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.

Product Name: Asus Strix Z270E Gaming

Review Sample Provided by: Asus

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE




Intel® 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


Intel® Z270


4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 up to 3866MHz
Dual Channel Memory Architecture

Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)


Integrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support

Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI-D/DisplayPort 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 Support

Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology

Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x4 mode)

4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1


Intel® Z270 Chipset : 
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 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology
Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready


Intel® I219V

Anti-surge LANGuard

ROG GameFirst Technology

Wireless Data Network

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz

Supports MU-MIMO


Bluetooth V4.1


ROG 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 Ports

Intel® 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 : *7
1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector port(s) 
ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller : 
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (Type-A + Type-C, Support 3A power output)

ROG Exclusive Features

ROG CloneDrive
GameFirst IV
ROG Aura
- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura RGB Strip Headers

Special Features

OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology
- Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance
5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 4, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.
- Auto Tuning, TurboV, GPU Boost
- Fan Xpert 4 featuring Fan Auto Tuning function and multiple thermistors 
Gamer's Guardian:
- DRAM Overcurrent Protection
- Stainless Steel Back I/O
- Highly Durable Components
- SafeSlot
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger 
- ESD Guards
- PC Cleaner
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3 
- ASUS EZ Flash 3 
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
Gaming Aesthetics :
- 3D printing friendly
- AURA-RGB Lighting
Turbo APP
M.2 Onboard(The latest transfer technologies with up to 32Gb/s data transfer speeds)

Back I/O Ports

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)

1 x DVI-D

1 x DisplayPort

1 x HDMI

2 x USB 3.1 Type-A + Type-C

4 x USB 3.0 (blue)

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x Audio jack(s)

1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0

Internal I/O Ports

1 x AAFP connector

1 x RGB Header(s)

1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)

3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 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 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)

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 Front panel connector(s)

1 x System panel(s) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)

1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector

1 x DRCT header(s)

1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)

1 x CPU OV

1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)

1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector

1 x COM port header

1 x High AMP Fan header (4-pin)

1 x T_Sensor Connector

1 x AIO PUMP Header

3 x 3D Mount screw port(s)

1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector


User's manual

ASUS Q-Shield

4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)

1 x M.2 Screw Package

1 x CPU installation tool

1 x Supporting DVD

1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)


1 x ROG Strix stickers

1 x 10-in-1 ROG cable label

1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)

1 x 3D printing mount package

1 x ROG coasters


128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.


WfM2.0, DMI3.0, WOL by PME, PXE

Operating System

Windows® 10 64-bit

Windows® 8.1 64-bit

Windows® 7 32-bit

Windows® 7 64-bit

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor

12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )


Packaging and Accessories

So the Strix packaging didn’t stick with the older red and black ROG theme but I really like it. It has a black background and the Strix branding is across it in a whole rainbow of colors to represent the RGB lighting. Then they have an actual picture of the board on the cover, something I wish everyone did. Down along the bottom are a few of the required logos as well as logos for things like Asus’s Aura lighting. The back of the box has another full sized photo of the board as well as more detailed shots showing a few key features. They even slipped in a photo of the rear I/O and put a list of its connections on the back. That, the specifications, and the photos really make it easy when shopping in a retail setting.

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Inside the board sits in its own cardboard tray with a static bag around it. Up under that tray is all of the included accessories and documentation.

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For documentation, you get a user manual and a quick start guide. They also have a combo card with Asus and CableMod to show that CableMod cables and lighting works with your Asus board. You get a driver and software DVD and two sticker sheets. One has Strix and ROG logos and the other helps you discretely label cables if you want with color coded ROG logos. This is better than the huge stickers that some boards come with. You even gen a ROG coaster.

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For accessories, the Strix Z270E actually comes with a lot of stuff. You have a blacked out rear I/O panel. You get four SATA cables with two of the cables having one right angled end depending on your setup. They include an 80cm extension cable for RGB lighting to help get your lights anywhere in your case. There is a tiny M.2 screw package with a standoff and screw. Then for easier installation, they have the front panel connection helpers and a CPU installation tool. Then the two big accessories are the SLI bridge and the wireless antenna. The SLI bridge is the newer HB type and it is all black so you don’t have to buy the expensive Nvidia bridge if you don’t want to. The wireless antenna isn’t any different from past Asus boards, it is magnetic so you can stick it right to your case. It also twists and can sit on your desk in an L shape if you want.

