Asus invites overclocking fans to take on the burden ... their budget with Strix Z370-F Gaming. A nominal price of about $ 15 less than its Strix Z370-E Gaming, the F-version is usually available, as we write this, up to twice the discount. Potential buyers should be willing to cancel the top 802.11ac / Bluetooth controller from their pricier siblings, but we hear from many of you that you will never use them. (Like, ever.) And with up to $ 30 on the phone, it sounds like a reasonable compromise.
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F GAMING
- Comprehensive feature set for the money
- Reasonable pricing
- Good overclocking and solid stock performance
- HSIO sharing between PCIe M.2 and SATA, despite “leftover” resources
- Value parity makes it impossible to pick a value leader (but this board holds its own)
Builders and overclockers who want a fairly high board (and who can do it without the front panel of USB 3.1 Gen2 or Wi-Fi) will find good value on the ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming.
You will also provide a 10Gb / s front-panel USB header, but most PCs do not even support this. And, you will keep two PCIe x1 slots from which that extra controller will steal the lane, if it is inserted and activated.
However when you think that the Z370-F Gaming might be Z370-E with some empty solder point, Asus surprises again - by using a completely different PCB. Only PCB layouts are shared.
Asus also uses this Z370-F version in a different color than the Z370-E, painting a black I / O-panel sheathing to match the black anodized heatsink. Users still get the same I / O-panel connector (minus the missing Wi-Fi module), same slot (including the metal side and the binding pin on the two connected to the CPU), and the same M. pair. 2 connectors (including cover concealment to second M.2 slot).
There is still no CLR_CMOS or BIOS_Flashback button on the I / O panel, although the board has more space there than its Wi-Fi-equipped sibling. And, there are still only two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (aka USB 3.1 Gen1), and two USB 3.1 ports (aka USB 3.1 Gen2), again leaving us to question why Asus does not include two more ports, , always, be handy for keyboards and mice, leaving that fast for things like fast thumb drives and high-current smartphone cables. And, again, we will question why gameplay requires three outputs for integrated CPU graphics: Given that many gamers use graphics cards, are not just one or two enough for things like diagnostics?
Groove sharing is now limited to M.2, where the top slot only steals one SATA port when a SATA-based M.2 drive is installed, and the second M.2 slot steals HSIO resources from two SATA ports to enable PCIe mode x4. The second M.2 runs in x2 mode by default, so the user connecting the SATA drive to the "wrong" port will not be surprised by a malfunctioning drive.
Currently, some of you are wondering why the non-Wi-Fi board does not reclaim two PCIe lanes previously dedicated to 802.11ac controllers from Wi-Fi boards. The only answer we have is that unchanged PCB layout tends to leave both resources as a go-anywhere. By default, 28 of the Z370 PCH 30 HSIO resources are allocated thus: six SATA ports, four x16-length four-lane, four and two-lane slots M.2 slots, four PCIe x1 slots, two lanes USB Controller 3.1 Gen2, two ports USB 3.0 I / O-panel, and four USB 3.0 ports on two USB 3.0 front panel headers.
The good overall layout copied from the Z370-E Gaming provides G3 Z370-F three-slot mileage for two CPU-connected slots (which switch from x16 / x0 mode to x8 / x8 when the second slot is charged), a large fan header (six four-pin four surrounds the socket, plus one fan hub connector), two RGB LED ports (top edge, bottom edge), and one LED address head. The more verbose version of the list found in the previous reviews says a little more.
Despite the lack of any Wi-Fi antennas, the Gaming Z370-F shares the same installation kit as the Z370-E. Included are four SATA cables, RGB LEDs and LEDable extension cables, thermistor leads, High-Bandwidth SLI bridges, CPU installation tools, CPU fan holders, cable ties, documentation, driver / disc applications, I / O shield, doorknob hanger cards, and decal.
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