ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming Z270 LGA 1151 Motherboard Review
ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming3rd January 2017
ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming Board- Features
The new STRIX Z270E GAMING motherboard was designed to forge maximum performance and overclocking, this motherboard series features premium components as well as improved DDR4 layouts, deliver a better experience on performance, stability and longevity.
The series also boasts ROG SupremeFX with a significantly new upgraded audio solution on both back and front panel, advanced networking, fastest onboard M.2 storage interfaces with up to 32Gbps, and Intel USB 3.1 Type-C with power delivery up to 15W for the ultimate gaming experience. Finally, the ROG UEFI BIOS and ROG exclusive software continues leading the way with cutting edge options.
ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming Specifications:
USB 3.1 front header
STRIX Z270E Gaming is not only equipped both Type-A and Type-C on rear I/O but also a special implemented front USB 3.1 connector to enable 10Gbps transfer speeds and give users the convenience of Type-C ports at the front of the chassis. ASUS has also partnered with chassis vendors Lian-Li and In-Win to ensure users can take advantage of this header. The corresponding chassis should be released to market at or near the KabyLake launch date.
STRIX Z270E Gaming features two M.2 slots (M key socket 3) with support for both the PCIe 3.0 X4 32Gbps standard and SATA 6Gbps standard. Supporting both NVMe and AHCI standard as well as compatibility of full spec supporting on form factors from 2242, 2260, 2280 to 22110 – bringing you the fastest and the most flexible M.2 interface. STRIX Z270E Gaming adopts two M.2 while one in horizontal and the other equipped in vertical. M.2_1 in horizontal supports form factor 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 in both PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA mode; while M.2_2 supports 2242 / 2260 / 2280 with PCIe 3.0 x4 mode only)
(M.2_1 shares SATA mode with SATA port 1; M.2_2 shares PCIe x4 bandwidth with SATA port 5,6 )
On the STRIX Z270E Gaming the M.2 can be utilized for PCIe RAID purpose, by combining the M.2 PCIe storage with another PCIe storage to squeeze out the last juice of PCIe storage performance.
3D Printing Friendly design
3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of using additive layers to create a three dimensional objects from a digital file. One of the most eye-catching topic recently in the industry, the very nature means of 3D printing is to bring out the endless possibilities for customization, a new kind of value-added feature for those who enjoys the philosophy of “make it your own”.
However what does this technology has to do with ASUS motherboard? This generation on the ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming offers a template for enthusiasts to print out their own ideas DIYers can now make their own customization in whatever color they are interested in with ease and hassle-free.
STRIX Z270E Gaming is equipped Aura RGB lighting from top to bottom, ensure bright, evenly distributed illumination of your build, lit up and customize your own favorite LED effect to cast a stunning multi-color glow across your build, change shades to indicate CPU temperature, or pulsate in time to the beat of your favorite tunes and a lot of more.
2+2 independent on-board LED areas with refreshed Aura software
There are 2 independent onboard LED groupings – Back IO and Power/Reset Button, and Northbridge logo. Together with 2 additional independent Aura headers, 2 more RGB strips or Aura sync compatible devices can be controlled. While all can be synced up through software Aura and also 9 changeable lighting effects among all your modding gears. It’s easy to use and can be quickly installed to cast brilliant colors across your rig and room. These two onboard RGB strip headers supporting 5050RGB LED strip standard with a maximum power rating of 12V/1A per strip. This equates to a maximum strip length of approximately 2 meters for the best brightness.
Aura lighting control software is the core of Aura aesthetics. It allows users to tweak the colors and brightness of onboard RGB LEDs. ASUS Aura lighting control software includes 9 lighting effects – Static / Breathing / Strobing / Color cycle / Rainbow / Comet / Flash and Dash / CPU Temperature and Music Effect that changes LED color according to playback audio or CPU Temperature.
Aura Sync is also a part of lighting control feature that can be easily utilize to help you sync up other RGB lighting peripherals, user can use this interface to setup your Aura lighting individually or united it together as one. However do keep in mind that this feature may be different on other peripherals as not all products have same effects and lighting mechanism.
BEST GAMING NETWORKING
The STRIX Z270E Gaming motherboards feature the latest Intel Ethernet (I219-V) for faster and smoother gaming sessions. It reduces CPU overhead to allot more processing power for gaming and offers exceptionally high Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) throughput.
STRIX has also improved on the networking port with Onboard LANGuard; it uses advanced SOC technology to combine the legacy LANGuard elements into one chipset, including signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors to improve throughput. Onboard LANGuard as well features surge-protect ability with no less on electrostatically-guarded components (ESD Guards) to protect motherboard LAN from surge damaging that may be caused by either lightning strikes or static electricity. Onboard LANGuard gives you exactly the same protection as always, 1.5X higher on surge and 1.9X higher on static-electricity tolerance.
The latest STRIX-exclusive networking optimization utility, GameFirst IV, comes upgraded with even more gamer-friendly features and an intuitive interface.
Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet
Current STRIXZ270 motherboards feature the Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet chip, and so the following performance comparisons are based on it. Having the full triad of Intel hardware on your PCB (CPU, PCH, LAN) also gives better compatibility, energy savings and the chip itself can offload UDP/TCP checksums from the CPU, reducing PCH-CPU traffic and overall CPU use.
