ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme review
But what if you don't want to be a hero, but you need to be more extreme?, in the form of a Z690 motherboard, that is. Yeah, this Alder Lake motherboard is loaded with the most high-end features and gadgets; meet the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme. The Z690 motherboards from ASUS will be rich and generous, with some of the models offering a choice between DDR5 and DDR4 memory configurations. It all starts with the flagship ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, followed by the FORMULA, HERO, and APEX motherboards, all of which will include DDR5 memory and only DDR5 memory — and that's all there is to it. In total, there will be three ROG STRIX Z690 motherboards, one TUF GAMING Z690 motherboard, and a slew of PRIME Z690 motherboards, all of which will have differing degrees of technological sophistication, features, and sizes. ProART Z690-Creation 10G motherboard, which sounds like it'll be a "content creator" motherboard with 10GbE LAN connectivity and, I'm sure, a ton of I/O connectivity, will be sandwiched between the rest of the ASUS Z690 lineup. The ASUS Maximus Z690 Extreme rocks a 24+1 phase power design with, wait for it .... 105A (!) PowerStages.
Alder Lake and Z690
Z690 is the enthusiast chipset from Intel, and this motherboard is powered by it. It also marks the dawn of a new era; Intel's Alder lake processors are a wholly new and faster architecture. We have written a lot about it. The new processors will have energy and performance cores to balance power consumption in idle and load conditions. With the Alder lake platform, new features are brought to the table. DDR5 and PCIe Express 5.0 are among the first-ever for intel products.
BIG versus little
As an alternative to Intel's previous releases, which focused solely on single-core and gaming performance, Alder Lake puts the company fully back in the multi-core ring, led by its squad of sixteen-core goliaths built on Intel's transistor-dense 10-nanometer manufacturing process. But this time, Intel delivers its interpretation of the term BIG.little. We'll talk a little more about it on the following pages.
ASUS Maximus Z690 Extreme
If you have the cash to burn (read this slowly; 1000 USD/EUR and upwards), The EATX based ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme could be your preferred ideal platform for constructing a high-end computer. Dark colors dominate the surface of the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme, attracting your attention to the AniMe Matrix display on the I/O shield (which is fully programmable). Using 222 individual LEDs, this array displays personalized pictures and animations, and it can be set to respond in real-time to audio playback. The textured surface pattern on the cold-forged heatsink between the PCIe slots improves the heatsink's surface area, which helps keep the M.2 drives cool while also giving the motherboard a distinct appearance. This motherboard is equipped with a vast 24+1 VRM topology and inbuilt power stages capable of delivering 105A, allowing you to make use of the full overclocking capabilities of Intel 12th Generation CPUs without sacrificing performance. Both an Intel-powered 2.5Gb Ethernet port and a Marvell 10Gb Ethernet connector are provided, allowing you to use the fastest local network speeds available. An Intel WiFi 6E adapter offers high-speed wireless connectivity over the wide-open 6GHz frequency, ideal for mobile devices. With the Realtek ALC 4082 codec and the ESS SABRE 9018Q2C DAC, audiophiles will be able to enjoy crystal-clear music, gaming, and entertainment experiences on their PCs. The ROG Clavis USB-C external DAC is included with the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme to ensure that your high-end headphone receives a crystal-clear signal. Thanks to its four ESS converters, each dedicated to a specific range of the audible spectrum, the Clavis delivers an enviably high-fidelity output compared to its competitors. The ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme is also capable of serving as a robust cooling system. This model comes with eight onboard fan headers, and the included ROG Fan Controller makes it simple to add six to the mix. Would you like to add some additional lighting while you're at it? It comes with three Aura Sync-compatible Gen 2 addressable RGB headers, which let you connect LED strips and coordinate them with the rest of your equipment.