December 3, 2021

ASUS STRIX Z690-E Gaming WiFi A Fast Take a look at an Intel Alder Lake Platform


ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi LGA1700 LGA1800 Socket 1
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi LGA1700 LGA1800 Socket 1

Right this moment we’re going to take a fast have a look at the ASUS STRIX Z690-E Gaming WiFi. It is a platform that leverages rather a lot that the brand new Intel Alder Lake chips have to supply, so since we’re on the Alder Lake launch (once more?), we wished to take a fast have a look at this one.

A observe from Patrick the Editor: Hey all, simply as a heads-up, we bought each the CPUs late, then the motherboard comparatively late. The primary motherboard (a unique producer/ mannequin) made it about midway by means of our take a look at bench then noticed fixed exhausting lockups underneath some workloads. This ASUS motherboard arrived by way of FedEx in a single day late yesterday, so there was no time to re-run every part, validate outcomes, and be on time for this morning’s embargo. These items occurs occasionally. Count on extra evaluations coming quickly. For now, I despatched some photographs off earlier than putting in every part for this piece and requested Eric that it’s achieved right this moment.

ASUS STRIX Z690-E Gaming WiFi {Hardware} Overview

The motherboard itself is a refreshingly small ATX dimension motherboard. On this section, one can simply use mITX, however at STH, we have now been reviewing lots of very giant motherboards. Because the server and workstation platforms have gotten so giant, it was good to see one thing we take into account compact.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Motherboard Overview
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Motherboard Overview

The massive characteristic, and the rationale we’re doing this piece, is the brand new Alder Lake CPUs. These are an enormous leap for the Intel platform and had been performing very nicely within the half of benchmarks we did get to finish initially. Actually, Intel did an amazing job right here.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi With Intel Core I9 12900K Installed 1
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi With Intel Core I9 12900K Put in 1

We now have each the Intel Core i9-12900K in addition to the Core i5-12600K. A few of the greatest options embrace the introduction of hybrid efficiency and effectivity cores together with PCIe Gen5 and DDR5 help. We count on PCIe Gen5 and DDR5 will make it to the server and high-end workstation market in 2022, however for now, that is the platform with the brand new know-how.

Intel Core I9 12900K And Core I5 12600K Cover
Intel Core I9 12900K And Core I5 12600K Cowl

The CPU socket itself is labeled because the LGA1700/ LGA1800 socket, a nod to future upgradability. It’s re-designed for the brand new chips and would require new coolers, or maybe simply new mounting brackets for a lot of. ASUS has the older LGA1200 mounting holes additionally drilled into its PCB, however we need to simply name this out, Alder Lake, particularly the Core i9-12900K makes use of lots of energy. To be extra particular, you may see most energy extra just like a twin Intel Xeon E5-2670 server additionally with 16 cores. After all, the idle energy consumption and common energy consumption are decrease.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi LGA1700 LGA1800 Socket 2
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi LGA1700 LGA1800 Socket 2

The primary characteristic we wished to give attention to is DDR5. You may even see that the brand new chips, as we noticed within the DDR3 to DDR4 transition, help the older reminiscence know-how as nicely (DDR4 on this case.) That doesn’t imply that you should use this motherboard with DDR4. As a substitute, the slots are DDR5 slots. Not solely is there a little bit of a motherboard premium, however DDR5 is at a premium at this level as nicely.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Intel Core I9 12900K Installed 2
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Intel Core I9 12900K Put in 2

The opposite massive characteristic is PCIe Gen5 help. PCIe Gen5 is backward suitable with PCIe Gen3 and Gen4. It additionally creates a little bit of a multitude on this motherboard. There are PCIe Gen5, Gen4, and Gen3 slots.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Slots And Bottom M.2 Covers On
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Slots And Backside M.2 Covers On

One merchandise our readers might even see is that the M.2_1 slot is listed as a PCIe Gen5 x4 slot. If we consult with the block diagram, we will see that the CPU has a Gen4 x4 (for M.2 storage) and a Gen5 x16 hyperlink. That is truly being achieved through the use of the Gen5 slot in x8 mode. Maybe ASUS is assuming that the brand new PCIe Gen5 GPUs will hardly ever use all of that host bandwidth. For a lot of, this shall be some extent of confusion, so we wished to clear it up.

