ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming is one of the main Mini-ITX options for Intel's latest Coffee Shop processors. ASUS has a good history of building substantial Mini-ITX offerings, especially with the ROG Impact line, but the Mini-ITX mainstream Z-series model which is a more cost-effective option. For this generation, ASUS incorporates dual slot M.2, USB 3.1, shielded audio EMI and Wi-Fi on this small square platform. In this review we put it forward.
Intel Z370 Motherboard and CPU Coverage
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming Overview
The Mini-ITX space of the Z370 platform will usually attract users who want a powerful PC in a small package - a build will use Z-chipsets that also want to take advantage of some of the Z-exclusive features, otherwise the H-Serial is usually more cost-effective. These builds are high performers: almost up to X299, but with fewer core and higher frequencies, or redeem this for a quieter system.
Board partners pay attention to the market, and each of the four major brands has at least one Mini-ITX offer. Prospective buyers look for a combination of feature set, appearance, and performance, to choose the right board for their needs. The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming is built to support the i7-8700K flagship processor (including overclocking), has many M.2 slots, Wi-Fi, RGB LEDs, and sends them in a 17cm square package.
The Strix Z370-I Gaming performed wonderfully in all our tests scored as well as other motherboards in the CPU / GPU performance tests. As tested, the BIOS on this board comes with multi-core enhancements that are activated out of the box, in the same way that we've tested so far. As a result the system eventually runs all cores on 4.3 GHz. For our system testing, the biggest win is in boot time - as seen on older platforms, ASUS has the fastest boot boards we've tested so far. However, a small board can do more than just boot up quickly. In overclocking, we see some impressive numbers.
In our overclocking test, as shown in the table above, ASUS Z370-I Gaming is a qualified overclocker, bringing our i7-8700K up to 5.1 GHz stable. The limiting factor here is our CPU temperature, because the voltage only slowly increases at 5.1 GHz. For automatic overclocking, the 5-Way Optimization process improves all core upgrades to 4.7 GHz but adds -3 AVX offsets (100 MHz over stock). Up to four cores are set to 5 GHz, which is a 300MHz increase through a single core boost of 4.7 GHz. The power delivery heatsink, though not large, regulates the heat load without any problems. While overclocking may not be the main focus of Mini-ITX-sized motherboards, the Gaming Z370-I handles it gracefully.
For onboard features, the board successfully squeezed two M.2 slots in small amounts of its real estate. The main slot is located on the front of the board and shares the heatsink with the chipset. The other M.2 is on the back, not the vertical M.2 slot ASUS does on its larger motherboard. In addition to storage, the board has four SATA ports that are vertically oriented around the DRAM slot. For the network, ASUS selects all Intel settings in I219-V GbE and 802.11ac AC-8265 for Wi-Fi.
The IO rear panel gives users multiple USB ports - four USB 2.0, and four USB 3.0 - no point that the Type-C connector is not USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), but the board has an onboard header for USB 3.1 though. Also on the back panel is Displayport and HDMI video output to use the integrated GPU. The audio stack uses an improved Realtek ALC1220A solution, has five output jacks, and SPDIF exits as well.
The price on the Strix Z370-I Gaming comes in at $ 179 in Newegg. This price point places it in the same price bracket as the MSI Z370-I Gaming Pro Carbon AC ($ 174), ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX / ac ($ 180), SuperO C7Z370-CG-IW ($ 187), with WiFi GIGABYTE Z370N ($ 152) costs nearly $ 30 less.
ASUS Z370 Strategy
ASUS brings a number of Z370 motherboards to desks ranging from Mini-ITX Z370-I Gaming to Maximus X Formula flagship. The Republic of Gamers board consisting of the Maximus and Strix series is mostly the lineup, with TUF and Prime lineup each having two boards. Prices range from $ 130 (Newegg) TUF-Plus for entry-level to ROG Maximus X Formula at $ 441 (Amazon). It's a fairly wide price range with boards of all shapes, sizes, sizes and features included.
Also Read More :
- Review Motherboard MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
- Nvidia pulls the plug on the controversial GeForce Partner Program
- Ryzen 5 2600 Vs Core i5-8400: 36 Benchmark Game Performance
- Color Master Announces TUG Gaming Alliance with ASUS
- Review Processor AMD Ryzen 7 2700X & Ryzen 5 2600X
- Review MSI X299 Xpower Gaming AC Flagship Fantasy