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5 Best Z270 Motherboards to Buy in 2020

ASRock Gaming K6 z270
Best Choice

ASRock Gaming K6 z270

4.7

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Asus Maximus IX Formula z270
Premium Pick

Asus Maximus IX Formula z270

4.5

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ASRock z270 Killer SLI/ac z270
Best Value

ASRock z270 Killer SLI/ac z270

4.3

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2018 was a very busy year in the processor-world. The new Ryzen 2000 series took the fight to  Intel. The new Thread Ripper processors now offer more cores than ever before. Intel fought back with Skylake-X processors.

In the lower end of the spectrum, the Ryzen series went head to head with the Coffee Lake CPUs. We saw Intel launching the all-new Intel Core i9 processor. Clock speed boundaries were further pushed. We saw 5GHz speeds right off the box for the first time. And now, the Intel vs AMD battle has moved into the next gear with AMD introducing 7nm processors.

z270 motherboard side by side

However, amidst all this noise that Ryzen 3000 series CPUs are making, we seem to have forgotten all about the Kaby Lake processors, which I think, is an absolute shame. For all the talk about clock speeds, cores, and threads, Kaby Lake processors are still a good, reasonable choice if you’re looking to build a gaming rig.

What’s more, unlike with the Coffee Lake processors, you don’t have to upgrade your motherboard to the 300-series chips, which brings us to the best z270 motherboards.


7 Best z270 Motherboards

Most times, a new iteration of a motherboard has small, incremental changes. A port here, a slot there – that sort of thing. The transition from z97 to z270, however, was nothing like that. We saw motherboards that had dual GPU configurations, new color schemes, aggressive styling, multiple PCIe Gen2 M.2 slots, and much more. A few things were ditched too. USB 2.0 headers were phased off and 3.0 was introduced. SATA ports started to vanish to make way for M.2 and U.2 storages.

The result of all this is that the z270 motherboards are in demand to this day. They go into plenty of builds. So, we decided to list the best z270 motherboards for gaming that you can buy today.

Best Choice: ASRock Gaming K6 z270

Pros & Cons

  • One of the best gaming motherboards
  • Feature Rich
  • Great granular fan controls
  • UEFI is stable and easy to use
  • Expensive
  • High Power Consumption

Specifications

General
  • L x W x H: 12 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • CPU Model Socket: LGA 1151
  • Supported Motherboard: ATX
Key Features
  • CrossChill EK (Hybrid air and liquid cooling)
  • ROG Armor (including top cover and SECC steel backplate)
  • ROG RAMCache II
  • ROG CloneDrive

ASRock Gaming K6 z270 Performance

The first bit of information that you probably ought to know is that if you plan to overclock, this motherboard isn’t for you. At best, you could overclock an i3-7350k. If enabling XMP is the extent of your overclocking, the Gaming 6 should suffice, given that it supports high memory data rates.

That being said, if gaming is your primary concern, you’ll be hard-pressed to find faults with this motherboard. It comes with 6 PCIe slots of which three are PCIe x16. These slots support both, NVIDIA and AMD technologies - SLI and CorssFire respectively - for connecting multiple graphics cards. It’s important to note that you can only two NVIDIA graphic cards while you can connect three AMD cards.

We love Gaming 6 because it punches above its weight. It’s a very reasonably priced product and for that price, you get double BIOS ROMs, double M.2 slots, double Intel NICs, and double 3.0 USB headers. If you are not a huge fan of port switching, you can get two extra SATA 6GB/s ports as well. For the price at which it retails, the Gaming 6 isn’t too bad either. The ALC1220 implementation yields very good results.

The only true drawbacks concern WiFi and USB ports. WiFi and BT aren't shipped as standard with the Gaming 6. That is understandable given the price point. But, ASRock does include an M.2 WiFi/BT slot should you decide to add it later.

