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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

Packaging and Overview

 

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The box is simple and elegant, with the AORUS break and arm symbol and a plain black background. The AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 uses the same premium packaging we saw with previous generation pinnacle products from GIGABYTE.

 

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The accessory package includes six braided SATA6Gb/s cables, RGB LED IO shield, 2x external temperature sensors, LED plastic strip replacement, 2x AORUS branded Velcro cable ties, G-Connector, two WRGB extension cables, Wi-Fi antenna, CrossFireX bridge, AORUS case badge, SLI-HB bridge, 4-way SLI bridge, 3-way SLI bridge, iGPU dust covers, AORUS branded cable stickers, AORUS door hanger, and of course manuals and DVD drive.

 

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The Z270X-Gaming 9 offers eight fan headers circled in red. All these 4-pin fan headers are auto sensing PWM/DC headers, and you can manually set their mode in the UEFI or Windows. All headers support up to 2A output, and you can link them to multiple built-in temperature sensors or one of two external sensors whose headers are circled in blue to become a reference temperature for the fan cooling curve.

 

The Z270X-Gaming 9 has much-improved fan control hardware, but the software has also been improved in both Windows and the UEFI. The motherboard has a sleek black and white color theme, which is easy to match. Aesthetically speaking, AORUS has done an excellent job with the exterior design. The rear of the motherboard is devoid of hardware, so there is less risk of knocking off a component of the back by accident.

 

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The IO panel on the Z270X-Gaming 9 features two USB 3.0 DACP-UP 2, three USB 3.0 ports (the white port can be used for QFlash Plus), Thunderbolt 3/USb 3.1 type-C, USB 3.1 type-A, two Killer 1Gbit NICs, Killer Wireless AC, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and gold plated 7 channel audio with S/PDIF digital.

 

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The PCI-E slot layout is actually simple enough because of the PEX8747 chip, which expands the x16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU into x32 PCI-E 3.0 lanes for the four slots. You can run at x16/x0/x16/x0, x16/x0/x8/x8, x8/x8/x16/x0, or x8/x8/x8/x8. The PCI-E slots are reinforced with metal shields so that heavy GPUs won't droop too low and damage the slot. The motherboard features the six native SATA6Gb/s that double as three SATA Express ports. Two extra SATA6Gb/s ports are provided by an ASMedia controller. There are also two U.2 ports, the one on the right shares bandwidth with the bottom-most M.2 slot.

 

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There are two x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slots, they do share some bandwidth with SATA and the topmost U.2 port, and if you think there will be a conflict you should check out the user manual for exact sharing scenarios.

 

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The Z270X-Gaming 9 has a healthy amount of overclocking features including voltage read points, error LEDs, a four digit POST Code display that can double as a VCore or temperature display, power button, reset button, Clear CMOS button, ECO button, and OC button. There is a large piece of plastic that can be customized by GIGABYTE, and it's illuminated by RGB LEDs for a really neat effect.

 

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The motherboard has two USB 3.0 internal headers positioned below the 24-pin power connector. The two USB 3.0 internal headers each have dedicated voltage regulators to boost USB voltage to compensate for longer USB cables or to totally shut off USB power and only allow data to go through for USB DACs. To the left of the front panel header is a pair of switches. One switch switches between the main and backup BIOSes, the other can disable the DualBIOS feature to improve overclocking recovery.

 

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There are two USB 2.0 headers at the bottom of the motherboard as well as two RGBW headers. RGBW headers can work with normal RGB LED strips, but they also can work with RGBW LED strips that offer true white and a greater color gamut.

 

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AORUS's Creative Core3Di solution on the Z270X-Gaming 9 is actually different than that on the Z270X-Gaming 7. For starters, it's certified by Creative for 120+ dB, and that is why "Sound Blaster ZxRi" on the shield. The audio solution also uses better audio grade WIMA capacitors and two extra Japanese Radio Company amplifiers. The audio solution also has manual gain switches to change between x6 and x2.5 gain.

 

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The heat sinks and shields are all screwed into the motherboard.

 

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One of the main selling points of the Z270X-Gaming 9 is the EK water block that cools the VRM and PEX8747 bridge. The water block is built with copper and has two large channels to expand surface area.

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