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Board Layout and Pictures

Now all of the Z270 boards have been looking good to me with their color neutral themes for the RGB lighting but the Strix Z270E Gaming looks especially good. The board and all of the plastic parts on it are all black including the rear I/O cover so everything blends in. The heatsinks have a gray color as an accent without standing out too much. There is just the one main lighting accent built into the I/O cover that transitions into the cooler as well.

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For cooling the board has two heatsinks situated up around the CPU to keep all of the power circuitry cool. They are machined out of aluminum and have that gray color that I mentioned. There aren’t any stickers on them with crazy accent colors or branding, there is just a small Strix logo on the left heatsink. Now the heatsinks aren’t packed with cuts or anything as well for surface area, they most likely don’t need as much cooling as they do stylings but they still should pull some heat away and up into the airflow around your CPU. Down next to the PCIe slots, the chipset heatsink is low profile to fit under your video cards. It does have that same gray color but his one has a black stick on aluminum cover with the ROG logo on it and an angular design in the black.

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Starting up in the top left corner of the board we can see that the I/O cover actually goes up over the heatsink with its RGB light bar. Asus slipped the 8-pin CPU power up above and next to the power heatsinks. The CPU socket is in the center with 9 chokes visible around it. To control your CPU fan there are two 4-pin PWM fan headers in between the heatsink and the ram DIMMs. One for the main fan and a second for a second fan or your water pump.

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The four DDR4 DIMMs are all black and they only have clips on the one side but they are flipped around with the clips on the bottom where normally they are up top. There is another PWM fan header up in the top right corner for a case fan. The four pin white header up here is the Asus Aura RGB header and it is one of two on this board. I like that they split them up to make it easier to have a light on top of your case and the bottom for example if you want. Also along this right edge is the 24-pin motherboard power connection and a new USB 3.1 internal header, this has been one of my complaints with the other Z270’s I’ve had in. This connection type is the future but a lot of the boards don’t have them. Also right here is a small standoff that looks like the mounting point for an M.2 drive, this is what Asus calls their 3D Mount and it is used to mount 3d printed parts that they have designed, this one specifically is for a cable cover design they have but they also have custom nameplates and even an M.2 fan holder. Given my love for 3d printing, I might have to mess around with this a little more in the near future.

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Moving down to the bottom right there are a few things along the right edge. The first are the six standard SATA connections that are all at a right angle. I was surprised that they didn’t go with SATA Express, especially with them including a USB 3.1 header inside, but SATA Express hasn’t exactly taken off. There is an M.2 drive right below them, though. This M.2 slot has support for up to a 22110 length drive and that is really rare to see. It also supports SATA and PCIe drives with PCIe going up to an x4. In other words of the two M.2 drives on the Z270E, this is the faster of the two and it has support for more drive types.

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The bottom edge is completely packed with connection options. On the right is the front panel connections. Next to it is a second case fan header that is, of course, PWM. There are then two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 headers. Last but not least is an ROG extension header to hook up their external overclocking tool.

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The connections carry on over on the bottom left as well with a COM power and a trusted platform connection. The white 4 pin is the second Asus Aura header and then over on the left is the front panel audio connection. The audio header is just to the left of the split PCB and with it the SupremeFX 8-channel controller. The board has Japanese made caps and two built-in headphone amps.

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For PCI slots there is a selection. There are three x16 length slots with the top two slots having a metal shield around them for added strength to hold today's heavy video cards. The top slot will run in x16 if you only use one card or the two slots will drop to x8 for two cards. The bottom x16 slot however only runs in x4 mode. There are then four x1 slots as well and up top, the second M.2 slot is tucked in next to the x1 slot. This M.2 slot only supports PCI drives and doesn’t run at x4 bandwidth though so only use it for the slower of your two drives.

