Intel’s announcement on the latest 14th Gen Core S-Series Desktop Processors early this morning carries a pretty simple message: “It’s 13th Gen but everything is way better”. So to prove that point, the new Z790 motherboards, particularly from ASUS ROG, aim to unleash the power of these new CPUs.
Let’s just go through briefly about Z790 in general. It uses the LGA1700 socket so you can technically plug in a 12th/13th Gen CPU for now and upgrade to 14th Gen later with these new models hosting the brand new integrated Intel WiFi 7 chip with even better signal strength in the 5GHz and 6GHz band that can reach speeds so high that the bottleneck might be your ISP package’s speed instead.
The newly added DIMM Flex optimizes the RAM by transferring heat much more effectively plus adjusting the behavior of the memory controller based on the temperature for the best outcome, resulting in up to 16% performance gain according to an official statement.
You also have things like the AEMP II providing better RAM training, especially in 4-DIMM setups with high compatibility across RAMs from different brands and vendors, and DIY-friendly features like the screw-less click-based latch for the PCIe and M.2 slots.
Now let’s see what’s special about each new board.
First, we have the ROG Maximus Z790 Formula for the full liquid-cooling custom loop gang in this shiny paint of metallic white span across the heatsinks and integrated I/O shroud.
The customizable 2-inch OLED display integrates natively into the M.2 slot while the new all-copper HybridChill VRM block offers passive cooling or even better, be part of the custom loop for more chills.
As one of the high-end selections, the pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports and high-speed USB ports on the rear panel lets you hook up all sorts of expensive equipment while the 5GbE port offers a nice wired Internet speed. The ROG SupremeFX audio solution pumps out strong audio and great quality, on the other hand.
Next up, the preferred choice of professional overclockers, the APEX models, returns in the form of Apex Encore, packing superior and robust power solution via the 8+8 ProCool II power connectors with better fit, improved heat dissipation and better reliability over common hardware.
A little bit of extra sauce is given to the Apex Encore through the ROG DDR5 Fan Kit that blows directly into the DIMM kit for better temperature control and in some cases, higher memory frequency.
If deployed in a full custom water cooling loop, the ROG Water Cooling Zone hosting 2x water temperature headers and flow rate header plus Fan Xpert 4 utility provides everything you need to monitor the liquid cycle.
Other notable features also include AI Overclocking, AI Cooling II, pre-installed Memtest86, and a 1-year AIDA64 Extreme key.
Moving to the ROG Strix series, the Z790-E Gaming WiFi II takes the core idea of Maximus and scales it back a bit for the signature and better price-to-value proposition.
The PCIe 5.0 x16 slot and onboard PCIe 5.0 M.2 means full compatibility with the strongest GPUs and NVMe drives in the market right now plus the high-speed front panel USB-C port with 30W PD is gonna make lives easier.
As for the Z790-F Gaming WiFi II, the M.2 slot is PCIe 4.0 instead of 5.0 with the rest of the specs being identical or near identical to the E model.
Price and Availability
All of these new ASUS ROG Z790 motherboards are available in Malaysia at the following prices (And don’t mind the little cameo from TUF Gaming):
- ROG MAXIMUS Z790 FORMULA @ RM3,999
- ROG MAXIMUS Z790 DARK HERO @ RM3,799
- ROG MAXIMUS Z790 APEX ENCORE @ RM3,699
- ROG STRIX Z790-E GAMING WIFI II @ RM3,399
- ROG STRIX Z790-F GAMING WIFI II @ RM2,349
- ROG STRIX Z790-A GAMING WIFI II @ RM2,299
- TUF GAMING Z790-PRO WIFI @ RM1,799