EVGA Z370 Classified K Motherboard Review: Overclock Me Please!

  • Excellent build quality
  • Loaded with features
  • Easy to achieve 5GHz on 8700K
  • EVGA’s 3-year warranty

EVGA has been in the motherboard game for some time and they know their stuff when it comes to creating a quality overclocking board. For our In Win 101C build, they sent out their EVGA Z370 Classified K motherboard and we paired it with our overclocked Intel Core i7-8700K. Don’t let Classified K’s understated looks fool you, it has quite feature set and is a most capable board. Read on to learn why we believe it’s among the best Z-series boards for Coffee Lake overclocking.

evga z370 classified k overclocking motherboard

Unboxing

The front of the box has the EVGA logo as well as the Z370 Classified K branding and several badges including Intel technologies such as the Z370 chipset and Optane memory support; additional features include Killer Ethernet, Nvidia SLI support and Sound Core 3D. Finally, a QR code is visible in the bottom left corner, if scanned it takes you to EVGA’s website for additional reference.

evga z370 classified k review

In the box EVGA includes:

  • Motherboard manual and driver disc
  • I/O plate
  • 2x SATA 6G data cables
  • 2-way SLI bridge
  • 2x M.2 thermal pads
  • Case badge

evga z370 classified k unboxing

evga z370 classified k accessories

The board itself is well padded and protected. The memory slots and CPU socket are also shielded from dust via protective stickers and a plastic CPU socket cover.

evga z370 classified k motherboard review

Board Overview

Upon removing the Z370 Classified K from the box, I couldn’t help but admire its appearance. Pictures don’t do this board justice. To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about the Z370 Classified K’s looks when I first saw pictures of it but after seeing it in person and holding in my hands, I completely agree with EVGA’s design department on this one. So many motherboard manufacturers include too many gimmicks and busy designs whereas on the Classified K, EVGA kept it minimal and directed their focus to its feature set and performance.

evga z370 classified k motherboard

The all-black PCB looks great, the PCB is one of the thickest we’ve seen on a board and was certainly well made. The metal VRM heatsink is silver and has the EVGA logo and Z370 Classified K branding.

evga z370 classified k vrm heatsink

Every aspect from the reinforced memory DIMMs and PCIe slots to the quality capacitors was built with longevity and superior performance in mind.

The rear I/O includes:

  • 1x BIOS/CMOS reset button
  • 1x Display Port 1.2
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 6 x USB 3.0
  • 2x Killer NIC E2500 Ethernet Ports
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
  • 1x Optical Audio Out
  • 5.1 Channel Audio Jacks

evga z370 classified k rear io

Something worth noting is that the onboard HDMI 2.0 connector, the Killer NIC Doubleshot Ethernet and the 5.1 Creative Sound Core 3D audio are three features that differentiate this board from the EVGA Z370 FTW model. The Z370 FTW has HDMI 1.4, one Intel Ethernet connector and 7.1 Realtek audio.

Aside from the typical 24-pin power, 8-pin CPU power, front panel audio and front panel power/LED connectors, additional onboard headers include:

  • 6x PWM fan headers
  • 1x 4-pin supplemental CPU power connector
  • 6x SATA connectors
  • 2x RGB headers
  • 1x USB 3.0 header
  • 1x USB 3.1 header
  • 2x USB 2.0 header

The inclusion of another 4-pin CPU power connector to supplement the standard 8-pin connector is yet another consideration for the extreme overclocker EVGA built this motherboard for.

There is also an additional 6-pin PCIe power connector located in the bottom right corner of the board which much like the 4-pin supplemental CPU power connector. EVGA recommends using this if you are running two or more high-end graphics cards in SLI or in a high-performance application such as Folding@Home, crunching, or cryptocurrency mining.

evga z370 classified k m.2 pcie

It’s nice to see the inclusion of a few USB 2.0 headers as they are becoming rare, especially on ITX boards. Until a new standard is used for popular AIO’s and many RGB hubs, etc. we still need those USB 2.0 headers.

