The Asus Prime Z270-A & GIGABYTE Z270X-Ultra Gaming Motherboard

Asus Prime Z270-A and the GIGABYTE Z270X Ultra Gaming :

Shortly after Intel released the Z270/H270 chipsets earlier this year to accompany their latest Kaby Lake processors, the market flooded with myriads of motherboards based on these new chipsets. It is technically impossible for us to review all of them in a timely manner, especially considering that Intel’s new chipsets and processors might come at some point in the next few quarters. When GIGABYTE or ASRock launch 50 different boards, it would be a tough task to test them all! So although we enjoy reviewing top tier products that bring new, unique and interesting features, it is a fact that reasonably priced products are by far the most popular, even amongst seasoned overclockers, hardcore gamers, and advanced enthusiasts.

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Detailing :

we are having a look at two advanced but reasonably priced mainstream offerings, the Asus Prime Z270-A and the GIGABYTE Z270X Ultra Gaming. Both of these boards are selling for just under $170, yet their specifications are very impressive.

In comparison to the older Z170 boards, the new Z270 board on the base specifications are hardly any different. The Z270 ones have four extra PCIe lanes configurable on the chipset, potentially new audio and new networking controllers, and Intel Optane Technology Support. Although four extra PCIe lanes do sound like a huge difference, it is an important upgrade for the implementation of native M.2 slots compared to previous generations – on Z170-based motherboards, this usually meant disabling some other device/port on the motherboard. What Z270 brings to the platter with Intel’s Optane drives is their ‘smart caching’ technology, although they will still operate as SSDs in any other system.

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Performance :

individual motherboard manufacturers will be sprinkling on new features onto their Z270 products to aid the transition and provide other tangible benefits over the old platform.

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One thing that we should note is that the advent of the Z270 chipset brought a change on the naming of the USB ports. What we knew as USB 3.0 ports that run at 5 Gbps are now being dubbed as “USB 3.1 Gen 1” and the 10 Gbps ports are now called “USB 3.1 Gen 2”.

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