Z270 Chipset and ASUS Maximus IX Code
On the previous page I mentioned that the new Z270 chipset from Intel only had a couple of changes in store for enthusiasts and builders. Those include an additional set of 4 lanes of PCIe and support for Intel Optane technology.
The boost from 20 lanes to 24 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 from the Z270 (compared to the Z170) isn't dramatic, and we are still limited on our connection between the chipset and the CPU itself over DMI 3.0. Intel was explicit in its description of the new chipset, telling me that the increase by four lanes was to allow motherboard vendors to add another M.2 port to support Intel Optane memory without sacrificing any other features on the board.
Everything else remains the same. There are still just 6x SATA III ports on the chipset, no on-chip USB 3.1 connectivity (motherboard vendors will be required to add an additional chip), Rapid Storage Technology for PCIe, etc.
As has been the case for several generations, motherboard engineers like those at ASUS use this opportunity to rebuild their brands and introduce new designs and technologies of their own.
My testing of the Core i7-7700K was done on the new ASUS Maximus IX Code motherboard, pictured above. This $299 motherboard includes quite an interesting combination of options which Morry will be going over in more detail in the coming days. (We have PLENTY of Z270 options and reviews for your reading pleasure already!)
I had zero issues or stability concerns in my time with the Maximus IX Code and overclocking was straight forward as well. The black plastic molding along with the configurable RGB lighting make for a striking look.
The Core i7-7700K looks right at home…