There is also a built-in speaker which can be turned off in the BIOS.

Up to 64GB of DDR4 system memory is supported at 4133MHz+ running in dual-channel mode. We had no problems using our 16GB 3200MHz kit’s XMP profile to auto-overclock it to the full 3200MHz speed.

PCI-express Slot Breakdown:

  • 1x PCIe Slot x16/x8
  • 1x PCIe Slot x8
  • 1x PCIe Slot x16 (x4/x2 Electrical)
  • 3x PCIe slot x1

The first PCI-e x16 slot receives 16 lanes from the CPU and shares 8 lanes with the second PCI-e x16 slot. The final PCIe x16 slot gets 4 lanes from the PCH, this slot can run in x4 or x2 mode. If it runs in x4 mode, SATA ports 4/5 are disabled. We only used one graphics card, so we didn’t need to worry about sacrificing lanes or performance. However, this motherboard does have support for 2-way SLI and a dedicated PhysX card.

evga z370 classified k overclocking review

M.2 Socket Breakdown:

  • 2x M.2 Socket 3 Key-M 80mm
  • 1x M.2 Socket 1 Key-E 32mm

The top 80mm M.2 socket runs in x4 mode. The second 80mm M.2 socket can also run in x4 mode but shares lanes with SATA port 1, which means you’ll lose that port if you run the M.2 device at full x4 speed. The third M.2 socket is 32mm and can be used for a Wi-Fi card or SATA SSD.

Features

The EVGA Z370 Classified K is loaded with features including Intel Optane memory support, onboard power/reset switches, a temperature/error code display, a switchable dual BIOS and the list goes on! Anything and everything you’d expect on a premium Z370 board is present here and EVGA did a great job packing so much into a standard ATX size layout.

A feature that overclockers like myself will instantly appreciate is the onboard power and reset buttons as well as the POST code indicator which doubles as a CPU temperature display. I love this feature and wish more motherboard manufacturers would include it.

We’ve been at a point for many years now where sound cards are unnecessary for most PC builders and the onboard Creative Sound Core 3D 5.1 audio quality was perfectly fine and we had no interference on our Logitech speakers.

BIOS

One of the best features on this motherboard is the BIOS. It’s well-laid out, easy to use and doesn’t overwhelm newcomers to advanced features such as overclocking. My favorite aspect is the header that is always on display up top. It shows you a wealth of important information including which memory slots are occupied, how much memory is installed and what speed and voltage it’s running at.

team group night hawk rgb ram overclocking results

In addition, it has CPU stats such as voltage, speed, the multiplier setting and temperature. Lastly it displays the VRM temperature and which PCIe slots are occupied and what speed those devices are running at.

If you’re troubleshooting and need to reference your settings or want to send them to a friend, you can press the F12 key to take a screenshot of the current BIOS screen and save it to a USB drive. Really great feature!

Performance

The first thing we did upon booting was update the BIOS to the latest version (1.07). We proceeded to overclock our Intel Core i7-8700K processor to the all-important 5.0 GHz. It was surprisingly easy, we changed the CPU clock settings to manual, set our multiplier to 50, upped the voltage to 1.32 and disabled V-Droop.

evga z370 classified k bios

V-Droop is a feature that makes sense in theory but in practice doesn’t always function as intended and after several tries with it on, we ended up disabling it to achieve a constant 5.0 GHz with no crashes when benchmarking.

in win 101c gaming pc

Conclusion

The EVGA Z370 Classified K has a great balance of quality and features that will satisfy even the most demanding gamers and performance enthusiasts. The build quality is top notch and we believe this is a product that will provide many years of service.

performance computer editors choice award

It comes with EVGA’s 3-year warranty and being an EVGA product you have access to their customer service which is among the best in the computer component industry. If you’re looking for a Z-series ATX size motherboard to pair with the latest generation of Intel processors, we highly recommend the EVGA Z370 Classified K!

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