ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F GAMING Motherboard Review

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ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F GAMING Motherboard Review. We recently took a look at the ROG STRIX Z270E GAMING, and today we examine the Z270F. Visually they look identical at first glance, so what is the difference?

The short answer is not much; the F lacks WI-FI/Bluetooth support, has no USB 3.1 front panel connector port, and finally, a few thermal/sensing headers have been omitted.

In turn, this translates to a lower price tag than the E model. Pricing of the ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F GAMING in the UK £161.99  & US $ 188 90 (correct on day of review)

Regarding features it’s nearly identical to the E, we have support for DDR4 up to 3888 MHz, dual M.2 slots with Intel optane support, 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 new naming scheme has confused some of our readers, and based on feedback from our Z270E review; I thought it would be helpful to drop a little bit of info that should help. The last letter of each is an iteration that corresponds to prior models from Z170. For example, the F indicates Formula, H indicates Hero and so on

ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F GAMING Motherboard Features

Read Full Specs?
CPUIntel® Socket 1151 for 7th/6th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
ChipsetIntel® Z270
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3866(O.C.) – /2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
GraphicIntegrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI-D/DisplayPort 1.2 ports
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
– Supports DVI-D with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
– Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz *1
Maximum shared memory of 1024 MB
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
Supports up to 3 displays simultaneously
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)
4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1
StorageIntel® Z270 Chipset :
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)*2
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (x4 PCIE mode)*3
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology*4
Intel® OptaneMemory Ready *5
LANIntel® I219V
Anti-surge LANGuard
ROG GameFirst Technology
AudioROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A
– Dual Headphone Amplifiers
– Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
– Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
– High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
– SupremeFX Shielding Technology
– Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *6
Audio Feature :– SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
– Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
– Sonic Radar III
– Sonic Studio III
USB PortsIntel® Z270 Chipset :
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® Z270 Chipset :
6 x USB 2.0 port(s)
ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (Type-A + Type-C, Support 3A power output)

 

Courtesy of ASUS

[nextpage title=”First 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.

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Even now, some months after the initial Z270, this ranks as one of the best boards on the market, based on visuals alone. The ROG/STRIX products have always been stellar, and this is no exception. The blend of black, silvers, grays and unique finishes, are just stunning

The heatsink and shrouding make a serious impression. The tones and effects are heavily based on the light source, particularly the brushed heatsink, which really comes to life when the RGB element is activated. The heatsink taming the MOSFETs is overkill, but we like it.. a lot!

Likewise, the Z270 chipset heatsink, is just mesmerizing, with a mix of materials, lines, and unique small elements. They’ve broken the mold, and its art like appearance is what makes this product so very different to the rest

[PCI-E Setup]

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! You’re good to go for both AMD Crossfire, or Nvidia SLI here.

[Audio]

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. ASUS have a track record of delivering stellar audio, and it’s very much the case here on the Z270F

[Storage Options]

The F, has the same storage array as the E, with no U.2 or SATA EXPRESS to be found. Instead, we have 6x right angled SATA ports, for simplicity.

 

[M.2 / U.2]

M.2 tends to be the first choice for most builders now, the benefits are obvious, and we’re not just talking about the speed gains over SATA. Less cable clutter, and more space, render them perfect for any sized rig

Intel noted this and now offer the ability to run 2x M.2 products on a single board, and this is further enhanced with Intel optane tech. Which you can read about 

 

[Fan Locations]

ASUS-ROG-STRIX-Z270F-GAMING-Motherboard-Review-Fan-locations

ASUS have always provided more than most. Some of which are optimized for a water pump, a clever feature to ensure the right amount of power is being delivered. The ASUS STRIX Z270F 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. Aside from a few minor emissions, it’s the same as the E model. We lose the USB 3.1 internal header

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

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[Lighting]

2016 was the year of RGB. Like any trend, It’s very much a love-hate element, but I must applaud the efforts from ASUS, unlike other brands they been very careful and smart. Lots of thought 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 now even had certified cases and such to couple up, and to create a spectacular system.  Slightly timid regarding how much lighting. Some users may have preferred more, for me its just right

ASUS-ROG-STRIX-Z270F-GAMING-Motherboard-Review-Lighting

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.

ASUS has expanded the effects and overall it’s much nicer 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.

[nextpage title=”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 common tasks, such as setting the boot order, check CPU temps and configure fan curves.

[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

The beauty with the ASUS products, is the ability to tweak, you’ll find settings not seen elsewhere in the UEFI. It’s the best on the market, hands down

It’s worth noting our testing, was concluded with a more mature BIOS, we highly suspect the gains, that place the F above the E, are tied directly to this

Despite benching with the exact same kit of RAM, results on Z270 are better., as referenced earlier, We think the updated BIOS is the reasoning for a higher score.

 

[GAMING]

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