Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review

Who should buy this ROG Intel motherboard?

ASUS ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Well built
  • Looks good

Cons

  • Performance boost is challenging

Bottom Line

The ROG Strix Z270F Gaming is a decent enough motherboard. But it takes serious work and some high-end performance components to justify the price.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 289.00 (AUD)

Performance

As this is the first Z270 board we’ve tested, performance scores are tricky to compare as this represents the new baseline.

However, using our Test Rig’s Intel 6th Generation 4GHz Core i7 6700K Skylake processor, at default settings, the Strix scored 3,966 in PC Mark compared to the older generation Gigabyte Designare Z170 board’s 4,040. In real-world terms, that’s an imperceptible performance difference, but we’d still expect the newer board to do better.

When we switched in Intel’s 7th Generation 4.2GHz Core i7 7700K Kaby Lake processor, at default settings, the Strix scored 4,411 in PC Mark while the Designare scored 4,448. Again this is imperceptible in the real world but again the older board nudged ahead.

As mentioned above, we then tried to overclock the 7700K using the automatic settings on the Strix. However, only the most basic level of ‘overclocking’ (which was supposed to represent a 9% boost) proved stable. This turned out a score of 4,289 PC Marks – slower than the stock score!

In 3D Mark Time Spy, the Strix scored 5,643 stock and 5,730 when overclocked. Meanwhile, the older Designare scored 5,663 and 5,727 respectively – more or less the same.

We wanted to see what the Strix was capable of, however, and while we didn’t fancy doing any elaborate overclocking we did replace our Test Rig Corsair Vengeance RAM with the higher-performing Corsair Dominator kit. The board finally came to life. We ran PC Mark’s Creative 3.0 test (which stresses the RAM a bit harder). With the Vengeance the Strix scored 5,853 while the Dominator kit finally made the most of the Strix’s automatic overclocking settings and ran a stable 5,902. That's not a huge amount in the real world but at least, after all the fighting, we hit a base level of stable performance enhancement.

We can see that there’s potential for serious overclocking here but, to our mind, it really needs to be done manually and with some seriously good (expensive) RAM to be worth it.

Conclusion

There’s much to like about this board, but in terms of performance and value, it’s tricky for us to recommend. It doesn’t automatically run much faster than older boards and if you do want to tweak it you need to spend (potentially) a lot more money on expensive RAM just to push it at all. Casual buyers won’t want to do that. As such, unless the audio, M.2 or modding features are important to you, we can’t recommend the Strix.

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