Overall and Final Verdict
It’s crazy how a lot can change, but in the end, Asus boards still seem to stand out from the competition. This was especially true on the software side of things for me when testing the Strix Z270E. The BIOS feels fluid to navigate where the competition still seems to struggle with that and while AI Suite hasn’t really changed in over a year it is still really good and easier to use. They need to integrate the new lighting controls into it, though. The lighting on the Strix Z270E Gaming wasn’t over the top like some of the other boards if anything I would actually like to see a few more on board LEDs. The multi-zone lighting strip was cool and having two case lighting headers is a step above the two other boards that I tested in this same price range. Having two case lighting headers will open up options to do lighting effects in two zones in your case or just keep the wiring cleaner.
I’m really digging the styling of the board. It is a little edgy but still manages to be simple. They also packed the board with a nice mix of connection options like the two m.2 slots, more than enough PCIe slots, and even the new USB 3.1 header than I expect to see picking up in popularity in the near future. Then you still get all of the legacy options as well. Really my only complaint about connection options was on the rear I/O where it has four USB 3.0, one 3.1 Type-C, and one 3.1 Type-A. They add in the newer options, but I think the wireless plugs could be flipped and they could at least get two more USB ports back there. I know for my PC this wouldn’t be enough to hook up my two USB hubs and the other USB devices. A gamer, for example, might have a keyboard, mouse, webcam, and a game controller before even considering any other USB devices like a headset or external capture card or DAC. With a total of two case fan headers, the board could use a little more there as well.
All in all, though the Strix Z270E Gaming does a great job of matching the connection options of the similarly priced Gigabyte board while standing out in looks, software, and with that USB 3.1 internal header. Like I said with the Aorus board, at $199.99, this seems to be close to the sweet spot for a higher featured board. Going up in price from here is going to give you less value for your dollar and lower in price and you are going to lose a few features that you might need in the future. That makes the Strix Z270E a good pickup in my opinion.
Live Pricing: HERE