What you cannot do, however, is add USB slots and ASRock only includes five USB Type-A ports. There are many gaming keyboards that need two and one’s for the mouse. This leaves you with two slots for all your other requirements, which is a shame. However, these are small niggles given the price

Aesthetics are subjective. Personally, I think Gaming 6 is a good-looking motherboard. Some manufacturers tend to go overboard with the RGB LEDs, but ASRock has gone the other way. The lights are understated, discrete and tasteful rather than in-your-face. The motherboard itself is printed in the familiar red and black theme.

On the whole, this is one of the best z270 motherboards for gaming. It strikes the right balance between features and price.

Exclusive Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
    • MemOK! Button
    • CMOS button
    • ReTry Button
    • Safe Boot Button
    • Start Button
    • Reset Button
  • LN2 Mode
  • GameFirst IV
  • ROG Aura
  • UEFI BIOS features
    • O.C. Profile
    • Tweakers' Paradise
    • ROG SSD Secure Erase
  • Graphic Card Information Preview
    • ROG RAMDisk
    • Extreme Tweaker
    • BIOS Flashback

Back I/O ports

  • 1x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (black)USB Type-C
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 2 x Wi-Fi antenna port
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button

Internal I/O Ports

  • 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector
  • 1 x USB 2.0 connector
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key,
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key
  • 1 x TPM connector
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (3 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x H_AMP fan connector
  • 1 x W_PUMP+ connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x AIO_PUMP connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel (Q-Connector)
  • 1 x MemOK! button
  • 1 x Slow Mode switch
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x LN2 Mode jumper
  • 1 x ROG extension header
  • 1 x Safe Boot button
  • 1 x ReTry button
  • 1 x EXT_Fan header
  • 1 x W_IN header
  • 1 x W_OUT header
  • 1 x W_FLOW header
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector
  • 1 x Start button
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front-panel connectors

Premium Pick: Asus Maximus IX Formula z270

Pros & Cons

  • One of the best gaming motherboards
  • Feature Rich
  • Great granular fan controls
  • UEFI is stable and easy to use
  • Expensive
  • High Power Consumption

Specifications

General
  • L x W x H: 12 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Memory Slots: 4
  • CPU Model Socket: LGA 1151
  • Supported Motherboard: ATX
Key Features
  • CrossChill EK (Hybrid air and liquid cooling)
  • ROG Armor (including top cover and SECC steel backplate)
  • ROG RAMCache II
  • ROG CloneDrive

Asus Maximus IX Formula z270 Performance

The Asus Maximus isn’t cheap. However, if you don’t want to upgrade your processor want to spec-up your motherboard, this is the board for you. Top of the line, with all the bells and whistles. Both, performance and application benchmark results have consistently shown the Asus performing very well.

There are several reasons, chief among which is the cooling system. The Maximus is shipped with an improved EK water block which is excellent.

Given that it’s a ROG board, measures have been taken to please gamers. The boosted Ethernet is game-friendly, the backplate offers 802.11 ac dual-band WiFi and it even comes equipped with SupremeFX audio.

Much like the ASRock that we saw earlier, the Maximus supports two NVIDIA cards and three AMD graphic cards. USB capabilities is another strength of this board. Keeping up with the times, Asus offers USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-A on the rear. The 20-pin internal header featuring a USB 3.1 means you’re covered as far as USB technologies go. In addition, you also get 4 USB 2.0 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports, making it a grand total of 10 USB ports.

It’s fair to say that this Asus board is one of the most stunning boards to look at. It truly looks amazing, thanks to the steel ROG Armour, the water cooling accessories, but mostly because of the metal plate that rises into the air.

The RGB LEDs look brilliant too. Asus has gone with a steel build this time to ensure that the heavy board doesn’t bend. There are new smart, touch-sensitive power and reset buttons. There are buttons for safe mode and checking the memory as well.

All in all, the Asus Maximus is an excellent processor for the enthusiast. While it is expensive, we feel that it is justified. If you’re thinking of building a high-end gaming rig, we can recommend some of the best Intel processors for gaming. Make sure to double-check that the processors are compatible with the motherboards.

