In the lab: Asus’ ROG Strix Z270E Gaming motherboard

Intel's Kaby Lake desktop CPUs brought a ton of motherboards with them for enthusiasts of all stripes, and we've barely scratched the surface of what's out there so far. Asus is helping us get a fuller picture of the Z270 landscape with its ROG Strix Z270E Gaming motherboard, the fanciest in a new family of Republic of Gamers boards.

As the fanciest ROG Strix board, the Z270E boasts onboard Wi-Fi, tasteful RGB LED illumination, sensible M.2 slot locations, and much, much more. We'll be getting some Kaby Lake chips into this baby as soon as we can to see what Asus' latest can do, but folks planning new systems can get this board right now for $199.99 on Newegg. Stay tuned for our full review.

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    • ColeLT1
    • 3 years ago

    I got 3 of these a couple weeks ago, except the Z270H model (minus wifi), have had good luck with these boards. Overclocks turned out pretty good for the 7700k too (was able to hit 5.2, 5.2, 5.0ghz for the 3 chips). I am working the final one now, just have to change my water and get it all built out.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 3 years ago

    regular ATX boards continue to be the most prevalent form factor. What are you guys installing that still requires it?

    Or is everyone just buying the full size board, installing a graphics card, and leaving the rest of the space unused?

      • Takeshi7
      • 3 years ago

      SLI

      And then it’s always nice to have extra slots for add in cards when the need arises. For example I’ve been able to keep my old desktop relevant by installing a sound card when one of the onboard channels died, and a USB 3.0 card since it only came with USB 2.0

    • hasseb64
    • 3 years ago

    Yepp, fancy it is…
    zzzzzzzzz

    • Thresher
    • 3 years ago

    Is there something that lists the advantages of the Z270 over the Z170 chipsets?

      • jihadjoe
      • 3 years ago

      30 High speed I/O lanes (up from 26)
      24 PCIe lanes (up from 20)
      Optane

    • Generic
    • 3 years ago

    “[i<]tasteful[/i<] RGB LED illumination" Oh really? (clicks through) Okay; the adjective checks out, but watch it mister!

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]"tasteful RGB LED illumination"[/quote<] Obviously this was a typo and Jeff meant to say [i<]tasty[/i<]. Right? Right? :p

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Sigh. It’s an oxy, moron. 🙂

    • Growler
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]tasteful RGB LED illumination[/quote<] So, no RGB LED illumination?

      • evilpaul
      • 3 years ago

      It can be turned off. The setting on the Prime Z270-A seems to stick once you set it in the Windows software even after uninstalling it, powering down the system, and rebooting it.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Those heatsinks are looking less and less like heatsinks and more like randomly-shaped chunks of scrap metal they stuck to the board. Given that VRM cooling is really important when you raise the voltages for an overclock, you’d think Asus would try and make the heatsinks more functional (more surface area) on their high-end overclocking board, right?

    Clealy I’m a nutjob for even suggesting such an idea though! I guess I should at least be pleased that Asus went with a monochrome inoffensive colour scheme though.

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      The VRM and chipset heatsinks look pretty average sized for higher end boards from the past 4+ generations IMO. Although I’m a bit surprised to not see a heatpipe between the VRM heatsinks.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        It feels like they shrunk the VRM heatsinks with Haswell and Broadwell because of the integrated voltage regulation on the CPU die – and the silly motherboard vendors forgot to beef them back up again for Skylake and Kaby.

        Overclocker folk will spend hundreds of dollars on CPU cooling but the VRM’s responsible for a huge chunk of the heat output get a small surface-area metal block that would have been barely adequate for your old Geforce 2.

          • DancinJack
          • 3 years ago

          [url<]https://techreport.com/review/22755/z77-motherboards-from-asus-gigabyte-and-msi/2[/url<] It may feel like it, but I don't think they did.

            • Chrispy_
            • 3 years ago

            Wait, that’s the value model, the bog-standard cooking-apple variety, and [i<]even then[/i<] - thanks to the inclusion of fins on those blue aluminium blocks, it still probably has as much surface area as this Z270E! The [url=https://content.hwigroup.net/images/products_xl/157833/2/asus-maximus-v-extreme.jpg<]high-end Z77 boards[/url<] had [url=http://assets.hardwarezone.com/img/2013/03/VRM_Heatsinks-600W.jpg<]huge, multiple heatpipe-linked heatsinks[/url<] by comparison. Back in those day it was all about maximum surface area without fouling the socket clearance, like [url=https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/Z77X-UD5H_WiFi/images/cooler_over.jpg<]this example[/url<].

            • juzz86
            • 3 years ago

            And now they’re just another marketing surface.

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 3 years ago

          [quote=”Chrispy_”<]It feels like they shrunk the VRM heatsinks with Haswell and Broadwell because of the integrated voltage regulation on the CPU die - and the silly motherboard vendors forgot to beef them back up again for Skylake and Kaby.[/quote<] There are exceptions (Skylake and Kaby Lake respectively): [url<]https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-MAXIMUS-VIII-FORMULA/[/url<] [url<]https://www.asus.com/us/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-MAXIMUS-IX-FORMULA/[/url<]

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 3 years ago

      [quote=”Chrispy_”<]Clealy I'm a nutjob for even suggesting such an idea though![/quote<] Being a nutjob doesn't necessarily make you wrong. Or was it being right doesn't mean you aren't a nutjob. Whichever. Welcome to the club.

      • MOSFET
      • 3 years ago

      Hey Chrispy,

      I just built on the M-ATX version of this very board, the Strix Z270G Gaming. The VRMs are bigger than they appear in the picture, especially in the vertical. They also must work well enough, because I’ve put some serious voltage into an i5-7600K so far. 5GHz is definitely doable – what temps one is comfortable with is more of the limiting factor. 4.8 GHz works really well on my chip – benchmarking with AVX is the only time I’ve been uncomfortable with the temps. H80i. Also, the only setting I’ve changed for overclocking is the multiplier. Voltages are all on auto. I’m seeing up to 1.35V at 4.8 but that’s a peak.

      • ptsant
      • 3 years ago

      The power consumption of the MB has been steadily going down for the last few generations. CPU power consumption has stayed the same for over a decade and VRM efficiency is probably a bit better today. If you are not overclocking, a modern motherboard doesn’t need as much cooling as a motherboard from the previous decade.

      BTW, I have owned a MB with a fan on the north/southbridge (can’t remember which). That used to be a thing, too.

      Anyway, if you’re paying top dollar for a nice MB, VRM stability is probably more important than RGB leds, but sales and marketing moves seem to indicate that we are a minority to have this opinion.

    • NTMBK
    • 3 years ago

    But you’ll barely have time to review it, because you’re so busy reviewing Zen behind the scenes? Right? *crosses fingers*

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