Kaby Lake is here so it’s time to take a look at some of the top new Z270 Chipset motherboards on the market. Before we get to that, let’s take a look at some of the changes between the Z270 and the Z170 chipset.
First of all, the new Intel Kaby Lake processors are compatible with the previous generation Z170 motherboards. So, you definitely don’t have to upgrade if you already have an 1151 based system. Just be sure to update to a BIOS that supports it. If you’re like us, however, you’re excited about the new technology that’s available. So, here’s a look.
Z270 Chipset – What’s Changed?
Contents at a Glance
- 1 Top 1151 Z270 Kaby Lake PC Motherboards for the Money 2017
- 1.1 Asus Z270-A Prime Thoughts and Review
- 1.2 Asus ROG STRIX Z270E Gaming vs Z270F Review
- 1.3 Asus ROG Z270 Maximus IX Formula vs Code
- 1.4 MSI Z270 Gaming M7
- 1.5 ASRock Z270 Killer
- 1.6 MSI Z270 Gaming M5
- 1.7 ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6
- 1.8 Gigabyte Z270 GA-Z270M-D3H
- 1.9 Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 9
- 1.10 Related Posts:
- 1.11 Related
No, The Z270 chipset doesn’t offer native USB 3.1 Gen 2 10GBps or Thunderbolt. These are still added by manufacturers. But, there’s a lot to like about the small changes coming to this line.
The Z270 chipset allows for 30 high-speed IO devices or HSIO (14 downstream PCIe lanes instead of 10). These lanes can be shared with Gigabit ethernet USB 3.0 and other high-speed IO devices as the name would suggest. This also allows manufacturers to take some of these lanes and peel them off for additional PCIe devices up to a cluster of x4. These additional lanes are used for things like m.2, USB 3.1 controllers, and Thunderbolt. We’re guessing the main reason for the increase is to give manufacturers the ability to add another m.2 port.
It is not, however, for graphics cards. If you’re wanting more than eight lanes per slot in your multi-GPU configuration, you’ll still need to go with X99.
Optane Ready Support
Shown at CES 2017, Optane is Intel’s 3D Xpoint memory brand in connection with Micron. These will be developed for DIMM and SSD XPOint devices in two capacities; 16GB and 32GB. This acts as a cache between the disk and the main memory and processor. Basically, it’s a much better version of smart response technology giving your entire hard drive SSD-like speed. Z270 also includes an upgrade to version 15 of Rapid Storage Technology (RST).
Temperature and Power Usage
The Z270 chipset tends to add additional power and heat to your system but not so much that it becomes unmanageable.
In addition to these changes, are a lot of changes you’ll like from the motherboards manufacturers themselves (as outlined below).
Top 1151 Z270 Kaby Lake PC Motherboards for the Money 2017
Before we begin, it’s important to let you know that this list is ever evolving. With a new product, we may make changes every month. This is definitely true with motherboards. After they’ve been out for around six months, we’ll have a much better understanding of some of the long-term issues that a few of these might have. At that point, most of the driver issues that these newer boards face should be solved as well.
Below you’ll find a comparison table of many of the better value boards in terms of quality and features. Most of the information is specifications; however, an additional review can be found below the table. Rather have something smaller? Here’s a list of our favorite SFF Z270 Mini-ITX Motherboards.
