Are you a gamer looking for a build that will enhance your experience? Tired of lag, lackluster graphics, and disrupted connections? Without a solid foundation to build from, you’re going to encounter poor performance. Fortunately, the best Z270 motherboards are here to save the day.
The best Z270 motherboards will take you from zero to hero in a matter of seconds. Have you given one a test drive? The raw power this motherboard/chipset duo provides is second to none, all thanks to their insane overclocking potential.
If you’re looking for a foundation designed for modern-day computing (it’s 2021, folks), look no further.
- 1 Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 10 Best Z270 Motherboards
- 2 Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 10 Best Z270 Motherboards in 2021
- 3 Z270 Motherboard Guide Part I: What is a Motherboard?
- 4 Z270 Motherboard Guide Part II: Z270 Motherboards Specifications and Usage
- 5 Z270 Motherboard Guide Part III: Z270 Motherboards vs. Other ZSeries Chipsets
Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 10 Best Z270 Motherboards
We’ve curated the most popular Z270 motherboards and organized them in by price ascending order.
|ASRock Gaming K4||ATX||LGA1151||Crossfire|
|MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon||ATX||LGA1151||Crossfire / SLI|
|ASUS Prime Z270-P||ATX||LGA1151||Crossfire|
|ASRock Z270 EXTREME4||ATX||LGA1151||Crossfire / SLI|
|GIGABYTE GA-Z270X Ultra Gaming||ATX||LGA1151||SLI|
|ASUS Maximus IX Hero||ATX||LGA1151||Crossfire / SLI|
|ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex||EATX||LGA1151||Crossfire / SLI|
|GIGABYTE AORUS GA-Z270X Gaming 9||EATX||LGA1151||Crossfire / SLI|
|MSI Z270 Tomahawk||ATX||LGA1151||Crossfire|
|ASUS Prime Z270-A||ATX||LGA1151||SLI / Crossfire|
Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 10 Best Z270 Motherboards in 2021
Matching the table above, we’ve rounded up this list of the top 10 best Z270 motherboards to make your search easier.
Our pick for best Z270 motherboard for speed
Manufacturer: ASRock | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire | Dimensions: 12 x 13 x 3.5 in | Price: 💰
The ASRock K6 is a gaming motherboard built for speed. With enhanced Vcore Voltage, you can expect efficient and responsive CPU power with high overclocking potential. As for memory? This board supports 64GB of RAM with 4x DDR4 memory slots, ensuring optimal performance. Plus, you won’t have to worry about longevity, as this board boasts premium XXL Aluminum heatsinks to keep your rig cool and protected for the long haul.
✔ Sleek black & red design
✔ Creative Sound Blaster Cinema3
✔ Supports up to 64GB of DDR4 memory
✘ QC Issues
✘ Rounds up voltage
Our pick for best VR motherboard
Manufacturer: MSI | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire / SLI | Dimensions: 14 x 10.5 x 3 in | Price: 💰
Looking for one of the best Z270 motherboards for VR? The MSI Pro Carbon is a gaming juggernaut that supports 6th and 7th generation Intel processors and multiple GPUs. With a wide range of hardware support, you can fill the DDR4 slots with your favorite memory and keep your rig at perfect operating temperature thanks to air and liquid cooling support. As for style? Mystic Light Sync unleashes an LED light show for unrivaled customization.
✔ M.2 shield
✔ Carbon fiber design
✔ Supports multiple graphics cards
✘ Frustrating installation
✘ WiFi connectivity issues
Our pick for best LGA 1151 motherboard
Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: ATX or Mini-ITX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire | Dimensions: 10.5 x 2 x 13 in | Price: 💰
The ASUS Prime Z270-P is a work of art, offering a fantastic computing experience at an affordable price point. It boasts powerful features like integrated dual M.2 technology and pre-configured Intel Optane support for lightning-quick builds. Plus, you’re free to create the gaming rig of your dreams with ASUS FanXpert, which allows for dynamic cooling via air or liquid AIO. Overall, the 270-P is one of the best 1151 motherboards around.
