We recently analyzed, reviewed and recommended the best Z170 mobos available, but it did occur to us that despite Z170 motherboards being compatible with Kaby Lake after a bios update, there is a real argument to be made for just going with the best Z270 you can find.

This is, of course, dependent on your plans, while Z270 is backwards-compatible with Skylake, it doesn’t need any bios update. If you have a Skylake processor but plan on upgrading to Kaby Lake then this could be the ideal option, albeit not the best for those on a budget.

If on the other hand you’re building a brand new gaming rig, then it might be better to just go straight for the Z270 if you’re going with a Kaby Lake CPU.

Regardless, in this article we’re going to turn our scrutiny onto the Z270 offerings available on the market, and give you our top four choices for 2017-2018.

    Best Z270 Motherboards:

    We’ve narrowed down our list to just the top four Z270 motherboards on the market, we’ve turned our attention to what’s specifically good for gaming, as well as looking for the best deals for those on a budget.

  • 4.


    Fourth on our list is the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula motherboard.

    This motherboard is something else entirely when comparing it to even the best and most powerful Z170 motherboards that we reviewed. Not only does it offer native compatibility with Kaby Lake CPUs, but it offers a lot of powerful features that are a dream for gamers.

    One-click overclocking, an anti-static I/O panel and a high-speed wifi antenna. All of these things are just nice extras on top of what is already a top Z270 board.

    This board was very stable for us and delivered speed and performance, some people have said that the board can be hit or miss in terms of whether it’s as stable for them. So we can’t really place it any higher on our list for that reason. Regardless it’s still a top Z270.

    • Designed for 7th generation Intel Core processors to maximize connectivity and speed with Dual M.2, front panel USB 3.1, Intel Optane Memory compatibility and onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi
    • 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
    • Optimize system cooling with the Cross Chill EK II VRM block
    • AURA Sync RGB lighting features a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to synchronize effects across an ever-expanding ecosystem of AURA Sync enabled products
    • Integrated I/O shield ensures streamlined installation and represents ROG's attention to detail and quality

    Is It Worth It?

    The ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula board is definitely worth the money for a Z270 board. In terms of the tech it’s got everything you would expect, and will support pretty much any hardware you like, which is the minimum you’d want from a board at this price point.

    The pros are the additional features such as one-click overclocking, fan control and onboard WiFi. Just to name a few of the additional features.

    •  On-board WiFi
    •  Kaby Lake
    •  One-Click Overclocking

    •  Price

  • 3.


    This board is a smart looking board with plenty of smart features.

    Much like with the above board, it contains on-board WiFi and many other additional features that you’d expect.

    The difference? Price.

    This motherboard is the absolute best budget z270 gaming motherboard out there!

    With three PCI-E 3 m.2 slots you can not only benefit from the speed of Kaby Lake CPUs but also know you can unlock incredible speed and performance from your graphics card.

    This motherboard is considered to be very stable, and in our opinion this is because it’s focused on doing the basics right. There’s nothing here that stands out beyond some other Z270 Motherboards, but what it does have is performance and reliability. Perhaps this is due to that commitment to the basics along with the efforts that ASUS have made to provide ample cooling.

    ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F GAMING LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI DVI M.2 ATX Motherboard with USB 3.1
    • 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, two additional RGB headers and a 3D-printing friendly mount
    • Maximize your connectivity and speed with Dual M.2, Intel Optane Memory compatibility and USB 3.1 Type-A/Type-C
    • Two Patent-pending Safe Slots feature an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs
    • Industry-leading 8-channel HD audio with the ROG exclusive SupremeFX S1220A driven by Japanese capacitors

    Is It Worth It?

    Without a shadow of a doubt this motherboard is worth every cent, it’s such a fantastic price that we’d even recommend it over any Z170.

    •  Best Budget Z270 Motherboard
    •  Stable, Reliable Build
    •  Onboard WiFi

    •  Not The Best For Overclocking

  • 2.


    This is our top pick for the best overclocking Z270 motherboard.

    Much like the above motherboard, most of the stuff that MSI have done with this motherboard is do the basics well. It has the m.2 features, it even has a ‘VR Boost’ feature. All it’s trying to do is unlock the full power of your GPU.