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The rear I/O panel for the Z270E is packed just about completely full. Over on the right is a standard audio connection panel with each connection color coded. For display connections for anyone looking to use the onboard video, you get a DVI, an HDMI, and a DisplayPort to cover just about anything you might need. For Ethernet, the red port is a gig connection hooked up to the Intel I219V controller with Asus’ LANguard anti-surge tech as well as the ROG Gamefirst QoS service. The two antenna connections over on the left are for the wireless AC adapter with dual-band support. There is a PS2 connection for those legacy keyboards and mice as well. Then for USB connections, there was only room for four USB 3.0 ports in blue then the red USB connection over on the left is a USB 3.1 Type A connection and the plug below it is the same but Type-C running on an ASMedia controller.

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With the Strix Z270E flipped around we get a better look at the satin black finish on the PCB. But I can also see a few other interesting things here. For starters, all three of the heatsinks are all attached using screws, so if you ever want to do anything with them or replace the thermal pads it shouldn’t be difficult. You can also see the resin filled gap in the PCB down in the bottom right in some areas that splits the audio PCB from the rest of the board, it runs all the way up to the rear I/O area. Then Asus also went with a black backplate for the CPU socket to keep everything matching.

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As always, the hardware is only part of the picture when you are looking at motherboards. The overall experience includes all of the time you spend messing with the software and in the BIOS so I do take a look at those as well. Even though I didn’t check out an Asus board in the past year, not too much has changed on the software front but that’s not really a bad thing. I would suggest installing their AISuite and at least the Aura software to control your lighting. The AISuite has a whole list of Asus software all integrated though I do hope they get the lighting controls integrated in the future as well. Being able to install just one program and go is really nice.

When you open up the AISuite the main page as a lot of information going on. They have most of the integrated software all right here with each section showing a bit of information. Each is clickable and opens up into more information and options. Then down at the bottom they also have live information on the CPU, Voltages, Temps, and fan speeds for quick access, this shows no matter what page you are on.

software 1

The pop out on the left is the main menu though and it shows you all of the other parts you have installed.

software 2

You can get in and overclock your CPU without even having to mess with the BIOS at all.

software 3

You can run fan tuning to let the software know what range your fans have then from there you can have profiles to turn the fan speeds up or down depending on your noise tolerance and the cooling needs of your PC at the time. You can also open up each fan and create your own fan profiles as well.

software 4

This one was new to me, they actually have a program built into AISuite that will scan your PC for old files to delete. This is very similar to CCleaner but requires one less program installed to get the same functionality.

software 5

You can of course download and install new BIOS updates with EZUpdate. This means less searching to figure out what version your BIOS is then going to the website and checking to see if anything is new. One click and you are all set.

software 6

Then there is the Aura software. With the Strix Z270E only really having the one lighting area this is less important with this board but still interesting to check out. This is also where you would control RGB LED strips if you hook them up to the two headers on the board. What is interesting though is the lighting on the Z270E does have four zones in that one strip that can be controlled independently. The base more uses the zones to role through a color mix but you could set your two accent colors as every other zone for an interesting look.  There are different lighting options as well including the standard breathing and static modes or you can flash, strobe, show PC temperatures, or set the lighting to your music. Then of course right up top, you can turn them all off as well for those who don’t like lighting.

software 7

software 8

For the BIOS, Asus does things the right way and you boot into the EZ Mode first. For some reason the other Z270 boards that came in both have a similar option but don’t boot to them, it doesn’t really help if the people who have a hard time in the BIOS have to dig around and find the easier mode. Anyhow the EZ Mode has some basic information on your CPU and memory as well as lists what slots have memory in them and what storage drives you have hooked up. You can turn on XMP from here and see and get to fan speed adjustments. There is one simple overclocking option and then drag and drop boot options as well.

bios 1

The EZ Tuning wizard walks you through a few options to tune the overclock to your usage and cooling setup.

bios 2

The Advanced Mode is back to the standard BIOS but with mouse or keyboard navigation. I will say that the mouse movement is actually good, MSI and Gigabyte both feel laggy when you move the mouse around. The home page is the main tab, this just has information on your hardware and bios versions. You also have the hardware monitor over on the right side at all times with CPU and Memory clock speeds and temps as well as voltages.

