ASUS RoG Strix Z370-I Gaming
Not cheap, and certainly not nasty.
As the second most expensive Intel-based motherboard in this roundup, we expected great things from this mini-ITX board. It’s surprising to see such a high price on such a small board. For such a small size, ASUS has managed to squeeze everything but the kitchen sink onto this mini miracle.
It’s running Intel’s top Z370 chipset with twin memory modules that can run up to a speed of 4,333MHz with a total of 32GB of memory. Thanks to the small size, there’s a single PCIe x16 slot, which is all gamers will need for their graphics card. Again, due to the tiny size, there are only four SATA 3 ports, along with a single M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot.
Unfortunately the HDMI out appears to be 1.4, as it only supports 24Hz at 4K resolution, which is a big oversight at this price; at least the DisplayPort can run 4K at the full 60Hz. 802.11ac Wi-Fi is integrated alongside a single Ethernet port. An external antenna on a cord is included to improve reception.
ASUS has implemented its refined take on the common ALC1220 audio codec, known as the S1220A, which is a slight improvement over the audio solution found in other boards. A single SP/ DIF output is included in case you don’t want to use HDMI, along with five 3.5mm minijacks. A whopping eight USB ports also make the grade, four of which are USB 3.1 Gen 1, with another four available via mid-board connections.
It might be expensive, but for such a tiny board, it packs a punch. However, an HDMI 2.0 would have made this a perfect gaming box.
Z370 chipset, 8 x USB ports (4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1); 4 x SATA 3; 1 x M. 2; integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi