Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard, we attempted to push it to known CPU-supported performance parameters with minimal tweaking. At the stock base clock speed of 100Mhz, we pushed the CPU to 5.0GHz with a 4.7GHz ring bus and 2667MHz memory speeds. This was done at a 1.31V CPU voltage and a 1.225V memory voltage with all other values left at default settings. All overclocking sessions remained stable for over 4hrs. System stability was tested running the AIDA64 stability test in conjunction with EVGA's OC Scanner X graphical benchmark running at 1280×1024 resolution and 8x MSAA in stress test mode. Note that 16GB (2 x 8GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.

100MHz Base Clock Stats with 5.0GHZ CPU speed

Note that this is is meant only as a quick preview of the board's performance potential. With more time to tweak the settings to a greater extent, pushing to a higher base clock and ring bus speed may have been achievable, in addition to an overnight stability run without issue.

Pricing

As of January 05, the ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $249.00 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $249.99 and from B&H for $249.00.

Conclusion

ASUS' take on the current revision of their TUF product enhances the line to the next level with the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard. ASUS subtly revised the TUF aesthetic with this board, integrating camouflage coloration into the base armor and Fortifier back plate design for a more appealing look. Further, the use of vertical space with secondary M.2 slot in the board's surface was a stroke of genius, not seen on many previous ASUS boards. Its performance potential lives up to its over-engineered design with the inconsistencies seen in some of the benchmark tests more likely due to a lack of maturity on the platform's part rather than a design issue. This is easily addressed via UEFI updates from ASUS. We will be taking a more in-depth look into this board and its features in the near future, which should uncover even more strengths with this board than was discussed in this Launch Day preview.

Strengths

  • Stock performance potential
  • Overclocking performance
  • Board aesthetics, layout, and design
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Storage offerings – dual M.2 ports and SATA ports
  • Configurable board-integrated RGB LEDs using Aura Windows app
  • CMOS battery placement
  • Creative use of board real estate with vertical M.2 slot

Weaknesses

  • Stock performance theorized to be related to platform maturity issues
  • Lack of UEFI RGB LED configuration
  • Lack of RGB 12V headers
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