RAMCache II (to turbo boost storage)
ROG RAMCache II software provides transparent solution to increase overall storage performance by utilizing the system memory that is not in use. RAMCache II allocates a cache of RAM between the computer hard disk and the applications, and then reads in real time your performance needs regarding the applications you are currently using and the disk I/O demands. It will copy the most frequently used data from the disk to the RAM cache where it can be processed faster, and then automatically writes it back to the disk. One more thing worth noting is that RAMCache II is now ready to support NVM Express protocol storage devices.
This generation, the SupremeFX comes with a new S1220A CODEC in addition to its cutting-edge isolation technologies to minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI), premium Nichicon audio capacitors, Dual headphone amplifier, SupremeFX Shielding Technology, and line-out impedance sensing to provide precision-engineered audio that is on par with dedicated headphone amps.
On the software side, the STRIX Z270E Gaming also features Sonic Radar III to display that has been completely overhauled to pinpoint enemy footsteps with devastating accuracy. See the direction and origin of key in-game sounds, and practice your enemy-pinpointing skills, plus exclusive Audio Enhancement technology clarifies every last blast.
- ROG SupremeFX S1220A High Definition Audio CODEC, this CODEC features an unprecedented 113dB SNR line-in and 120dB SNR line-out that allows users to stream and record with minimal noise. As well as headphone amplify with 2.1Vrms output capability and 600-Ohm high impedance driving capability.
- De-pop MOSFET serves a dual function in this generation. Aside from switching on and off to minimize pop noises, it also serves as an impedance sense pathway that allows both the front and rear panels to detect the impedance of your headphone.
- Impedance sensing brings you the ability to sense line-out/headphone impedance while installed, and automatically determines the best amplify level for your speaker/ headphone. It’s either “Performance” for 0~50ohm, “Powerful” for 51~109ohm, or “Extreme” for 110ohm and above. Lower amplify level can protect your low impedance output device from large driving hazard, while high amplify level increase a better driving ability for your high impedance product.
- SupremeFX shielding a physical isolation guard that isolates crosstalk and noise interference from other high frequencies, preserving a pure and a non-distortion pathway from top to bottom, ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference from within the PCB and from other components.
- Dual Op-Amps Powerful audio boost to covering from high resistance (600-Ohm) headphone sets to low resistance (32-Ohm) headphone sets, with automatic impedance sensing, enhancing the highest quality sound for gaming headphones and speakers.
- Premium Nichicon@ audiophile grade capacitors provide warm, natural, and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity that are great for game effects and multimedia.
- Left/Right Channel Track Separation Layout technique to separate left/right channel track, to reduce any possible interference.
- Stainless Steel cover protects HD audio chip from interferences, to ensure the best audio quality and isolates the environmental noise invasion.
SafeSlot provides user a great deal of protection on PCIe slot, reinvented and strengthened through a new insert-molding process to bind the slot for fortifying metal for superior retention and shearing resistance, reinforcing the best strength on all X / Y / Z axis. This new armor is designed with the concept to extend longevity and durability while heavy graphic cards are taken place, SafeSlot was designed using metal hooks to the plastic slot itself which brings user the real benefit on PCIe strength in all 3D X / Y / Z axis.
Q-Shield, Q-Code, Q-LED, Q-Slot, Q-DIMM, Q-Connector
A lot of R&D effort is put into the Q design detailing on all over the boards, hoping to provide user a better DIY experience on all cases. Q-shield was designed to be soft and flexible for nicks free and cuts free. Q-Code makes troubleshooting POST failures even easier. Q-LED leads you to the POST status of the system. 1-Clip Q-Slot helps user to have better experiencing on upgrading the graphics cards with ease. Q-DIMM makes memory modules insertion simplified with just one easily push. Q-Connector takes part for better DIY experience, a sweet little gadget for system front panel installation. All these were made for DIY users that care for quicker and better DIY experiences, no more hassles and hazards on DIY!
While you protect yourself in the game, STRIX Z270E Gaming protects all sides in the real world.
SafeSlot Core : Structure improvement
One thing worth noting is regarding the PCIe bonding structure, usually the part is designed simply by inserting the metal pin into the plastic slot, which is then fix it to the motherboard. In other words, the strength of the structure on the Y-axis is depends solely on the resistance of the surface friction between metal and plastic. This sometimes results in trouble when the user roughly handles the PCIe slot. ROG resolves this by using an extra hook on the metal pin right before inserting it into the plastic slot. This small technique results in a direct increase in durability of the PCIe slot and as well as an extension on the lifespan of your motherboard.
SafeSlot Core : Reinforced soldering
Together with SafeSlot and the slot binding structure, solder points have also been increased. This gives extra strength for all axes, with 16% durability improvement on X-axis; 66% on Y-axis; and 34% on the Z-axis. On the Maximus IX Code both DRAM and PCIe slots are utilize this technique to ensure that the best protection possible.
DRAM Over-current Protection
Additional resettable fuse protection connecting on ports and DRAM to against over current from short-circuits.
2X greater protection than the industry standard from electrostatic discharges, to extend a better device life-span for onboard PS2, USB, Audio and LAN ports.
10K Black Metallic Capacitors
Exceptionally high-quality Nichicon solid-state capacitors offer 20% greater temperature endurance and five times longer on the lifespans than the generic equivalents.