Best Intel Z370 Gaming Motherboards Comparison and Recommendation for Overclocking i7 8700K

In October 2017 the new Intel mainstream processors are finally coming, yes, it’s Coffee Lake. With the i7 8700K for highest CPU lines of Coffee Lake, it offers 6 cores and 12 threads, and it’s easy to bump up the clock speed to 5 GHz if it paired with the best Z370 motherboard. Well I bet most AAA game till next 3-5 years will be fine with this processor, so this is a good investment too just like no bottlenecking issues if you just upgrade your graphics card in couple years later.

Taking a step forward from Z270 to Z370 is a just slight improvement in technology, but that’s made Z370 quickly mature in their Bios. In other words, rare to find a bug which is good and also Coffee Lake processor is significantly easier to overclock with practical 24/7 and impressive out of the box performance.

 

Intel Coffee Lake Vs. AMD Ryzen 7

The Core i7 8700K beat Ryzen 7 easily in almost all gaming benchmark tests that I ever read, as always Intel proves that they are better in single-threaded performance and efficiency. If you are a gamer moreover FPS matter for you, then I7 8700K should be a perfect choice. Ryzen 7 is not a bad choice at all, Ryzen 7 1700, if paired with B350 chipset, could be the best value for “smooth gaming” also any application that is optimizing multi-threaded performance. It only matters of preferences and what you demand from single PC build, if you are talking only about gaming performance or build a home PC just for gaming purpose, and fewer others activity like streamer and content creator then Coffee Lake is just perfect. The i5 8400 almost at same level as a stock 7700k so it’s another good choice for gaming too.

 

 

Best Z370 Gaming Motherboard Round-up

Motherboards (Amazon Link)Form FactorPCIe PortsMulti GPUSATAM.2U.2USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps)USB 3.1USB 2.0Memory SlotsOnboard GraphicsAudioAudio FeaturePower PhasesDual BiosNetworkingWirelessRGBLED strip headerFan HeaderThermal headerChassis Intrusion
MSI Z370 GODLIKE GAMINGE-ATX (30.5 x 27.2 cm)4x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 4-Way CrossFireX Technology 6313x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel and Type-C port internal connector)14 (4 through headers + 10 back panel)6 headers4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4133(OC) Mhz-Realtek® ALC1220 Codec and ESS® E9018 CodecXtreme Audio DAC with Nahimic 2: Isolated audio with ESS DAC, 2x audio processors & Nahimic 2+18 phase power design-3 x Killer™ E2500 Gigabit LAN controllerKiller™ 1535Mystic Light2 (5050 RGB LED 12V and Rainbow 5050 RGB LED 5V)10 (hybrid PWM/DC)31
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X FORMULAATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-3x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel and 1 internal connector)6 (4 at back panel, blue, 2 headers)6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4133(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220 and ESS® ES9023P DACSonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III, and SupremeFX Shielding Technology10+2 phase power design-Intel® I219V, ROG GameFirst IVWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/acAura Sync RGB lighting2 x Aura Addressable Strip Headers and 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers8 (hybrid PWM/DC)3 (2x liquid)-
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X APEXE-ATX (30.5 x 27.2 cm)3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 4-Way CrossFireX Technology 42x ROG DIMM.2 Module support-2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (Type-A + USB Type-C on the rear panel)8 (6 back panel, 2 headers)6 headers2 x DDR4 (Max 32GB) 4500(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220ASupremeFX Shielding™ Technology8+2 phase power design + Extreme Engine Digi+yesIntel® I219V, AQC108 5G LANAura Sync RGB lighting4 x Aura RGB Strip Headers10 (hybrid PWM/DC)4 (2x liquid)
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X CODEATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 623x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel and 1 internal connector)6 (4 at back panel, blue, 2 headers)6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4133(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220 and ESS® ES9023P DACSonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III, and SupremeFX Shielding Technology10+2 phase power designIntel® I219V, ROG GameFirst IVWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/acAura Sync RGB lighting2 x Aura Addressable Strip Headers and 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers8 (hybrid PWM/DC)3 (2x liquid)-
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X HERO (AC)ATX (30.5 x 24.4cm)2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-3x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel and 1 internal connector)6 (4 at back panel, blue, 2 headers)6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4133(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220 and ESS® ES9023P DACSonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III, and SupremeFX Shielding Technology10-phase power designIntel® I219V, ROG GameFirst IVWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (optional)Aura Sync RGB lighting1 x Aura Addressable Strip Headers and 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers8 (hybrid PWM/DC)3 (2x liquid)
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7ATX (30.5 x 24.4cm)2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 63-3x USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (Type-A port and Type-C port on the rear panel and Type-C port internal connector)7 (5 at back panel, 2 headers)4 headers4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4133(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) Realtek® ALC1220 codec and ESS9018Q2C chipSound BlasterX 720°10 phase Server-Class Digital Power DesignyesIntel® GbE LAN chip and Rivet Networks Killer™ E2500 LAN chipGB FUSION with Multi-Zone Digital LED Light Show design2 x digital LED strip headers, 2 x digital LED strip power select jumpers, 2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip headers8 (hybrid PWM/DC)-1
ASRock Z370 TAICHIATX (30.5 x 24.4cm)3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 83-3 USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Front Type-C, 1 Rear Type-C, 1 Rear Type-A)8 (4 at back panel, 4 headers)64 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4333(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec and NE5532 Premium Headset AmplifierPurity Sound™ 412 phase power designyes1 x Giga PHY Intel® I219V, 1 x GigaLAN Intel® I211ATIntel® 802.11ac WiFi + BT 4.2ASRock RGB LED15--
ASRock Z370 professional gaming i7ATX (30.5 x 24.4cm)3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 83-3 USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Front Type-C, 1 Rear Type-C, 1 Rear Type-A)8 (4 at back panel, 4 headers)64 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4333(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort(4k@60Hz) Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec and NE5532 Premium Headset AmplifierPurity Sound™ 4 and & Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 312 phase power designyesAQUANTIA® 10Gigabit LAN, 1 x Giga PHY Intel® I219V, 1 x GigaLAN Intel® I211ATIntel® 802.11ac WiFi + BT 4.2ASRock RGB LED15--

