Features and Motherboard Layout
Courtesy of ASUS
- Designed for 7th generation LGA1151 socket Intel® Core™ processors to maximize connectivity and speed with integrated Dual M.2 with Intel® Optane™ Memory compatibility, front panel USB 3.0 and rear USB 3.1 Type-A / Type-C connections
- AURA Sync RGB lighting features a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to synchronize effects across an ever-expanding ecosystem of AURA Sync enabled products
- Dual Patent-pending SafeSlots featuring an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs
- Thermal Armor protective shielding and TUF Fortifier backplate for ducted cooling and structural rigidity
- Ultimate Protection with Thermal Radar 2 PLUS for customizable total system cooling and a 5-Year Warranty for guaranteed reliability built on Military Grade engineering
The TUF Z270 Mark 1 features the tan and camouflage branding common to the ASUS TUF product line with the chipset featuring the ASUS corporate logo. The TUF logo is prominently displayed on the rear panel fan door as well as in the middle of the board. Further, the brand name is emblazoned in between the primary and secondary PCIe x16 slots with a camouflage pattern cut into the overlay along the brand name for a nice effect. The board's layout was well thought out with all space utilized well in both the horizontal and vertical planes, allowing the board to support a multitude of devices as well as giving the user easy access to the integrated ports and headers.
The TUF Fortifier backplate is a solid black metal construction, giving the board rigidity and support as well as protecting the under side components. The TUF logo is stamped into its surface behind the PCIe slots. The board's back surface has a black and grey camouflage pattern that nicely offset's the pure black of the Fortifier plate.
Like the other parts of the board's back, the area directly behind the CPU socket protected by the TUF Fortifier backplate. Further, the area is clear of components, alleviating any concerns when using large custom backplates.
The TUF Z270 Mark 1 board contains the following ports integrated into its rear panel: five USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (blue), two USB 3.1 10Gbps ports – one Type A (teal) and one Type C (black), dual GigE RJ-45 ports – an Intel I219-V NIC and an Intel I211 NIC, a USB BIOS Flashback button, the USB TUF Detective port (standalone USB 2.0 port), an HDMI output port, a DisplayPort video output port, an S/PDIF digital audio output, and five analogue audio outputs. All blue colored USB 3.0 ports are controlled by the Intel Z270 controller. The two USB 3.1 ports, the teal-colored type-A port and the type-C port below it) are controlled by the integrated ASMedia controller.
The USB BIOS Flashback button can be used to re-flash the BIOS without having to boot the system into the UEFI BIOS interface or a command-line mode interface. Simply plug in a USB drive containing the proper BIOS file in the root of the drive into the lower USB 3.0 port (blue colored) located to the right of the USB BIOS Flashback button and power on the system. As the BIOS is updated, the LED flashing frequency increases. Once the LED goes out, the flash operation is completed and the board can be booted. Note that if the BIOS Flashback LED flashes for 5 seconds and then glows solid, it means that something went wrong with the flashback operation. Check the USB drive for the the BIOS file in the root and make sure that the BIOS file is named correctly. BIOS Flashback looks for a specific filename and file format when attempting to replace the on-board BIOS. According to the user manual, the BIOS file in the root of the flash drive must be named Z270MK1.CAP for the BIOS Flashback applet to successfully re-flash the board's BIOS.
The USB TUF Detective port can be used to monitor the system via an attached Android or iOS device using the TUF Detective applet. The TUF Detective applet give monitoring and control access through the attached device, including board voltage, fan speed, and temperature monitoring, POST code monitoring during system initialization, BIOS reset, and system shutdown and reset.
Underneath the TUF logo in the rear panel cover, an optional fan can be installed for active cooling of the heat sinks and components sitting under the TUF Armor. The fan is held in place with screws through the vertical tabs on the underside of the removable plate. The plate is held to the rear panel cover via two screws to each side of the panel. There is also a groove in the back right of the rear panel cover through which the fan's power cord can be routed and plugged into one of the onboard fan headers.
The board contains a total of six PCIe slots – three PCIe x16 slots and three PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x16 slots can be used in x16, x8 / x8, or x8 / x8 / x4 mode. The TUF logo to the right of the primary PCIe x16 slot glows when the board is actively powered.
