As I said in the introduction of this review I am a huge fan on ASUS’s Prime Series. It gives users all of the essentials of the platform without costly extras. This board is only $174.99, and when you match it with a say Core i5-8400 ($187) you have a very affordable start to a build that is going to have tremendous performance over the previous generation. The Prime Series easily competes with Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable Series and MSI’s Pro Series.
This board does have some really great features. Some of the ones that stick our for me are USB 3.1 (Gen 2) support, two M.2 slots, one of which has the integrated heatspreader, and RGB lighting. I really like that ASUS has incorporated that PCH heatsink into a cooler for one of the M.2 slots. Not only are you going to get great cooling for your M.2 drive it keeps the overall aesthetic of the board. The RGB lighting on the edge of the board is a nice touch as well, it should give some cool under-glow.
ASUS always has a good BIOS and software to back up the features on their board. The Ai Suite allows you to fully tune your motherboard, fans, and more. You can also use it to easily update drivers, software, and your BIOS. Aura Sync allows you to control the LEDs on the board as well as the RGB header if you plan on installing your own RGB strip. The BIOS is extremely easy to navigate and includes a “My Favorites” menu where you can put all of the settings you use the most.
Overclocking on this board is very easy. ASUS makes the overclocking settings very easy to find in the BIOS (Ai Tweaker) and they even have a preset 5.0 GHz OC profile if you don’t want to manually overclock yourself. We were able to take our Core i7-8700K up to 5.0 GHz on this board and I believe we could have gone even higher if it weren’t for the temperatures.
It does have to be said with the release of these boards though, they really do not offer much over Z270 motherboards. Yeah you’ll probably see more M.2 slots and RGB lihgting, but there are not many new technologies on these boards from the previous generation. This is more Intel’s fault than anything, but Z370 seems pretty boring compared to other new chipset launches.
At the end of the day ASUS has a very affordable motherboard in the Prime Z370-A and you can build a great system around it. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASUS Prime Z370-A Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score and our Good Value Award!
– Dual M.2 slots (one with a heatspreader)
– USB 3.1 (Gen 2)
– RGB lighting
– Great software
– 5.0 GHz OC Profile in BIOS
– Aura Sync and Turbo Lan not part of Ai Suite
– Not a whole lot of new features