We Check The Tech For You

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

It’s launch time and we carry on our benchmarks of Kabylake, with a closer look at the ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING in the first of many reviews. The STRIX lineup has gone through some transitioning over the last year or so. With the move away from only GPU’s, to motherboards and into other areas such as peripherals. With RGB being the big craze in 2015-2016, it’s become one of the trademarks on most, if not all STRIX products recently.

Concerning features, we have support for DDR4 up to 3888 MHz, dual M.2 slots with Intel optane support, front USB 3.1, friendly ports, AURA Sync, The new S1220A audio codec, LanGaurd, 3D printer friendly design and so much more. As always it’s backed with an extensive software suite with a mass of useful tools, to further enhance its performance and usability compared to the competition. The STRIX Z270E GAMING has the looks, features, and a respectable price tag but how does it perform? Read on to find out…

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

Courtesy of ASUS

Packaging & Accessories

Much like the products themselves, the new STRIX gear is bold and enticing. It’s all about the visuals, and that’s apparent from the packaging too.  A real emphasis on the STRIX logo, which is linked directly to their bright and colorful feature set. A clean breakdown of the actual feature set is found on the backside of the box.

Taking a look at the bundle now in no particular order, you’ll find the following:

  • I/O Shield
  • 4X SATA Cables
  • Sticker Label Kit for cables
  • User manuals/Quick start
  • CPU Install Tool
  • M.2 screws
  • 3D Printer mount
  • SLI HB bridge
  • RGB header extension
  • A ROG Coaster
  • ROG Stickers
  • 2T2R Dual-band Wi-Fi Antenna
  • Misc documentation

For the price point, this is a very generous bundle.

Closer Look

We start our tour with a complete top down view, to absorb what’s on offer. As I said in past reviews, I thought Z170 was the turning point from plain and simple boards, to something much more appealing to the consumer. The Z170 range as a whole from ASUS was beautifully executed and well designed.

The new Z270 products are stunning. I didn’t think they could better an already winning design, but ASUS have done just that. While my personal taste leans more towards clean and low key, this is one is rather enticing!

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

Rather than a plain black PCB. Asus has gone for a mixture of black and grays with an angular pattern along the board. This is further tweaked, with beautiful accents on the new I/O shroud and brushed VRM heatsinks.

Likewise, the new heatsink over the Z270 chipset has branched into a new direction. All about being bold and different with an abstract shape, and more depth than previous versions.

[PCI-E Setup]

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

Towards the end of Z170, ASUS launched a few products new lighting around the PCI-E slots, which was interesting for sure but they’ve not included it here on the ASUS STRIX Z270E. For multi-card users, the product will support both SLI and crossfire. ASUS Safe slot has been implemented on the first two slots, granting more strength and support for heavier cards. Which is a must these days, for your peace of mind!

  • Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
  • Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
  • Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
  • Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
  • Expansion Slots

    2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (Single at x16, dual at x8/x8

    1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)

    3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

[Audio]

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

Audio has been improved on the STRIX Z270, over previous generations. Now sporting the S1220A codec, which brings loads of new tech and features. As usual ASUS back their hardware with optimized and productive software, such as Sonic Radar and Sonic studio to unleash its potential and maximize usability

[Storage Options]

Remember when SATA Express was set to be the next big thing? No… Many won’t, as it was dead before it hit the ground and it’s sat idle since on lots of Z170 products. ASUS have gone for an all SATA approach, avoiding SATA Express. Instead, offers 6x SATA III 6gbps ports. Which are all angled for cable neatness.

 ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
  • Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
  • Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports
  • Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology

[M.2 / U.2]

M.2 took some time to filter into the market, and pricing to adjust accordingly. Now it’s become a mainstream product, and the desire to use more was apparent. Intel noted this and now offer the ability to run 2x products on a single board this is further enhanced with Intel optane tech. which you can read about 

  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)*1
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/ storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)*1

It will make little no difference to most, but it’s worth noting, that the top slot can take a product up to 2210, while the lower has a max of 2280.

[Fan Locations]

 

ASUS have always provided more than most. The ASUS STRIX Z270E is no different with a total of 6 headers for system or CPU fans

1 & 2. Near DDR4 Banks

3. Above 24 pin POWER

4 & 5. Above PCIe Slots   (AIO high amp friendly)

6. Bottom right of board

[Other ports/ Features]

Along the motherboard base, you’ll find plenty of headers and the actual placement of everything is neat and well thought out.

Finishing up our tour of the board, looking at the I/O which consists of:

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

  • WIFI
  • USB 3.1 Type A + C
  • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x Display Port
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack(s)

[Lighting]

2016 the year of RGB. It’s very much a love-hate device, but I must applaud the efforts from ASUS, unlike other brands they been very careful and smart with how and where they implemented the actual lighting. With Some brands, its crystal clear they’ve added lighting to their products just for the sake of having it.

It’s been done right here and on the many other RGB enabled products, dubbed as AURA we know even had certified cases and such to couple up, and to create a spectacular system.

ASUS Z170 PRO GAMINGAURA Review (1) LED

That beautiful heatsink system is unleashed with the new and enhanced software here, and clever feature of AURA is the ability to sync. Meaning you can control your motherboard, GPU, keyboard and mouse all in one single app. ASUS has expanded the effects, and overall it’s much nice application to work with. On this particular board, the lighting is nothing short of brilliant, offering a mesmerizing light show, with tons of control to suit your needs.

Want to see it in action? See our video on Youtube

Bios Tour

[UEFI BIOS]

The UEFI bios loads to EZ Mode. From here you have a one-page layout, with readouts and access to the common settings. Rather than trawl through one page to next upon the first install, you can perform everyday tasks, such as setting the boot order, check CPU temps and configure fan curves.

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

[Tool]

An array of useful tools, such as the EZ Flash application for bios updates, Secure erase and ASUS SPD. Which presents information from your RAM, useful for manually setting timings.

Q Fan Control, is a nifty little add-on, that allows the user to tweak or auto tune their fans. Finally, the help section is very robust and efficient

As I said above, with a higher clock speed out of the box, the 7600K & 7700K shows strength there.

Despite benching with the exact same kit of RAM, results on Z270 are better.

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING Review

[GAMING]

Armed with a Nvidia GTX 1080, how does the new kaby processors affect FPS?

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING review
Bottom Line
Going forward we'll be taking a closer look at the Z270 range from ASUS, and I can't wait. For now, if you are a gamer that wants a feature generally found on the more premium or niche board, this is one to go for.
Positives
Stunning Visuals
Practical Lighting Solution
3D Printer support
Generous Bundle
Negative
Less USB ports than I expected
4.8
Buy it!
Check Pricing?

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.