Exclusive Features

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
    • MemOK! Button
    • CMOS button
    • ReTry Button
    • Safe Boot Button
    • Start Button
    • Reset Button
  • LN2 Mode
  • GameFirst IV
  • ROG Aura
  • UEFI BIOS features
    • O.C. Profile
    • Tweakers' Paradise
    • ROG SSD Secure Erase
  • Graphic Card Information Preview
    • ROG RAMDisk
    • Extreme Tweaker
    • BIOS Flashback

Back I/O ports

  • 1x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (black)USB Type-C
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 2 x Wi-Fi antenna port
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button

Internal I/O Ports

  • 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector
  • 1 x USB 2.0 connector
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key,
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key
  • 1 x TPM connector
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (3 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x H_AMP fan connector
  • 1 x W_PUMP+ connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x AIO_PUMP connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel (Q-Connector)
  • 1 x MemOK! button
  • 1 x Slow Mode switch
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x LN2 Mode jumper
  • 1 x ROG extension header
  • 1 x Safe Boot button
  • 1 x ReTry button
  • 1 x EXT_Fan header
  • 1 x W_IN header
  • 1 x W_OUT header
  • 1 x W_FLOW header
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector
  • 1 x Start button
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

Back I/O ports

  • 1x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (black)USB Type-C
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jack
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 2 x Wi-Fi antenna port
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button

Internal I/O Ports

  • 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector
  • 1 x USB 2.0 connector
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key,
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key
  • 1 x TPM connector
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (3 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x H_AMP fan connector
  • 1 x W_PUMP+ connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x AIO_PUMP connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel (Q-Connector)
  • 1 x MemOK! button
  • 1 x Slow Mode switch
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x LN2 Mode jumper
  • 1 x ROG extension header
  • 1 x Safe Boot button
  • 1 x ReTry button
  • 1 x EXT_Fan header
  • 1 x W_IN header
  • 1 x W_OUT header
  • 1 x W_FLOW header
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector
  • 1 x Start button
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

Best Value: ASRock z270 Killer SLI/ac z270

Pros & Cons

  • Inexpensive
  • Built with gamers in mind
  • Low power consumption
  • Shipped with WiFi and Bluetooth as standard
  • Single zone lighting
  • Dated audio chipset (Realtek ALC892)

Specifications

General
  • L x W x H: 14 x 10 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • CPU Model Socket: LGA 1151
  • Supported Motherboard: ATX
Key Features
  • ASRock Super Alloy
    • Premium 40A Power Choke
    • Nichicon 12K Black Caps
    • I/O Armor
    • Sapphire Black PCB
    • High-Density Glass Fabric PCB
  • Intel® 802.11ac WiFi

ASRock z270 Killer SLI/ac z270 Performance

The Killer SLI/ac is an inexpensive offering from ASRock, aimed at people who to upgrade to a latest-spec motherboard on a budget. It has very few competitors in the market currently. Despite the low price, the board does offer Intel NIC which is commendable.

The board also features two M.2 slots that provide 32Gbps of throughput and are also RAID enabled. What’s more, the board is decent for overclocking and has excellent reviews across all retail websites. The VRM heatsinks, RGB LEDs and the IO shield offer a color-neutral aesthetic. You get an RGB header too, which is quite rare at this price point.

The only drawback that stands out is USB management. There are no USB 3.1 ports. You can only get USB 3.0, which is a shame considering the fact that this motherboard does pretty well on all other current-gen features. Also, you only get 5 USB ports which are again, quite low. The VRM isn’t very strong and the audio isn’t great either. However, given the price, these are forgivable omissions.

In conclusion, the Killer SLI looks expensive and offers features of an expensive motherboard. The value of money quotient is very high, making it our budget choice. If you’re planning on building a gaming PC on a budget, take a look at our list of best budget CPUs. Make sure to double-check if the processors are compatible with the motherboards.

