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Best z270 motherboard on a budget?

Should I buy the asus prime z270-a?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • No

    Votes: 5 62.5%

  • Total voters
    8

ZeroCool88

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2017
2
0
6
Hello,

forgive me if I come across new to all of this - I am new!

I am upgrading my husband's computer for his birthday and need to find a good and reliable motherboard fairly soon. He hasn't upgraded his current computer in about 5 years and has been moaning no end about it haha.

I already have the processor and graphics card. Intel Core i7 - 7700K and Asus GTX 1080Ti ROG Strix OC (11gb if that makes a difference).

Honestly didn't know I needed to upgrade memory and main motherboard until after I started this but here I am...

I am looking at the asus prime z270-a right now but just need to make sure its a good one before I commit to it.

I have done my own research and read countless guides:

https://www.esportsource.net/best-gaming-motherboards/z270/
https://turbofuture.com/computers/best-z270-kaby-lake-motherboard-200
https://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2017/01/03/z270-motherboard-previews/1

I get the impression the 7700k is so new that the z270 boards don't have many reviews - making my life a little harder right now haha.

If there is anything I need to consider do let me know! I don't want to buy something that is useless for my husband. Oh, he uses his computer for playing games mostly and will more than likely buy virtual reality once he realises his computer can cope :) :) :)
 

Bouowmx

Senior member
Nov 13, 2016
903
334
116
A sort of check list I go through for Intel Z motherboards:
1. PCI Express lane splitting (1×16 from CPU to 2×8, OR in some very rare models, 1×8 + 2×4) for Nvidia SLI
2. 2-channel 3200 MT/s or higher memory support
3. Integrated display connectors (having DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, and optionally VGA)
4. M.2 PCI Express ×4
5. Low priority: USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s)

Other things are pretty much a given: integrated audio, 1-Gb/s Ethernet, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s) headers, SATA 3, and PCI Express ×1 for miscellaneous expansions (wireless networking).

ASUS PRIME Z270-A checks my list.
 

MadOver

Member
Sep 1, 2016
58
7
36
Well if you want to keep your husband a bit more busy than usual but a motherboard that is pretty good at overclocking, like the Z270 Fatal1ty... he will be gone for days :D
 

Pohemi420

Platinum Member
Oct 2, 2004
2,357
151
106
It's not a bad board per se, but if you really need to go with a budget board, there ARE some other options, such as the MSI Z270-A Pro. Any reason you chose the Asus Prime over others?

In short, it's unlikely that ANY board with a Z270 chipset will be worthless or not work for your husband, it just matters what extra features you want the board to have. Any of them will work with the CPU and GPU that you already picked up.
 
Last edited:

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
667
126
Does he already know he's getting it, or will it be a surprise?

I wonder if you should leave that the motherboard off the list until you can talk to him to see what he wants? He might or might not care about any of the features on Bouowmx's list above. I only ever use a single graphics card (no SLI) and I usually buy the much cheaper "standard" so I'd never buy DDR4-3200 memory.

All that said, the Asus is a solid choice and it has everything on that checklist and more.

Also, in case you did not realize this, his old PC probably uses "DDR3" memory, so he will need 2 x 8 = 16 GB RAM DDR4 memory to go with the new motherboard.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
13,924
673
126
This is an extrapolation based on my current board -- purchased in September '16. I neither wanted top-end, nor budget. And I wanted lots of fan ports and the ability to control them all individually. And there's one ASUS board that conforms to a defense-contractor MIL-SPEC -- the Sabertooth. Mine is the Sabertooth Z170, and there is now a Z270 model:

Sabertooth Z270 Mark 1

There is also a $140 model -- the Sabertooth Z270 Mark 2. Check, but the specs should be roughly the same between the $220 board and the $140 unit. The obvious difference: the Mark 2 does not come with the plastic motherboard duct.

If there is a serious difference in features and specs between the two model, and you still don't want the plastic duct-plate, it can be removed easily.

That's all I know. I can't speak about the Z270 firsthand, since I have the Z170. But these boards come with a 5-year-warranty, and have a long history behind them through chipset and socket generations.
 

jkauff

Senior member
Oct 4, 2012
583
13
81
Cautionary tale: Just a few days ago I bought an Asus Prime Z270-AR board, i5-7600K, and two 8GB Crucial Ballistix memory sticks. After I installed everything, it would not power up. The motherboard LEDs were all lit, but the system wouldn't POST.

So, I exchanged the MB for a new one, exchanged the Crucial memory for G-Skill sticks that were on the Asus "approved" list, and tried again. Same result.

I eventually discovered that my Corsair HX650 power supply, which is about 6 years old, would not power up the board. Replaced it with a new Seasonic PRIME 850W unit, and everything now works fine.

Moral: Make sure your husband's power supply is putting out enough power for the new components. Never would have occurred to me to check since the Asus recommended minimum is 450W, but I guess age and usage take their toll on a PSU.
 

sm625

Diamond Member
May 6, 2011
8,176
135
106
I bought that exact board a few weeks ago. At first I had all sorts of problems. Crazy problems. For example, I would enable XMP and it would cause my SSD to not show in UEFI. (!) But I kept playing with the settings and now everything is stable. Dont even know precisely what fixed it. Got my CPU at 5.0GHz, memory is at 3200, and no stability issues.

The only real issue that I have is that my mouse wakes my PC no matter what I do. And its only my wireless mouse. (I have a wired and a wireless mouse both connected.) Really annoying that after all these years, microsoft still has these issues with powercfg -lastwake not actually saying what woke it. But I just set the mouse upside down.
 

lukart

Member
Oct 27, 2014
172
8
46
Another vote for the Fatal1ty, but if you want something more on the budget, the Extreme series are very decent as well.
 

TemjinGold

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2006
3,050
65
91
Cautionary tale: Just a few days ago I bought an Asus Prime Z270-AR board, i5-7600K, and two 8GB Crucial Ballistix memory sticks. After I installed everything, it would not power up. The motherboard LEDs were all lit, but the system wouldn't POST.

So, I exchanged the MB for a new one, exchanged the Crucial memory for G-Skill sticks that were on the Asus "approved" list, and tried again. Same result.

I eventually discovered that my Corsair HX650 power supply, which is about 6 years old, would not power up the board. Replaced it with a new Seasonic PRIME 850W unit, and everything now works fine.

Moral: Make sure your husband's power supply is putting out enough power for the new components. Never would have occurred to me to check since the Asus recommended minimum is 450W, but I guess age and usage take their toll on a PSU.
I seriously doubt your HX650 didn't have enough power (unless you were running 2x Fury or something like that). Did that PSU still work for your old system?
 

TemjinGold

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2006
3,050
65
91
OP: Your husband is a lucky guy as all the parts you picked so far are top of the line. Can you list what he had and what you've gotten him so far (if you've gotten him more than just the things you mentioned)? We can tell you if other parts of his computer need to be replaced as well.
 

jkauff

Senior member
Oct 4, 2012
583
13
81
I seriously doubt your HX650 didn't have enough power (unless you were running 2x Fury or something like that). Did that PSU still work for your old system?
Yes, it worked fine on the Z97 Haswell system I replaced. I only discovered the problem on the new system when I forgot to attach the CPU power cables before switching on the power, and everything else worked. Started again with the CPU cables in place, and no POST. With the new PSU, everything worked as soon as I powered up for the first time.
 

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