speed memory they don't have any problems with overclocking the memory with the same motherboards they use. They charge for overclocking the CPU.

When I look at the memory it is clocked off of the 100Hz BCLK in my case 16 x 100Hz = 1600Hz DDR4 =3200 speed. Then the communication from the memory is sent to and from the memory by the CPU IMC with timings and subtimings so I don't see that effecting the IMC unless I'm missing something because I don't see IMC increasing the frequency like overclocking with the old FSB.

Subtimings are the complicated part for memory communication to and from the CPU in clock cycles so the data transfers at the correct time.
HWiNFO64 i5 6600k.jpg
HWiNFO64 G.SKILL 3200.jpg
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I haven't seen any difference in IMC between any SL and KL that I had. Regardless if I was using i3, i5 or i7, max clock was always limited by the motherboard and its design. In theory KL has better memory controller but in real it doesn't matter as we can't check how better it is because of motherboard limits.

Cheaper motherboards have thin PCB and not optimized traces layout. It's causing additional interference and worse memory OC. Only 2 slot motherboards can handle higher than 4266 memory clock. Most motherboards won't support more than 3866 memory clock and some only in single channel mode.
In the end if you want high memory clock then you have to invest in good motherboard. Z270 are generally better choice because more models have improved layout while on Z170 only some ITX boards with shorter traces and ASRock OCF/OCFM are supporting 4000+ memory in dual channel.
Every single Z170/Z270 motherboard has DDR4-3200 support and even then you may find additional info that it depends on CPU and IMC.

Right now I'm not sure why anyone would choose Z170 over Z270. Z270 has additional features ( depends on motherboard ) and is simply newer so compatibility updates and BIOS releases will be longer available.
 
OP
A

azuza001

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
That's a good question. From what I have read it sounded like it was the processor and not the mb that determined playing nice with Windows 7/8 but then again I am not sure.