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ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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With the latest revision of the TUF line, ASUS made the decision to drop the well-known "Sabertooth" moniker from the board's name, naming the board with the TUF branding only. The TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard is the flagship board in ASUS' TUF (The Ultimate Force) product line designed with the Intel Z270 chipset. The board offers support for the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor line as well as Dual Channel DDR 4 memory because of its integrated Intel Z270 chipset. While the MSRP for the board may be a bit higher than expected, its $239 price is more than justified by the board's build quality and "armored" offerings.

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The TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard is built with the same quality and attention to detail that you've come to expect from TUF-branded motherboards. Its appearance follows the standard tan plastic armor overlay on the top with a 10-phase digital power system. ASUS also chose to include the armored backplate with the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard, dubbed the "TUF Fortifier". The board contains the following integrated features: six SATA 3 ports; two M.2 PCIe x4 capable ports; dual GigE controllers - an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC and an Intel I211 Gigabit NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; an 8-channel audio subsystem; MEM OK! and USB BIOS Flashback buttons; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard!

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ASUS took an award-winning design and enhanced it with the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard with integration of an RGB LED into the TUF logo (in the board's center), as well as metal reinforced PCIe x16 slots for the primary and secondary slots. For board aesthetic configurability, ASUS integrated RGB LEDs into the audio PCB separator line. These LEDs can be configured to display any color desired as well as operating in one of six modes: Static, Breathing, Strobing, Temperature, and Music Effect. LED operation can be easily configured using the LED settings located on the Onboard Device Configuration page under the Advanced tab in the UEFI or via the Windows-based AURA control applet.

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Dubbed TUF ICe, ASUS integrated the latest version of their TUF board monitoring technology offering temperature monitoring and fan control across numerous board zones across the board. The TUF ICe monitoring settings can be viewed and configured via Thermal Radar 2+ in the UEFI or via the windows app or through TUF Detective 2.

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New to the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard are 3D printer friendly zones with the ability to customize both the rear panel cover plate (name plate) or the M.2 cover plate.

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The TUF Z270 Mark 1 has everything integrated into it's rear panel that's expected from a TUF board, including USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 ports, a variety of video ports, dual RJ-45 GigE ports, a USB BIOS Flashback button, and both digital and analogue audio ports.

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Intel® Socket 1151 for 7th / 6th Generation Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset Intel® Z270
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3866(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* The maximum memory frequency supported varies by processor.

Graphic Integrated Graphics Processor - Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 1024 MB
DP 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport compliant, supports DP 1.2 monitor daisy chain up to 3 displays
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 / 2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 3.0 / 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)
3 x PCIe 3.0 / 2.0 x1
Storage 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode) *1
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only) *2
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology 15 support
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology *3
Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready *4]

*1. The M.2_1 socket shares SATA_1 port when use M.2 SATA mode device. Adjust BIOS settings to use a SATA device.
*2. vertical
*3. These functions will work depending on the CPU installed.
*4.Intel® Optane Technology is only supported when using 7th Generation Intel® processors. Before using Intel® Optane memory modules, ensure that you have updated your motherboard drivers and BIOS to the latest version from ASUS support website.

LAN Intel® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Intel® I211, 1 x Gigabit LAN
ASUS Turbo LAN Utility
Audio Realtek® ALC S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC featuring Crystal Sound 3
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Internal audio Amplifier to enhance the highest quality sound for headphone and speakers
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel MIC Jack-retasking
- High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
- Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
- Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *5
*5. Due to limitations in HDA bandwidth, 32-Bit/192kHz is not supported for 8-Channel audio

Audio Feature :
- DTS Connect
- DTS Headphone:X
- Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise to audio outputs
- Power pre-regulator: Reduces power input noise to ensure consistent performance
Separate layer for left and right track, ensuring both sound deliver equal quality

USB Ports ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
1 x USB 3.1 port(s) (1 at back panel, teal blue, Type-A, Support 3A power output)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
1 x USB 3.1 port(s) (1 at back panel, Type-C, Support 3A power output)

