Z270: The best ITX motherboard
Intels 'v1' socket 1151 has now been succeeded, but the associated processors and motherboards are still in full stock in the shops, often for interesting amounts. It ensures that the boards we tested for this platform are included in the comparison. Whether you still have a Skylake or Kaby Lake processor, or can get one in your hands for a low price, we can imagine that you are considering the older platform. However, we would only look at motherboards with the Z-chipset, which are mostly the best equipped and offer the possibility to overclock. The price difference with the B250 and H270 boards is also smaller than when they were introduced, while in terms of price they are not much more favourable than those of the more modern successors.
Our favourite of the previous generation is the ASUS RoG Strix Z270-I Gaming. This motherboard has two M.2 slots, with a cooling element on one. ASUS also offers quite a bit of bling, so if you're a fan of RGB, this is also of added value. In terms of SATA connections, the board with four pieces is quite average, but audio and wifi are great with respectively an ALC1220 codec and 867 Mbit/s Qualcomm chip. With eight phases, the power supply of the Strix Z270-I Gaming is ample for an ITX board. Pleasant for overclockers, although those will want to use some power supplies to the somewhat meager three fan connections to supplement. Finally, USB 3.1 is another noteworthy feature, as it is made possible with a separate chip - after all, the chipset itself does not support it.
For an average of 220 dollars, the ASUS RoG Strix Z270-I Gaming is certainly not the cheapest ITX motherboard, but because of its introduction date it is already available for less in some webshops.