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Intel Z270 vs Z370 chipset: Comparison Guide

16 May 2018

                Whether you’re upgrading or building a PC from scratch, this comparison guide will help you understand the differences between Intel Z270 vs Z370 chipsets.

 

Mwave Intel Z270 vs Z370 banner

 

 

                At the end of 2017, Intel launched their latest Coffee Lake (8th Gen) CPU with up to 6 cores and 12 threads along with their associated Z370 chipset motherboards. Unlike the move from Skylake to Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake CPUs require new motherboards to function properly – despite all three CPUs using the LGA 1151 socket. The benefit here is that CPU coolers compatible with previous Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs will work perfectly with Coffee Lake. Just like Z270, the Z370 chipset carries over the unique abilities of overclocking your CPU and the use of multiple graphics cards (e.g. Nvidia SLI & AMD Crossfire). This guide will assist you in understanding the difference between the Intel Z270 vs Z370 chipsets.

 

                Along with supporting Coffee Lake CPUs, Z370 chipset motherboards offer a few additional native features over Z270.

 

Intel Z270 and Z370 comparison table

Specs

Intel Z370 Chipset

Intel Z270 Chipset

Supports CPUs

Coffee Lake (8th Gen)

Kaby Lake (7th Gen)

Launch date

Q4 '17

Q1 ‘17

Socket

LGA 1151

LGA 1151

PCI support

No

No

PCI Express revision

3.0

3.0

Maximum number of PCIe lanes

24

24

Graphics card support (inc. multi-card setups)

1* 16x, 2* 8x, or 1* 8x + 2* 4x

1* 16x, 2* 8x, or 1* 8x + 2* 4x

USB revision

3.1/2.0

3.0/2.0

Number of USB ports

Up to 14

Up to 14

USB 3.1

Up to 10

None

USB 3.0

None

Up to 10

USB 2.0

Up to 14

Up to 14

Max number of SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports

6

6

Intel Optane Memory ready

Yes

Yes

 
 

The block diagram below explains the Z370 chipset in more detail.

Intel Z370 chipset block diagram

Intel Z370 Chipset Block Diagram (Intel Corporation, 2017)

 

                A new feature supported by the Z370 chipset is USB 3.1 Gen 1. This new generation of USB provides the same transfer speed as standard USB 3.0 however increases the power delivery to 100W. The increased power delivery can be very useful as it allows many devices such as Ultrabooks to be charged without needing an AC power brick. USB 3.1 Gen 1 also brings with it support for USB Type-C which provides an improved user experience due to the reversible connector. Though not supported natively by Z370, some motherboard vendors provide USB3.1 Gen 2 support with both rear I/O ports and as an internal header designed to be used with a case’s front panel USB 3.1 Gen 2 port.* USB3.1 Gen 2 doubles the data transfer bandwidth – up to 10Gbps from 5Gbps of USB3.1 Gen 1.

 

                Although a new type of USB may seem like a measly new feature of the Z370 chipset, motherboard vendors such as ASRock, Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI have included unique features for example multiple M.2 ports, Thunderbolt support, Wi-Fi, RGB lighting, USB 3.1 Gen 2 and much more.

 

                Overall, supporting Intel’s newest Coffee Lake (8th Gen) CPUs is the most noteworthy new feature of the Z370 chipset. Intel Z370 motherboards should be at the top of your shopping list if you are planning to upgrade or build a new PC and wish to overclock and/or run multiple graphics cards.

 

 

                Browse our best-selling Z370 motherboards below.

Asus ROG Maximus X Formula Z370 Motherboard

ASUS Z370 Motherboards

Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Gaming 7 Motherboard

Gigabyte/AORUS Z370 Motherboards

ASRock Z370 Taichi Motherboard

ASRock Z370 Motherboards

MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard

MSI Z370 Motherboards

EVGA Z370 Classified K Motherboard

EVGA Z370 Motherboards

 

  • To aid your search, ‘LGA1151-2’ is a selectable criterion in our Intel Motherboards product page. Motherboards matching our ‘LGA1151-2’ criteria are compatible with Coffee Lake (8th Gen) Intel processors.

 

 

 

* - requires a case with a front panel internal USB 3.1 cable such as the NZXT H700i.

 

References

Intel Corporation, 2017. Product Brief - Intel Z370 Chipset. [Online]
Available at: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/z370-chipset-product-brief.pdf
[Accessed 10 May 2018].

 

Tags: z370 chipset, z270 vs z370, intel z370, z370 motherboards

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