bios 3

The AI Tweaker page is where they have put all of the overclocking options. There are a ton not in the photo that you can scroll down through as well. This covered CPU nd memory overclocking as well as voltages.

bios 4

The Advanced tab is basically the home for any other option to change chipset and subsystem settings.

bios 5

The Monitor page exactly that, you can check fan speeds, temperatures, and any other readout the board has built in.

bios 6

The Boot tab has a more in-depth set of boot options from the drag and drop EZ options. Here you can turn on things like fast boot and how your PC handles a power loss.

bios 7

Then the Tool page is where you can update you BIOS using the EZ Flash 3 Utility or you can even securely erase an attached drive. They also have the overclocking profiles tucked away in this area.

bios 8

At any point, you can get into the EZ Tuning or QFAN controls up at the top of the screen. The Q-Fan controls let you run an optimize mode to test your fans and set up profiles or you can go in and create your own fan profiles using PWM or the older DC option.

bios 9


Test Rig and Procedures

Intel Z270 Test System



Live Pricing


Noctua NH-U14S for cooling

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste

Live Pricing

Live Pricing


Kingston HyperX FURY DDR4 16GB kit 2666MHz

Live Pricing


Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD

Live Pricing

Video Card


Live Pricing

Power Supply

Thermaltake 850w

Live Pricing


Microcool Banchetto 101 Test bench

Live Pricing


Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Live Pricing

Motherboard Testing

Passmark Performance Test 9.0

Overall PCMark score

PCMark 8

We use the Home Accelerated benchmark and track the overall score


We run the 2013 Fire Strike test on the performance setting

In Game Tests

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

In game benchmark, ultra setting, 1080p

Hitman 2016

Fullscreen with V-Sync turned off Detail, Texture Quality, Shadow Maps, and Shadow Resolution all set to their highest settings. Tested at 1080p in DX12

Subsystem Testing


Passmark Advanced network test



For performance testing, I set the Strix Z270E Gaming up on our test bench and ran it through a variety of tests. Most of these are just to confirm there are no obvious issues, the performance between motherboards isn’t really a big concern these days with most using almost all of the same components that are all integrated into the chipset. As you can see most of the results are in the same range and that’s I’m looking to see. I did however also test the network performance and this is one where different boards use different controllers. The Z270E uses the standard Intel though, like the two previous boards, the MSI did also have a second Killer NIC as well. The Wireless AC performance was interesting. We run a long range Ubiquity Wireless AC access point. The wireless coverage in the office is good but historically there has been a lot of interference so I never expect too much. The Z270E connected at around 988 Mbs but the tests don’t have the same throughput. This is still faster than most internet connections and most likely more related to the wireless performance of the office than the Qualcomm controller, but until I test more boards with wireless we won't know for sure.



Overall Score

Graphics Score

Physics Score





Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7




Asus Strix Z270E Gaming




PCMark 8 Home Accelerated Score



Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7


Asus Strix Z270E Gaming


Passmark PerformanceTest 9.0 Overall Score



Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7


Asus Strix Z270E Gaming


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Average FPS


45.3 FPS

Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7

45.2 FPS

Asus Strix Z270E Gaming

45.4 FPS

Hitman 2016 Average FPS


84.69 FPS

Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7

81.74 FPS

Asus Strix Z270E Gaming

83.92 FPS

Average Network Speed


928.0 Mbits/Sec

Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7 - Killer E2500

884.5 Mbits/Sec

Gigabyte Z270X Gaming K7 - Intel NIC

895.4 Mbits/Sec

Asus Strix Z270E Gaming – Intel NIC

936.9 Mbits/Sec

Asus Strix Z270E Gaming – Qualcomm Wireless AC

232.7 Mbits/Sec

The lighting on the Strix Z270E is actually my favorite of all three of the boards tested. I wouldn’t mind having more lights in between the PCI slots to light up the cards, but I love the multizone effect that the I/O light strip has. The lighting is still not over the top and with the board having to RGB strip headers you can do whatever you want in your case and sync it all together.

lighting 1


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

Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite:
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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