ASUS Z270 TUF Preview
The second in our ‘whose idea was it to do all these over Christmas’ look at the new Z270 Kaby Lake capable motherboards is the ASUS Z270 TUF. We’ve been huge fans of the TUF design since we first saw it on the P67 Sabertooth, and we liked it just as much in white on the lust-worthy Sabranco. We’re already pre-disposed to like the looks of the Z270 TUF, but of course looks are almost lowest on the list of important things about a motherboard. What really matters is whether a) ASUS have put enough on the TUF Mark 1 to differentiate it from all their other Z270 motherboards and b) if those features unique to the TUF are enough to put it high on your wishlist.Â
ASUS have taken the decision to concentrate their super high end hardware back onto the ROG brand, which had been diluted somewhat in recent years, which means that the TUF Z270 once again has its own space in the market. Whereas with the Sabranco it was pretty much just the Thermal Armor that differentiated it from the rest, with the Z270 Mark 1 the high quality power phases and components added to the Thermal Armor position this squarely as the motherboard of choice for those who want it to last forever. As much as we might all wish to keep up with the latest hardware trends, the reality is that the motherboard is probably the longest lasting component in our systems after the PSU, and so having one that you know will just keep on trucking is a very attractive proposition.Â
That isn’t to say that the TUF hasn’t got a few tricks up its sleeve. There is a dedicated water pump header, as well as a pair of CPU fan headers at one edge, and more regular fan headers than you are likely to ever fill at all the right spots on the board. With support for USB 3.1, 3.0 and 2.0 as well as 6 SATA ports, two M.2 connectors and dual LAN ports, all of your high bandwidth needs are well catered for.