 

 

 

Best Mid-Tier Z370 Motherboard Round-up

Motherboards (Amazon Link)Form FactorPCIe PortsMulti GPUSATAM.2U.2USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps)USB 3.1USB 2.0Memory SlotsOnboard GraphicsAudioAudio FeaturePower PhasesNetworkingWirelessRGBLED strip headerFan HeaderThermal headerChassis Intrusion
ASRock Z370 Extreme 4ATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 82-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Type-A + 1 Type-C)9 (1 Front Type-C, 4 Front Type-A, 4 Rear)3 (Support 6 USB 2.0 ports)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4333(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DVI-D (FHD@60Hz), D-SUB (FHD@60Hz)Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec and NE5532 Premium Headset AmplifierPurity Sound™ 414 Power Phase designGiga PHY Intel® I219V-ASRock RGB LED15--
Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5ATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 63-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Type-A + 1 Type-C)7 (1 Front Type-C, 2 Front Type-A, 4 Rear)6 (2 ports on the back panel, 4 headers)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4133(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort, (4K@60Hz)Realtek® ALC1220 codecSound BlasterX 720°8+ 2 Power Phase designIntel® GbE LANIntel® Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.2RGB Fusion2 x digital LED strip headers, 2 x digital LED strip power select jumpers, 2 x RGB (RGBW) LED strip headers8
MSI Z370 Pro carbon ACATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Type-A + 1 Type-C)8 (4 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 headers)6 (2 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 headers)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4000(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort, (4K@24Hz)Realtek® ALC1220 codecAudio Boost 4, Nahimic 2+8+ 2 Power Phase design1 x Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN controllerIntel® Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.2MYSTIC LIGHT2 x 5050 RGB LED strip 12V connectors, 1 x WS2812B Individually Addressable RGB LED strip 5V connector, 1 x CORSAIR Individually Addressable RGB LED strip 5V connector5-1
MSI z370 GAMING M5ATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Type-A + 1 Type-C)6 (2 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 headers)7 (3 Type-A ports on the back panel, 4 headers)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4000(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@30Hz), DisplayPort (4K@24Hz)Realtek® ALC1220 CodecAudio Boost 4, Nahimic 2+8+ 2 Power Phase design1 x KillerTM E2500 Gigabit LAN controller-MYSTIC LIGHT15-1
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-EATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 4x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-2x USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Type-A + 1 Type-C) + 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 headers6 (4 at back panel, blue, 2 headers)6 4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4000(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort (4K@60Hz), DVI-D (FHD@60Hz)ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220ASonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III10 Power Phase designIntel® I219VIntel® Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.2Aura Sync RGB1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header, 2 x RGB Headers61-
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-FATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 4x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-2x USB 3.1 ports (Type-A + USB Type-CTM, Support 3A power output)6 (4 at back panel, blue, 2 headers)6 4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4000(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort (4K@60Hz), DVI-D (FHD@60Hz)ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220ASonic Studio III, Sonic Radar III10 Power Phase designIntel® I219VAura Sync RGB2 x RGB Header(s)61-
ASUS PRIME Z370-A ATX (30.5 x 24.4 cm) 2x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 4x PCIe 3.0 x1NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology 62-2x USB 3.1 ports (Type-A + USB Type-CTM, Support 3A power output)6 (4 at back panel, blue, 2 headers)6 (2 at back panel, , 4 headers)4 x DDR4 (Max 64GB) 4000(OC) MhzHDMI (4K@24Hz), DisplayPort (4K@60Hz), DVI-D (FHD@60Hz)Realtek® S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODECCrystal Sound 38 Power Phase designIntel® I219V-Aura Sync RGB1 x Aura RGB Strip Header611

