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Best Z270 Motherboards For I7 7700K & I5 7600K

Best Z270 Motherboard for Gaming

With the new flagship, Kaby Lake range of Intel Core i7 and i5 CPUs now on sale many gamers and PC enthusiasts have decided now is the time to upgrade. Meaning you are now in need of a new gaming motherboard which comes with a new z270 chipset. If you are like me, you’re looking for an upgrade to ensure those frames come thick and fast. I am in the process of upgrading from an i5 2500k to i7 7700k, one hell of a jump wouldn’t you agree?! So I myself have been using this guide as a way to decide which is the best z270 motherboard for me, which has turned out to be the Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E. Upgrading to something like the Intel Core i7 7700k seems to be what most gamers are looking to do right now unless you fall into the AMD Ryzen camp. If so then you should read our guide for the Best AM4, X370 & B350 Ryzen Motherboards.

If you are looking at Intel Kaby Lake then be sure to read on as we have details and reviews for the best board.

Below we have sectioned our best gaming motherboard guide based on both features, price and performance. This is so we can ensure all of our readers have the most relevant information for their specific CPU and budget. It is worth keeping in mind that the best is based on features and performance as well as being value for money. Basically, we want bang for your buck as well as ensuring you get the best Z270 motherboard for your I7 7700K CPUs.

Best Z270 Gaming Motherboard For I7 7700K

NoteModelRAMExpansion SlotsRear I/O SlotsPrice
Best Z270 Motherboard - Editors Choice
Best for Intel Core I7 7700K
ASUS ROG STRIX Z270EMax: 64GB DDR4
Up to 3866 Mhz (O.C.)
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1
2 x M.2 Socket 3
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
1 x PS/2
1 x DVI-D
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
2 x USB 3.1 Type-A & C
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module
Best Premium Board
Top Premium motherboard for I7 7700K
Asus ROG Maximus IX FormulaMax: 64GB DDR4
Up to 4133MHz (O.C.)
3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
2 x M.2 socket
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI port
1 x LAN / RJ45 port
2 x USB 3.1
4 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jacks
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x Wi-Fi antenna ports
1 x USB BIOS flashback button
Top Budget Choice
Recommended for Intel Core I7 7600K

ASUS PRIME Z270-AMax: 64GB DDR4
Up to 3866MHz (O.C.)
3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
4 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
2 x M.2 socket
1 x PS/2
1 x DVI-D
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
4 x USB 3.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
Top Mid Range ChoiceGigabyte Aorus Z270X Gaming 5Max: 64GB DDR4
Up to 4000MHz (O.C.)
3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
3 x SATA Express
2 x M.2 socket
1 x U.2 socket
1 x PS/2
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI port
1 x USB Type-C™ port 3.1
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
1 x Optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x Audio jacks

The 7th generation of Core i7 CPUs is called Kaby Lake. This generation launched in January 2017 to a blaze of great reviews from gamers looking to push those benchmarks. Granted the increases in performance were less than hoped, but regardless the Kaby Lake I7’s are blisteringly fast and by far the best CPUs for gaming. We have three processors which have an unlocked clock speed; i7 7700k, i5 7600k and the now unlocked Core i3 7350.

All Kaby Lake processors are compatible with the existing 1151 socket which means both Z270  and Z170 motherboards can support these CPUs. With that in mind, I would suggest if your upgrading to an i7 7700k or i5 7600k  and you don’t have a z170 board then skip it and go straight to a z270 one as it does give you some extra features and almost the same price.

Kaby lake has been considered the optimisation version of the Skylake processors. This is why there has been no socket change required for the new i7 CPUs. This optimisation has allowed Intel to increase clock speeds, Turbo speeds and has given overclockers a higher ceiling to hit.

Looking for other options, or want to see the best-selling boards? This links will show you the best-selling Kaby Lake compatible boards on Amazon.

Best Motherboards For I7 7700K

  • Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula – Best overall board if cost isn’t a factor
  • Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E – Editors choice and best value
  • ASUS Prime Z270-A – Great all round board with a budget friendly price
  • Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5 – Very good board with good audio
Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula is a great board for i7 7700K

Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E [Editors Choice For Z270]

 

Model: Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E
Socket: Intel LGA 1151 e.g. i7 7700k, i5 7600k etc.
Form Factor: ATX
Release Year: 2017
CPU Support: Kaby Lake / Skylake
Expansion Slots: 6 PCIe, 6 SATA, 2 M.2
RAM: Slots 4 x DDR4
Maximum: RAM 64GB

 

The new Z270 Asus ROG lineup has numerous models, 6 if I ain’t mistaken. There are subtle differences in the added features and of course a less subtle difference in costs. The Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E is effectively the Extreme edition. The sole purpose for this Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E is to target gamers that are looking to get performance, quality and features at a best for the money cost. It delivers everything from SLI support, 6 SATA slots, RGB lighting and supremeFX 8 channel audio. There is also an outstanding WiFi chip that is second to none when it comes to high-speed, low latency and reliable connections – this is a MUST HAVE for gamers. Overall it has everything you would expect one of the best sellings I7 7700K motherboards to have.

The board itself looks amazing, with a sleek black look and beautiful RBG lighting. This lighting can be synced with any other Asus STRIX hardware like your graphics cards. This will result in a magnificent effect where the colour glow and pulses are synchronised across the whole computer. It has to be seen in person to get the full effect.