Unique Features

  • ASRock Super Alloy
  • Premium 40A Power Choke
  • Nichicon 12K Black Caps
  • I/O Armor
  • Sapphire Black PCB
  • High-Density Glass Fabric PCB
  • Intel® 802.11ac WiFi
  • ASRock Intel® 4-Layer Memory POOL (Planes on Outer Layers) Technology
  • ASRock Steel Slots
  • ASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  • ASRock Full Spike Protection
  • ASRock Live Update & APP Shop

Rear I/O panel

  • 2 x Antenna Ports
  • 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
  • 1 x DVI-D Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
  • 5 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A Ports (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C Port (Supports ESD Protection)
  • 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
  • HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone

Expansion Slots

  • 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots
  • 4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slots (Flexible PCIe)
  • Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™
  • Supports NVIDIA® Quad SLI™ and SLI™
  • 1 x Vertical M.2 Socket (Key E) with the bundled WiFi-802.11ac module (on the rear I/O)
  • 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE2)

Software

  • ASRock A-Tuning
  • ASRock AURA RGB LED
  • ASRock APP Charger
  • ASRock XFast LAN

UEFI

  • ASRock EZ Mode
  • ASRock Full HD UEFI
  • ASRock My Favorites in UEFI
  • ASRock Instant Flash
  • ASRock Internet Flash
  • ASRock Crashless BIOS
  • ASRock UEFI System Browser
  • ASRock UEFI Tech Service
  • ASRock Easy RAID Installer

Popular Choice: Asus prime-A z270

Pros & Cons

  • Supports 3D printed panels
  • UEFI BIOS design is excellent
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Not the best motherboard if you’re a gamer
  • No high-end features

Specifications

General
  • L x W x H → 10.36 x 2.68 x 12.92 inches
  • CPU Model Socket → LGA 1151
  • Memory Slots → 4
  • Supported motherboard → ATX
Key Features
  • Integrated Graphics processor
  • Supports 3 displays at a time
  • 3 M.2 sockets
  • Supports Intel Turbo Boost

Asus Prime -A z270 Performance

The Asus Prime -A z270 is perhaps the best-selling product on this list. The reason is simple. The Prime-A offers a ton of features and delivers excellent performance at reasonable costs. The classic looking board is very popular with hardware enthusiasts as well. The prime comes with a dedicated base-clock generator that is specifically designed for the 7th Generation Intel processors. This helps is achieving base-clock frequencies of 235 MHz.

The board is shipped with a graphical BIOS that has two modes - easy and advanced. Asus is known to produce the best UEFI BIOS in the market and that holds good with this board as well.

The Prime-A is no slouch in the hardware department. There’s adequate provision for fast storage in the form of two M.2 sockets and six SATA3 connectors. The Realtek S1220A audio chip that goes into the board is equipped with Impedance sense for better headphone output.

The only real disadvantage of the motherboard is that it isn’t particularly built for gaming. And yet, it is quite popular with gamers owing to the fact that when coupled with a good processor and GPU, the effect is almost negated.

Exclusive Features

  • OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology
    • Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance
    • ASUS SafeSlot Core: Fortified PCIe Slot prevents damage
    • ASUS LANGuard: Protects against LAN surges, lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges
  • ASUS TPU:
    • Auto Tuning
    • GPU Boost
  • AURA:
    • Aura Lighting Control
    • Aura RGB Strip Headers
    • Aura Lighting Effects Synchronization with compatible ASUS ROG devices
  • ASUS Exclusive Features:
    • MemOK!
    • AI Suite 3
    • Ai Charger
    • Turbo LAN
    • Crystal Sound 3
  • EZ XMP ASUS Exclusive Features:
    • PC Cleaner
    • Cloud GO!
  • File Transfer
    • Overclocking Protection :
    • ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
    • Turbo APP

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
  • 1 x DVI-D
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 USB Type-CTM
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 5 x Audio jacks

Expansion Slots

  • 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
  • 4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

