As a fan of computer hardware, I get incredibly thrilled whenever new hardware is released since it is interesting to explore how the new components differ from the prior generation, and the last two years have seen a rush of change. We welcomed the release of Comet Lake and the Z490 chipset in April 2020.
This introduction was significant since it heralded the demise of the HEDT processor and saw an increase in the number of processor cores for the more compact mainstream packaging. The launch of Rocket Lake follows roughly a year later. Although the majority of enthusiasts disregarded this chip, it added PCI Express 4.0 to the Intel platform and reduced the Core i9’s number of cores. Overall, it was very similar to Comet Lake.
We are given what may be one of the most remarkable CPUs I have ever seen less than six months after Rocket Lake launched. It goes without saying that a new processor is accompanied by a new chipset and a comprehensive overhaul of motherboards to accommodate every market segment.
This review will focus on the Republic of Gamers ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard. As the name says, this motherboard is based on the latest Z690 chipset, which supports Intel’s next Alder Lake 12th edition processor generation. The new processor comes with PCI Express 5.0 and has a larger socket design, new heatsink mounting location, and new memory compatibility.
These factors all result in significant increases in theoretical performance. While some of these can’t be thoroughly tested until accompanying gear is available, others are well-dressed and will dominate the competition.
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard overall look & specs
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard from Asus is a Z690 motherboard in the higher mid-range price bracket. And sure, what is considered mid-range today is significantly greater than it was in the past. The Z690-E Gaming is one of the most costly Z690 boards with an inbuilt PCIe 5.0 M.2 connector, costing $469.99(opens in new tab).
But the M.2 socket is only one component of the Z690-E Gaming. The latest Realtek audio codec, a staggering 12 rear USB ports, competent power delivery, and a design suitable for any build theme are all features of this device.
The Z590-E Gaming’s look altered somewhat from its predecessor but more features were added. It is an incremental update to enable Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake processors and the features that go along with it, such the majority of Z590 to Z690 boards.
In addition to PCIe 5.0 support, Asus enhanced power delivery by increasing phase count (from 14 to 18) and output (from 70A to 90A MOSFETs) to support Alder Lake’s higher core-count processors. It also increased the number of M.2 sockets (to a total of five), improved the audio, and added another M.2 socket.
The integrated PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 socket is the biggest distinction and one of the few boards with such a feature. Although PCIe 5.0 functionality was added by the Z690 chipset, most motherboards lack PCIe 5.0 M.2 sockets. And if they do, it usually involves splitting the primary graphics slot in two and adding an add-on card. Outside of that, Asus modified the appearance slightly, but the ROG Strix quality vibe is still present. The sub-$400 price point is no longer present.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming’s performance was a little below average across all of our benchmarking software. As it closely followed Intel specifications right out of the box, the board ultimately performed closer to the slightly slower DDR4 boards.
Although the results of our AIDA64 memory bandwidth tests were on the higher side of results, overall gaming performance was mediocre. The performance variations are hardly noticeable overall. In most circumstances, unless you were benchmarking, it would be difficult to detect a difference.
To get you started, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard comes with all the standard essentials in its package, as well as the ROG Hyper M.2 card for an additional M.2 drive. A list of everything that comes with this board is provided below.
-SATA 6Gb/s cables, four
-ROG PHYSICAL M.2 CARD
-Moving antennas for 2×2 Dual-Band Wi-Fi from ASUS
-M.2 Q-Latch package M.2 backplate Q-Latch package
-Rubber M. Packages \s(2) Screw Packages M.2
-Graphics card holder from ROG
-ROG cable ties and keychains
-Stickers for ROG STRIX
-Thank You Card from ROG STRIX
-DVD support user guide
The board has a black-on-black aesthetic, with some branding standing up on the IO cover and chipset heatsink when examined in detail for the first time. The ROG symbol is the only RGB element that is present above the IO bits (controlled via Aura Sync software).
The VRM heatsinks are big and bulky, and they appear to be excellent at cooling the power components below. Additional branding on the chipset heatsink includes the white Strix moniker, ROG letters, and the latitude and longitude of Asus’ corporate headquarters. A smaller heatsink is located above the top M.2 socket, and it is connected to it by a heatpipe.
