Overclocking and Conclusion
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 5.1GHz with a 4.8GHz ring bus and 3733MHz 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 memory speeds much above 3733MHz, 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, 4.84GHz ring bus, and 3780MHz 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 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.
As of July 02, the ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard was available at Amazon.com for $199.99 with Prime shipping. The board was also available from Newegg.com for $199.99 and from B&H for $212.50 with free shipping.
ASUS' take on the current revision of their TUF product elevates the product 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 the stability-centric focus of the board series instead of the performance-centric focus common to other boards.
One oddity that ASUS carried forward from their Z710 version of the board was the space provided for the CPU cooler mount. As shown below, the Noctua NH-D15's mounting cage could not be mounted in its standard configuration because of fit issues between it and the wall of the Thermal Armor covering the VRM heat sink to the right of the CPU socket. While the cage could be mounted in the horizontal orientation (instead of its default vertical orientation), this could be potentially problematic from some system builds.
- 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
- Incompatibility with Noctua NH-D15 mounting cage in default vertical orientation because of design carried over from previous generation of board (Z170)
- Lack of UEFI RGB LED configuration
- Lack of RGB 12V headers