The audio components and audio PCB separator line are hidden underneath the upper left portion of the Thermal Armor overlay. ASUS integrated audio shielding, de-pop circuitry, and amplifier circuitry to ensure the best audio experience when using the integrated auto solution.
The front panel audio header, extension fan header, CPU Overvolt jumper, the onboard power button, multiple thermal sensor headers, and Thunderbolt device port are located in the upper left corner of the board, along the outside of PCI Express x16 slot 3. The thermal sensor headers can be used for attaching the included temperature diodes for BIOS and Thermal Radar 2 based monitoring. The Thunderbolt header is used to connect to the optional ThunderboltEX II PCIe board using a USB extension cable included with the Thunderbolt card. The CPU Overvolt jumper enables a higher voltage ceiling selectable from the CPU Voltage setting within the BIOS. The extension fan header can be used to interface with an external device to add additional fan headers to the system.
Along the lower left side of the tertiary PCI-Express x16 slot area are the TPM (trusted port module) header, an Intel Z270 controlled USB 3.0 header, and two USB 2.0 headers.
In the lower left corner of the board are the vertical PCIe x4 M.2 port, the front panel header, and four 4-pin fan headers. If you remove the port cover underneath PCIe x1 slot 3, the CMOS battery and an additional PCIe x4 M.2 port become accessible. ASUS included a vertical bracket that can be bolted to the board's surface for added support and protection of your M.2 device when using the vertical M.2 port along the board's left edge. Both M.2 ports support cards up to 110mm in length.
The Intel Z270 chipset is cooled with a low profile, black aluminum heat sink resting just under the plane of the Thermal Armor and just below the primary and secondary PCIe x16 slots. The heat sink features the ASUS corporate logo with a tan and brown camouflage design to fit in with the board's color scheme. Just below the heat sink embedded into the Thermal Armor are system status LEDs, dubbed QLED indicators by ASUS. Each LED is labeled and illuminate as the subsystem is checked on boot. The LEDs are tied to the following subsystems from the left: system power, boot, VGA, DRAM, and CPU. There are also a total of six 4-pin fan headers to the lower right and lower left of the chipset.
ASUS integrated a total of six on-board SATA 6 Gb/s ports into the port block located just under the chipset cooler. Framing the port block are six 4-pin system fan headers, four on the left and two on the right. The SATA ports are tied to the Intel Z270 controller. The white colored fan header to the right of the port block (H_AMP_FAN) is a high powered fan port, capable of power fans directly from the board requiring a power draw of 1A or greater.
The board supports up to four DIMM slots with Dual Channel memory mode active with modules in slots 1 / 3 (black) or 2 / 4 (tan). Just below the DIMM slots are an Intel Z270-controlled USB 3.0, the ATX power connector, and the MEM OK! button. The MemOK! button is labeled and underneath a moveable section of the Thermal Armor overlay. The MemOK! button can be used to reset memory-related BIOS settings to defaults, useful when the system doesn't boot because of memory options are set over-aggressively.
The CPU socket is clear of obstructions with the power circuitry and VRM heat sink surrounding the upper and right sides of the socket. Although the Thermal Armor adds bulk to the VRM heat sinks surrounding the socket, the socket design is not overly impeded by it. ASUS designed the TUF Z270 Mark 1 with a total of 10-digital power phases, using enhanced power chokes that are capped with metal covers for superior heat dissipation. The CPU VRM circuitry is cooled by two heatsinks above and to the right of the CPU socket, covered by the armor overlay. The overlay contains air flow holes along the sides of the VRM heat sinks to aid in heat dispersal. You may have mounting issues with larger CPU heats with this board, but that is a small price to pay for its over-engineered design.
The CPU fan and secondary CPU fan headers, chassis fan headers, Thermal Armor rear panel fan header, and the 8-pin ATX12V power connector are located along the outer edge of the VRM sinks to the right of the CPU socket. The 3-pin header to the left of the white fan header is likely a debug header that ASUS uses for internal board validation and testing.