ASUS Z370-I Strix ITX Motherboard Preview
Published: 2nd October 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Up Close & Video
There is our video at the bottom of the page.... When the courier delivers regular motherboard boxes they take up loads of space in the office, we think the Z370-I Strix Gaming could fit through the letterbox, so diminutive is its stature. There is still the classic Strix design to the box and plenty of accessories within to get you up and running with the minimum of fuss.
It's easy to have your head turned by a big ATX motherboard with all the bells and whistles, but fitting everything onto an ITX PCB is, if anything, even more of an impressive achievement. Certainly a few years ago there was so little technology that it was an easy to task, but modern models, and particularly the Z370 chipset, have so much that the designers must have gone grey whilst trying to squeeze it all on. Yet they've done so and we aren't stuck with a CPU ATX power that is impossible to reach, nor strangely placed fan headers or a paucity of features. Excellent stuff.
Even with such limited PCB space ASUS haven't giving in to the temptation to make the heatsinks look cheap and tacky, nor even cut them down so small that they have little effect. Nobody will confuse them for Maximus sized heatsinks, but they still do their job and look the part.
With a smaller PCB it makes sense to have to use vertically mounted SATA ports, for space reasons if nothing else, so we won't complain too much, even if we still dislike them intensely.
We're seeing a lot of manufacturers placing the M.2 connector between the PCI Express slots, and ASUS have found room to put it just above. Perfect for giving you the speed benefits of an M.2 drive whilst also keeping it open enough to receive the all-important cool air to keep transfer rates consistent.
Around the back we have a good selection of connectivity options covering almost anything you could care to plug into the little ITX Strix. Both a Type A and Type C USB 3.1 ports sit alongside a front panel USB 3.1 and next to a stack of USB 2.0 ports. There are display outputs, audio connectors and the all-important combination of Gigabit LAN and AC WiFi.