✔ Liquid cooling support
✔ Fresh black & silver design
✔ Built-in hardware safeguards
✘ No LEDs
✘ May need a BIOS update out of the box
Our pick for best motherboard for i7 6700k
Manufacturer: ASRock | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire / SLI | Dimensions: 12 x 13.5 x 3.5 in | Price: 💰💰
Looking to overclock your 6th generation Intel rig? It’s no problem with the EXTREME4 by ASRock. This ATX behemoth supports 4x DDR4 memory, plenty of SATA ports, and exceptional audio. Plus, top-tier gaming and VR should be smooth as butter with convenience settings like built-in WiFi, multiple LANs, and an integrated code debugger. It’s definitely one of the best motherboards for i7 Sky or Kaby Lake.
✔ Integrated code debugger
✔ Simple black and white design
✔ Skylake and Kaby Lake VR-ready
✘ LEDs are dim
✘ Component compatibility issues
Our pick for best gaming motherboard for i7
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: SLI | Dimensions: 13 x 10.5 x 3 in | Price: 💰💰
The GIGABYTE GA-Z270X is a gaming powerhouse that supports both 6th and 7th generation Intel processors. It’s heavy on features, boasting ALC1120 sound, USB 3.1 Type-C connections, and 2-way SLI support. Plus, DIMM RAM technology offers dual-channel DDR4 memory compatibility for exceptional speed and performance. An excellent choice for i7 gaming rigs.
✔ USB 3.1 Type-C
✔ BIOS APP center
✔ Premium build quality
✘ Lackluster support
✘ Subpar RGB controls
Our pick for best LED motherboard
Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire / SLI | Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 9.5 in | Price: 💰💰💰
Another hot pick by ASUS, the Maximus IX Hero is the answer for 7th generation builds. It features USB 3.1 connectivity, Optane memory support, and Dual M.2 for maximum compatibility and speed. Plus, overclocking is a cinch with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert, both of which automatically adjust your system for maximum performance and cooling. Combined with 8-channel HD audio and ASUS AURA Sync, you’re in for an immersive and stylish gaming rig.
✔ 5-way optimization
✔ 8-channel HD Audio
✔ Metal framing w/ AURA Sync
✘ QC kinks
✘ No built-in WiFi
Our pick for best Kaby Lake motherboard
Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: EATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire / SLI | Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 10.5 in | Price: 💰💰💰
The Maximus ROG Maximus by ASUS is hands down one of the best Kaby Lake motherboards on the market. Designed with ease and performance in mind, you’ll find features like patent-pending Safe Slots, Optane memory support, and a USB 3.1 front panel. Customize to your heart’s content with AURA sync and 5-Way Optimization, and play as you wish with 1-click overclocking. This streamlined motherboard is one of the best Z270 motherboards for gaming.
✔ Cutting-edge USB 3.1
✔ Patent-pending Safe Slots
✔ ASUS AURA Sync onboard illumination
✘ Disappointing audio
✘ Limited space for multiple GPUs
Our pick for best Skylake motherboard
Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: EATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire / SLI | Dimensions: 13 x 10.5 x 3 in | Price: 💰💰💰
If you’re seeking the best Skylake motherboard for gaming, the GIGABYTE AORUS is the answer. In addition to a wide range of impressive compatibility options, this board boasts the E2500 Gaming Network for unrivaled performance. This network uses the NVMe protocol to cruise down the PCI-E lanes and deliver lightning-fast load times, OS boots, and more. As for style? RGB FUSION provides multi-zone LED support for a one-of-a-kind light show. It’s the best motherboard in its class.
✔ Sound Blaster X-Fi
✔ E2500 Gaming Network
✔ Multi-zone onboard illumination
✘ High auto voltage
✘ Issues w/ bent pins
Our pick for best MSI motherboard
Manufacturer: MSI | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: Crossfire | Dimensions: 14 x 10.5 x 3 in | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Need an ATX motherboard? The Tomahawk by MSI delivers broad processor support that’s ready to go with military-grade materials. It boasts Optane memory expansion slots, Gaming LAN, and Audio Boost for a VR-ready performance powerhouse. Plus, gaming LEDs and PCB print effects make this pick one of the coolest motherboards around. Are you ready for action? This budget-friendly board is the answer.
✔ Gaming LAN
✔ Twin Turbo M.2
✔ PCB print effects w/ onboard illumination
✘ No RGB LEDs
✘ Overclocking gets hot
Our pick for best ASUS motherboard
Manufacturer: ASUS | Form Factor: ATX | Socket: LGA1151 | Multi-GPU Support: SLI / Crossfire | Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.5 x 13 in | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰
Widely known for their quality computer parts, ASUS outdid themselves with this meticulously optimized Z270 motherboard. Ready for installation out of the box, you can expect lightning-fast speeds, stable performance, and reliability for years to come. Plus, it’s preconfigured with ASUS AURA Sync, a proprietary piece of tech that offers LED control for onboard illumination. A great foundational motherboard for your build and one of the best z270 motherboards on the market.
