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Consumers Guide to the Best Z370 Motherboards
Whether your starting from scratch building a new gaming computer or just freshening up an old one, the best place to start is with the motherboard. This will set the foundation for the rest of your build and you want to make sure you get the most value for money on the motherboard you choose.
A good Z370 motherboard will deliver high performance along with flexibility and new generation technology. Z370s are designed to suit the newest generation of the Coffee Lake processor from Intel. The motherboards provide crazy fast processing speeds as well as versatility with their I/O options. It’s the most up to date hardware model and is not only the most powerful but also the most efficient model on the market.
What Are Z730 Motherboards?
The Z370 motherboard serves as your computer’s foundation, with which all the rest of your components are built onto. It is a printed circuit board that communicates directly with everything else in your computer from the CPU to the microprocessors. But how does the Z370 differ from other motherboards?
The Z370 has been specially designed with a one of a kind chipset which governs the information flow throughout your PC. With Intel’s recent release of the 8th gen Coffee Lake Processor, this motherboard has been designed specifically to operate it. Back in 2017 when the original Coffee Lake came out it had some unique characteristics that set it apart from additional RAID modes and USB 3.1. Since then, it’s become increasingly faster and better performing whilst continuously progressing with new technology.
A motherboard dictates a huge portion of how the final built computer will perform. Pertaining specifically to the Z370, they will enable you to utilize one of the 8th or 9th gen Coffee Lake CPUs from Intel. It’s the highest chipset you can get and if you want to overclock ‘k’ SKU CPUs, then it’s the only way.
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Z370 Motherboard?
There are a few factors to look out for when purchasing a motherboard to make certain you’re getting the best one for you.
If you plan on doing some serious upgrades and mods to your computer, expansions slots will be your best friend. They are general slots on the motherboard which you will connect a good chunk of your other components too. Sound cards, Wi-Fi cards, and graphics cards will all be linked to your motherboard via the expansion slots.
The two types of PCIe slots you will find are 1x and 16x. 1x slots are generally used for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi receivers as they are not as powerful whereas 16x will be used for power hungry GPUs.
RAM is the short-term memory bank of your computer. Different to hard drives, which hold on to your data. As soon as RAM has no power coming into it, any information that was in there is gone. When your computer is on, its constantly processing information at a very high speed. It contains only data that your computer needs instant access to. It doesn’t have much space making it not an option for a long-term storage solution.
The RAM itself is just a collection of small components that plug directly into the motherboard via DIMM slots. Each motherboard will have a varying amount of DIMM slots, but they should have 4 to ensure the smoothest running system. That will allow it to hold 64 GB of memory.
The back I/O relates to the ports on the back of your computer case when your motherboard is installed. This will dictate the external hardware that can be connected to your computer.
The standards connections that will be important to you will be HDMI and also standard USB ports and PS/2 ports. HDMI is a very useful connection to have as most of the time this is how you will be connecting your monitor. Of course, if you are using a high-performing graphics card then you will connect your monitor through there. For USB it’s a good idea to have as many of them as possible as they are the universal connection point for many different types of peripherals and devices. If you use external hard drives or flash drives, then multiple ports are definitely necessary and ideally 3.0 or 3.1. This will ensure the fastest speed possible for file transfers. Also, your keyboard and mouse will need ports to plug into as well but can probably make do with USB 2.0.
There are two different storage types available within a motherboard. These are SATA and M.2.
SATA is the classically designed connector that is used to connect the motherboard to hard drives. It’s the slower of the two connectors but also inexpensive compared to M.2.
M.2 is a new generation storage type. It is a collection of printed circuit boards that are compact and plugs directly into the motherboard, which makes it extremely quick.
Beyond the factors mentioned above, there are a few more individually specific things you’ll want to consider.
- Extra Features
When choosing a motherboard, you may have a brand in mind that you already know and trust, so for you that may be a deciding factor. Also, everyone has a different amount of money that they are willing to allocate to their motherboard, so that needs to be considered as well. Beyond that, you want to think about how much overclocking you intend to do and if you would like any special extra features.
There are many options on the market that tick many of the boxes discussed above. Each one has its own perks that make them stand out from the others and make it the perfect fit for you. But where do you start? Well, we’ve done some work for you and reviewed 5 of the best Z370 motherboards out there based on the factors mentioned above. We’ve got options to fit a variety of requirements so you’re likely to find the one that suits you best.
1. Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5
- Expansion Slots: x16, x16 (x8), x16 (x4), (3) x1 |
- External Ports: | Video ports: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB ports: (8) rear IO |
- Storage: (3) M.2, (6) SATA |
They had gamers in mind when they created this incredible gaming motherboard. With the E2500 Gaming Network, it provides insanely fast FPS and load times as well as streamlined graphics performance. Though aesthetically it may not stand up to others in its bracket, this model has the focus on function.
It has three M.2 storage slots, Intel Wi-Fi, Ethernet, ALC 1220 audio and total RGB with multiple headers. The motherboard also has 10-phase CPU power delivery and boasts pretty good memory support up to 4133MHz. The motherboard has expert level processor speeds, hitting the top of the 5GHz barrier.
Where features are concerned, it has funky RGB lighting and has a durable armor that looks slick and will also help the motherboard to last.
It’s a bit on the bulky side, so if you’re planning on fitting a lot of components inside your case than this is something to consider since the motherboard will take up more room than many others. It also doesn’t have much in the way of overclocking potential.
