Overall and Final Verdict
So with Z270, I have been impressed with Asus’s offerings basically across the board. The current Strix styling really fits what I like to see in a board with the color neutral styling, angular but not overly aggressive touches in the heatsinks, and RGB that isn’t too overboard or in your face. Asus managed to keep all of that while shrinking everything down. I didn’t touch on it too much in my testing but the right edge of the Z270 I has Asus’s Aura lighting that has individual LEDs that have a nice effect even set in the basic mode. The performance was as expected and in the case of the wireless it was noticeably better than the Gigabyte Z270 board that I just recently reviewed.
That does bring me to an area that I would love to see Asus work on next generation. The Gigabyte board had a rear I/O cover and it made a huge difference in hiding the metal I/O panels. I didn’t realize it but with ITX boards the I/O stands out even more. Beyond that though, I like that nearly all of the connections were along the right side, that should help keep installation simple in those SFF builds. They also included a crazy amount of accessories with this board. It really makes you feel like you are getting something special.
All and all, the Strix Z270I performed well. Because I was already planning on using it in a future build I also went ahead and installed it there. This is where I really ran into the issue of not having an internal USB 2.0 header on the board. While the water cooling for the build will be changing in the near future, I wanted to keep the fans. The problem I ran into though was Thermaltakes fans have to be connected to USB to be configured so I will have to work that issue out in the future.
That said I do think my decision to go with this board for the build is still a good one. It best fits the look I’m going for and beyond the USB 2.0 header issue, it also has all of the features I need. It should also age well. It has the new upcoming USB 3.1 internal header and two full speed x4 M.2 slots for those ultra fast NVME SSDs and to get fast connections up on the front panel of your case in the near future. Really the only other downside is the price. With all of the accessories and features you get, Asus has priced the board to match at $179.99. There are still lots of ATX boards that are more expensive, but when I last looked this is the most expensive ITX offering. I was hoping to see an Impact board on the Z270 chipset but as of yet I haven’t seen anything on one so the Strix Z270 I could very well stay at the top for ITX offerings all year.
Live Pricing: HERE