 

Or you can take a look the cheapest one. http://goodgamingmotherboard.com/cheap-z370-motherboards/

Let’s talk about the best Z370 motherboard list.

 

1. MSI Z370 GODLIKE GAMING

MSI Z370 GODLIKE GAMING is The Most Extreme Z370 Motherboard.
Unique Features : Triple Killer LAN, Killer WIFI and Killer xTend.
Ext ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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What can I say? It’s a Monstrous Z370 motherboard, the greatest lines of MSI’s gaming motherboard with 18 phase digital power design. This mobo is one of most extreme gaming motherboard that I ever know and comes with tons of gaming features, but as always you won’t get the motherboard like this for a low cost.

Dual ALC1220, Nahimic 2 software and additional Xtreme Audio DAC with Hi-Fi Audio is excellent gaming audio solution to both the front & rear panel; it’s more than enough for best gaming or movie experience and some music genre. Using audio grade capacitors with entirely rustic design separated from others component to minimize any electrical interference and provide the clean signal. Also, it’s okay for high-impedance headphones which demand more voltage, and there is a gold 6.35mm headphone out too, high-quality headphones usually have a high impedance.  The best onboard audio for Z370 right now.

Triple Killer LAN E2500 for lowest latency during gaming and also you can combine it with Killer WIFI. GODLIKE GAMING is the only one gaming motherboard that already implemented Killer xTend technology, so you can turn your PC into a home network to provide its network access to other devices (wired and wireless) such as Xbox, PS4, and smartphone. But still you can manage traffic prioritization for gaming latencies and bandwidth, won’t feel any lag problem while providing network extension capabilities.

Taking a closer look at the heatsinks, it’s multiple-layered but also features Mystic Light RGB LED. RGB LED even spread around the board and some other areas including free Phanteks 5V rainbow strip. Just personalize your gaming rig with 16.8 million colors and 17 LED effects to set up your system and make a beautiful build to show especially when you have an acrylic case, of course, you can sync and change the color scheme to what you want by Mystic Light app. Even this motherboard still look aesthetic without so many lights, so it just matters of preferences.

Like I said before, this monstrous motherboard has plenty power to overclock any Coffee Lake, top power stages 60A IR3555 and digital PWM ensures the best power delivery. The overclocking feature OC Engine 2 for full base clock control and Load Line Calibration (LLC) will work really well if you an enthusiast that love to do manual overclock. If you are a newbie, Game Boost and DDR4 Boost will help you a lot; it’s an automated overclock directly from the Z370 GODLIKE GAMING.

Pros.
  • Triple Killer LAN E2500, Killer™ WIFI, and xTend technology.
  • One of the best looking board and tons of RGB customization.
  • Best onboard sound quality so far.
  • 6 SATA ports, Triple M.2 and U.2.
  • USB gen2 Type C in front and rear panel.
  • PCIe and DDR4 Steel Armor.
  • Admirable UEFI BIOS and BIOS Flashback+.
  • A lot of accessories includes in sales package such as Rainbow RGB strip, PCIe to a dual M.2 adapter, internal, USB front-panel hub, 3 thermistor leads for temperature monitoring, standard and short SATA cables.
Cons.
  • Expensive.
  • Dual Bios.

 

2. Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 7

GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 is The High Performance VRM at Reasonable Price. (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Unique Features : Top Audio Quality and RGB LEDs.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 it’s a flagship model of the Z370 AORUS gaming series motherboard that supports Coffee Lake. It offers tons of gaming features, aesthetic looks, Christmas tree RGB LEDs and excellent overclocking performance. 10 phase Server-Class Digital Power Design implemented with top-notch performance VRM Intersil’s iSL99227B digital PWM with the up to 60A of power. I guess it one of the best VRM for Z370 motherboard.

121dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220 has real advantages for better sound quality, also additional High-End ESS SABRE 9018 DAC with WIMA audio capacitors, Nichicon audiophile grade caps, smart headphone AMP, and a DAC-UP 2 to adjust USB voltage. Sound BlasterX 720° software, the excellent audio engine solution for gaming and movie. It’s not gimmicked after all; it’s genuinely affect sound quality and Gigabyte work well for this motherboard.