- Esthetically looks good with RGB package and LED headers
- Superfast processor speeds
- Three M.2 slots
- Not much in the way of overclocking potential
2. ASRock Z370 Killer
Expansion Slots: (2) PCIe 3.0 x16, (4) PCIe 3.0 x1 |
External Ports: | Video ports: HDMI, DVI-D | USB ports: (5) 3.1 USB |
Storage: (6) SATA3, (2) Ultra M.2 |
This incredibly adaptable and cool looking Z370 motherboard is compatible with the 8th gen Coffee Lake processors and delivers high performance with it’s Intel Gigabit LAN, Nichicon Audio Caps and two Ultra M.2 slots. On top of the M.2, it’s got six SATA ports that take on the majority of the storage.
It has a cool and slick esthetic, with black and white components and lighting on the board and comes at an incredible price-point.
For expansion slots, it’s got 2 x16 capable slots and 4 x1 capable slots and it can support 2-way SLI and 3-way Crossfire. There are 4 RAM slots that hold the 64 GB maximum and can support up to DDR4-4266 speeds. With 5 external 3.1 USBs, you’ve got a ton of ports to connect external devices too.
An Intel I219-V handles the network connectivity, with wireless support added from the Intel Wi-Fi AC3165 module.
- Supports all Coffee Lake 8th Generation, processors
- Cool design
- Could do with more case fan connections
3. ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero Wi-Fi AC
- Expansion Slots: (2) x16 (x16 or dual x8), x16 (x4), |
- External Ports: | Video ports: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB ports: (8) rear IO |
- Storage: (2) M.2, (6) SATA|
If you’re on the hunt for a high-end motherboard option that can handle some serious overclocking than there’s no reason to go higher spec than the ROG Maximus X Hero. It has amazing overclocking potential, with steady 5.1GHZ overclocks on the processor while barely changing the voltage. Some of the earlier Z370s had some issues with the VRM temperatures but that’s not a problem for the Maximus X.
It’s got an array of mounted controls like POST code display, memory reset button, and power buttons as well as a clear BIOS switch and RGB illumination. It’s pretty basic in terms of esthetics but its neutral design can be a great building block to accent with your other components. If you want some more color the RGB header will enable RGB strips to emit multicolor lights, rather than one color, as long as it’s compatible.
The performance standard it delivers echoes that of other motherboards that cost substantially more, so for the price, you really can’t beat it. Going higher spec may deliver a few extra features and maybe a tiny speed increase, but not enough to warrant paying through the roof for it.
- Top-notch overclocking potential
- Considering that it’s a high-end board, the price is reasonable
- Could benefit from better Wi-Fi
- Could always use more M.2 slots
4. ASUS TUF H370-Pro Gaming Wi-Fi
- Expansion Slots: x16, x16 (x4), (4) x1 |
- External Ports: | Video ports: D-Sub, HDMI, DisplayPort | USB ports: 7x rear IO |
- Storage: (2) M.2, (6) SATA|
Don’t let its basic design fool you, this motherboard stands it ground against its flashy designed competitors. The ASUS TUF H370-Pro is made for the original gamers, with its old school design and its distaste for trends. That being said it has great Wi-Fi implementation and delivers high performance in its gaming capabilities.
It has 2 M.2 slots, Intel v219 Ethernet and 10Gb generation 2 USB 3.1. They put the competition to shame in a bracket where Wi-Fi isn’t found very often with its MU-MIMO and 160MHz wide channel mode support.
Its overclocking potential isn’t great, as it’s not supported by the H370 chipset and struggles with high memory speeds as well. That being said, you’re better off investing in a high-performing GPU than overclockable CPUs.
- Performs well in real-world testing
- Classic and retro design
- Audio isn’t great
- No overclocking support
5. Asus ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming
- Expansion Slots: (1) x16 |
- External Ports: | Video ports: HDMI, DisplayPort | USB ports: (8) rear IO|
- Storage: (2) M.2, (4) SATA|
This small but mighty Z370 motherboard may not have a ton of options for upgrade, but it delivers incredible performance at even more incredible value. The RGB lighting is fun and will complement the rest of your build as the main body is neutral colored. Due to its compact size, it is a great option for those with smaller bodied computers.
Using multiple memory speeds, it maintains consistent 5GHz overclocks and even though it only has one x16 slot, it keeps up with, if not surpasses other Z370 boards in terms of speed. On the reverse of the motherboard, there are antenna connectors for Wi-fi and Bluetooth as well as a variety of USB ports, both 3.0 and 3.1. Though you’ll likely use a GPU output to plug in your monitor, it does have three options to plug them in. There are also 5 audio jacks, so it has some amazing sound potential.
Though it only has the one 16x PCI-E slot it has 2 M.2 slots, though one is underneath the motherboard so you will want to make sure you install that M.2 drive before assembling as otherwise, you will have to take everything apart and start over.
- Awesome for those who intend to do a lot of overclocking
- Compact and sleek design
- 2 M.2 slots
- Could use faster Wi-Fi
- Location of one of the M.2 slots is inconveniently on the bottom of the motherboard
The Final Word
When considering all the specifications and features to look for in a Z370 motherboard, these 5 models stand above the rest. They provide high-performance and each has its own unique features that will benefit your build. Whether you’re planning on pushing it the limits with overclocking, or just after a sleek design that runs well, we hope you’ve found one on our list that jumps out to you and will help take your gaming experience to the next level.