( 4.6 Average / 34 Ratings )
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Really awesome board, beware no USB 2.0 Header for AIO's that require it.
Great board with an overclocking potential of the much larger, and more expensive Apex.
No USB 2.0 header for your AIO, but otherwise an absolute gem.
Great motherboard. Perfect for my build. Just a bit pricey.
Great board. I had been waiting a month or so before it became available. With my build I felt the layout of the board was perfect. There were only 2 little minor points. The first was that the mounting bracket for the Corsair H90, collided slightly with the CPU retention bracket screw that protruded through the motherboard slightly more than was needed. I got over this due to the mounting bracket being quite flexible. The only other little minor was the AIO pump fan motherboard connector was slightly difficult to get to.
But the 2 things mentioned were really minor so I give 5 stars.
Nice but USB headers 3.0 and 3.1 not a good combination with Fractal Nano S (3.0) and Corsair H80i v2(USB 2.0). Z170i is better if you are going with these two items.
This board is very high quality and great thoughtful design targeted for iTX/SFF cases. I'm using an M.2 drive and the heatsink is a welcome addition and also the on board audio is very good. I had no issues driving my V-MODAs headphones through the inbuilt soundcard.
I chose this motherboard amid a number of cheaper options for several reasons. Most of my other successful builds, even though the newest was completed 10 years ago, were done on higher-end ASUS motherboards and all lasted the life of the systems. Buying a cheap motherboard is truly a false economy and spending an extra hundo or so will pay dividends daily for the life of the system. A direct selling point was its dual M.2 drive slots, something unique to all the other 1151 itx motherboards. Finally, I found a $10-off coupon online that clinched the deal for my first purchase from SuperBiiz for $181 delivered incl. tax.
The Z270i Strix comes with a CPU mounting tool that is surprisingly useful. The tool allows for perfect alignment of the CPU, minimizing any chance of damaging it during installation. This tool holds the CPU so one's greasy fingers don't touch it and it actually gets installed permanently in the MB along with the processor.
My case has one exhaust fan and two intake fans. The Asus Z270i Motherboard only has three cooling headers: case, cpu, and AIO pump (not unusual for small boards). This necessitates buying a 3-way splitter to run all three case fans together from the MB.
POSTing and entering BIOS did not go well initially. My trusty ACER monitor showed no signal for the first half-dozen of attempts but eventually the BIOS screen appeared. Entry into the BIOS was still intermittent but eventually became consistent after about an hour of fiddling. Once Windows 10 was installed, the machine booted consistently every time. Boot times are about 20 seconds from the NVMe drive.
On board sound of this board is very rich and satisfying. Even my high-end Bose speakers made for average noise on my old Dell. This new board features 8-Channel high definition CODEC audio, however, and the sweet Bose have now been unleashed as the booms of my guns and explosions of my impacting shells are very satisfying, as is the in-game music and ambient sounds.
UPDATE 3/31/2017: Motherboard failed after one week.
UPDATE 3/31/2017: RMA application sent to SuperBiiz.
UPDATE 4/3/2017: SuperBiiz demands pictures of MB socket before issuing RMA with warning that any damaged pins would void all warranty.
UPDATE 4/4/2017: Pics sent to SuperBiiz. Fifteen-day RMA issued w/shipping at my expense.
UPDATE 4/5/2017: Unit Priority Mailed back to SuperBiiz (only 90 miles away).
UPDATE 4/14/2017: Emailed SuperBiiz for RMA status--no response.
UPDATE 4/19/2017: Replacement MB arrived unannounced from SuperBiiz. MB is now installed and performing flawlessly.
2 m.2 slots you can't just buy that haha
Very pretty and performs well. I'm removing a star because I had to replace the first one for coil whine (on a motherboard? really?) during stress testing. Even the replacement board has a teeny tiny bit of whine during Prime95/Realbench, albeit less loud than the CPU cooler. Since I have another 30 days until my return policy expires, I may RMA it one more time to make absolutely sure, but if I don't then it's still fine.
Great features, but a bit too much heatsink going on, in my opinion. Finding coolers that fit this motherboard is a pain, but if you stick to Noctua or companies that stay within the no-fly zone of the CPU, you'll be fine. The BIOS has great features too. For 5 stars, I would've liked to see 1) the chips on the bottom of the mobo to not conflict with CPU cooler backplate, as this requires modding, and 2) an additional fan header and/or 3) at least the option to PWM control the AIO_PUMP. I don't for the love of my life understand why there is no option to enable QFAN control of the AIO_PUMP header, so we can control the pressurization of our
system without compromising sound profile (i.e. have intake fans on one header and exhausts on another), but whatever. Just beware: If you plug in fans on the AIO_PUMP header, it WILL run, but it will ONLY run at 100% speed. That's unbearably loud to me. You might be able to find a LNA or something along those lines, but I haven't tried any such route. I just y-split 2 times for my 3 case fans on the SYS_FAN header.
EDIT: I actually found the AIO_PUMP Q-Fan enabler in the Bios under "Advanced" --> "Monitor" --> "QFan control" --> "AIO_PUMP control" --> change from "Disabled" to "PWM". Hadn't thought of looking under monitoring settings, my bad I guess. Changing the AIO_PUMP to PWM-enabled caused my system not to POST because CPU_FAN all of a sudden wasn't recognized, but I'll fiddle around with it and revert the review back to 4 stars if the problem persists after fiddling with it.
EDIT2: So after fiddling around, the following worked out for me and got the system POST'ing:
disable AIO_PUMP PWM --> reboot --> ENABLE AIO_PUMP PWM --> recalibrate fans using Q-Fan recalibration --> reboot --> disable AIO_PUMP PWM --> reboot --> enable AIO_PUMP PWM --> reboot.
I guess it's some minor bug.
EDIT3: So, after having fiddled around a bit with using the XMP of my Corsair 16gb 3200 mhz DDR kit with 16-18-18-36 @ 1.35V, I've come to the conclusion that this motherboard simply can't run the OC'ed ram properly at their rated settings. The issue isn't stability or performance - in those aspects, the mobo handles the XMP well. The issue is that after every hard off-state (ie. turning off the power supply/wall switch), the system won't POST for 2-3 boots. On the 3rd boot, it resets the RAM speed to 2133mhz (or the default frequency of the RAM) and boots correctly. I've error-tested it and found that the issue is related to the voltage of the XMP. If I run the ram at a higher voltage, it is stable even after hard resets. I'm currently running it at 1.45V and experiencing no issues, either stability-wise or POST-wise, regardless of whether it's a hard or soft off-switch
EDIT4: With BIOS version 0808, which I installed on the 2nd of July, 2017, ASUS finally managed to fix the cold-booting error with RAM speeds >2400mhz. No more manual tweaking of RAM voltage, CPU System Agent and VCCIO. Thanks, ASUS, but seriously... why that long?
EDIT5: Having just looked over at all this **** I've been through with this board, I'm not actually sure I think this is a 4-star board. It might be worth 4 stars today with the latest BIOS, but considering the state it shipped it, it has been a 3-star experience at best for me. Too many stupid bugs and weird **** from ASUS .