|Model||Design||Expansion / Storage||Rear Ports / Audio LAN||Internals|
|Asus Z270-A Prime||2 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 (x16 or x8/x8), 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 4, 4x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 6 x SATA 6GB/s, 2 M.2 Socket 3 (1 for SATA and PCIe, 1 for PCIe only x4)||1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x RJ45, 1 x DisplaPort, 1 x USB 3.1 Type A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type C, 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x Optical, 8-channel Audio, Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN, Realtek S1220A 8-Channel||1 x USB 3.0, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x CPU 4 pin, 1 x CPU OPT Fan 4-pin, 1 x AIO Pump, 1 x High AMP, 2 x Chassis Fan, 1 x Aura GB, 2 x 3D Mount, 1 x Front Panel AAFP, 1 x Thunderbolt Header 5-pin, 1 x TPM, 1 x COM, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin, 1 x system Panel, 1 x MemOK!, 1 x Power-on, 1 x CPU OV, 1 x Clear CMOS, 1 x EZ XMP, 1 x 5-pin|
|Asus Z270 STRIX Z270E Gaming||2 x PCIe 3.0 x 16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4, 4 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 1 x M.2 with M Key||1 x PS/2, 1 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.1, 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x Optical, 5 Ports, 1 x Asus W-Fi Module, ROG Supreme FX S1220A 8 Channel||1 x USB 3.1 front panel, 1 x USB 3.0 connector, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x ROG extension (ROG_ext), 1 x 4-pin H AMP, 1 x 4-pin AIO Pump, 1 x 4-pin CPU fan, 1 x R-Pin CPU_Opt, 2 x R-Pin Chassis, 1 x 5-Pin Ext, 1 x 24-pin EATX, 1 x 8-pin EATX, 1 x front panel AAFP, 1 x COM, 2 x RGB, 1 x TPM, 1 x System Panel, 1 x Thermal Sensor, 1 x CPU OV, 1 x Clear CMOS 2-pin|
|Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula||2 x PCIe 2.0 x 16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 4, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 6 x SATA 6GB/s, 2 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key||1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x USB 3.1 (Type A and C), 4 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical, 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks, Intel I219-V||1 x USB 3.1 , 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 2 x AURA RGB, 1 x ROG ext, 1 x 4-pin CPU fan, 1 x 4-pin CPU Opt, 3 x 4-pin Chassis fan, 1 x EXT fan, 1 x 4-pin W Pump, 1 x W IN, 1 x W Out, 1 x W Flow, 1 x 4-pin AIO Pump, 1 x H AMP, 1 x Thermal Sensor, 1 x 24-pin EATX, 1 x 8-Pin EATX 12V, start button, reset button, safe boot, retry, LN2, 1 x slow, 1 x MemOK!, Clear CMOS, 1 x Thunderbolt, 1 x AAFP, 1 x TPM, 1 x System Panel|
|Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming K7||1 x PCIe 3.0 x 16, 1 x PCIEX8, 1 x PCIEX4, 3 x PCIe x 1||1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 2 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB Type-C USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 4 x USB 3.1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical, 5 x Audio||2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 24-pin ATX, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x CPU fan, 1 x water cooling CPU, 2 x System fan, 1 x system fan, 1 x RGBW, 1 x front panel, 1 x Front panel audio, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x TPM, 1 x Thunderbolt add-in card connector, 1 x Clear CMOS, 1 x ECO, 1 x OC, 1 x audio gain control|
|MSI Z270 Gaming M7||3 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x 1||1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical, 5 x OFC Audio||1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x 4-pin 12 V, 1 x 4-pin CPU Fan, 1 x 4-pin water pump, 4 x 4-pin system fan, 1 x front panel, 2 x front panel, 1 x RGB LED, 1 x Chassis intrusion, 1 x Clear CMOS, 1 x Low Temp Jumper, 1 x 2-pin slow mode, 1 x 2-pin OC retry, 1 x 2-pin OC force, 1 x 2-pin discharge, 1 x 2-digit debug|
|ASRock Z270 Killer||2 x PCIe 3.0 x 16, 4 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 1 x Vertical M.2 Key 3 w/ WiFI-802.11ac, 6 x SATA 6GB/s, 2 x Ultra M.2||1 x PS/2, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ-45, 5 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C, 1 x Optical, HD Audio Jacks, 2 x Antenna||3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 Header, 1 x COM Port, 1 x TPM, 1 x Chassis Intrusion, 1 x Power LED, 1 x AURA RGB LED, 1 x CPU Fan, 2 x Chassis Fan, 1 x Chassis Optional, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x Front Panel Audio, 1 Thunderbolt AIC 5-pin, 1 x Thunderbolt AIC 10-pin|
|MSI Z270 Gaming M5||3 x PCIe 3.0 x 16, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 2 x M.2||1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical, 5 x OFC Audio||2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 24-pin ATX, 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V, 1 x 4-pin CPU Fan, 1 x 4-pin water pump, 4 x 4-pin system, 1 x front panel audio, 2 x front panel connectors, 1 x serial port connector, 1 x RGB LED, 1 x TPM, 1 x chassis intrusion, 1 x CLEAR CMOS, 1 x BIOS Flashback, 1 x 2-digita Debug|
|ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6||3 x PCIe 3.0 x 16, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 1 x M.2, 6 x SATA3 6Gb/s, 1 x Ultra M.2 Socket M2_1, 1 x M.2 M2_2||Realtek ALC1220, 7.1 Channel, 1 x PS/2, 1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 2 x RJ-45, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x Fatal1ty Mouse Port, 1 x Optical, HD Audio Jacks, 2 x Antenna Port||3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x COM, 1 x TPM, 1 x Power LED, 1 x AURA RGB, 1 x CPU Fan, 1 x CPU Water pump, 2 x Chassis fan 4-pin smart speed, 1 x Chassis 4-pin smart speed, 1 x 24-pin ATX, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x Front Panel Audio, 1 x Thunderbolt 5-pin, 1 x Thunderbolt 10-pin, 1 x Dr. Debug, 1 x Power Switch, 1 x Reset Switch, 1 x XMP Switch|
|Asus Prime Z270-P||1 x PCIe 3.0, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 4, 4 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 4 x SATA 6Gb/s, 2 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key||1 x PS/2, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 8-channel, Realtek ALC887, 8 Channels||2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x CPU Fan, 2 x Chassi Fan 4-pin, 1 x S/PDIF Out, 1 x 24-pin EATX, 1 x 8-pin, 1 x front panel Audio, 1 x Clear CMOS, 1 x System Panel, 1 x COM|
|Gigabyte Z270 GA-Z270XP-SLI||1 x PCIe x 16, 1 x PCIEX8, 1 x PCIEX4, 3 x PCIe x 1, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 1 x SATA Express Connector, 1 x M.2||1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x USB type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Typ-A, 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6 x Audio||2 x USB 3.1 gen 1 headers, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x CPU Fan, 1 x Water cooling, 2 x system fan headers, 1 x system fan / water, 1 x front panel, 1 x front panel audio, 1 x S/PDIF Out, 1 x TPM, 1 x Thunderbolt add-in, 1 x Serial port, 1 x parallel port, 1 x Clear CMOS|
|Gigabyte Z270 GA-Z270M-D3H||1 x PCIe x 16, 1 x PCIEX4, 2 x PCI, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 3 x SATA Express, 1 x M.2, Realtek ALC892||1 x PS/2, 1 x D-Sub, 1 DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45, 1 x USB type-c, 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 6 x Audio jacks, Intel GbE Lan Chip||1 x USB 3.01, Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin, 1 x CPU fan, 3 x system fan, 1 x front panel, 1 x front panel audio, 1 x S/PDIF Out, 1 x TPM, 1 x serial port, 1 x parallel, 1 x Clear CMOS|
|Gigabyte Aorus Gaming GA-Z270X-Gaming 5||1 x PCIEX16, 1 x PCIEX8, 1 x PCIEX4, 3 x PCIEX1, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 3 x SATA Express, 1 x M.2 M2M_32G, 1 x M.2 connector M2P_32G, 1 x U.2||1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 2 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 connector, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical, 5 x Audio, Realtek ALC1220, Intel GbE Lan, Killer E2500, Bluetooth 4.1||2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 heaqders, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x CPU fan, 1 x Water cooling, 2 x System fan, 1 x system fan, 1 x front panel, 1 x front panel audio, 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x TPM, 1 x RGBW, 1 x Thunderbolt add-in, 1 x Clear CMOS, 1 x ECO, 1 x OC, 1 x audio gain|
|ASRock Z270 Extreme 4||3 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x 1, 1 x M.2 Key 3, 6 x Sata 6Gb/s, 1 x Ultra M.2 M2_1, 1 x Ultra M.2 M2_2||PS/2, D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI, RJ-45, USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x Optical, HD Audio Jacks, 2 x Antenna Ports, Intel I219-V, Realtek ALC1220||3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 ASMEDIA, 1 x COM, 1 x TPM, 1 x Power LED< 1 x Aura RGB, 1 x CPU Fan, 1 x CPU Water, 2 x Chassis 4-pin, 1 x chassis optional water smart speed, 1 x 24-pin Hi-Density, 1 x 8-pin 12V, 1 x Front panel, 1 x Thunderbolt AIC 5-pin, 1 x Thunderbolt AIC 10-pin|
|Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 9||2 x PCIe x 16, 2 x PCIe x16 at x8, 2 x PCIe x 1, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 3 x SATA Express, 1 x M.3 M2M_32G, 1 x M.2 M2P_32G, 2 x U.2||1 x PS/2, 1 x HDMI, 2 x RJ45, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Thunderbolt connector, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 5 x USB 3.1, 1 x Optical, 5 x audio jacks, 2 x MMCX antenna, Killer E2500, Bluetooth 4.1, Creative Sound Core 3D Chip||2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0 1.1, 1 x 24-pin, 1 x 8-pin, 1 x CPU fan, 1 x water cooling, 4 x system fan, 2 x system fan, 1 x I/O shield audio, 2 x RGBW, 1 x front panel header, 1 x front panel audio, 1 x TPM, 1 x thunderbolt add-in, 1 x CLEAR CMOS, 1 x power, 2 x temp sensor, 1 x reset buitton, 1 x ECO, 1 x OC, 2 x audio gain control, 2 x BIOS, voltage measurement|
Asus Z270-A Prime Thoughts and Review
This is the Asus sweet spot motherboard that seems to catapult them into first place with each new generation of processor. The Asus Prime Z270-A has enough features and overclocking potential for most PC building enthusiasts while maintaining its mid-range price point. Compared to many other top rated Z270 boards, the Prime Z270-A has a very reasonable $164 price tag. That being said reasonable, in this case, doesn’t mean or feel cheap.
