EVGA Z170 Classified K Motherboard Overview
The EVGA Z170 Classified K follows the same color design as the rest of EVGA’s Z170 motherboards with a matte black PCB and black accents all over the board. There are three heatsinks on the board. The first two are on the power delivery components and have a cool design that when you look from the side they look like flames. The third heatsink is over the PCH and says EVGA on it. Overall the board has a very good look to it.
Starting at the CPU socket we of course have the LGA1151 socket which supports Intel’s Skylake processors. The CPU is conditioned by an 8 phase all digital PWM. You can see that the power delivery components are covered by heatsinks to ensure that they stay nice and cool. There is more than enough room around the CPU socket to install CPU coolers.
At the top of the board above the top heatsink you will find the 8-pin EPS connector and two CPU fan headers. The 8-pin EPS connector is placed right above the heatsink so you might run into some issues connecting your EPS cable once you have your system in a case. Also I did notice that the main CPU fan header is not color-coded to stand out, typically these days we see that.
Moving over to the side of the motherboard we have our four DDR4 DIMM slots. These slots support dual-channel DDR4 memory up to 3600 MHz. The slots are not color-coded like we see on many other motherboards. At the top corner of the board there is a 4-pin fan header, smaller clear CMOS button, larger power and reset buttons, and post code display. It is great to see a clear CMOS button on the board rather than a header. Also the addition of power and reset buttons on the board is definitely welcomed. Moving down from the buttons we have our 24-pin ATX power connection, BIOS selection switch, and voltage read points.
Looking at the storage connections we can see they are at a 90 degree angle so they don’t get in the way. There are six SATA 6GB/s ports and two SATA Express ports. Keep in mind that if you don’t happen to make use of the SATA Express ports that opens up four more SATA 6GB/s ports giving you a total of 10.
At the bottom of the board you are going to find the rest of your connections and headers. From right to left you have your front panel headers, USB 2.0 header, USB 3.0 header, a 4-pin fan header, Thunderbolt header, speaker, another 4-pin fan header, HD audio header, and a 6-pin PCI-Express power connector if you need extra power for your PCI-Express slots.
Moving up to expansion slots there are four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slot, and and PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slot. The board officially supports 2-way SLI + PhysX. In between the top two PCI-Express slots and the bottom two PCI-Express slots you will find M.2 slots. Quite nice to have two on a board! Both of these slots a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slots giving you 32 Gb/s of bandwidth. The top slot supports longer M.2 SSDs, while the bottom slot is your typical size. It is actually written on the board what will be disabled if you happen to use an M.2 slot, which is nice and helps you set everything up correctly. Right by the rear I/O ports in another 4-pin fan header, perfect for an exhaust fan on your case. That makes a total of four 4-pin fan headers on the board, not including the two CPU fan headers.
At the far edge of the board are the audio components. Sadly there is no information at all on EVGA’s website about the audio on the Z170 Classified K, all it says is, “Audio – 8 Channel High Definition Audio + Optical”. After doing some digging we were able to find out that the board uses the Realtek ALC1150 codec. The audio components do have PCB isolation from the rest of the board and has a LED trace that will light up red. There is also an M.2 Key-E here that is made for a WiFi + Bluetooth module.
Moving on to the rear I/O we have two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, a clear CMOS button, DisplayPort, HDMI, and audio. One of the Gigabit Ethernet connections is powered by Killer’s E2400 gaming networking controller, but once again this port is not color-coded. For those wondering it is the port furthest to the right. It is also great to see a clear CMOS button on the rear I/O this means you do not have to open up your case to clear your CMOS.