ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard Review

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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.

ASUS ROG Strix Z690 E Gaming Motherboard 2

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.

ASUS ROG Strix Z690 E Gaming Motherboard 3

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

CPUIntel 12th Generation Core Processors
ChipsetIntel Z690 Chipset
MemoryDDR5 6400-4800 MHz
Graphics1 x HDMI 2.11x DP 1.4
Expansion Slots1x PCIe 5.0 x16 slot2x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot1x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
Multi-GPU SupportSupports 2-Way NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
Storage6x SATA 6Gb/s ports (from Z590 chipset)3x M.2 slots (Key M) (1x PCIe 5.0 x4 and 2x PCIe 4.0 x4)
Ethernet1x Intel® I225V 2.5Gbps LAN controller
Wireless & BluetoothWiFi 6E + BT5.2
USB1 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
Cables4 x SATA 6Gb/s cablesROG HYPER M.2 CARD1 x ROG HYPER M.2 CARD
Installation Media1 x Support DVD
Documentation1 x User manual
Back Panel I/O Ports1 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
Miscellaneous1 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 SystemWindows 10 64bit / Windows 11 64bit
Form FactorATX 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.

ASUS ROG Strix Z690 E Gaming Motherboard 4

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.

ASUS ROG Strix Z690 E Gaming Motherboard 5

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.

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ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Motherboard
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