Design and Features
For design, the Prime Z270-A maintains its appeal with a black PCB and white accents. For lighting, a single RGB path is located at the audio section of the board. Additional LEDs can be added by using the Aura Controller on this board.
Like more expensive boards, the Asus Prime Z270-A has a top of the line 10-phase power delivery along with plenty of features like two M.2 x4 ports, a three-year warranty, and a Crystal Sound 3 audio system that is separate from the other parts of the motherboard. The sound system on this and other motherboards for this chipset that we’ve seen is truly impressive. The Prime Z270-A is capable of 2-Way SLI or 3-Way CrossFireX. Other features can be found in the table above.
Overclocking on the Z270-A is fairly simple. Novice users can find the EZ-Mode in the Bios to enable the Intel XMP profile. In advanced mode, you can use the AI tweaker to adjust all the CPU cores and voltages. You should be able to reach 5.0GHz on the Kaby Lake i7-7700k without a problem. The Prime Z270-A also has support for memory at 4266MHz OC.
In the Box:
Contents inside the box include the user Manual, DVD Driver, Cover shield, Installation guide, 3 x SATA cables, Asus quick connect, and a heavy duty SLI bracket.
The Asus Prime Z270-A is the everyday enthusiast motherboard. It’s not too expensive and not too cheap. Features like Dual M.2 ports and SATA Ports, a good layout and design, as well as customizable RGB LEDs give most what they’re looking for. Overclocking results are where we think most will want to be, hitting that magical 5GHz number. For all of these reasons, it’s our choice for the top Z270 motherboard of 2017 so far.
Asus ROG STRIX Z270E Gaming vs Z270F Review
To replace its Ranger series of motherboards Asus released a Strix version instead. Considering how popular their Strix line has become for their graphics cards, we’re not surprised. The Z270F Strix motherboard is the less expensive one at around $179. The F in the model stands for Formula so it’s still part of that lineup.
Asus STRIX Motherboard Lineup
The Z270E is the extreme version of this motherboard while the Z270G is the mATX version. The difference in the E and the F basically comes down to the additional 1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector and the Wi-Fi, 2T2R, and Bluetooth v4.1 support. That’s basically it. So, if it’s worth the extra $20 to have those features go with the E. If not, go with the F version.
For overclocking, you’ll likely be able to reach around 5.1GHz with this board. This number could potentially get better with some additional tweaks. The BIOS is a bit of a new one that will certainly get better with time.
Overall, in terms of performance, we’re quite pleased with this board. It’s been shown to be at or near the top in many of the stress tests performed on it, it has great features, and overclocks well too. The RGB lighting is ok on this one and you may need to add a bit to it, but for some of you, that won’t matter.
Asus ROG Z270 Maximus IX Formula vs Code
For those wanting a premium machine, you’ll likely find yourself heading towards the Maximus IX Formula. These boards have become known as the latest and greatest for many generations with few exceptions.
For features, you’ll see in the table above that there’s nothing lacking. The Maximus IX is built for speed, runs cool, and makes everything easier. Compared to the less Expensive Code version the Formula has a full-length backplate, built in EK water block, and a hard mounted IO shield. So, those are the major differences.
Overclocking this board is a breeze and you should be able to hit 5.1GHz on the i7-7700k without a problem. Unlike other boards, you can also run your 4000 MHz memory at the same time as the high CPU overclock. That’s something really unique for this Z270 chipset board. The BIOS shows the kind of experience that comes with having a plethora of generations for this board. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and just gives you more.