For networking there will be no problem with Killer E2500 Gaming Network and Intel Gigabit LAN, everything is good for online gaming, but for flagship gaming motherboard it should offer better technology just like 5/10 Gbps Ethernet and build in wireless technology for better future-proof.

Aesthetic motherboard with numerous light customization by RGB FUSION APP with Multi-Zone Digital LED Light Show design and also support digital LED & RGB LED strips.

The motherboard has extreme VRM quality so it can go higher and there’s a lot of room for overclocking Coffee Lake processor, and it’s easy to manage 8700k 5 GHz all core. Also useful features like Turbo B-Clock, Power/Reset buttons and a POST code display.

Pros.
  • Best VRM quality and excellent for overclocking.
  • Top notch audio quality.
  • Dual BIOS.
  • USB gen2 Type C in front and rear panel.
  • Power/reset buttons.
  • DDR4 XMP Up to 4133MHz.
  • Triple NVMe M.2.
  • Advanced Fans configuration.
  • Best RGB LEDs customization and many LEDs headers support.
Cons.
  • No AC WiFi and 5/10 Gbps Ethernet at this price range.
  • VRM temperature issues.

 

3. ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming i7

ASRock Z370 PROFESSIONAL GAMING I7 is The ASRock Z370 Flagship Motherboard.
Unique Features : Aquantia AQC107 Controller 10 Gb/s
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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ASRock’s Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming i7 using Fatal1ty brand name it usually refers to professional gaming. It’s ASRock’s flagship Z370 motherboards model with 12 phase power design Premium 60A and a bunch of gaming features. What makes this motherboard different is Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE, two Intel 1Gbit ports and 8 SATA ports, no other kind of z370 competitor mobo implemented that technology so far.

For the audio solution, ASRock chooses Nichicon Gold series audio caps, Realtek ALC1220 audio codec 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier, a NE5532 amplifier for the front panel up to 600-ohm headphones plus Gold audio jack. Also Supports Purity Sound 4 and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 software will allow you to enjoy  Reality 3D technology experience.

Networking solutions on the board there is Aquantia AQC107 controller 10 Gb/s, an I219-V and I211-AT.  10Gb/s is the lastest network standard so implemented this kind of technology will take advantage for the future also it still fully compatible with 5Gb/s, 2.5Gb/s & Gigabit. Wireless networking included dual band Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi module and Bluetooth 4.2.

The Fatal1ty Z370 Professional Gaming i7 really look like the high-class professional board, it’s excellent motherboard with XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink and dual VRM heatsinks connected via a heat pipe, and PCIe slots armor to support monster video cards. RGB LEDs in the bottom of the PCH heatsink and more RGB LEDs can be added through RGB LED header. Power/reset buttons and debug LED are also found in this mobo.

With top class quality of VRM and premium component that really help for overclocking and stability. ASRock Hyper DDR4 technology is giving the overall best compatibility, durability, and performance by isolated memory circuitry and optimized trace design. Hyper BCLK Engine II An additional external base clock generator which provides a broader range of frequencies and more precise clock waveforms.

Pros.
  • High-performance VRM for overclocking.
  • Hyper DDR4 technology.
  •  Aquantia AQC107 controller 10 Gb/s + 2x Intel Gigabit Lan.
  • Dual BIOS.
  • 8 SATA3 and Triple M.2.
  • Power/reset buttons and debug LED.
  • Great overall performance.
  • Great layout.
  • Included WiFi.
Cons.
  • Only six USB on the rear panel at this price range.
  • Fan control software.

 

4. ASRock Z370 TAICHI

ASRock Z370 TAICHI is The Bang For The Bucks at Mid to Top Level. (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Unique Features : Excellent CPU and Memory Overclocking.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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ASRock’s Z370 Taichi just like others Taichi mobo model, it’s excellent value for money but still stable motherboard with tons of useful features and top quality components. High-performance VRM ASRock Intersil’s, digital PWM, 12K FP solid polymer capacitors, 2 5A dual N-channel MOSFETs and 60A high current inductors. Overall, this is top tier VRM in Z370 motherboard still the same level with ASRock Fat4lity Profesional i7.

7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec), a NE5532 amplifier, Nichicon Gold series audio caps, and Gold audio jack it’s already proven to provide good quality for gaming and movie. Just like the older brother Fat4lity professional gaming i7, it’s just you will be miss Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 software.

Dual Intel LAN (Giga PHY Intel® I219V + GigaLAN Intel® I211AT) and Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi plus Bluetooth 4.2 handled the networking solutions.

Aesthetics mobo with only black-white color with the minimum of flashy lights built into the motherboard. So it only matters personal preferences, if you like simple look but different and stable motherboard then ASRock Taichi is the right for you.

