ASUS is arguably one of the best gaming brands around and their ROG Strix range is an even more sought-after range than most.  With the launch of Intel’s Rocket Lake Chipset (11th Generation), it is expected to see nearly every motherboard maker release a Z590 board.  We were fortunate enough to receive the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board, and thanks to ASUS they sent us a 11900K along for the ride.  Intel has promised many amazing new features coming with their latest generation of processors and thanks to the board makers, like ASUS, these features will be obtainable by the masses by the Z590 series boards.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board slots into the range at a middle-high end motherboard with a couple of models placing above the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI within the ASUS range, although ASUS says that this board is as capable as all that is placed above it.

This being our very first review of a motherboard, bear with us as we try our best to give you our opinion on the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard.

 

 

Features

  • Ready for 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors & 10th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® Processors
  • Optimal Power Solution: 14+2 power stages with ProCool II power connector, high-quality alloy chokes, and durable capacitors to support multi-core processors
  • Optimized Thermal Design: VRM and aluminum I/O heatsink, L-shaped Heatpipe, four onboard M.2 heatsinks, and an M.2 backplate for the PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot
  • High-performance Networking: On-board Intel® WiFi 6E AX210 (802.11ax) and dual Intel® 2.5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard
  • Best Gaming Connectivity: Supports HDMI™ 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 output, four M.2 slots, as well as USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 USB Type-C®
  • Intelligent Control: ASUS-exclusive tools AI Overclocking, AI Cooling, AI Networking, and Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation to simplify setup and improve performance
  • DIY Friendly Design: M.2 Q-Latch, pre-mounted I/O shield, BIOS FlashBack™, Clr CMOS button, Q-Code, and FlexKey
  • Unmatched Personalization: ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including RGB header and Gen 2 addressable headers
  • Industry-leading Gaming Audio: ALC4080 with Savitech SV3H712 amplifier, along with DTS® Sound Unbound and Sonic Studio III
  • Renowned Software: Bundled 60 days AIDA64 Extreme subscription and intuitive UEFI BIOS dashboard with integrated MemTest86

 

What’s in the Box?

 

 

In true ASUS ROG fashion, even the way the z590 board is packaged is of the highest quality and with a few extra goodies crammed in for good measure.  The user manual is accompanied by a set of stickers which has a vast assortment of sticker options to suit anyone’s needs.  A clever SATA cable indicator sticker is perfect if you have many SATA devices and are not sure which one is for which.  Nice touch!  A CD with drivers is also included, although we wonder how many people actually still have disc drives in their PCs these days.  ASUS clearly expects you to have a beefy GPU to go with your new beefy motherboard, and that is why a ROG branded GPU stand is also included!  ASUS even includes four SATA cables, two of which are 90-degree connectors.  These always come in handy if you are trying your very best to build neatly, but four SATA cables for a motherboard that can take six, strange.

You will also be greeted by a 40mm fan, no this is not a mistake, it is an extra fan that can be attached to your ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board to assist with some extra cooling, we preferred to leave it in the box.  The WIFI antennas, which do not need to be connected if you can get decent enough reception from where you are situated, have been cleverly designed.  With the new design, it does not need to sit on top of your case or stand on your desk.  It can now neatly sit at the back of your case and hardly be noticed if you so desire.

 

Close-up look!

 

 

Having a Z390 board in my personal gaming rig, the biggest gripe I had with it the fact that the second 6-pin connector is situated just below the CPU slot which means there is no “neat” way of feeding the cable to it.  With the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board, and I expect with all newer generation boards, both the power plugs, which is now an 8-pin and 4-pin, are situated nicely at the left top of the motherboard.  I would personally suggest plugging them in before installing the board into your case, especially if you have a smaller case as they are tough to get to once installed, but they work wonders if you want to build neatly.  Next to them, you will find a fan header for the 40mm VRAM fan that we mentioned earlier