    This goes to show especially with the crazy features that are available for overclocking. The OC Dashboard is incredibly smart and easy to understand. It offers a lot of customization for your personal overclocking needs. It’s one of the best motherboards we’ve ever reviewed for it’s overclocking abilities period.

    MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium AMD Ryzen X370 Ddr4 Vr Ready Hdmi USB 3 ATX Gaming Motherboard
    • Supports AMD Ryzen 1st and 2nd Generation/ Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors and AMD A-series / Athlon Processors for Socket AM4

    Is It Worth It?

    You’ll be paying a premium for this motherboard, essentially for the overclock ability and the fact that the board is designed ground up for maxing your components performance. The downside is that it can be unstable if you don’t know what you’re doing. We also didn’t personally like the titanium effect design. So if you prefer reds, blacks and greens for your motherboards this one probably won’t tick your design checklist.

    Overall though this board is a must-have for those of you who just want sheer power.

    •  Best Z270 For Overclocking
    •  Reasonable Price Considering Its Power
    •  Reliable With Great Features

    •  Lacks Visual Appeal
    •  Can Be Overkill For Inexperienced Overclockers

  • 1.

    ASUS Z270-WS

    This board is our top pick for the best Z270 gaming motherboard.

    We believed this board was pretty impressive when we took a look at the specs, if not a bit ambitious. So we decided to pick one of these up and give it a go for ourselves.

    Our reaction was basically… “Holy shit”.

    This motherboard is utterly packed with features, runs cool, stable and has plenty of room for even the bigger GPUs which is often such an issue with motherboards when utilizing SLI or Crossfire. With on-board dual m.2 and u.2 slots it’s something a bit above and beyond the other options on this list in that respect.

    Regardless it all comes down to performance, and this baby performs. It may not have the best overclocking features for a Z270 board, but it does the job. Not only this but we found that everything felt smoother even when we weren’t overclocking our i7 to the same higher-end limits that we did with the MSI XPOWER.

    ASUS Z270-WS LGA1151 DDR4 Display Port HDMI 4-Way SLI CrossfireX M.2 U.2 ATX Motherboard with Dual Gigabit LAN and USB 3.1 Z270-WS
    • LGA1151 socket for 7th and 6th Gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Desktop Processors with support for 64GB DDR4 3866
    • 5-Way Optimization with Auto-Tuning and FanXpert 4 automatically tailors overclocking profiles to your unique build for maximum performance and dynamic system cooling
    • Maximize your connectivity and speed with support for 64GB of DDR4 RAM, integrated dual M.2 / U.2 connectors, and rear USB 3.1 Type A / Type C ports
    • 4-Way SLI / CrossfireX support with Patent-pending Safe Slots feature an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs
    • Industry-leading 8-channel HD audio enhanced by ASUS exclusive Realtek S1220A driven by Japanese capacitors for warm, immersive sound

    Is It Worth It?

    This is one of the more expensive z270 motherboards, but it’s also one of the best. The SLI performance of this board alone is over 311% more powerful than that of boards with only a 3 way SLI. Since this has four it does appeal to gamers who want the very best systems. A UEFI BIOS and Crystal Sound 3 audio. It’s the top at what it does in every sense.

    So in conclusion, yes the ASUS Z270-WS is 100% worth it. If you’ve never experienced a higher end motherboard before, then make this the first!

    •  Best Z270 Mobo For Gaming Overall
    •  Extremely Powerful
    •  Packed With Features

    •  Lacks Visual Appeal
    •  Not A Good Budget Option

In Summary

Z270 Motherboards aren’t necessarily needed to run the Kaby Lake processors, and they’re not going to be usable for Coffee Lake. But the point is, if you’re using a Kaby Lake CPU – these are going to offer a better end-result in terms of performance and features for what you’ve got.

If you’re interested in getting the most out of what you’ve got, the Z270 Mobos are a no-brainer for any serious gamer with Kaby Lake in mind.

Looking for the best overall gaming motherboard this year? Check out our guide here.

Last price update on 2019-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API