ASUS Z270 TUF Preview
When the P67 Sabertooth first crossed our desks all those years ago we absolutely loved the idea of the TUF Armor. Motherboards have come a long way in the aesthetic department since we started. No longer do we have to endure motherboards with blue or brown PCBs and randomly coloured plastics looking like an explosion in a crayon factory, but instead the majority of motherboards have a nice blend of a, usually, black PCB and matching plastics. Despite all these efforts though there is no way of getting around the various other bits of detritus that cover a motherboard, whether the chips necessary to control all the bits of technology, or the capacitors and other power elements that give you a smooth level of performance. The TUF Armor eliminates this straight away by covering everything up.
What you end up with is a motherboard which looks like it has been hewn from a piece of granite, with the PCI slots and similar things looking carved from the main block, rather than standing proud from it. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, it acts like a giant heat-spreader helping the temperatures of the components to be uniform. Any chance you have to reduce hot spots only increases the longevity of the components and aids performance by reducing thermal limitations, and the TUF takes full advantage.
Of course that is the headline feature and it is difficult to look at the ASUS Z270 TUF without the TUF Armor being the thing that everyone notices. Pay a little closer attention though and you see that the rear of the motherboard has received the same attention to detail as the front. Additionally, and as you would expect from an ASUS take on the Intel Z270 chipset, everywhere you look there are a bevy of high bandwidth technologies to ensure that you have the fastest possible storage solutions and connectivity options. Once you combine this with the great overclocking, fast memory and very good onboard sound, even the most demanding user has to be delighted with what the TUF offers.
The only negative that we can think of is just a matter of taste. Some people will look at the sand coloured plastics and be disappointing it isn’t matching their preferred colour scheme. But, in a world where more motherboards than ever are going for an all-black colour scheme to help you make the most from the RGB lighting options, we like that this could form the basis of a desert camouflage themed system, or with a little bit of manual spraying on the Armor itself you could go for forest camouflage without issue. When the chipset is so consistent it’s nice to have a little variance in the design.
With TUF Armor unquestionably the star of the show the ASUS Z270 TUF also implements high quality components everywhere to give a genuine alternative to their Strix/ROG offerings, and wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award.