Intel® Z270 Chipset :
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, 4 at mid-board)

Intel® Z270 Chipset :
8 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, 4 at mid-board)

Special Features OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology
- Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance

ASUS TPU :
- Auto Tuning

ASUS EPU :
- EPU

TUF Features:
TUF ENGINE! Power Design :
- 8 +4 Digital Phase Power Design
- TUF Components (New Alloy Choke, Ti-Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
- ASUS DIGI+ Power Control Utility
Ultimate COOL! Thermal Solution :
- TUF Thermal Armor
- TUF Thermal Radar 2
- TUF ICe
Safe & Stable! Guardian Angel :
"We Got Your Back!" Shape Force
- Dust Defenders
- TUF Fortifier
- TUF ESD Guards 2
- TUF LANGuard

AURA :
- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura Lighting Effects Synchronization with compatible ASUS ROG devices

ASUS Exclusive Features :
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger
- Onboard Button : Power
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- Turbo LAN
- PC Cleaner

File Transfer
- Cloud GO!
- File Transfer

ASUS EZ DIY :
- Precision Tweaker 2
- ASUS O.C. Tuner
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Multi-language BIOS

CPU Installation Tool
- Three-step simplicity and safety

ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector

Special Memory O.C. Design
Overclocking Protection :
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Turbo APP
M.2 Onboard(The latest transfer technologies with up to 32Gb/s data transfer speeds)

Back I/O Ports 1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
1 x TUF Detective USB port
Internal I/O Ports 1 x AAFP connector
2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
5 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (5 x 4 -pin)
1 x Assistant Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x CPU OV
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
1 x High AMP Fan header (4-pin)
3 x T_Sensor Connector
Accessories User's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
1 x Q-connector(s) (1 in 1)
1 x TUF Certification card(s)
1 x TUF 5 Year Warranty manual(s) (by region)
1 x TUF Inside sticker(s)(white)
1 x Accessory Package(s):
- 2 x PCIe x16 slot dust cover(s)
- 3 x PCIe x1 slot dust cover(s)
BIOS 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.0, Multi-language BIOS,
ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Operating System Support Windows® 10 64-bit
Windows® 8.1 64-bit *6
Windows® 7 32-bit *6
Windows® 7 64-bit *6

*6. Windows® 8.1 64-bit and Windows® 7 32/64-bit are only supported when using 6th Generation Intel® Processors

Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12.0 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

July 18, 2017 | 12:06 PM - Posted by superj

Every year it looks more and more the MB manufacturers are actually trying to insulate the VRMs and power delivery components. What happened to old fashioned heat sink fins and heat-pipes? Now everything is covered in a layer of airflow blocking, insulating plastic. Is there some sort of ducted fan under that crazy shroud?

EDIT (read this in the article):
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.

July 18, 2017 | 01:10 PM - Posted by headpiece747 (not verified)

So glad I didn't go with the Noctua NH-D15 like my plan was because it is one of the only boards on the market that fit that ugly in my opinion color scheme. Went with the be quiet! dark rock pro 3 and had no problems mounting it the proper way because I already had be quiet! fans I was going to reuse from my older case.

Overall really happy with my purchase because I wanted a backplate on my motherboard because I noticed sagging on my Asus Hero VIII due to my case being horizontal instead of vertical. Ten fan headers mean I don't need a fan controller (although I still use one) and the thermal armor stuff looks cool even if I don't know if it is doing anything.

July 18, 2017 | 05:04 PM - Posted by djotter

What is the point of using two different ethernet controllers?

July 19, 2017 | 12:33 PM - Posted by CNote

My old Asus p8p67 had 2 nics... when one went bad I used the other ;)
I think its for workstation or server stuff like having some traffic use one nic and the other is for LAN traffic.

July 25, 2017 | 01:14 AM - Posted by mosfet (not verified)

One is integrated into the chipset. The other model number is essentially the same in add-on chip packaging. I haven't looked it up, but there should be little functional difference.

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