ASUS PRIME Z370-A review

Mainboards 323 Page 28 of 28 Published by


Final Words & Conclusion


The more Z370 motherboard we test, the more performance stabilizes. Perf for the Prime is the reference baseline. A tiny notch slower in multi-threading, but faster in single threads and games. That offset is tweaked out in like 5 seconds as the board certainly can tweak as far as your processor will allow it to go. So the performance is good, but really all Z370 board performs toughly within the same 2% margin of error with an exception here and there. That goes for overclocking and tweaking as well, of course, the denominator here is the processor and not so much the motherboard. Overclocking wise we can 5.2 GHz on all six cores 100% stable on our sample, but we'll also see other hardly reach 4.8 GHz. You'll likely see some samples hit 5.3 and others 5.0, but it is along these ranges. The platform (Z370/Coffee Lake) also manages heat and power consumption at very acceptable levels. 


Performance & tweaking

Once tweaked we noticed that the six cores like a bit of extra voltage, we expect all-core tweaks in the 5.1~5.2 GHz marker to need ~1.39 Volts on the processor. While that does increase power consumption, it wasn't something that scared me away. Some platforms will and procs will also be able to manage a lower voltage. This board temps at 1.39 volts/frequency ranges reached 85 Degrees C for 5.2 GHz though, and that is tricky. We did use an ES sample, perhaps the final retail product can do with a little less juice.  If you plan a tweak at that 5 GHz marker then remember my remarks on cooling, you will need LCS, that or a very good heat pipe cooler. Again, we have been using an ES sample so I cannot say anything conclusive on the final retail products (these might run a tiny bit cooler). The infrastructure that Z370 offers is easy to use, you increase the CPU voltage and multiplier and you are good to go. Another plus for the Intel platform is that over the years they have been able to refine their memory controllers, pop in anything XMP 2.0 and you have a 90% chance it'll work straight out of the box with very fast memories. Mind you that all our tests are performed at 3200 MHz DDR4, similar to Ryzen and Threadripper to remain objective and for fair play on both sides.

Power consumption

Z370 with six cores and twelve threaded proc equals to a 95 Watt TDP processor. With the system at idle with a GeForce GTX 1080 installed / 16 GB memory / SSD and the Z370 motherboard. Typically you will hover at roughly 50 Watts in IDLE. The board is at the baseline of the rest of the tested Z370 motherboards. When we stressed the processor 100% run we reach roughly 150 Watts with the 6-core 8700K part overall. When we game we hover at ~250 Watts with the GeForce GTX 1080, but obviously that factor is dependent on the type of graphics card you use of course and sure, most games certainly do not utilize the six CPU cores. Overall I have no worries here.


DDR4 Memory

For Coffee Lake (8th Gen Intel procs) DDR4 may be clocked a notch faster at 2400/2667 MHz as per Intel reference. We always say, volume matters more than frequency. A 3200 MHz kit, for example, is far more expensive and does offer better bandwidth but the performance increases in real-world usage will be hard to find. Unless you transcode videos over the processor a lot. As always, my advice would be to go with lower clocked DDR4 memory with decent timings, but get more of it. Don't go for 8 GB, get four DIMMs and in total a minimum of 16 GB. The reason we test at 3200 MHz is simple, we do the same for AMD Ryzen and want to create a fair and equal playing ground for both

Final words

The Prime is a lovely motherboard ticking most boxes. The perf offered in a default configuration it totally within the baseline, it tweaks well. At 199 Euros/USD, it is not a cheap board though. Personally, I feel this is a 159 USD/Euro board, so for the Prime to make sense I would like to see that price drop a little further. If you are into the black & white theme, then the Prime certainly is a nice looking product, the board kicks in nicely with exactly the RGB LEDs under the board creating a bit of a mystic halo. All RGB configurable of course as well. Lacking is WIFI neither does it come with a preferred a 5G or 10G LAN Jack. Connectivity wise in terms of your PCIe slots for your graphics subsystem you are looking at a full x16 Gen 3 lanes for one graphics cards. The second and PCIe slot shares its lanes with the first one, ergo you'd end up with a configuration like x8/x8. The third x16 slot, in fact, is an x4 slot which draws its lanes from the chipset. We expect most K model Coffee Lake procs to be able to hit that 5 GHz domain on all cores with exceptions running up towards 5.2 GHz (all-core). I base this metric on high-perf air coolers and liquid cooling. From there onwards you are looking at proc ASIC quality and cooling being the more important denominator. Concluding, I am not 100% sure about pricing just yet, but if I'm right and it's kept sitting at that 200 USD/EUR marker, then the Prime might be a notch too expensive. But other than that, it is a great build hardware wise, very stable and offers pretty much anything you need to be combined with some wicked styling. Recommended by

Handy related downloads: 

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print