The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming is compatible with Intel processors with the LGA 1151 socket.
It has 32 GB DDR4 maximum RAM and conforms to the Mini-ITX form factor standard.
|CPU Socket||LGA 1151||Graphics Card Interface||PCIe v2.x|
|CPU Compatible Make||Intel||SLI Support||1 graphics cards|
|CPU Chipset||Z170||Crossfire Support||1 graphics cards|
|Form Factor||Mini-ITX||Onboard GPU||no|
|Max RAM||32 GB DDR4||PCI Slots|
|RAM Slots||2 x DDR4||SATA 1.0||0|
|Memory Channels||2||SATA 2.0||0|
|Compatible RAM Speeds||SATA 3.0||0|
|USB 2.0 Internal Slots||2||RAID Support||yes|
|USB 2.0 Rear||2||Internal I/O|
|USB 3.0 Internal||2||Back Panel I/O|
|USB 3.0 Rear||4|
The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming uses the Intel LGA 1151 CPU socket. Any compatible Intel CPU will have the same socket entry. It uses the DDR4 memory type, with maximum speeds of up to 3200 MHz, and 0 DDR4 slots allowing for a maximum total of 32 GB RAM.
The Mini-ITX form factor is common for low-power system builds. Lower power requirements allow for less cooling, which in turn means a quieter PC. As such, the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming may be ideal for activities that require minimal sound excess, such as watching movies. For a gaming PC, a traditional ATX form factor is recommended, which would be more generally compatible and would provide more expansion options than Mini-ITX, but Mini-ITX is still a solid choice.
The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming has 2 SATA 3.0 hard drive slots. These allow for theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 6GB/s, as opposed to the 3GB/s of SATA 2.0. Generally speaking, only high performance hard drives, specifically solid-state drives, will be able to take advantage of the bandwidth potential of SATA 3.0 ports, though it is backwards compatible, so you do not have to take advantage.
The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming does not support onboard graphics. Any system build that uses this motherboard therefore requires a separate graphics card, or a processor that has a GPU on the same die, such as AMD APU processors. There are 2 PCIe x16 slots on this motherboard. This means it is perfectly capable of accommodating the latest graphics cards, although it is important to try and use a graphics card with the same graphics card interface of PCIe v2.x, as anything below will not reach the motherboard's potential, and anything above will have its performance slashed to the bandwidth maximum of the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming's PCIe v2.x. The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming does not support multiple graphics cards via Nvidia SLI or AMD Crossfire.
The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming has 4 USB 2.0 slots and 6 USB 3.0 slots. USB 3.0 slots are theoretically capable of data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s, which is over 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 top speed of 480 Mbit/s. Although USB 2.0 slots alone currently serve as well as ever, an upgrade would better future-proof your system as more USB 3.0 compatible peripherals emerge. USB 3.0 is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0, which means you do not even have to use the newer slot functionality if you do not wish to.