Pros.
  • Great value motherboard.
  • Great overclocking performance.
  • Hyper DDR4 technology.
  • 3 USB 3.1 Gen2 (1 Front Type-C, 1 Rear Type-C, 1 Rear Type-A).
  • 8 USB 3.1 Gen1 (4 Front, 4 Rear).
  • Dual BIOS.
  • 8 SATA and Triple M.2.
  • Power/reset buttons and debug LED
  • Excellent storage performance.
  • Good motherboard layout.
  • WiFi included.
Cons.
  • Fan control software.

 

 

Back in 2006 where ASUS formed and targeted to provide the most innovative hardcore hardware for enthusiasts gamers. And now their product become legendary among enthusiasts for its quality ROG as a pioneer in overclocking performance and gaming experience, with many of very positive review from hardware reviewer pros. The Maximus family also brings their awesomeness to support on Coffee Lake processor in late 2017; they are Maximus X Formula and Code, Maximus X Apex, and Maximus X Hero.

 

5. ROG Maximus X Formula

ROG MAXIMUS X FORMULA is The Ultimate ROG Premium Motherboard.
Unique Features : CrossChill EK II VRM block.
Ext ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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Big sized board (Extended ATX) with 10+2 phase power design. ROG Maximus X Formula will exclusively feature CrossChill EK II VRM block developed by EK Water Blocks company the water cooling delight it will perform best with the liquid solution.

ROG Maximus X Formula sound handled by SupremeFX S1220 codec and ESS Sabre ES9023P DAC with Texas Instruments RC4580 op-amp, it’s leveling up the everything on 1220 standard codec and sound quality on recording too. The latest versions of Sonic Radar and Sonic Studio application included.

Gorgeous looking motherboard and solid armor on the surface. The formula is one of the most comprehensive lightings in Z370 motherboard lineup, Aura Sync flash glow through RGB LEDs in the I/O shroud, heatsink, and power/reset buttons. Also more 2x headers for regular RGB strips, and two more for addressable LEDs. The Lightning system is sparkling, and amazingly sharp OLED screen is just made this motherboard the best Z370 motherboard look. The Maximus X Formula also has sufficient addition of extra regular features, including 3x  PCIe x16 slots, 2 x M.2 Socket 3 connectors, 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors, integrated 802.11ac WiFi, an ESS Sabre DAC, and 3x USB 3.1 Gen2 connectivity.

With the backing from exceptional VRM and expensive water cooling solution, of course, it’s actually overkilled solution for the motherboard to overclock any Coffee Lake processor right now, so the bottleneck performance here is about the processor and not the motherboard anymore. Overclocking can reach 5.2 smooth and stable at 6 core on 8700k, and the Z370 runs a temperature well and relatively efficient.

In conclusion, it’s a premium motherboard, developed for ROG fanatics, enthusiasts, and overclockers; it’s loaded with premium features for Coffee Lake build. But In this price range should add more unique functions just like the competitor did. The networking solution bit looks old tech and won’t be good for future and should add more connectivity room for storage. For the rest of it, it’s entirely extreme motherboard.

Pros.
  • Extreme performances motherboard.
  • Exclusive water blocks from EK (CrossChill EK II).
  • Best looking Z370 motherboard and extra RGB lighting.
  • Onboard power/reset buttons.
  • Immersive sound quality and recording.
  • WiFi and Good Bios.
  • Comprehensive control over fans.
Cons.
  • Standard LAN networking technology at this price? Really.
  • Seems little-limited storage connectivity at this price.
  •  No dual Bios only Bios Flashback button.
  • Price.

 

6. ROG Maximus X Code

ROG MAXIMUS X CODE is The Formula board without CrossChill EK II VRM block.
Unique Features : Good Looking Premium Motherboard.
Ext ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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ROG Maximus X Code basically the same and identical board with the Maximus X Formula motherboard, but without the exclusive water blocks from EK (CrossChill EK II), Maximus X Code could be an excellent alternative to the Formula even if you’re considering custom liquid cooling.

The difference with Formula is onboard LEDs is slightly more softened,  LiveDash display is replaced by an illustrated ROG badge, still with SupremeFX S1220A codec with an ESS Sabre DAC that produces the immersive level of sound and VR experience.

Overall, Maximus X Code excellent choice, but still get the best-looking motherboard and overkill VRM just like Formula have.