Overall, it’s a premium enthusiast board that doesn’t shy away from its price tag. If you’re looking for the best, this may well be it. For others, one of the boards above may be a more practical solution.
MSI Z270 Gaming M7
For many gamers, the design of the Gaming M7 truly gives more options back to the gamers. Rather than enforcing red and black, you get a black design with more control over LED lighting.
For overclocking, a stable 5GHz can be achieved without a problem.
Features you’ll like on this board include the 3 M.2 slots, Dual ALC1220, USB 3.1 at the front and the rear, and the great aesthetics.
Overall, if you’re looking for a motherboard that has solid overclocking, doesn’t force you into a color scheme, and has good features for the money you pay, this is one of the best Z270 options for around $250.
ASRock Z270 Killer
If you’re looking for a budget motherboard that still performs well, the Z270 Killer might just be well within your price point at just $130. Reaching a CPU 4.9GHz stable at 1.39 v and up to 3777MHz on the memory, this board will be good enough for some. If you’re looking for a few more features, there’s always ASRocks Extreme 4 which comes in at just around $25 more.
While it is a good performer it does lack some of the features you might find on other more expensive motherboards. If that’s not a big deal to you, the Killer is a great deal.
This is a NewEgg exclusive. Find it on rebate for the best price.
MSI Z270 Gaming M5
If you’re looking for a good overclocker for the money, we’d point you in the direction of MSI’s Gaming M5 which comes in at just under $200. It doesn’t have a huge feature list; however, the great DRAM overclocking, CPU overclocking, and triple NVMe support will definitely bring it to the front of a few builder’s lists.
Numbers like 3636MHz at 1.35V for the memory and should be very stable at 4.8GHz.
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6
While ASRock’s new motherboard doesn’t have wireless connectivity, it does have just about all of the other features you might want for this platform. This includes a 12-phase CPU power design, Japanese capacitors, steel reinforced PCIe slots, 2-way SLI and 3-Way CrosssfireX support, and of course two full speed PCIe 3.0 x 4 M.2 slots. Of course, you also get Intel-powered gigabit LAN ports, high-speed USB 3.1 ports, and much more.
For overclocking you won’t get much higher than DDR4-3733. The specifications may be listed for higher than that, but it’s what we’ve seen achieved. CPU overclocking should put you in that sweet spot of right around 5GHz.
There are no SATA Express or U.2 ports, which is actually quite a plus since no one uses them. The two gigabit LAN ports are what sets this model part at the price point. There is no Wi-Fi on this model which may be a problem for some. However great audio through the Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 and the Realtek ALC1220 codec is a plus. Overall, the Fatal1ty Gaming K6 is priced right at around $180 and has a great design to it as well quality parts. We have no problem recommending it.
Gigabyte Z270 GA-Z270M-D3H
I’ve used Gigabyte’s D3H models in the past. They’ve been perfect for those mid-ranged builds that don’t need excessive features. I’m not sure why many reviewers haven’t reviewed the Gigabyte GA-Z270M-D3H yet; however, it’s one of the better budget options available for those looking to build a Z270 Micro ATX rig. Perhaps, it’s because it’s on the lower-end side for the Z270 chipset. However, for many a motherboard represents everything they’re looking for.
Many on the Z270 chipset simply want a decent amount of features to go along with a mild overclock that represents no risk to their components. Put that together in a small form factor, and you’ve got something that’s definitely attractive to the budget-conscious crowd.
Overall, this board comes in at $120 and has enough features to throw your graphics card in with several storage devices. It’s a definite possibility that you’ll see this along with the new Kaby Lake overclockable i3.
Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 9
The Gaming 9 is part of Gigabyte’s new Aorus series of Z270 motherboards. Auros replaced Gigabyte’s G1 gaming line. These are built for gamers looking for premium solutions for their motherboard as well as keyboard, mouse, and GPU. This is an e-ATX motherboard so it’s bigger and thus carries more features along with it.
If you like lighting, you’ll be a fan of the Gaming 9’s multi-zone RGB lighting features. You can choose between 16.8 million RGB colors as well as 8 effects. With everything fully lit, it looks amazing. These colors can be controlled with the RGB ten zone LED lighting.
For overclocking, you should be able to reach a stable 5GHz on the CPU and shows up to 4000+ MHZ with the proper memory kit. Keep in mind, we’ve not done the testing for the memory here.
Overall this motherboard comes at a premium. You’re paying for great features like the 4-way SLI and Crossfire, Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet, the amazing lighting system, and a custom EK water block.