Intel Z690 Chipset Block Diagram
Intel Z690 Chipset Block Diagram

Apart from that first M.2 slot, we have now the PCIe Gen5 x16 slot, a Gen3 x1 slot (chipset), a Gen3 x16 (in x4 mode), and a Gen4 x16 (runs in x4 or x4+x4 for bifurcation.) If this feels complicated, it’s. Apart from the PCIe Gen5 x16 slot and the 4 Gen4 lanes from the CPU, all the relaxation is coming off of the Intel Z690 chipset. ASUS is attempting so as to add extra right here to make the motherboard look stuffed with connectivity, however it is a massive distinction between these programs and the higher-end workstation and server programs.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Slot Labels
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Slot Labels

Perhaps probably the most distinctive characteristic, and I bought a selected bullet level from Patrick to cowl this, is the Q-Launch characteristic. One can see the button subsequent to the mounting gap on the correct facet beneath. On the left facet, on the fringe of the PCIe Gen5 x16 slot, we will see the x16 retention mechanism with a small metal cable.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Q Release
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Q Launch

You push down on the button and the GPU lock releases. It appears so easy, however when you’ve got ever needed to pull a GPU out of a decent chassis and had hassle accessing the locking mechanism, it is a good characteristic for positive. It’s, nonetheless, solely on the Gen5 slot, not the opposite x16 slots. On a ~$400 motherboard, it will have been good to have just a few extra cables.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Q Release Diagram
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Q Launch Diagram

Taking off the covers, we will see that there are locations for 3 M.2 drives.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi M.2 Covers Off Bottom Part
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi M.2 Covers Off Backside Half

The highest one is the Gen5 succesful slot.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Bottom PCIe And M.2 Covers Off 2
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi PCIe Backside PCIe And M.2 Covers Off 2

We’re going to shortly observe that we will see the SupremeFX audio on this board. That’s one other upgraded characteristic.

On the underside, we see one thing fairly completely different. On one slot (left) we get a backside thermal pad. On the third (proper) we don’t.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Bottom M.2 Covers Off
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Backside M.2 Covers Off

For people who need extra M.2 storage, we will add two M.2 drives by way of the ROG Hyper M.2 card. The observe from Patrick on this one is “heavy” so that could be a steel cowl. Right here we will place two PCIe Gen4 x4 drives and use the Gen4 x16 slot on the backside of the motherboard in x4/x4 bifurcation mode. Utilizing this card disables the M.2_2 onboard slot although.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi ROG Hyper M.2 Card
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi ROG Hyper M.2 Card

One thing that’s notable right here is that we have now six SATA III 6.0gbps ports. Gone are the times the place a $400 motherboard would have an enormous array of SATA. Now the main focus is on extra M.2 storage. There should not even provisions for U.2 storage on this board.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi SATA Edge
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi SATA Edge

Across the system, there are just a few different fast options we wished to notice. First, this requires twin 8-pin CPU energy plus 24-pin ATX. Once more, Alder Lake will not be a low-power platform.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi CPU Power
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi CPU Energy

We will additionally see all through the motherboard a ton of connectors comparable to fan headers, USB 3 headers, RGB headers, and so forth. That’s an space the place these extra premium motherboards shine. We additionally get the ASUS QLED POST code indicator, it is a characteristic we even see on the corporate’s servers just like the ASUS RS700-E10-RS12U we reviewed.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Intel Core I9 12900K QLED
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Intel Core I9 12900K QLED

For the rear I/O, there’s a lot. We get each DisplayPort and HDMI outputs. We additionally get an array of 12x USB ports:

1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Sort-C

2x USB 3.2 Gen2 Sort-A

1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Sort-C

4x USB 3.2 Gen1 Sort-A

4x USB 2.0 Sort-A

There’s additionally an audio answer onboard, one thing we frequently don’t get with server-based motherboards. On the networking, there’s a good improve with Intel i225 2.5GbE in addition to WiFi 6E. WiFi 6E is the brand new commonplace, and it’s nice to see 2.5GbE right here.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Rear IO With Pre Installed Faceplate
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Rear IO With Pre Put in Faceplate

Simply as a fast one, these rear I/O plates affixed to motherboards are nice. We want all motherboards did this lately, though it has develop into a typical characteristic.

ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Under The Rear IO Cover
ASUS STRIX Z690 E Gaming WiFi Underneath The Rear IO Cowl

We shortly wished to level out that there’s a lot of ornamentation right here. For instance, the panel going from the ability supply heatsink space to the rear I/O faceplate seems good, however one can see it’s there largely for aesthetics as it’s a roof to this space and one can see by means of it.

Ultimate Phrases

Total, this ASUS STRIX Z690-E Gaming WiFi is (efficiently) working our take a look at suite proper now. Nonetheless, we wished to say a fast thanks for the emergency SOS overnighting of the board and get a fast piece up with it. One thing that one takes away is that these have gotten way more expensive than earlier generations, and lots of the performance, not like on server and even workstation platforms just like the ASUS Professional WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WiFi we reviewed a lot of the uncovered performance is absolutely there for configuration choices. One can see many PCIe and M.2 slots, however there are a number of guidelines for configuring the performance. Additionally, lots of what you’re paying for with a motherboard like that is the ornamentation or expertise. These VRM heatsinks are a lot bigger than on 280W+ TDP CPU server motherboards from ASUS.

Extra on Alder Lake as these evaluations work their approach by means of the method. Nonetheless, we hope you favored this have a look at the DDR5/ PCIe Gen5 Intel Alder Lake platform from ASUS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *