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.
The TUF series Z270 motherboards comes in two flavors, the Mark 1 and Mark 2. The Mark 2 is the more affordable version and sans the Thermal Armor. The Mark 1, which we will be reviewing here, has the Thermal Armor. Both tout military styling and that look is more than just cosmetics, Asus’ goal was ultra-reliability. Asus manufactures its TUF series with some of the most rigorous requirements seen in any consumer level motherboard.
The TUF Z270 Mark 1 is manufactured with many unique features not found on other product. There’s a dedicated processor that monitors onboard temperature sensors and fan speeds. Multiple onboard sensors also let the user monitor onboard temperatures. The TUF Fortifier, a reinforced motherboard backplate. That tough theme is backed up by SafeSlot Core fortified PCI-E slots, TUF Alloy Chokes, TUF Capacitors, TUF MOSFETs, TUF ESD Guards 2, TUF LANGuard, and of course that TUF Thermal Armor. Cooling is covered by a staggering ten fan / water pump/ accessory fan headers, combined with Asus’ Thermal Radar 2+, keeps everything cool. The key word here is TUF.
The TUF Z270 Mark 1 isn’t just about being tough though, Asus has added a host of other features. Being built on the Z270 chipset, there’s support for both 6th and 7th Generation Intel Core processors. Dual Turbo M.2 connectivity with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s with support for Intel Optane technology. Six SATA ports offer even more storage options. The four DDR4 memory slots memory that can handle up to 64GB and at speed all the way up to 3866Mhz. The Intel i219V and i211 chips provide high quality network dual connectivity. Two USB 3.1 front panel connectors along with two USB 3.1 rear ports handle the high speed USB connectivity needs. A full software suite and robust overclocking features round out that package.
ASUS’s take on the TUF Z270 Mark 1
Total Stability, Guaranteed Compatibility
TUF is where ambition for reliably brilliant performance meets reality. When you build a system using the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard, you build with the confidence of total stability and guaranteed compatibility. Whether you want to work or mod, be sure to build on a solid foundation with The Ultimate Force — that’s TUF!
Qualified Vendor List (QVL)
TUF Z270 Mark 1 is carefully engineered to work seamlessly with a wide range of high-performance workstation graphics cards. The ASUS promise of great compatibility is backed by our comprehensive Qualified Vendor List that includes leading brands and products — so you can be certain of compatibility before you buy that perfect graphics card. Learn more >
Brighten Up Your Build
A well-tuned enthusiast system deserves a matching aesthetic. ASUS Aura Sync technology offers full RGB lighting control with a variety of exciting presets for onboard LED illumination. Each preset can be synced with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura-capable ASUS hardware.
ASUS Aura Sync technology for distinctive lighting effects
Aura Sync takes RGB lighting beyond the checkbox, combining and controlling the LEDs of your Aura-enabled products from a single application — so you can achieve perfect, synchronized lighting harmony. Aura lets you sync light effects across your graphics card, TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard, and an ever-growing portfolio of Aura-enabled products.
Five lights of various colors indicate if irregularities occur during any phase of the booting process.
Engineered for maximum memory acceleration
Implementing a new engineering-intensive DRAM layout, the third-generation ASUS T-Topology delivers new DDR4-overclocking dynamics that let you push memory frequencies further than ever — all the way up to 3866MHz if all memory slots are being utilized!
ASUS PRO Clock technology
Pro Clock is an ASUS-exclusive base-clock generator that lets you push base-clock frequencies up to 425MHz* with 7th Gen Intel CPUs — so you can take your TUF system performance to extreme heights.
One Click to Overclock
You don’t need to be a technical expert to experience exhilarating overclocking performance with TUF Z270 Mark 1, because Thermal Radar 2+ now incorporates the TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) for efficient operation with precise voltage control and monitoring — all managed with a single click!
Dual Intel Gigabit LAN
Don’t let slow networking disrupt your workflow! With dual Intel® Gigabit Ethernet connectors, TUF Z270 Mark 1 keeps your data moving swiftly and efficiently. With both LAN ports teamed* you’ll benefit from increased bandwidth for more speed, automated load balancing for smoother data flows, and instant failover if something should go wrong — so access to your files is always fast, efficient and uninterrupted.
ASUS TUF engineers have forged TUF ICe, a dedicated processor that monitors onboard temperature sensors and fan speeds for ultra-accurate cooling — whether you’re adjusting settings manually or using the automatic one-click optimization via Thermal Radar 2+ and TUF Detective 2.
Thermal Radar 2+
Thermal Radar 2+ lets you control fans on ASUS graphics cards as well as your case fans! Multiple onboard sensors also let you monitor onboard temperatures and other key components in real time – so you can make adjustments manually or optimize automatically, with a single click.
Digi+ Power Control
Unleash maximum performance with the ASUS TurboV Processing Unit. Its Fast Tuning function optimizes and boosts CPU performance with just one click.
The ASUS Energy Processing Unit delivers real-time, system-wide power savings — with CPU-wattage reductions of up to 12W! Its Away mode creates an extreme energy-saving scenario by shutting down unused I/O controllers and reducing power to the graphics cards while you’re away.
TUF Z270 Mark 1 has customizable settings for its 10 fan headers, offering maximum control over your build’s cooling and quietness. You can even monitor, manage and individually name and control your system’s fans to create a perfect balance between quietness, cooling and performance.
With real-time thermal status reports for both the CPU and graphics cards, your system fan control can be as precise as you like! Additional CPU thermal-assessment features gauge temperature rises due to increasing voltage, providing a benchmark to judge your CPU cooler’s performance.
The TUF Z270 Mark 1 Thermal Radar 2+ fan management features have been expanded — allowing custom fan control on ASUS graphics cards as well as multiple case fans.
An integrated recorder logs critical voltage readings, temperatures and fan speeds over time — so you can review your system’s history and make informed decisions for system settings and optimal operation.
Exclusive Digi+ Power Control means that TUF Z270 Mark 1 offers ultra-precise memory tuning in addition to accurate CPU-voltage control. Best-in-class power efficiency and stability reduces wasteful voltage discrepancies and provides improved stability for both the CPU and memory.
TUF Thermal Armor
TUF Thermal Armor is a strong, futuristic shield with built-in Aura RGB illumination that adds eye-catching aesthetics to your TUF Z270 Mark 1 system. It looks great and offers another way to keep things cool. Just connect an additional fan* to boost airflow to the heat-sensitive voltage-regulator module — this reduces area temperatures by up to 18.9° C.
TUF Detective 2
A free ASUS app allows you to track vital system information and make system settings adjustments from your smartphone or tablet. Detect and diagnose errors, adjust system settings, or monitor and control fan settings via the app — without turning on your PC!
24 / 7 Reliability
You demand 24/7 reliability — and we’ve delivered! TUF motherboards undergo the industry’s most punishing tests to ensure they’re ready for long-term duty in any environment. In our tests we overheat them, chill them, bend them, shock them and drop them — so you know that your TUF motherboard is certified for 24/7 reliability!
TUF Z270 Mark 1 delivers great strength via the exclusive TUF Fortifier — a reinforced backplate that ensures that the motherboard doesn’t buckle under the weight of heavy graphics cards and CPU coolers, minimizing the risk of damaged circuitry from bowing and bending.
TUF Z270 Mark 1 has unique Dust Defenders to prevent dust and other airborne particles from entering the motherboard’s PCI Express® expansion slots, helping your PC perform in an optimal and stable state for longer.
SafeSlot is the PCIe® slot reinvented by ASUS and engineered to provide superior retention and shearing resistance. Manufactured in a single step using a new insert-molding process to integrate the slot with fortifying metal support, the slot is then firmly anchored to the board through additional solder points.
Certified for tough duty
TUF Alloy Chokes
13.6% cooler for unbeatable durability
+20% temperature tolerance and 5x-longer lifetime
Certified military-grade MOSFETs with lower RDS(on)
TUF ESD Guards 2
ESD Guards 2 protects TUF Z270 Mark 1 from damaging electrostatic discharge. ESD Guards 2 are tested to levels that are 2x higher than industry standards. We also perform pin-level* testing at 30% higher ESD levels than previous TUF standards. Our stringent tests mean greater component longevity for your TUF Z270!
The Ethernet connector on the TUF Z270 Mark 1 is protected by TUF LANGuard, a military-grade innovation that integrates advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors to improve throughput — protecting the motherboard from lightning strikes and static electricity.
Ultimate-speed 10Gbps with USB 3.1 onboard
With three USB 3.1 Type-A ports for complete backward-compatibility with existing USB devices and one reversible 3.1 Type-C for any-way-up convenience, you’re all ready for breakneck speeds of up to 10Gbps.
Dual onboard M.2 for up to 32Gbps transfers
TUF Z270 Mark 1 features two built-in M.2 connectors — both of which support Intel Rapid Storage Technology and RAID configurations for transfer speeds of up to 32Gbps, automatic application refreshes, and exceptionally fast wake-up from sleep!
Accelerated networking with Turbo LAN
Even the slightest delay can affect performance — and that’s why TUF Z270 Mark 1 has Turbo LAN. Advanced “traffic-shaping” technology reduces lag, so everything you do feels faster and smoother. And you don’t need to be an expert: Turbo LAN’s simple interface means it takes just a few clicks to reduce lag by up to 1.45x!
INTEL OPTANE Memory Ready
Intel® Optane™ memory* is a revolutionary (non-volatile memory) technology supported by TUF Z270 Mark 1. Optane Memory modules accelerate attached storage to reduce boot times and to speed application launches — making everything faster and smoother, so you’re more productive than ever!
Outstanding Audio – In and Out
TUF Z270 Mark 1 features Realtek S1220A, an audio codec developed by Realtek especially for ASUS. Along with this unique codec, TUF Z270 Mark 1 features a 120dB SNR stereo line-out with built-in amplifier and a studio-grade 113dB SNR line-in to deliver pristine audio playback and recording.
Specially designed audio shielding ensures precision analog/digital separation, greatly reducing multi-lateral interference.
A unique pop-reducing circuit reduces start-up popping noise to all audio outputs.
Internal audio amplifier produces the highest-quality sound for headphone and speakers.
Dedicated channel layouts
Separate layers for left and right channels provide discrete paths that ensure audio quality.
Immersive 3D surround-sound technology provides incredibly rich audio experiences.
Japanese-made audio capacitors
Premium capacitors provide warm, natural, immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity.
3D Printing Friendly
ASUS is the first motherboard manufacturer to support 3D printing, making it easy to customize your motherboard’s appearance and improve system performance with a range of printable parts.
Simply swapped 3D-printed parts
TUF Z270 Mark 1 is made for 3D printing. Your 3D-printed parts — such as custom nameplates or M.2 armor — are easily swappable using the existing space and mounting holes – for a truly individual build.
The list of features is almost overwhelming. Let us take a look at the full product features and specifications next.