The new Z370 chipset motherboards are here at last! Delivering support for the latest Intel Coffee Lake processors. This includes the new i5-8400 and the i7-8700K which we recently reviewed. The new CPUs were surprisingly very impressive, and, of course, we’ve now got a stack of new motherboard reviews to bring to you too.
One of the first motherboards we’ll be testing is the new ASUS RoG STRIX Z370-I. Mini-ITX is a popular market, especially for those who want a compact system that doesn’t eat up lots of desktop space, or that they can take to LAN gaming events. However, you’ll still want high-end performance, and the I-Gaming is pretty robust in terms of features, so I have high hopes for its gaming performance.
With this being an ITX form factor motherboard, certain and very obvious sacrifices have been made to cut down the size, but aside from fewer PCIe slots and a couple of SATA ports having been removed, the feature set is certainly far from small. The Z370-I has a single full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot which features the SafeSlot reinforcement, and in design terms, it is very similar to the Z370-E in styling and features new light silver metallic heat sinks.
- Designed exclusively for 8th generation Intel® Core™ processors to maximize connectivity and speed with Dual M.2, front panel USB 3.1, 802.11ac WiFi, Gigabit LAN and Intel® Optane™ Memory compatibility
- Innovative M.2 Double-Decker Heatsink shrouds the main M.2 slot and provides shared cooling for both the M.2 and PCH.
- 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 automatically tailors overclocking profiles to your unique build for maximum OC performance and dynamic system cooling
- Unmatched Personalization with ASUS exclusive AURA Sync RGB lighting and addressable RGB header
- Patent-pending SafeSlot features an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs
- 8-channel HD audio with dual headphone amplifiers and ROG exclusive SupremeFX S1220A CODEC driven by Japanese capacitors.
- Mini-ITX Form Factor
- Intel Z370 Chipset
- LGA1151 Socket
- 2 x Dual-Channel DDR4-4333 (OC) Memory
- 4 x SATA III, 2 x M.2
- 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
- 4 x USB 3.0 and 4x USB 2.0 Ports
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Aura Sync RGB Lighting
- SupremeFX 8-Channel HD Audio S1220A
For audio, the Strix Z370-I Gaming like all the other Strix and Maximus Z370 boards utilizes the Realtek ALC1220 codec. The audio PCB segment uses gold Nichon Japanese audio capacitors, and the codec features a small EMI shield to protect from interference. Video support on the rear comes via DisplayPort and HDMI, and networking from an Intel I219-V gigabit Ethernet controller and an 802.11ac WiFi module.
The rear IO board has three USB 3.1 10 Gbps Type-A ports, a Type-C port, and four USB 2.0 Type-A ports. Headers on the board offer another USB 3.1 10Gbps port and four USB 2.0 ports. The small ITX form factor isn’t known for being rich in the way of fan headers, and on this board there are two regular 4-pin fan headers, a single header dedicated to AIO CPU coolers. There is also a single thermal sensor header.
It might be strange to think that ASUS ROG has started omitting Maximus Impact boards from the range - it would mean that ASUS has shifted focus away from high-performance ITX motherboards. The Impact boards were always over-engineered, which might be related to the delay, or ASUS might be saving it depending on market potential.
To view full Specifications visit the website: