Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking

To give a feel for the overclocking performance potential of the Strix Z270E Gaming 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 5.1GHz with a 4.8GHz ring bus and 3867MHz memory speeds. This was done at a 1.34V CPU voltage and a 1.35V memory voltage with all other values left at default settings. However, the board refused to stabilize at any memory settings about 3866MHz, even though the modules are rated for and have run at 4000MHz on other boards. The highest base clock speed the board would run at was 167MHz, equating to a 5.0GHz CPU speed, 4.8GHz ring bus, and 3840MHz memory speeds. 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 and 8GB (2 x 4GB) of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-4000 memory modules were used for the overclocking tests.

100MHz Base Clock Stats with 5.1GHZ CPU speed

167MHz 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 May 01, the ASUS Prime Z270-A motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $154.99 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $154.99 and from B&H for $159.99 with free shipping.

Conclusion

ASUS continues to tread the fine line between value and performance with its latest revision of its base channel board in the Prime Z270-A motherboard. With the release of this new board, ASUS subtly changed the aesthetics with this board, giving it a more futuristic and tech-savvy vibe while still sticking with the based black and white coloration. Further, they added support for dual M.2 devices while not sacrificing the number of SATA devices supported by the board. And the board performs as well as its more expensive siblings. Its overclocking performance was another feather in the board's cap, easily matching that of its more pricey siblings with one caveat – its inability to boot with memory over 3866MHz. However, that issue is most likely fixable via a BIOS update. All in all, a good board with a solid feature set.

Strengths

  • Stock performance
  • Overclocking performance
  • Board aesthetics, layout, and design
  • Price
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Storage offerings – dual M.2 ports and SATA ports
  • Configurable RGB LEDs using Aura Windows app
  • Support for custom 3D printed panels and accessories with provided mount points
  • Rear panel cover

Weaknesses

  • CMOS battery placement
  • Lack of UEFI RGB LED configuration
  • Unable to boot board with memory over 3866MHz speed

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