Internal I/O ports

  • 1 x Aura RGB Strip Header
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector
  • 3 x USB 2.0 connectors
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, (PCIE mode only)
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 2 x Chassis Fan connectors (2 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt header
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
  • 1 x EZ XMP switch
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel
  • 1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
  • 1 x MemOK! button
  • 1 x CPU OV
  • 1 x Power-on button
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • 1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
  • 1 x COM port header
  • 1 x High AMP Fan header (4-pin)
  • 1 x T_Sensor Connector
  • 1 x AIO PUMP Header
  • 2 x 3D Mount screw ports

Gamer’s choice: Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero

Pros & Cons

  • Low power consumption
  • Stable and easy to use UEFI Interface
  • Excellent overclocking capacity (Up to 5.1GHz with the right processor)
  • Supports USB 3.1
  • Pricey.
  • Does not support WiFi

Specifications

General
  • L x W x H → 12 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Weight → 2.92 lbs
  • Memory Slots → 4
  • CPU Model Socket → LGA 1151
  • Supported Motherboard → atx
Key Features
  • 4 DIMM slots
  • 2 M.2 slots
  • No native support for WiFi
  • Three x16 PCIe slots

Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero Performance

Over the years, the Asus ROG brand has become synonymous with premium gaming. Designed with gamers in mind, the motherboard is a tad expensive than its competition. However, with each new iteration, Asus has justified the costs by offering features that gamers like.

The Hero comes with two 10GB/s USB 3.1 controllers and a host of features for overclocking enthusiasts. The overclocking capabilities are as good as products that cost two to three times more. For example, you can tweak an Intel i7 7600k to produce 5GHz with just a couple of changes in the BIOS. And Asus UEFI BIOS is pretty much best in the business. They offer extensive customizations while still be easy to use. 

What’s more, the LEDs are completely controllable with the AURA SYNC software. You can even disable them completely, which is a feature not many other motherboards offer. 

Aesthetics, as mentioned previously, is a subjective matter. But with this particular motherboard, people seem to have only two opinions. Either they love it or they hate it. We personally, don’t have any problems with it. 

All this said and done, should you buy it? If you are sure that you’re not going to do a complete overhaul in the next two or three years, then yes. If you’ve got a build-in mind, then we suggest you skip this board. It isn’t cheap by any definition and it is, after all, a generation older. So, you will be better off upgrading your entire PC in a year’s time. 

Exclusive ROG Features

  • ROG RAMCache II
  • ROG CPU-Z
  • ROG CloneDrive
  • MemOK! Button
  • Overwolf
  • ReTry Button
  • Safe Boot Button
  • Start Button
  • Reset Button
  • LN2 Mode
  • GameFirst IV
  • ROG Aura
  • - Aura Lighting Control
  • - Aura RGB Strip Headers
  • Extreme Engine Digi+ :
  • - MicroFine Alloy Chokes
  • - NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
  • - 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
  • Mem TweakIt
  • KeyBot II
  • One-click Overclocking
    • X.M.P.
    • DirectKey
    • ClrCMOS
    • Power On
  • UEFI BIOS features :
    • O.C. Profile
    • Tweakers' Paradise
    • ROG SSD Secure Erase
    • Graphic Card Information Preview
  • ROG RAMDisk
  • Loadline Calibration

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (black)USB Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
  • 4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button

Internal I/O Ports

  • 2 x RGB Headers
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector
  • 1 x USB 2.0 connector(
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key
  • 1 x TPM connector
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connectors
  • 1 x H_AMP fan connector
  • 1 x W_PUMP+ connector
  • 1 x AIO_PUMP connector
  • 1 x Thunderbolt header
  • 1 x 8-pin EATX 12 V Power connector
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x MemOK! button
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x LN2 Mode switch
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback button
  • 1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header
  • 1 x Safe Boot button
  • 1 x ReTry button
  • 1 x Slow Mode jumper
  • 1 x System panel connector
  • 3 x 3D Mount screw port
  • 1 x Start button
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

ASRock z270 Extreme4

Pros & Cons

  • Supports USB 3.1 Type A and Type C
  • An intuitive RGB lighting system
  • Audio System has been improved
  • Two extra SATA ports
  • Mediocre Overclocking
  • No native support for WiFi

