Overview, Design and Features
Updated 15:15, January 12, 2017: We have just received word that the AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 will be retailing for RM2,699. Our ratings have been updated accordingly.
Intel has finally unveiled its entire lineup of 7th generation Kaby Lake processors earlier today, a whole five months after it was first announced specifically for mobile systems back in August 2016. If you’re already fixated on getting one for yourself, chances are, you’re going to need a new motherboard as well -- one with a Z270 chipset. Something like the AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 would fit nicely into the build.
Design and features
Even if you were to blatantly ignore its ‘Gaming’ moniker, you can immediately tell that the Z270X-Gaming 9 is designed specifically for hot-blooded gaming enthusiasts by simply glancing at its striking black and white aesthetics, and brushed aluminum heatsinks.
Not a huge fan of monochrome colors? Power on the Z270X-Gaming 9, and you’ll be dazzled by its enchanting array of RGB LEDs. Not only can they be customized to light up in 16.8 million different colors through the accompanying RGB Fusion app, there’s even eight (!) different lighting effects for you to choose from as well. Prefer taking matters into your own hands? You can always take the time to painstakingly personalize the colors and lighting modes of each of its 12 (!) distinct lighting zones.
As you can tell from the image above, the Z270X-Gaming 9 is furnished with a healthy dose of connectivity ports. Starting from the leftmost cluster, you’ll find a PS/2 port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two MMCX Antenna connectors, a DisplayPort, a HDMI 2.0 port, another two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3) port, an additional Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet port for good measure, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port (white), and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (red) port. Last but not least, there’s the usual suite of audio connectivity ports, which includes an optical S/PDIF connector.
The Z270X-Gaming 9 has plenty of expansion slots to accommodate your hardware, too. Planning on going the multi-GPU route? Go ahead, it has four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots that would allow you to do so. Two of the aforementioned PCIe slots will be running at x16, while the remaining two will be running at x8.
Look in between the PCIe x16 slots and you’ll find two PCI Express x1 slots that conform to the PCI Express 2.0 standard, as well as two M.2 connectors to cater to your 2280 (80mm) and 22110 (110mm) PCIe solid-state drives. Don’t worry, the Z270X-Gaming 9 also has three SATA Express connectors and eight SATA 6Gb/s connectors for your conventional hard drives.
You won’t need to equip the Z270X-Gaming 9 with a dedicated sound card to do your music and games justice, as its Creative Sound Core3D quad-core audio processor and Burr-Brown DAC would definitely be able to get the job done.