You can easily go cheaper and look for the Asus Prime motherboard but with that features, aesthetics and audio take a jump down in quality. The STRIX Z270-E is arguably the best based on value for money, features and performance.

If you’re a gamer that is looking for something that gives you bang for your buck then look no further than the Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E. I 100% recommend this as the best motherboard for I7 7700K, hence the Editors Choice!

Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula [Premium Option]

Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula

Model: Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula
Socket: Intel LGA 1151 e.g. Best for i7 7700k & i5 7600k
Form Factor: ATX
Release Year: 2017
CPU Support: Kaby Lake / Skylake
Expansion Slots: 6 PCIe, 6 SATA, 2 M.2
RAM: Slots 4 x DDR4
Maximum: RAM 64GB

The Asus Maximus IX Formula was a launch model which was available for the Kaby lake processors in January 2017. The Maximus IX is the next iteration of the previous Maximus VIII which was released for z170 and Skylake CPUs.

The Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula doesn’t just look like a beast it is a beast! The board itself looks absolutely astounding and has the specification to back up its looks and price.

The improvements consist of headers for improved water cooling support, this alone is enough for many users to upgrade. Other improvements are integrated rear I/O shield and back plate, a front USB 3.1 header and last but by no means the least (actually very important for lots of us gamers) extra M.2 slot.

Let’s start with the “issues”. Some are a little frustrated, simply because the new motherboard looks very similar to its predecessor. It would have been nice to see a bigger upgrade in looks. There is a slight niggle with regards to the M.2 SSD setup, it’s not an issue if you don’t need/want to setup a RAID with two SSDs. If you do then the Asus ROG Maximus IX Formula might be a little problematic for you.

So now on to the plus sides which are massive compared to the “issues”. For us gamers, the best feature is the overclocking tools that far surpass other boards on the market. Another feature that helps many PC gamers is the integrated water block, built in WiFi and audio. The audio from this board is excellent!

ASUS Prime Z270-A

ASUS PRIME Z270-A

Model: ASUS Prime Z270-A
Socket: Intel LGA 1151 e.g. Top Budget option for i7 7700k & i5 7600k
Form Factor: ATX
Release Year: 2017
CPU Support: Kaby Lake / Skylake
Expansion Slots: 3 PCIe, 6 SATA, 2 M.2
RAM: Slots 4 x DDR4
Maximum: RAM 64GB

First off, the ASUS Prime Z270-A shouldn’t be ignored based on its cost and label of the best budget Z270 motherboard. Now, it is true that the ASUS Prime Z270-A is a cheap motherboard but it also brings premium features with it, but at a cost of having some other features dropped. If you are in the market for an entry level board then, yes, the Prime is your best bet. With that in mind, for a little extra you can get the Asus ROG STRIX Z270-E which comes with a boatload of extra features, most of which even the casual gamer will use daily!

The technical specs are covered above but the few key pieces here are WiFi and audio. They do take a hit, by that I mean WiFi isn’t supported (third part adaptor required) but more importantly the audio is a Realtek S1220A chip which is fine, but in an ideal world you should really be looking for a better audio solution for gaming.

Another issue can be overclocking, most gamers have been able to overclock a i7 7700K to 5Ghz with the ASUS Prime Z270-A but there have been reports where some people haven’t been so lucky. From all of my research, I have yet to find a gamer who has been able to reliably overclock past 5Ghz using this hardware. Likely not a problem for most, but certainly an issue to keep in mind for future.

Overall this is a great budget Z270 board and if I were building a gaming PC on a budget. It lives up to its name in that its cheap, reliable, great for gamers on a budget and comes from a brand known for producing the best tech around. If I am being completely honest I would usually recommend this board as the recommended I5 7600K motherboard simply due to the nature of luck needed for the 5GHz overclock on the I7.

Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5

Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5Model: Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5
Socket: Intel LGA 1151 e.g. i7 7700k, i5 7600k etc.
Form Factor: ATX
Release Year: 2017
CPU Support: Kaby Lake / Skylake
Expansion Slots: 6 PCIe, 9 SATA, 2 M.2 and 1x U.2
RAM: Slots 4 x DDR4
Maximum: RAM 64GB up to 3866 MHz (overclocked)
Multi-GPU: SLI and CrossFire

This is by far one of the boldest looking Z270 boards I have seen, and I love it. The use of RGB Fusion just brings the board to life and sets head and shoulder above the rest, in terms of looks anyway. With that in mind, this board isn’t just a looker it’s a powerhouse too. With an impressive number of features, connectivity options and the ability for Quad- GPU SLI or CrossFire.

The Gaming K5 also comes with ear-drum melting Sound Blaster X-FI Audio chip which is unique and impressive at the same time. In terms of Ethernet, you will get killer performance from this Killer-branded port, pardon the pun.

The Gaming K5 is an impressive board but there is a let down in terms of performance, now we are talking measurable benchmark differences here. Will you feel them during day to day use? Possibly. Unfortunately, the overall performance in terms of gaming is less than other motherboards such as the Asus ROG Strix series. That being said the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5 is packed with features, looks great and comes in around the top bracket to be considered budget friendly.

In short, if you really like the look and that is the selling point for you then great, you are getting a decent board. If you’re a gamer and looking to have your system perform at its best then the ASUS Strix series is more up your street.