It’s still a nice-looking board even though the heatsinks and shrouds on the bottom half of the board don’t reach the left edge. The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard looks like a high-end motherboard overall and would be an excellent addition to any Z690-based system.
|CPU||Intel 12th Generation Core Processors|
|Chipset||Intel Z690 Chipset|
|Memory||DDR5 6400-4800 MHz|
|Graphics||1 x HDMI 2.11x DP 1.4|
|Expansion Slots||1x PCIe 5.0 x16 slot2x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot|
|Multi-GPU Support||Supports 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology|
|Storage||6x SATA 6Gb/s ports (from Z590 chipset)3x M.2 slots (Key M) (1x PCIe 5.0 x4 and 2x PCIe 4.0 x4)|
|Ethernet||1x Intel® I225V 2.5Gbps LAN controller|
|Wireless & Bluetooth||WiFi 6E + BT5.2|
|USB||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port (1 x USB Type-C®)3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (2 x Type-A + 1 x USB Type-C®)4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (4 x Type-A)4 x USB 2.0 ports (4 x Type-A)Front USB: Total 7 ports1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connector (supports USB Type-C®)1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 header supports additional 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports2 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports|
|Audio||– SupremeFX Shielding Technology- ALC4080 + Savitech SV3H712 AMP- Gold-plated audio jacks- Rear optical S/PDIF out port- Premium audio capacitors- Audio cover|
|Cables||4 x SATA 6Gb/s cablesROG HYPER M.2 CARD1 x ROG HYPER M.2 CARD|
|Installation Media||1 x Support DVD|
|Documentation||1 x User manual|
|Back Panel I/O Ports||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port (1 x USB Type-C®)3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s) (2 x Type-A, 1 x USB Type-C® )4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port(s) (4 x Type-A)2 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 x Type-A)1 x HDMI™ port1 x DisplayPort1 x Intel® Wi-Fi 6E2 x Intel® I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet5 x Gold-plated audio jacks1 x Optical S/PDIF out port1 x BIOS FlashBack™ button1 x Clear CMOS button|
|Miscellaneous||1 x ASUS 2×2 Dual-Band Wi-Fi moving antennas1 x M.2 Q-Latch package1 x M.2 Q-Latch package for M.2 backplate1 x M.2 Rubber Packages2 x M.2 Screw Packages1 x ROG Graphics card holder1 x ROG key chain1 x cable tie1 x ROG STRIX stickers1 x ROG STRIX thank you card|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64bit / Windows 11 64bit|
|Form Factor||ATX 12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )|
Conclusion on ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard
In the first place, ROG did a fantastic job with the aesthetics of this motherboard; it is highly inviting and exudes style. Although many board designers are using a monochromatic color scheme, E has a few distinctive character quirks up its sleeve.
This motherboard has a lot to offer; no matter how you look at it, it offers a generous helping in every category, including storage, memory options, and USB connectivity, to name a few. One of the hottest topics for this generation is PCIe 5.0, and E gives us a PCIe x16 slot and M.2 compatible with that technology (as and when it becomes available).
There are many fast connections available thanks to the extensive USB connectivity, including USB Gen2x2 Type-C. Although these characteristics are standard on the majority of Intel Z690 motherboards, there are some other benefits that could influence a buyer.
E has niceties like LED debug, Q-Code, up to 8 fan headers, a convenient push-to-release PCIe button, and improved cooling for the top M.2 slot, among other things.
The VRM/chipset cooling performance is likewise extremely encouraging, giving us better-than-average results. Performance from E is reliable and consistently good.
Our only complaint is the price. The price of this motherboard is GBP £500, USD $450, and AUD $800. This is a big upgrade from the Z590 version from the previous season. Unfortunately, there are cheaper ones out there with the same or similar features.
Is ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard good?
We enjoy what the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard has to offer overall after using it for a while. It has practically everything a user is likely to want in a motherboard. The upgraded model from Asus has a better design, stronger power delivery, and more M.2 slots than the Z590, coupled with a much higher price tag, which is regrettably standard practice.
Performance-wise, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard was generally on pace with the DDR4 boards we’ve examined in the past. In other words, because it adheres more strictly to the Intel standard than other DDR5 boards, the board somewhat reduces performance in several tests, especially those that are extensively multi-threaded.
However after you use the Asus Enhancement function (a BIOS option), it matches similarly priced competitors in terms of performance. Nonetheless, unless you’re benchmarking, it might be challenging to distinguish the differences in most testing. The gaming performance was flawless, so we are good to go.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard is the best in its class for an upper mid-range motherboard, with its numerous advantages outweighing its few drawbacks. With its extensive overclocking options, top-notch audio, and superb connections, it makes a great DIY gaming setup. It won’t be long until low-cost PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs are accessible, even if PCIe 5.0 is still in its infancy.
