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AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Jan 4, 2017 7:18 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: AORUS

Here are key points about the AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9.

 

What's Hot

 

PEX8747: There is no other way to get x32 PCI-E 3.0 lanes for 3-way SLI, 4-way SLI, or 4-way CrossFireX without the PEX8747. Even if you just want to run two GPUs at x16/x16, or add in other peripherals, the Z270X-Gaming 9 offers many options.

 

 

Creative Certified ZxRi 120dB+: With the 127dB BurrBrown DAC and use of other high-end audio components, the AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 was able to get certified for 120+ dB by Creative, which is why this board has ZxRi written on it while the Z270X-Gaming 7 doesn't. The audio solution on this board is equivalent to a decent sound card.

 

EK Water Block: With all the heat the PEX8747 produces, it's nice to see the AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 use a decent water block from one of the most revered water block companies.

 

Dual M.2 and U.2: While one of the U.2 and M.2 ports share bandwidth, you can still run any three of the four interface connections simultaneously with 32Gbps of bandwidth each.

 

Four Digital Post Code and OC Features: I like the inclusion of the OC features, but I also really like the addition of the four digital POST Code display. Up until launch, well right before a BIOS released before launch, I didn't understand why AORUS would use a 4-digit POST code. The answer was made clear when I saw that the motherboard had the ability to not only display different temperatures on display but also VCore, making it an onboard digital multimeter since it will display VCore even when the CPU is booting.

 

ThunderBolt 3: The most equipped type-C port out there is ThunderBolt 3 since it's the fastest and backward compatible with DisplayPort and USB 3.1. AORUS's use of Intel's ThunderBolt 3 controller ensures your type-C port will support many of the new devices hitting the market.

 

AORUS Features: Eight fan headers with DC/PWM auto sense, 2A support, multiple temperature input headers, and decent UEFI fan GUI produces a lot of value for users who don't want to buy an external fan controller. DAC-UP 2 with its additional USB power options offers flexibility and troubleshooting options for a newer generation of VR devices. The Z270X-Gaming 9 also has more RGB LED controllers to support RGBW and different operation modes for the built-in RGB LEDs, even more so than the Z270X-Gaming 7.

 

What's Not

 

Super Expensive: At the $500 mark, the AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 is one of the most expensive Z270 motherboards on the market, and it will make a dent in your bank account.

 

VRM and PCI-E area LEDs: The LEDs around the VRM area and below the PCI-E slots shine straight out, and I think the designers figured that with the slots filled and a large heat sink, the light from these LEDs would be diffused and that would create a glow. I talked to AORUS, and they said they would add a feature to disable these LEDs independently of the others in the future. If it bothers you now, you can still disable all LEDs.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The Z270X-Gaming 9 is the most loaded motherboard I have seen from GIGABYTE/AORUS regarding features and quality. GIGABYTE/AORUS's decisions to replaced the no-name water block on their previous boards with one from EK, use Intel's USB 3.1/ThunderBolt 3 controller, go for Creative ZxRi certification for their audio, and implement so many secondary and tertiary features with quality in mind shows their commitment to the enthusiast who might want to spend as much as it takes to get the features they want.

 

aorus-z270x-gaming-9-motherboard-review_116

 

The AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 is a worthy successor to the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 WIFI, and while it's perhaps not at the legendary level of the old X58A-UD9, it does deserve recognition for bringing together the features need for a truly premium gaming motherboard from AORUS/GIGABYTE.

 

If your system's motherboard budget is huge, you have decided on water cooling the VRM/PEX8747, and you want the premium features the Z270X-Gaming 9 offers, then it might be the perfect match for you.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking)95%
Quality including Design and Build95%
General Features93%
Bundle and Packaging95%
Value for Money88%
Overall TweakTown Rating93%

The Bottom Line: Loaded with the latest and greatest features, including top of the line audio, networking, overclocking, and component quality, the Z270X-Gaming 9 might dent your bank account, but it could be worth it.

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