Less expensive choices are to be had with these kind of options
DDR5 handiest, and will likely be restricted with 4 sticks to base velocity
Thick plates might intrude with some cumbersome GPU coolers
The Asus ROG Most Z690 Excessive is in reality a motherboard for the PC fanatic who calls for the most efficient of the most efficient, worth be damned.
Easiest Costs As of late
No longer To be had
Intel has after all rejoined the aggressive panorama in opposition to AMD with its Z690 platform, matching high-end muscle with the ferocious Core i9-12900K CPU. With super energy comes not-so-great pricing, then again. The Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Excessive’s $1,099 ticket eclipses the $649 worth of previous juggernaut motherboards just like the X299 Asus Rampage VI Excessive, recasting what a high-end motherboard must value.
We’ll talk about the specifications, options, and function you must be expecting from a motherboard of this caliber, and whether or not it delivers sufficient to justify your acquire.
The Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Excessive is full of quite a lot of options and an outstanding spec record, together with DDR5 memory support and Thunderbolt 4. Remember the fact that it’s a longer dimension, or E-ATX, which means it’s greater than a regular ATX motherboard and won’t are compatible in all circumstances. You’ll get an built-in I/O defend, too—no worries about forgetting this step of the construct procedure!
You’ll to find Wi-Fi 6E at the side of 10GB ethernet. Thunderbolt 4 accompanies the numerous USB Gen 2 ports at the again. You’ll have 5 slots for M.2, and two of them are at the integrated ROG Dimn2 card that attaches subsequent to the RAM.
Listed below are some essential specifications to pay attention to:
E-ATX 12×13 inches, or 305x330mm (wider than an ATX motherboard)
Intel Twelfth-gen Alder Lake CPU enhance with 24+1 energy phases (LGA 1700)
DDR5 RAM handiest, 4 slots
5 M.2 slots
USB-C Gen 2
10GB LAN (Surprise AQtion and an Intel 2.5GB LAN)
ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 With ESS ES9018QC2 DAC
2-inch OLED Reside Sprint, and AniMe Matrix show
3- and 4-pin RGB headers
Transparent CMOS and BIOS flashbacks buttons
ROG Dimn2 M.2 adapter card
More than one fan and water cooling headers
HDMI port for built-in graphics (when GPU no longer to be had)
Six SATA 6GB/S ports
M.2 latch, and PCI-E button for liberating GPUs
CPU cooler backwards compatibility with LGA 1200 or 1700
Thiago Trevisan / IDG
Excessive. That phrase describes why many would really like this motherboard, proper? Minimalist, RGB-agnostic afficionados don’t need to follow; this motherboard packs some critical “Occasions-Sq.-Degree” lighting fixtures. With a 2-inch OLED and animated Matrix show, it may be configured to turn anything else from CPU stats to animations. While you’re paying for added options, that incorporates eye sweet.
Thiago Trevisan / IDG
Additionally, it’s heavy. Like, truly heavy, however in an effective way. Weighing in at over six kilos, it’s mighty to carry. The construct high quality is spectacular, with an armor again plate and a lot of quilt for the entrance spaces. The VRM heatsinks are large too, and naturally you’ll get a lot of M.2 cooling with the coated plates a neatly.
It’s an overly sexy motherboard general, with super keep an eye on over the RGB lighting fixtures by way of Asus Charisma device, so it may be custom designed then again you’d like.
One essential factor to remember is that the highest M.2 quilt does keep reasonably raised, so should you’re doing a water-cooled graphics card with a thick backplate, reminiscent of the ones with energetic cooling, bear in mind of clearance problems. Likewise, should you’re doing a GPU at the backside PCI-E slot, a thick GPU cooler can intrude with one of the vital cables, fighting a cast connection. (This took place to me with an Asus Strix GPU cooler and the RGB and USB ports at the backside of the motherboard.)