Specifications

General
  • L x W x H → 12.2 x 13.7 x 3.54 inches
  • Memory slots → 4
  • CPU Model Socket → LGA 1151
  • Supported motherboard → ATX
Key Features
  • Supports USB 3.1
  • Onboard LED and RGB Header
  • Dual M.2 Ports
  • No Integrated WiFi

ASRock z270 Extreme4 Performance

The Extreme4 is a mid-range, enthusiast offering from ASRock. The aesthetics, to begin with, are quite radical when compared to other ASRock products. It features a PCB silkscreen that looks really good with the heat sink. The PCH heat sink and the silkscreen blend to form a large white ‘X’ that covers the entire diagonal length of the motherboard. X stands for Extreme, we presume.

Of course, it isn’t all about the looks. The new board gets an extra M.2 slot, and one M.2 slot for WiFi. There are more goodies in the form of an AURA brand RGB header along with onboard RGBs, much like the one Asus released a year earlier. All this is topped off with a new water cooling pump header.

One area where the Extreme4 does not compromise is the number of USB and SATA ports. It has eight SATA 6GB/s ports and four USB 3.0 ports. In addition, there are also two USB 3.0 internal headers and three USB 2.0 internal headers.

The predecessor was famous, rather infamous, for mediocre audio performance. The Extreme4 now sports the new Purity Sound 4 which is much better. Though it uses ALC1220, we would have hoped for more than one amplifier. However, the board does score well in RMAA and for good measure, ASRock has added an external amplifier as well. All in all, the sound quality has improved a lot.

There’s only one drawback, really. The VRM is pretty basic. It does the job. It’s good for overclocking but it does tend to get a bit hot. Also, the board is shipped with a VGA port which seems quite unnecessary.

In conclusion, though, the Extreme4 is a solid motherboard for enthusiasts and normal users alike. 


z270 Motherboards: Frequently Asked Questions

Given that a motherboard isn’t the easiest component of a computer to comprehend, we’ve created this handy FAQ section for you. It answers the questions that we receive the most.

What Is Form Factor and Which One Is Right for Me?

Basically, computers come in different sizes. Mini-ITX, MicroATX, and ATX are the most popular ones. The motherboards that these cases accommodate are different. That’s why you’ll see motherboards specifying the type of case that they go into.

If you’re building a gaming rig or any normal computer, chances are you’re looking at an ATX case. It can hold up to 8 RAM chips, 4 GPUs, and 12 SATA ports. While it’s almost certain that you’ll never use all of these, an ATX case gives you a chance to expand when you need to.

asus z270 motherboard

So, when looking at motherboards, know that you will eventually want an ATX version of it. 

How Much Should I Spend on a Motherboard?

If you’re a normal user who uses your computer for some casual gaming, internet surfing, and a few other simple tasks, there’s no reason you should be spending more than $100 on a motherboard.

A system of that caliber does not need a top-end motherboard with a million ports. It’s of no use. 

However, if you’re building a high-end gaming rig with the latest processor and whatnot, you will have to spend more on a motherboard. This is simply because newer processors often need the latest motherboard and those puppies are expensive.

In this case, you might have to shell out up to $200. Mind you, these are premium boards with lots to offer. Consider if you really need it. For most people, the answer is no.

Is a z270 Motherboard Compatible with the Latest Processors in the Market?

No, not really.

As good as the z270 motherboards are, the fact is that it isn’t compatible with any of the latest processors. However, the good news here is that it’s compatible with a lot of processors that aren’t very old.

You’re looking at just a generation or two old, which means that if you spec your computer carefully, you won’t find a lot of difference in overall performance.

How Many RAM Slots Should My Motherboard Have?

In general, most mid-level ATX motherboards offer four slots for RAM and this is just fine.

As far as the amount of RAM itself is concerned, 16GB should be enough. 32 GB is more than what you’ll ever need.  It’s important to note that having only 2 RAM sticks (16 GB each) is going to be costlier than having 4 RAM sticks (8 GB each).

two rgb g skill ram sticks mounted

So, the four slots should work just fine.

