Benchmarks, Performance and Conclusion
So, how does the Z270X-Gaming 9 perform? To find out, we hooked it up to the following components:
- 4.2GHz Intel Core i7-7700K
- Corsair H75 Liquid CPU cooler
- 4x 4GB Apacer Blade DDR4-3200 RAM (auto-timings: 16-16-16-36)
- Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition
- Corsair RM1000W PSU
- Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB PCIe SSD
- WD Caviar Black 6TB
- Windows 10 Professional (64-bit)
And ran a couple of benchmarks:
- Futuremark PCMark 8
- 3DMark (for Physics score only)
- Cinebench R15
We ran the three aforementioned benchmarks twice: once without overclocking the Intel Core i7-7700K to get a baseline score, and once after we’ve pushed its boost core speed to 5.0GHz.
We tried overclocking the processor using the EasyTune software that came bundled with the motherboard, only to be greeted with the dreaded Blue Screen of Death even when we used the presumably ‘safe’ OC preset, which pushed the boost clock speed of the processor to 4.7GHz.
Not wanting to leave it at that, we entered the UEFI of the Z270X-Gaming 9, and used the CPU Upgrade option to push its boost clock speed to 5.0GHz instead. We also activated the XMP profile of our Apacer Blade DDR4 RAM modules to ensure that they were running at their advertised frequency of 3,200MHz.
Fortunately, we managed to boot into Windows and run our benchmarks without issues. And as you’ll soon see from the images below, with the higher clock speeds in effect, there was quite a significant increase in performance. You could say that we were pleasantly surprised, even, as all we did was click a couple of buttons to get a considerable performance boost -- we didn’t even have to diligently tamper with any voltages, or stress test our system a dozen and one times.
Out of the box, the Z270X-Gaming 9 alongside the Core i7-7700K garnered a score of 7,249 and 4,676 for the Creative and Home benchmarks of PCMark 8, respectively. After we overclocked it, the scores increased to 7,464 and 4,869.
For comparison, the previous generation Core i7-6700K -- which we benchmarked and overclocked on the ASUS Z170 PRO Gaming motherboard back in July last year -- obtained a score of 7,221 and 4,593 for the same benchmarks.
Cinebench R15 benchmark
The performance gains were evident in the Cinebench R15 as well.
In its default state, the Z270X-Gaming 9 and Core i7-7700K pair garnered a score of 144.2 fps, 871, and 179 for the OpenGL benchmark, the multi-threaded CPU benchmark, and the single-threaded CPU benchmark, respectively. Once overclocked, the scores increased to 188.57 fps, 1,077, and 213.
The Core i7-6700K and ASUS Z170 PRO Gaming, meanwhile, obtained a much lower OpenGL score of 59.72 fps, and a multi-threaded CPU benchmark score of 929.
Contrary to popular belief, apart from graphics cards, 3DMark can likewise be used to gauge the capabilities of processors as well -- as long as you pay specific attention to the Physics score of its Fire Strike Ultra benchmark, and CPU score of its Time Spy benchmark.
Without overclocking, the Z270X-Gaming 9 and Core i7-7700K procured a Physics score of 12,311 for the Fire Strike Ultra benchmark, and a CPU score of 4,742 for the Time Spy benchmark. Once overclocked, the scores increased to and 15,080 and 6,245, respectively.
Is the Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 a worthy motherboard for your shiny new Kaby Lake processor? The answer, is most definitely. It’s built like a tank, it packs a ton of features, it has an abundance of expansion and connectivity ports, and it allows you to overclock your Intel-K processor without having to resort to yanking your hair out. What more can you ask for?
However, we’ve yet to receive word on how much the Z270X-Gaming 9 will be retailing for. But considering how competent and feature-packed it is, we’re pretty sure that it’s not going to come cheap.