 

7. ROG Maximus X Apex

ROG MAXIMUS X CODE is The Extreme World Record Coffee Lake Overclock (LN2).
Unique Features : Aquantia AQC-108 5G Ethernet and Useful Exclusive Overclock Features.
Ext ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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ROG Maximus X Apex already proved world record Z370 was overclocking Coffee Lake at 7.3GHz with LN2. And Apex series did multiple world records and top scores with Intel’s Z270 and X299 platforms. So there nothing to say about the VRM quality and 8+2 phase power design and Extreme Engine Digi+, it’s one of the best already. Also, Apex only has dual slots memory DIMMs which can tweak higher than any other motherboard.

There so many unique overclocking features set on ROG Maximus X Apex includes an overclocker’s toolkit with hardware-level controls, Dual BIOS, ASUS pro clock Technology with EXTREME ENGINE DIGI+ and the onboard switch, Pause switch, Slow mode switch and 4 PCIe switches. Safe Boot/ReTry buttons, an LN2 mode jumper to aid POST at sub-zero temperatures. Also Condensation Detection the feature provides a useful warning when an area may be at risk of short-circuiting. So many fan headers for customization and multiple temperature sensors.

For networking Aquantia AQC-108 5G Ethernet and Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet, supports Gigabit, 2.5G, and 5G connectivity.

All ROG family has fantastic looking board including Apex, although its real purpose is for professional overclocking world, this is aesthetics one, and there are so many of RGB LEDs on the board too. By balancing within attractive appearance and overclock beast, the Maximus X Apex gives a fantastic chance to enthusiast builders to have their dream rig.

Pros.
  • World record to bump up Coffee Lake at 7.3GHz with LN2.
  • Best memory tweaking.
  • Tons of premium overclocking features.
  • Great looking motherboard and a lot RGB LEDs configuration.
  • Aquantia AQC-108 5G Ethernet.
  • Dual Bios.
  • 2x M.2.
  • 2x USB gen2 (Type-C + Type-A).
Cons.
  • Sadly only 4 SATA slots available.
  • Only 2x DDR4 memory slots.
  • Addressable RGB header.
  • No ESS Sabre ES9023P DAC implementation.

 

8. ROG Maximus X Hero AC

ROG MAXIMUS X CODE is The Best Value of ROG Series.
Unique Features : Essential ROG Features at Affordable Price.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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If you feel ROG family is too exclusive and expensive for daily gaming, then Maximus X Hero is the best well-rounded motherboard and still has everything to fulfill gamers and enthusiasts need. Maximus X Hero is a far more sensible choice for daily gaming and overclocking it because the Hero is a bit more affordable board, It has exceptional appearances and all the features you apparently ask for a Z370 motherboard. All ROG motherboard has excellent VRM, and X Hero offers 10-phase power design which is still can deliver sufficient power for any Coffee Lake until now.

Aura Sync lighting on the chipset heatsinks, M.2 and I/O shield. It also has extra lighting by 2x connectors for RGB strips and addressable RGB.

The onboard audio SupremeFX codec teamed with an ESS Sabre DAC plus Sonic Studio III software offers an exceptional experience for gaming and movie also VR. It’s actually the same audio intense to the Formula and Codex.

Overclocking 8700k up to 5 GHz at ease if you completed it with decent cooling also you can make a custom water loop with EK Monoblock. Maximus X Hero is the best value of ROG family, although it still relatively expensive compared to another competitor, but ROG offers premium board feel and the most famous gaming brand right now.

Overall, this motherboard is one of the best choices for i7 8700k.

Pros.
  • Most affordable ROG motherboard series.
  • Great all around performances.
  • Solid motherboard and RGB LEDs configuration.
  • 6 SATA and 2x M.2.
  • 2x USB gen2 (Type-C + Type-A).
  • WiFi (optional).
Cons.
  • No dual Bios.

 

That’s all for high-end Z370 gaming motherboard, but you should put this mid-tier into your list too.

 

1. ASRock Z370 Extreme 4

ASRock Extreme 4 is The Bang For The Buck at Mid-Tier Lines. (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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ASRock Z370 Extreme4 seems the upgrade of Z270 version, the newest Extreme4 is the best of the buck for middle tier lines for overclocking, provide useful features, excellent performance and also good power delivery with support from 12 phase power design. Some of these features include 8 SATA slots, dual M.2 slots, 2x USB 3.1 Gen2 and more USB 3.0 and 3.1 headers also stable component motherboard PCI-E steel slots, Nichicon 12K Capacitor, Premium 60A  and Dual Stack Mosfet.  Furthermore SLI/ Crossfire support, which a lot of middle tier motherboard to offers considering from its price.

The PCB is the little downgrade quality from the Taichi, as the Taichi looks to have more capacitors & better memory VRM implementation although you still can catch DDR4 4333+ with some effort. The Z370 Extreme4 has Dual Bios but only to restore backup BIOS and there is no option for switching Bios, but still, it will be a beneficial feature if you mess the Bios setting. The Z370 Extreme4  only provides single LAN networking. Overall for that price tag its worth if you are not using that missing features.