Moving to the right-hand side there are two more fan headers, a CPU OV jumper that can be used if you are a brave builder and want to overvolt your brand new CPU.  Next to that, there is the standard addressable RGB header that is part of the AURA setup.  Moving down the right-hand side of the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board the standard 24-pin ATX power plug is where it usually is.  It is partnered by two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 for your case front-end needs.  Although the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board comes with a plethora of USB ports at the back it is very handy to have high-speed USB capabilities at the front of your case.  Further down there are the six SATA ports that we mentioned earlier as well as a couple of fan headers.  As always, in the corner is the brain-meltingly frustrating front IO plugs.  With some other models of ASUS ROG boards, they provide a connector so you can plug the fiddly pins in where you can see them and then plug that connector into the motherboard.  This should be a damn industry standard!  There is also a W_PUMP+ header for all your liquid cooling pump needs.  Two USB2.0 headers have seen a new lease on life in recent times due to so many RGB systems using those headers.  Two more headers for RGB strips can also be found at the bottom.

 

 

What about the back???

The beautifully styled rear IO of the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI board features an HDMI 2.0, Display port 1.4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1, twin Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet ports, and the antenna connectors for the 802.11AX WiFi 6E.

 

Gaming

When ASUS sent us the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard, they were nice enough to send the Intel 11900K I9 CPU, as well as an RTX3080 so we could properly test the whole setup.  So for review purposes, we used the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard, with the 11900K, with 2x8Gb Corsair Vengeance Pro 3200MHz RAM, RTX3080, Fractal Design 850W platinum rated PSU, and a Muskin 240Gb NVME M.2 drive, all of this was paired with the ASUS TUF 32” 1440p 144Hz monitor.  We used Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, and Far Cry 5 as our games of choice for testing.

All games were tested at High settings and 1080p as Ultra settings destroy the performance vs visuals on many occasions.

 

Far Cry New Dawn

ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard

Minimum FPS – 117 FPS

Average FPS – 153 FPS

Compared to other high-end Z590 boards the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI compares on par with all of them even beating a few by the odd frame here and there.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard

SOTR bench test does not provide an average FPS reading

Average FPS – 176 FPS

The ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard does perform the worst in this title compared to the list of other motherboards we researched but literally only by 1 FPS.  At such a high FPS count, 1 FPS will literally not be noticed.

 

Metro Exodus

ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard

Minimum FPS – 74 FPS

Average FPS – 152 FPS

Once again the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard might lose out to its higher-end siblings by only by a handful of frames, in a demanding title such as Metro Exodus the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard does truly show its worth and especially its value vs performance.

Conclusion

Let us assume that you have decided that you want to go with Intel and their latest 11th Generation of CPUs.  This means that you are naturally looking for the best the Z590 range of motherboards has to offer without breaking the bank or having to donate an organ.  Although the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard is not the cheapest in the range from ASUS it certainly does make a strong argument as to why you would need anything more?  With the dark design and very styling and less in-your-face RGB options and an extremely appealing blue and purple colour scheme, the aesthetic appeal of the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI cannot be argued!  Whether you want minimal RGB or none, the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI motherboard is so good looking you don’t need RGB.

With the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI not being the most expensive in the range, it’s only normal to think that some features might have been left out to cut costs and this is not really the case.  You will still get 4 x M.2 slots of which two are PCIe 4.0 compatible. 3x PCIe x16 slots of which two are PCIe 4.0.  There is a wide array of USB connectors and more fan headers you could possibly need.  Although we did not have RAM to test the ability of the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI to support RAM up to speeds of 5300MHz is another massive point to the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI for simple future-proofing for DDR4 RAM.

The only possible negative that we can find for the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WIFI is the price tag, but like we have said regarding ROG products and their prices.  They are some of the more expensive brands but for good reason, considering the quality and performance, you will receive from them.  Another exclusion that might get some people slightly upset is the lack of Thunderbolt 4 ports.

 

 

 

Special thanks to ASUS South Africa for the review content

 

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