ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E Gaming Motherboard - Close Up

Over the past few years, ASUS has dropped the red and black color theme on their motherboards and went with RGB Lighting to allow users to customize the boards as per their will. The stock RGB lights are indeed set to red but users can customize them through the AURA Sync software. Aside from that, the ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E Gaming comes in an all black color while the heatsinks feature a brushed silver finish that is fantastic. The PCB also comes with laser etched texturing which would go well with many PC builds. This motherboard costs north of $200 US so let's dig in to its features.

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The back of the motherboard comes in a very stylized design for the PCB. It has laser printed textures along with the naming logo that reads "ROG STRIX Z370-E Gaming".

The board uses the LGA 1151 socket to support Intel Core processors. The socket is compatible with Intel's 8th generation core family only at the moment. The socket has a protective cover on top of it that points out the exclusivity with Coffee Lake CPUs and refrains users from running a older 6th or 7th generation CPU as it could damage the socket.

Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB dual channel memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 4000 MHz (OC Plus). Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation.

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The ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E Gaming packs a 10 phase Digi+ VRM design. Features such as DRAM over current protection, TurboV, GPU Boost, Stainless Steel Back I/O, highly durable components, Safe Slot, ESD Guards, Ai Charger are found on this motherboard for best in class stability.

The VRMs are cooled off by a pair of heatsinks that do their job well considering their size and over all bulkiness. The metallic block underneath the heatsink makes direct contact with the VRMs and heat is dissipated by the air flow within the chassis, provided by various fans including the CPU fan cooler.

The one thing to note though is while being a $200 US+ offering, ASUS hasn't implemented a heat pipe design on this board which is a let down but during testing, I found that the VRMs were not being pushed that hard and the heatsinks developed by ASUS did a fine job to handle the load.

The CPU is supplied power through a single 8-pin power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 150W of power. Most Intel CPUs will be shipping with TDPs under 100W but that changes when users overclock, since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speed.

Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16 (single mode x16, dual mode x8/x8, triple mode x8/x8/x4), four PCI Express 3.0 x1 and two M.2 slots. The board can support three-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe gen3 x4 (one can switch between PCIe and SATA mode) and Intel Optane series memory.

ASUS is using a metallic cover on the sides of the expansion slots which provides protection to some extent. It adds more retention and shearing resistance by reinforcing the slots with metal plates. Aside from adding more protection, they do look really sweet.

ASUS has also implemented the M.2 heatsink technology on this board which comes in the form of a nice heatsink that comes in the form as an extension to the PCH heatsink This heatsink comes with a brushed metal finish and is engraved with the M.2 logo to make access easier.

The frame of the heatsink can be lifted off by removing three screws from the PCH heatsink to seat the storage device. M.2 devices with lengths up to 80mm can be supported by the M.2 heatsink.

The PCH is cooled off by a large metallic heatsink which runs next to the SATA ports. The PCH heat sink has embedded RGB LEDs and provide a good light show for those that are interested in RGBs trend. You can also turn off the LEDs entirely through ASUS's AURA Sync software if you are not a fan of such LEDs.

Storage options include six SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support eight different storage devices at once. A right angled USB 3.0 front panel header is also situated next to the SATA ports.

For Audio, ASUS is running the SupremeFX 8-Channel HD audio (Codec S1220) which falls under their ROG brand. This features technologies such as ESS ES9023P DAC, SupremeFX Shielding tech, 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input, high quality Nichicon caps, switching MOSFETs and gold plated audio jacks.

The entire motherboard is compliant with the ASUS AURA Sync RGB technology and there are multiple lighting points where the RGB can be addressed using their software.

The motherboard has a range of interesting features too which are not common on various other boards. There's support for 3D Printing mount, MemOK!, Q-Code, several RGB headers, a range of sensors for fan and AIO coolers, Intel Ethernet (I219-V) and a DIY friendly design which makes this a great board for PC modders. There's also a USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel header internally on the motherboard which makes fast data access all the more convenient. Following is the list of all the internal I/O ports on the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero:

  • 1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
  • 1 x AAFP connector
  • 2 x RGB Header(s)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
  • 1 x M.2_FAN connector
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
  • 2 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
  • 1 x System panel(s) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)
  • 1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU OV
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
  • 1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
  • 1 x COM port header
  • 1 x AIO PUMP Header
  • 3 x 3D Mount screw port(s)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

Finally, we have the I/O panel which includes a DVI port, Display Port, HDMI port, 1 LAN (RJ45) port which is run by the Intel Ethernet I219-V chipset, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A + Type-C) ports, 2 USB 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Optical S/PSIF out port, a 8 channel gold plated HD audio jack and a ASUS branded Wi-Fi GO! module that allows for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.2 connectivity.

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