ASUS Strix Z270E and Z270F Review & Comparison
Published: 3rd January 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: £172 & £199 |
If you're a regular reader of OC3D then it might come as something of a surprise to see us testing a couple of motherboards at the same time. Something we've done twice with the Z270 Kaby Lake release. It's not a trend towards reducing our workload, because it doesn't, nor is it a sign that we're going to stop paying full attention to each release and do a cop-out 'roundup' type load of bobbins you'll see from other sites. We're not doing that either. However, when we looked at the two Strix motherboards we've got - and also the two Maximus IX ones - it was clear that they were nearly identical twins. Once we'd spent a couple of days maximising the overclock it was even clearer that to separate them would be doing them an injustice. Hence we're putting them together, but just for today.
With the ROG range moving back into its position as the premium ASUS brand the market has opened up a little and there is some room in the midrange for some new models, which is where the Strix Z270E and Strix Z270F come in. We thought that the E stood for Extreme and the F for Formula, similar to all the previous ASUS releases, but apparently they are just the E and F, standing for nothing. Fair enough. It takes some particularly eagle-eyed readers to spot the differences between them anyway. In short, the E is the model with all the bells and whistles whilst the F is the one with only some bells and whistles. One would imagine ASUS would simply leave off the hardware from the F but keep the same PCB, whereas they've actually produced two fairly electrically different motherboards. The traces for the hardware that exists on the E but not the F isn't there on the F. Nor are the BIOS interchangeable either.
However, generally speaking, there the differences end. Performance between the two is great and at times ends up being spectacular. The pair of Strix boards were regularly at the top of our graphs, or at least thereabouts. For a motherboard that seems to be aimed more at the gaming audience there is no denying that they are such a well-rounded pair that they need a bra. Or an athletic cup. There is plenty of overclocking potential in the pair of Strix and both of them respond beautifully to the clock speed you attain. Sometimes you can have products which still give a great result in CPUz but don't actually back this up in the results. You might be familiar with that when overclocking your GPU. The Strix E and F both get it nailed.
We do have a minor complaint though. This is obviously targeted at the gaming community and ASUS were the first company to really nail the RGB as part of a product, so why is the Strix lighting so wimpy? Sure it looks good, but there is so little of it. We want more shiny!
That's a small negative though, and whichever version of the ASUS Strix Z270 you buy you'll be happy with your purchase.