Unboxing and Analysis of ASUS Z690-E Strix Gaming WiFi: Exciting Improvements

Intel’s announcement of the Z690 chipset, along with its 12th Gen processors, introduces a plethora of new features and improvements. This marks the first time Intel has applied PCIe 4.0 across the board for Z690, H670, and B660 chipsets, expanding beyond the selective support seen with Z490 and Z590 chipsets when paired with 11th and 12th Gen Intel processors.

Key Enhancements with Z690 Chipset

One significant change is the DMI link between the CPU and chipset. Previous generations had a DMI bandwidth of x4, but with Rocket Lake, Intel doubled it to x8. Now, with Alder Lake, it’s DMI 4.0 x4. This upgrade means that even a motherboard with the Intel H610 chipset can compete with high-end AMD X570 boards, especially in handling multiple PCIe 4.0 x4 SSDs at maximum speeds. However, the H610 chipset still does not support PCIe 4.0.

The 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake processors also support PCIe 5.0 x16, introducing PCIe slots designed for upcoming PCIe 5.0 graphics cards. This generational leap signifies a notable shift in the x86 architecture realm, combining Performance-Cores (P-Cores) for intensive tasks and Efficient-Cores (E-Cores) for multitasking and background processes, promising exceptional performance and responsiveness.

 Deep Dive into ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI

Upon Intel’s announcement at the Intel Innovation 2021 conference, the ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI quickly garnered attention. Here are some standout features:

– Support for 12th Gen Intel Core processors with LGA 1700 socket
– Support for DDR5 memory, up to 6400 MHz (OC)
– 5-way optimization with DIGI+ VRM, TPU, EPU
– Comprehensive cooling solutions including large VRM heatsinks, M.2 heatsinks, hybrid fan headers, and Fan Xpert 4
– AI overclocking and ASUS EZ DIY
– M.2 PCI-E NVMe and USB 3.2 ports
– 2.5 GbE LAN, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2
– Compatibility with Aura Sync and ARGB fans

The ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI is an ATX standard motherboard, fitting a wide range of cases on the market. As a gaming motherboard, it features RGB lighting, prominently around the I/O shield with a reflective ROG logo.Advanced Features and Performance Enhancements

VRM and Heatsink Design

This motherboard features an extensive heatsink covering about three-quarters of its surface. The VRM heatsink is particularly large and made of aluminum alloy, integrated with the I/O cover displaying the STRIX logo. The PCH and M.2 heatsinks also have substantial coverage, enhancing aesthetics and thermal performance.##### Latest LGA 1700 Socket

Supporting the new Alder Lake processors, the LGA 1700 socket is larger, necessitating redesigned cooling solutions. However, ASUS has cleverly designed the STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI with composite mounting holes for both LGA 1700 and LGA 1200 coolers, allowing users to reuse their existing cooling solutions if needed.

Robust VRM Configuration

The VRM on the STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI is designed with 21 phases in a 18+1+2 configuration, supporting the CPU VCORE, VCCGT, and VCCAUX. The Renesas RAA229131 PWM controller and Intersil ISL99390 90A power stages ensure stable power delivery, essential for handling the increased power demands of the 12th Gen processors, particularly under heavy loads or overclocking scenarios.

 Convenient Features and Connectivity

– Q-Release: A unique button for easy removal of the graphics card from the primary PCIe slot.
– DDR5 Memory Suppor*: Four DDR5 DIMM slots supporting up to 128GB and speeds up to 6400 MHz (OC), equipped with DDR5 AEMP for smart overclocking.
– PCIe 5.0 and Storage Options: Featuring a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot for future GPUs, alongside PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 slots, plus three M.2 slots with Q-Latch for tool-less installation.
– Wi-Fi 6E and LAN: Integrated Intel i225-V 2.5Gb LAN and Wi-Fi 6E with Bluetooth 5.2 for high-speed connectivity.
– Enhanced Audio: ROG SupremeFX 7.1 with Realtek ALC4080 codec, Savitech SV3H712 amplifier, and Nichicon capacitors for superior audio performance.

The ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI motherboard brings numerous enhancements, making it a formidable option for gamers and enthusiasts. With support for the latest Intel processors, cutting-edge connectivity options, and robust cooling and power delivery systems, it is well-prepared to handle the demands of modern high-performance computing. As we await real-world performance reviews, the anticipation for this motherboard continues to build, promising an exciting future for PC enthusiasts.

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