Is ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard good for gaming?
We’ve updated our game testing as of the Z690 chipset’s release. Far Cry: New Dawn has been upgraded to Far Cry 6, and F1 2020 has been replaced with F1 2021. The games are played at 1920 x 1080 resolution using the Ultra setting (details listed above).
The influence of the CPU tends to decrease as the resolution increases. With these settings, we want to see if there are any performance differences at the most popular resolution with settings that most users use, or at least try to.A minimum frame rate was also implemented because it might have a big influence on your gaming and immersion.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard achieved minimum frame rates of 140 frames per second (fps) and average frame rates of 164 fps in F1 2021, which is quite close to our current average. Minimum frame rates for Far Cry 6 were 124 fps. The lowest results are in line with the highest, although most are only a few frames behind.
While Fire Strike Extreme’s score of 16,820 is somewhat below average, 3DMark Time Spy’s score of 14,433 is one of the greatest scores to date. Again, even with DDR4, there is hardly any difference across motherboards in these 3DMark tests.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard may be regarded as excellent for gaming.
Which slots does ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard have?
With a natural (non-overclocked) speed of 4800MHz and a fully overclocked speed of 6400MHz, the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard supports up to 128GB of DDR5 dual-channel memory. Furthermore, OptiMem and Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP 3.0) technologies are supported. As it will rely on memory quality, CAS timings, and BIOS settings, reaching the maximum 6400MHz RAM speed might not be attainable.
There are four memory channels available, so unless you plan to upgrade soon, make sure you fully load each RAM slot in order to completely overload the memory BUS. For the greatest performance, get four 16GB RAM modules if your total memory need is 64GB.
Excellent graphics choices are available with the ROG Strix Z690-E, including 4K@60Hz on the HDMI 2.1 connection and 8K@60Hz for the DP 1.4 interface. Keep in mind that in order to activate graphics, you must install a CPU without a F suffix.
Budget and indie players may get by with these graphics, but midrange and high-end gamers will require at least one discrete graphics card installed.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard includes several storage choices, including six SATA 6Gb/s connectors, two PCIe 4.0 4 M.2 slots, and one PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot that is managed by the 12th Gen CPU. NVMe RAID 0/1/5, SATA RAID 0/1/5/10, and Optane Memory are all supported by Intel Fast Storage Technology. The performance of other M.2 slots will be slower if a ROG Hyper M.2 card is installed in an expansion slot (aka PCIe bifurcation).
I believe that the M.2 1 slot (managed by the CPU) should be equipped with a PCIe 5.0 NVMe M.2 card (1TB) for the system drive. Then, for a data drive, two PCIe 4.0 4 NVMe M.2 drives (M.2 2, M.2 3) in a software RAID-1 array.
Although competing motherboards in this class often feature an additional PCIe x1 slot, this one has decent expansion slots.
One PCIe 5.0 16, one PCIe 4.0 16, one PCIe 3.0 16, and one PCIe 3.0 1 slot are available. The main drawback is that the PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot will decrease and operate in x8 mode if you use it for an NVMe drive, which is not ideal for a GPU. Instead, a GPU would be installed in the PCIe 4.0 16 slot.
Can you overclock with ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard?
It was once again straightforward to overclock the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard with our top-tier 8+8-core/24-thread i9-12900K processor. We plugged in the 1.25V number for Vcore since we had already determined the necessary voltage with the first board we used before we started testing. While utilizing the LLC4 option that Asus suggests, there was a considerable bit of voltage loss, but switching to LLC6 brought everything back into balance and reduced any voltage drop.
The 210W HWinfo claims the processor is utilizing was no match for the 90A VRMs, who handled it with ease. The only restrictions on overclocking you have on this board, as we previously indicated, would be keeping the processor cool.
How much power does ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard use?
In order to test for power usage, we utilized AIDA64’s System Stability Test with Stress CPU, FPU, and Cache enabled. The Kill-A-Watt meter is used to obtain the wattage reading from the wall in order to measure the complete Computer without the monitor. All other components are the same; the motherboard is the only variance.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard utilized 57W when it was at rest, which is about normal for DDR5 boards. The maximum load power for our Z690 motherboards was 300W. Comparing this board to the DDR5 motherboards we tested with an Alder Lake-based CPU, it performs about averagely. We are covered there because the Z690-E achieves the same 4.9/3.7 GHz all-core speeds at stock as the majority of others.
ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard