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ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming i7 Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 22, 2017 2:24 pm
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TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASRock

Here are key points about the ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming i7.

 

What's Hot

 

Networking Delight: Not only does ASRock take the crown for the first motherboard with 5Gbit LAN, but they also added two 1Gbit NICs and 2x2 Wireless-AC. While the 5Gbit NIC is from AQUANTIA, a well-known supplier of multi-Gbit NICs, all of the other NICs are from Intel. You get four network interfaces and almost 8Gbits of pooled networking bandwidth (you cannot add them all up). The motherboard would be perfect for a build where you need to connect to a multi-Gbit network (maybe office) while also connecting to a separate 1Gbit network (personal), and you need WIFI (for personal).

 

 

Excellent VRM Quality: The CPU VRM uses very high-quality components, all the way from the IR digital PWM to the Texas Instruments NexFETs, 60A chokes, and 12K capacitors. These are top-shelf components, and ASRock's use of 12K capacitors goes above and beyond the current premium industry standard.

 

Triple M.2: ASRock has hedged their bet on M.2 instead of U.2, their argument is that you can convert an M.2 slot into a U.2 port, but you can't do the reverse. Since most of the fastest storage devices come in the M.2 form factor, this approach makes a lot of sense. With Optane around the corner and rumors that it will come in both U.2 and M.2 form factors, three M.2 slots is a handy thing to have, especially with the faster networking capabilities of the motherboard.

 

Loads of SATA: The motherboard is a storage monster, and ASRock doesn't limit storage to only Intel's native SATA6Gb/s ports since they share bandwidth with the M.2 slots. ASRock went ahead and added four extra SATA6Gb/s ports from two ASMedia controllers so that you can load up on HDDs and SATA drives even with all M.2 slots filled up.

 

What's Not

 

Low On Rear-IO USB: There are five USB type-A ports on the rear IO and one type-C port, and with most high-end gaming keyboards requiring two USB connectors, you might need to add in a USB bracket to expand the number of type-A ports.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

ASRock's Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming i7 is one of the first motherboards with the newer 5Gbit NIC. Now, many people have pointed to the fact you can pick up 10Gbit cards cheap on eBay, the overall cost of 5Gbit should be significantly lower than 10Gbit. Everything from cabling (Cat5 vs. Cat6) to switches, routers, and devices like a NAS should come in at cheaper price points than their 10Gbit counterparts.

 

The cost of motherboards with integrated 10Gbit NICs is also traditionally high, with most of those motherboards costing over $500 at the high-end of the consumer spectrum. If you want to be equipped with something fast that doesn't come close to that $500 mark, 5G integrated LAN is a great option.

 

asrock-fatal1ty-z270-gaming-i7-motherboard-review_109

 

All that being said, the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming i7 is anything but cheap, it comes in at right below the $300 mark. For that $300, you do get a lot of high-quality features and components. VRM quality is where it should be for a motherboard of this price, and quality features you expect from a premium motherboard are also present. You don't sacrifice a lot for the 5Gbit NIC, and that makes this motherboard impressive.

 

Overall, if you want a motherboard with the latest in network, storage, and overclocking features, the Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming i7 is one of a few great options.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance92%
Quality95%
Features95%
Value90%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: If you want the latest 5Gbit NIC and an overabundant serving of the latest storage technologies all in a quality package, ASRock's Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming i7 is your answer.

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