Full black PCB and some grey, it’s not too much for a unique board, but the VRM heatsinks look like top tier boards have and basic RGB LEDs. Overall this motherboard design is decent and charming.

Pros.
  • The best Z370 motherboard in the price range.
  • It’s a fine board, great VRM and power delivery for overclocking.
  • 8 SATA and 2x M.2.
  • 2x USB gen2 (Type-C + Type-A).
  • Dual Bios.
  • 5GHz and DDR4 4333+ achievable with the right mixture.
Cons.
  • No WiFi included.
  • No additional DAC.
  • Limited Fan setting.

 

2. MSI Z370 PRO CARBON AC

MSI Z370 PRO CARBON For RGB Lovers and Mainstream OC Gamers.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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At middle lines of Z370, Pro Carbon offers 8+2 phase power configuration and good enough VRM cooling for daily overclocking but may not for the extreme level of overclocking. MSI’s positioned Pro Carbon motherboard in the middle of RGB lovers, mainstream gamers, and enthusiasts.

The carbon looks are so great and straightforward but it even more appealing motherboards with so many RGB LEDs to satisfy Christmas three rig builders. You will find the light on the heatsinks, I/O, and underneath the motherboard and more extra from 2x RGB LED headers and an addressable RGB LED header. Mystic Light RGB LED utility will do the job just fine.

Audio Boost 4 package with Realtek ALC1220 codec. MSI’s uses premium audio components such as Chemicon audio capacitors and Texas Instruments OP156 to drive up to 600 ohms of the headphone amp.

Not so unusual on the networking solution, just one Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN controller and also Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 card is optional, you can find the cheaper version without a wireless connection.

Final Thoughts MSI’s Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC is a very well equipped, mid to high-end motherboard for the Z370 platform, and it has many surprised. Whether it’s the three types of RGB headers with Corsair collaboration or the re-drivers that many people gloss over, the motherboard hits the nail on the head in many different areas. The motherboard is also only around ten bucks more expensive than the non-WIFI edition, making it an excellent value.

Pros.
  • RGB lighting.
  • Easy to overclock and to set.
  • Simple aesthetics board.
  • 6 SATA and 2x M.2 slots.
  • PCIe and DDR4 slot shielding.
  • Decent onboard sound solution.
  • Debug LED system.
  • 2x USB gen2 (Type-C + Type-A).
  • AC WiFi.(optional)
Cons.
  • No onboard power, reset or clear CMOS buttons.
  • Need more CPU fan.
  • No code reader.
  • Dual BIOS.
  • VRM temperature.

 

3. MSI Z370 Gaming M5

MSI Gaming M5 is Decent VRM and All-Around Motherboard.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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MSI Z370 Gaming M5 is kinda similar to Pro Carbon and at the same level of performance. The difference is Gaming M5 has fewer of USB onboard, 2x USB 3.1Gen1 and 3x 2.0 but Pro Carbon provides 4x USB 3.1Gen1 and 2x USB 2.0.  Also, Gaming 5 implemented Killer E2500 LAN and Pro Carbon use Intel Gigabit LAN. Still with decent VRM for mid-class overclocking so its good enough for any Coffee Lake processor. Overall is a just same motherboard with Pro Carbon with slightly different features.

Pros.
  • Just like Z370 Pro Carbon.
  • Killer E2500 LAN.
Cons.
  • Fewer USB option.

 

4. Gigabyte AOURUS Gaming 5

Gigabyte AOURUS Gaming 5 Decent Motherboard.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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Its actually downgrade version of Gaming 7, a considerable miss is about the best VRM and 60A Intersil power stages from Gaming 7 but Gaming 5 still with has good enough power delivery for overclocking i7 8700k. While another feature that keeps from the older brother is how they look (AORUS trademark), the fan control system, 3x M.2 slots, PCI-E Steel (but not illuminated) and Insane RGB LEDs implementation.

Other features that Gaming 5 miss from Gaming 7 starts and reset buttons on the motherboard, premium heatsink, more Networking LAN Jack, USB 3.1 gen 2 front panel header and last sound ESS Sabre DAC.
Not saying this motherboard terrible it just comparison with Gaming 7 but considering its price and do you really need those feature? Gaming 5 offers the best value for the daily gaming rig, moderate overclocking for 24/7 and RGB lovers. It’s fine motherboard.

Pros.
  • Good value motherboard for an all-around motherboard.
  • Integrated WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Advanced fan customization.
  • DAC-UP 2.
  • Three M.2 slots.
  • Crazy RGB LEDs.
  • POST code display.
  • 2x external temperature sensor headers.
Cons.
  • Some premium features from Gaming 7.

