ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Motherboard Overview
Taking a first look at the Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Motherboard we can see that ASRock has gone with a red and black color scheme, which they have used on many of their Fatal1ty-branded products. The PCB itself is all black with red and black accents on different parts of the motherboard.
Starting at the CPU socket, this motherboard sports the LGA1150 socket which supports Intel’s 4th and 5th Generation Haswell processors. The motherboard makes use of an 8 phase all digital power delivery system for the CPU. The power delivery components are made up of premium alloy chokes and NexFet MOSFETs. The power delivery components are covered by a large aluminum alloy heatsink. You can also see many Nichion 12K Platinum capacitors throughout the motherboard. These offer 20% longer lifespans and provide more stability and reliability than your typical capacitors found on motherboards. Towards the top of the motherboard you have the 8pin EPS connector and three fan connectors, a 4pin for the CPU, and two 3pin connectors.
Moving over to the memory slots you can see they are color-coded for dual channel operation. This motherboard supports DDR3 memory up to DDR-3200 speeds. Also on this side of the motherboard is your 24pin ATX power connector and your USB 3.0 header.
Normally we would see SATA connectors on the side of the motherboard at a 90 degree angle, but they are at the bottom of the motherboard. These SATA ports include four SATA 6GB/s ports and a single SATA Express port. Now if you happen to not want to use the SATA Express port you can use the two SATA ports there, giving you a total of six. There is also a 4pin fan connector located at the bottom corner of the board.
Moving over you have the rest of your connections which include two USB 2.0 headers, front panel connection, COM port and the HD audio connections.
When it comes to expansion slots you have a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (x4 electrical), two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots.
In between the two PCI-Express x16 slots is an M.2 slot for next-generation form factor (NGFF) solid state drives. This board supports M.2 SATA3 6Gb/s modules and M.2 PCI Express modules up to Gen2 x2 10Gb/s, which is 2X faster compared to other M.2 Gen2 x1 solutions that are limited to 5Gb/s.
At the end of the board we can see the Purity Sound 2 chip, which gives you 7.1 channel HD audio using the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec. The chip itself has an EMI shielding cover and PCB isolation shielding, meaning that it is actually separated from the rest of the motherboard. There are also two 3pin fan connectors right above the top PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slot, which can be used to connect your exhaust fans.
Looking at the rear I/O moving left to right there are two USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 port, VGA, DVI, two more USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2200), and audio connections.