Thiago Trevisan / IDG
Many motherboards have distinctive options, however what units aside a board at this degree, and value, is the sheer quantity and aggregate of options. Let’s damage down one of the vital most fascinating:
Sturdy networking choices with 10GB, 2.5GB LAN, and Wi-Fi 6E for max flexibility
Connectivity choices proceed to provoke, with Thunderbolt 4 and lots of USB ports, together with sort C, and 60W charging skill
Implausible M.2 SSD enhance, even though remember handiest the highest M.2 is PCI-E Gen 5, however that can include some restrictions
DDR5 is right here, however remember it’s dearer than DDR4 for minimum efficiency good points. There’s additionally a large factor with operating quad RAM sticks—they received’t do XMP profiles—so you could wish to stick to two RAM sticks of upper capability
M.2 latch and PCI-E slot simple unlock/get entry to—we are hoping to peer this on much more motherboards someday!
Nice VRM and CPU efficiency, however you’ll be able to get equivalent or higher with some inexpensive motherboards such because the Asus Z690 Apex (it received’t be as function packed, then again)
Wish to do two GPUs, for both higher spacing to support thermals when doing content material advent, and even…gasp…the already defunct SLI/NV Hyperlink? You’ll be able to do this right here, with 4-slot NVlink enhance
OLED show could be very cool (PC fanatics will admire it!)
Asus device has an outstanding suite with Armoury Crate, permitting fan keep an eye on, Ai overclocking, and RGB customization
LGA 1700 would require a brand new bracket for many coolers, however Asus motherboards have compatibility with LGA 1200 out of the field, too
You’ll get some neat pieces within the field, like an RGB controller that may end up helpful in trendy builds
Efficiency and BIOS
With a formidable CPU such because the Intel Core i9-12900K, you’ll wish to be sure to’re maximizing its possible with a board like this.
The Asus BIOS is still some of the delightful and intuitive to make use of, and should you’re doing any overclocking, you’ll undoubtedly spend numerous time right here. You’ll be able to tweak many CPU settings, and your RAM has large possible as neatly.
Let’s get the DDR5 factor out of the best way—you’ll wish to keep on with two RAM modules if you wish to use the XMP profile and get the utmost rated velocity. It can be a good suggestion to get upper capability if you want it, as going to 4 RAM sticks will prohibit your DDR5 speeds to the bottom 4800Mhz. That is…no longer excessive, but it surely’s how it’s at the present. Reminiscence is at all times Twin Channel, after all.
VRM temperatures with the facility degree parts are greater than good enough for even a formidable, hot-running 12900K.
It kind of feels like a lot of recent overclocking is extra CPU restricted, as they arrive operating beautiful sizzling from the manufacturing facility as is—so any minor enhancements with handbook tinkering can have diminishing returns.
Asus has a very good suite of AI overclocking and optimization gear, as neatly. You’ll be able to to find those each within the BIOS, in addition to the Armoury Crate Tool.
Transparent CMOS and BIOS flashback could also be to be had, making overclocking makes an attempt more straightforward to recuperate from. You’ll even get LN2 Mode transfer for customers short of to push it additional with liquid nitrogen; plus a retry button, thermal headers, and so on. (Don’t really feel not noted; we’re no longer doing any liquid-nitrogen cooling both!)
Are there inexpensive choices available on the market for Z690, such because the Asus ROG Strix or Gigabyte Aorus Master? Certain, and so they even pack most of the similar options because the ROG Maximus Z690 Excessive. The magic is in the main points if you’ll be able to abdomen the associated fee, then again. Right here, you’ll get the entire options packed in combination—to not point out a in reality spectacular and top rate design. You might also need to try the Asus ROG Apex or Formula motherboards, that have lots of the options, however much less of a worth top rate. (Take a look at Alaina Yee’s tips on what to look for in a motherboard for your 12th-gen CPU.)
This motherboard is for the one that needs a particularly high-end construct and to tick the entire efficiency and aesthetic choices. With PC parts all skyrocketing in worth the previous few years, it used to be just a subject of time prior to motherboards were given increasingly more dear, too.
It’ll go well with each content material creators, with its large connectivity suite, in addition to fanatic PC developers and avid gamers, with a plethora of efficiency and aesthetic niceties.
Small quirks and the excessive ticket stay it from being a 5-star product and extremely advisable motherboard, particularly when making an allowance for that another motherboards with equivalent (however no longer all) options are available in at loads of greenbacks much less. For those who love the design and will have to have all of its many options, then again, it’s an awesome product for the discerning high-end fanatic who doesn’t thoughts allotting the money.