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Asus Strix Z270E Gaming

It's just about impossible to check out all of the different Z270 boards offered by all of the manufacturers, but I have at least taken a look at a mix so far. Missing though was Asus, so today I’m going to be checking out the Asus Strix Z270E Gaming. Asus’s Z270 product lineup is broken down into four categories, Maximus as their high-end gaming boards, the Stix line as their gaming boards with lighting, the TUF series that is well tuff, and the Prime series are simpler for styling but still packed with a lot of the same features. Asus even put together a nice website to help you figure out what fits you best. So the Strix Z270E Gaming that I’m going to check out today is a full ATX board up at the top of the Strix lineup. I’ve only checked out Strix video cards, so I’m excited to see what Asus has going on with the Strix boards.

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MSI Z270 SLI PLUS

So not everyone looking for a Z270 board wants or needs all of the gaming-focused features that most of the Z270 boards have. Specifically, some people just want something clean and simple looking without any special lighting and MSI seems to have just the thing. Their Z270 SLI Plus has a black and silver theme without any RGB lighting. It’s a lot closer to a budget board but it still has a few of the features you would need/want when building a simple gaming PC including the SLI support. So today I’m going to check it out and see what it has going for features, software, and performance. Let’s dive in!

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Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K7

So it's almost tax time and this year we couldn’t ask for better timing on hardware launches. Intel launched their new chipsets and CPUs around CES time and AMD has their new CPUs and Chipsets coming here soon as well. So it looks like this year might be a big year for hardware, especially with more companies refocusing again on the PC. Well, Gigabyte introduced a whole selection of Z270 boards at CES and along with that they also expanded the reach of their Aorus line. It used to just be their gaming laptop lineup, but they have now brought together that brand with their gaming peripherals, motherboard, and video cards as well. The first Aorus product to come in is their new Z270X-Gaming K7 board. Let’s take a look and see what it’s all about.

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Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5

With companies finding ways to pack more and more features into Mini-ITX motherboards the small form factor market has flourished over the past few years. We are finally seeing a lot of people running smaller builds at events as LAN rigs and the idea of a higher end build doesn’t require a case that hardly fits in your car and needs a backbelt to pickup anymore. In fact, even when looking past the smallest builds we have been seeing cases designed for Mini-ITX that are still more mid tower designs. This is because most builds only need a single video card these days and built in NICs have improved in quality, ITX boards now sometimes have wireless, and even onboard audio has improved (and some people have moved to USB audio). All of that means most people don’t really need huge builds. I already took a look at MSIs Z170 ITX gaming board and today I’m checking out the Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5, Gigabytes highest featured ITX board to see what they have packed into the ITX form factor.

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MSI Z170I Gaming Pro AC

Over the last few years small builds have been becoming more and more popular. Both for LAN rigs like we have been using for a long time, but even for main PCs. This is partially due to more parts being available but mostly some people are tired of dealing with huge heavy cases, especially when you can do nearly anything you want in the Mini-ITX form factor. Late this fall I started thinking about a new LAN rig, maybe even another iteration of our LunchBox series, before I did that though I really needed to check out the new Z170 boards. That leads me to today where I’m going to check out MSI’s gaming focused Mini-ITX board, the Z170I Gaming Pro AC. I’ve used a few of MSI’s ITX boards in builds before and I’m excited to see what this one has to offer.

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Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming-7

With the launch of Intel’s latest chipset and the i7-6700 CPU it’s no surprise that they brought along with them a long list of new motherboards from every manufacture. At the launch I took a look at one of MSIs boards. After the launch though we jumped into GPU mode and covered the latest budget cards. Past that I slipped in a vacation and then of course our 17th LAN event. With all of that past us I can finally revisit Z170 and take a look at the Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 7. I’m excited to see what Gigabyte has packed into the board as far as features go and to find out how it compares to the MSI. So today I’m going to dig through the Gaming 7s features then put it to the test, let’s get to it!

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MSI Z170A Gaming M5

We can’t very well launch a completely new CPU with a new chipset without a motherboard right? Well MSI sent over their new Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard for us to test out Skylake and also to see what MSI has to offer in their new Z170 boards. Today I will be taking a look at their mid ranged gaming motherboard.  We have already seen how Skylake performs with our i7-6700K review, now I’m going to dig into the Z170A Gaming M5 and see what sets it apart from the competition. Enjoy!

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Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion

So what is now years ago Adam and I were at a press event for Gigabyte at CES. At that event I spent some time playing against a pro gamer and we also had the chance to see them introduce their new games series of motherboards. At the end of that speech they slipped in a quick sneak peak of a new line of overclocking motherboards with an orange theme that they called OC Orange. Now I think everyone knows just how much I love orange and OC orange to me is LanOC orange, a color that we have used on the website from nearly the start. At that time Adam wrote that he imagined that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I got my hands on one of the boards. Well it has been a long few years, but today is finally the day. Gigabyte sent over their new X99-SOC Champion flagship overclocking board and today I’m going to dig into it and see what it is all about. Oddly enough now that I can sleep, I want nothing more than to stay up and see what sets the board apart from the competition.

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Asus Crossblade Ranger

So last week I took a look at Asus’s AM3+ board, today I have the chance to take a look at a more recent AMD based ROG board called the Crossblade Ranger. Asus launched the Crossblade Ranger not to long ago and as you can tell from the lack of any numbers in the name this is their first Republic of Gamers FM2+ board. Why did they take so long to bring one out? Frankly the FM2+ platform was always designed to be more of a mainstream platform but that didn’t stop some people from using them for gaming. Asus noticed there was interest in a gaming focused board and here we are. Today I’m going to dive into the Crossblade Ranger and see what kind of features Asus packed in then after that I will get it on the testbench and make sure it performs like it should as well.

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Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z

Due to Intel releasing new chipsets often a lot of people might think that the motherboard market has a big focus on Intel boards. As I have seen in the past on our forums, our Facebook, and even at our events there is still a large AMD following that is hungry for the latest and greatest to support their preferred vender as well. Well when looking to lock in a board for future AM3+ testing I ended up with the Asus Crosshair V Formula in my hands. Today I’m going to dig into it and see what makes it Asus’s flagship AMD board.

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