ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard
Z370 in a slightly different jacket
We review the new ASUS PRIME Z370-A motherboard. At a price of €195,- the new Prime is the new mainstream aware series, yet has that distinctive ASUS feel, and that can only mean good stuff. It has great looks and all the features you probably seek for a Z370 motherboard. The motherboard has been fitted with the usual suspects, including a Gigabit based Ethernet jack and on the board, you may house two M2 SSDs. Fairly standard for Z370 sure, however, the Prime is about offering a nice in between design, features, and performance. So let's test the new Coffee Lake platform.
Coffee Lake is the new 8th generation desktop processors from Intel, including the new mainstream six-core part. A product line that is the direct answer and effect from what AMD has been pursuing aggressively in the desktop processor channel. With this first 'mainstream' step from Intel, they will offer 6-core processors. These will need to be paired with a new motherboard chipset and thus motherboard, the Z370 based ranges. With the introduction of Ryzen and more recently the announcement of Threadripper processors the processor market and channel have been turned upside-down, and Intel is slowly waking up from its S3 deep-sleep state finally realizing that they cannot keep serving just quad-core processors for the mainstream, as they have been doing for subsequent years now. AMD gave Intel a serious awakening call and as such, they needed to step up, significantly. Intel’s primary processor business has been releasing and refreshing quad-core processors for many years combined with high-margin spicy priced E type (e.g. Broadwell-E / Haswell-E / Skylake-X) processor release every now and then. You can't really blame Intel either as there simply was no competition - hence they had no rush and have been relaxed all the way for years now. Intel did anticipate Zen (or Ryzen), but the AMD consumer aimed Threadripper 16-core and Naples server segment 32-core made Intel step up its game a notch as they shifted into a higher gear ever since Ryzen was released. Over the summer Skylake-X processors have been announced with limited releases and availability for the highest core count procs. Skylake-X, however, is available in good quantities at for the 10-cores and 12-core parts, but these start at 999 Euros for the 10-core version. There is an Intel Core i7-7800X hexa-core available at the sub-400 Euro ranger though, but it needs to be tied towards an X299 motherboard, but these start at 350 euros. Ergo, AMD is outflanking Intel in any and every product segment price wise. This now changes with the Coffee Lake generation of processors that have up-to six-cores alongside more affordable Z370 motherboards.
In this review, we look at the ASUS PRIME Z370-A. The board as stated is positioned in a more mainstream region and has distinctive black looks with white elements, stuff to like of course. Have a peek and then let's head onwards into the review my man.