Despite Kaby Lake being released relatively soon, motherboard vendors can still take advantage of the current LGA1151 chipset due to backwards compatibility. Today, ASRock unveiled a brand new motherboard which employs the Micro-ATX form factor and houses a number of interesting features. The Z170M-PIO2 supports up to 32GB of RAM, has the usual 24-pin ATX connector and 4-pin CPU connector. Also, the product supports NVMe M.2 drives and utilises a high grade of capacitors. On another note, there’s an mPCI-e slot to install a WLAN card, four SATA 6Gb/s ports, 6-channel audio, four USB 3.0 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet. This is a pretty good range of connectivity options and should be ample for most small-form-factor builds.
Evidently, the motherboard’s most distinctive attribute can be seen near the PCB’s edge. This connector is actually a PCI-E gen 3.0 x16 slot which allows you to connect a graphics card parallel to the plane of the motherboard. As a result, you can easily install the GPU in this position without relying on a riser card. This is an interesting solution and could make the product a good choice with certain case layouts. While ASRock didn’t provide any pricing information, all should be revealed rather soon.