One of the most important components of a high performance rig is a quality motherboard. ProClockers has a large library of unbiased motherboard reviews in today's top form factors from the industries top manufacturers. Whether you are looking for ATX motherboard reviews, ITX motherboard reviews, or mini-ATX motherboard reviews, we have you covered.
The Asus TUF series of motherboards has been with us for some time now. The first in the series was the Sabertooth X58 that arrived in 2010. Its military look and tough image quickly caught the imagination of many system builders and enthusiast alike. The series really took off when Asus released the Sabertooth P67, which features their Thermal Armor. Modders jumped on this new motherboard, often modifying and/or painting the Thermal Armor to match their builds. Fast forward to 2017 and we have the latest iteration of TUF design, the TUF Z270.
Prime is the new name for Asus’ mainstream motherboards. Previously their mainstream motherboards didn’t have a conventional name, but with the release of Z270, that has changed. Prime motherboards have a much more conventional look compared to their ROG – Republic of Gamers, Tuf, and Pro Gamer lines. That’s not to say they don’t back a punch though.
With transistors getting smaller and smaller and more and more difficult to produce in sufficient yields, Intel’s long running two step “Tick Tock” cadence is now being replaced with a 3 phase model of Process, Architecture, and Optimization. Intel’s Broadwell, while never fully released as a complete line of Desktop CPU’s, saw the Process shrink from 22nM to 14Nm with the Intel Core 5000 series CPU’s. The Architecture upgrade was done with Intel 6th Generation 6000 series CPU’s, and now we come to the 7th Generation CPU’s that target optimization. To take advantage of these optimizations, Intel has release the 200 series chipsets, and the top end enthusiast level version is the Intel Z270 Chipset found in the ASRock Z270 Extreme4 we have for review today.
Certainly when it comes to motherboards, the high end enthusiast products get all the attention, while the more budget friendly options fly under the radar. That’s a shame too. The more budget friendly products are really the bread and butter of the industry. MSI’s Pro Series motherboards are aimed directly at those enthusiasts that have less than an unlimited budget.
With the upcoming launch of Intels new 7th generation of Core Processors, there’s no surprise that we are starting to see new motherboards with Intel’s new Z270 chipset as well. With new features, such as support for Intel’s new Optane SSDs, more downstream PCIe lanes, 14 to the previous 10 that the Z170 chipset has and even front USB 3.1 support, The Z270 chipset is an upgrade over the Z170 chipset.
A motherboard is one of the most critical components in any PC to get right. Nearly everything in a modern PC is connected directly to the motherboard, CPU, RAM, GPU, Drives, USB Ports, Audio cables, and so on, so it’s pretty important you get something reliable and with enough features and connections for everything you need. The Flip side of that coin is the staggering selection of boards out there, with literally hundreds of choices, some costing more than a mortgage payment on a house, how does a gamer decide what to get? MSI has broken their new lineups into 3 new categories to help you narrow it down.
Sometimes you want to gaming features, without paying the gaming premium. What if you just need something simple, but you don’t want to sacrifice the aesthetic of a gaming motherboard? Well Biostar may have the solution to your problem with their Racing B150GT5 motherboard.