Are the Default Audio Codecs on z270 Motherboards Good?

Yes, they are. In fact, there are only two cases where you might actually need external support. One, if you’ve been shipped a faulty product, or two if you’re a serious audiophile and intend to do a lot of work with digital audio.

For gamers and casual users, the audio codecs on z270 are more than enough.  However, if you do need better audio, you can always get yourself an audio card.

What Are the Important Features in a z270 Motherboard That I Should Opt For?

Generally, there aren’t a lot of ‘extra’ features that you’ll need. However, if you’re a keen PC builder or if you’re building your first rig, there are a few things that are good to have.

First off, let’s talk about dual ethernet ports. If the PC that you’re building is a server, seriously consider buying a motherboard with multiple ethernet ports. You’ll need them. If a server setup isn’t in your picture, skip the dual ports.

Onboard power switches are pretty important for new builders. In the early stages of your build, you’ll be switching things on and off plenty of times. And for most of these times, your PC isn’t sealed in a case yet.

asrock z270 motherboard

So, it makes sense to have an on/off switch on the motherboard. It’ll save you loads of time. 

Finally, LED diagnostics. A while back, some motherboards offered a ‘beep’ feature. When something was wrong, the motherboard would beep. Now, some z270 motherboards come with a tiny LED display which can show two or three alphanumeric characters. These are error codes, basically.

Again, if you’re new to building rigs, this is an awesome feature. It’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong and that in turn, will save you lots of time!

Should I Get an Led Enabled z270 Motherboard?

This is in fact, the most asked question here. The fact is that most PCs are covered in opaque cases. If that’s true with your build as well, a fancy looking motherboard isn’t of much use. That’s obvious, though.

The real question is if you should get a cool-looking z270 motherboard at all — even if it’s going to be on display. 

While tastes are subjective, it’s better to skip on the LEDs and fancy heatsinks if you’re buying a z270 motherboard. Chances are, you’re doing a temporary upgrade, and for that, spending a lot on LEDs doesn’t make a lot of sense.

What Expansion Slots Should I Opt For?

For all practical purposes, you’ll see only two types of expansion slots nowadays. Short PCIe x1 and PCIe x16. The former’s used for RAM and storage expansions while the latter mostly serves GPU expansions.

Casual users usually have one graphics card, a few storage drives, and maybe a video card. If you’re one of these people any mid-level ATX motherboard should be more than enough.

Inside High End Gaming PCs

However, if you plan on installing lots of drives and cards, you’ll need something beefier. And unfortunately, the only beefier ones on offer are usually HEDT (High-End Desktop) motherboards. These are extremely expensive. You’re looking at $300 plus range here.

Don’t panic, though. For most people, a mid-level z270 motherboard will have enough (more than enough, actually) expansion slots.


Final Words

Depending on your budget and needs, these are the best z270 motherboards for gaming in the market today.

So, should you buy one?

Depends. If you have no plans of upgrading your processor for the next two years or so, then, yes. Z270 motherboards are excellent choices. However, if you’re going to upgrade your processor, z270 boards aren’t compatible.

Also, if you’re building a new PC, we’d recommend the latest generation of processors, which again, aren’t compatible with these boards.

If you’re planning on building a gaming rig for yourself, we list the best gaming CPUs too. Go through that article to get a sense of the features and prices of the products on sale. That should help you make a much better decision with your motherboards.

And that pretty much covers it. If you have any more questions, do let us know in the comment section below!

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Akash Hoslok
Written by Akash Hoslok

Akash started messing around with computers when he was 7 years old. A few electrocuted fingers and a partially burnt room later, he started understanding how computers really work. Now, he mostly spends his time overclocking old processors and writing about new ones. He spent his prime gaming years trying to control the helicopter in Vice City. He then bravely gave up. Nowadays, he plays COD Black Ops quite a lot and claims that it's the best COD game ever.

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