 

5. ASUS Strix Z370 E and Z370 F Gaming

ASUS STRIX-E GAMING.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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ASUS STRIX-F GAMING.
ATX, Release 2017, Supports 8th Gen Intel® Core processors for LGA 1151 socket
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The Strix family is targeting mainstream gamers who want essentials features like 5-Way Optimization, SupremeFX audio with the headphone amp, and excellent cooling solution in a gaming motherboard at the affordable price. The ASUS Strix Z370 E has additional 2×2 802.11ac WiFi MU-MIMO and front panel 3.1 Gen2 Type C with the total of 3x USB 3.1 Gen2 while The ASUS Strix Z370 F only provides 2x USB Gen2.

ASUS Strix Z370-E and Z370-F Gaming are almost similar motherboard looks and features. RGB LEDs on the IO shield, and more extra option 2x strip headers plus 1x addressable header. AURA sync software to sync all your many RGB parts in your’s rig to have glowed effect or another nice effect.

Overclocking features and storage options aren’t fantastic comparing its competitor at price range, but it is good quality board, and ASUS is the reliable brand.

Pros.
  • Better value than ROG series.
  • Some premium ROG features adopted in this board.
  • Excellent sound quality SupremeFX S1220A.
  • 6x SATA and 2x M.2 slots.
  • Fashionable RGB lighting.
  • Fan configuration.
Cons.
  • Another competitors at that price has better VRM.

 

To Summarize,

If you are ready for the one of the most extreme gaming motherboard, then give the Z370 GODLIKE GAMING a look, tons of premium features and overkill IR3555 Power stages.

ROG Maximus X Apex has the best memory overclocking potential (up to 4500MHz) but only 2 DIMMs available. While Gigabyte AOURUS Gaming 7 costs almost about half of price comes without a built-in wireless solution, and less memory overclocks capability but proves at the same level of VRM (Apex & GODLIKE), and it’s made AOURUS better deals.

Looking for something different features? Well, ROG Maximus X Formula has expensive water block implementation and ASRock Gaming Profesional I7 if you want to try 10GB NIC.

ASRock Taichi on the other hand well-rounded motherboard, although it slightly reduces VRM quality, actually it’s still overkilled, and also one best memory overclock. The useful feature dual BIOS with on the board switch and built-in WIFI and Bluetooth. ASRock Taichi apparently the best choice at middle to top level unless you need better RGB LEDs, better onboard audio, and unique feature that only exclusive for top lines motherboard.

Also, ROG Maximus X Hero if you want the more affordable premium motherboard, for daily overclocker and gamers it has what you need.

For mainstream level,  ASRock Extreme 4 should be the first motherboard you look; it packages with dual Bios, eight SATA slots and dual ultra M.2. and excellent power delivery at a reasonable price.

MSI Gaming M5 or Pro Carbon AC is not the bad choice after all for daily gamers, and ASUS Strix E is the last choice unless you are ASUS brand lovers.

 

The best Z370 gaming motherboards for Intel Coffee Lake i7 8700K.

  1. MSI Z370 GODLIKE GAMING – Extravagant motherboard with overkill power delivery, VRM and tons of unique features.
  2. GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 – It’s almost half price to Godlike, but Gaming 7 has anything to catch up except networking solution. (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
  3. ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex – World record of Coffee Lake overclocking and one the best memory overclocking until now.
  4. ASUS ROG Maximus X Formula – Exclusively premium motherboard and best for water cooling solution.
  5. ASUS ROG Maximus X Codec – Formula motherboard without exclusive EK water blocks.
  6. ASRock Z370 Taichi – Most well-rounded motherboard and one of the best memory overclocking. (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
  7. ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero – Definitely the most affordable premium ROG series.
  8. ASRock  Z370 Extreme 4 – Best budget z370 for middle level. (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
  9. MSI Z370 M5/Pro Carbon – Fine all-around motherboard and wise choice for the mid-tier level.
  10. ASUS Strix Z370 E/F Gaming – For common ASUS brand lovers.

 

Here is my thought about choosing the suitable Z370 motherboard.

  1. The very first is considering your budget, and then what feature do you urgently needed?, WiFi?, USB 3.1 Gen2 Front panel?, Overclocking feature?.
  2. Keep in your mind that all top Coffee Lake lines processor is easy to overclock above 4.5 GHz even with low-tier Z370 motherboard.
  3. Spend more money on the mid-tier mobo for better VRM, better motherboard circuit, and additional features.
  4. Up more for a better look, overkilled VRM, more RGB lighting, and some unique or exclusive premium features only for the top-tier motherboard.