✔ 3D printed design
✔ Onboard illumination
✔ Autotuning, FanXpert, and 5-way optimization
✘ Most expensive pick
✘ Peripheral detection issues
Z270 Motherboard Guide Part I: What is a Motherboard?
A motherboard is the central electronic hub, or “mother,” of a computer. She keeps everyone in line and working together. In more technical terms, a motherboard is a printed circuit board designed to connect electrical components via conduction. What makes the motherboard special is that it’s configured with the entire electronic build in mind.
Picture builders setting a foundation. Everything is mapped, concrete is poured, and structural beams are put in place. Everything flows together symbiotically to produce the finished structure. Moreover, the structure could not exist without the original blueprint and foundation, aka the motherboard.
Now, different blueprints do exist. There are many different types of motherboards for many different purposes. Motherboards are most often produced with a specific purpose in mind, and they are configured accordingly. For example, modern computer motherboards are uniquely designed to connect and communicate with microprocessors, drives, chipsets, etc.
A chipset is the part of the motherboard that regulates the flow of information between different computer components, namely the processor, memory, and peripherals or input/output devices. One pre-configured motherboard and chipset assembly is known as the Z270.
Z270 Motherboard Guide Part II: Z270 Motherboards Specifications and Usage
The Z270 motherboard is special because of its unique chipset specifications. Designed by Intel, the Z270 was created with performance in mind. In other words, the foundation is solid.
A Z270 motherboard is the perhaps the best motherboard for gaming, as its processing and graphics compatibilities are second to none. Naturally, it features powerful overclocking capabilities and integration with the best Intel processors.
Furthermore, Z270s support Intel Optane Memory, multiple SATA ports, and a plethora of high-end features and specs:
- Intel 200 Series Chipset
- LGA1151 Sockets
- Powerful Graphics Displays
- Multiple SATA Ports
- DDR4 & Optane Memory
- USB 3.0 & Versatile I/O Panel
- Integrated LAN
- Proprietary Intel Technology
But how do the best Z270 motherboards stack up against the competition?
Z270 Motherboard Guide Part III: Z270 Motherboards vs. Other ZSeries Chipsets
Compared to similar options like Z170, Z370, and Z390 motherboards, the Z270 is built to perform flawlessly with updated versions of both Skylake and Kaby Lake. What does that mean?
Intel releases new core processors every year. These core processors feature the latest technological advances and trends, with minute changes in overall performance. Specific motherboards work best with certain processors, and the one you should get depends on the rig you’re building.
Let’s have a look at the changes from each processor and motherboard release to get an idea of when you should use each option:
1. Z170 Motherboard. Released in 2015, the Z170 chipset is now a few years old. That said, the best Z170 motherboards were a significant game-changer. They introduced a new Desktop Management Interface alongside several new PCI-E lanes and updated compatibility with more powerful hardware.
Recommended for: Skylake Processors
2. Z270 Motherboard. Built to work with the latest Skylake and Kaby Lake processors, the best Z270 motherboards increase overall performance with additional PCI-E 3.0 lanes and Optane memory compatibility. They’re powerful and versatile motherboards with enhanced features at an exceptional price.
Recommended for: Kaby Lake and Skylake Processors
3. Z370 and Z390 Motherboards. Released alongside Coffee Lake, the Z370 motherboard introduced new support for USB 3.1 and additional RAID modes. The Z390 motherboard was released shortly after that with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and WiFi 802.11ac built-in. These motherboards are great for folks seeking the newest tech.
Recommended for: Coffee Lake Processors
As you can see, the ZSeries chipset’s changes are relatively minor with a few updates per release. Going back a generation or two can save a lot of money without sacrificing on many features. Still, the latest motherboards are a little more robust, since they’re updated with the current industry standards.
The Z270 motherboard is a sturdy foundation from which to build a new rig, and it combines performance and versatility at an excellent price. If you’re looking for the best motherboard for gaming, the best Z270 motherboards (working alongside a Sky or Kaby Lake processor) are an excellent choice for you!
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