ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review

The new ASUS ROG Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II motherboard rivals many higher-priced offerings with its impressive connectivity and performance.

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: ASUS
7 minutes & 40 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 92%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

ASUS delivers a fantastic mid-range motherboard option that rivals much higher-end offerings when it comes to connectivity and performance.

Pros

  • + 18+1+2 VRM
  • + 8000MHz+ memory support
  • + Gen 5 NVMe support
  • + 2.5Gbe LAN + Wi-Fi 7

Cons

  • - None

Should you buy it?

AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 03

While we wrapped up 13th Gen Intel Gaming notebooks and were introduced to AMD's latest 7000 series mobile GPUs in the Alienware M18 R1, we have also been testing a batch of Z790 refresh motherboards for review. We started our 14th-generation journey with Intel when we reviewed the Z790 AORUS Xtreme X a few months back, and with that review in our pockets, we have a good idea of what these new refresh boards have to offer. For ASUS, we couldn't get the typical ROG Hero, Formula, or Apex; instead, we did get our hands on a mid-range offering with the ROG Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II hitting the bench first.

The Z790-E offers a modest but powerful 18+2+1 VRM, plenty for the CPUs it supports in the 12th, 13th, and 14th Gen lineups. This means we get one last generation on the LGA1700 socket before we make the move for 15th Gen late this year. Memory support for the ROG starts with JEDEC DDR5-4800 MHZ and jumps all the way up to DDR5-8000MHz with an overclock; this includes support for XMP3. Capacity reaches upwards of 192GB using non-binary memory modules and 128GB with standard 32GB modules.

The expansion gives us a single PCIe 5.0 pulling lanes from the CPU and two secondary slots pulling from the chipset at Gen 4 x4 connectivity. Storage on this motherboard includes five m.2 slots, the top slot pulling Gen 5 lanes from the CPU while slot 2 also pulls from the CPU, with Gen 4 x 4 being the peak. The three additional slots all pull their bandwidth from the chipset, all at Gen 4 x4.

Connectivity is well done on this board, too. You will find ten USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the rear I/O, next to two additional ports using USB-C, one at 20Gbps and the other 10GBps. Further display connectivity is also available for those wanting to use CPU graphics; these include both DP and HDMI.

Network connectivity includes 2.5Gbe LAN and Wi-Fi 7, though MLO technology within the chipset won't work until later this year when the specification is ratified.

Pricing

As for pricing, the ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II comes in at $489.

Buy at Amazon

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$439.99$479.99$479.99
Buy at Newegg
$449.99$479.99$489.99
* Prices last scanned on 4/23/2024 at 9:27 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging, Accessories, and Overview

Packaging and Accessories

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 05

The Strix came to us in retail packaging, which includes an image of the board on the box and ASUS branding across the top. Along the bottom, we have supported hardware for this motherboard.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 06

On the back, ASUS lists the board's features to the right, while an image of the board is available to the left.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 07

The scope of delivery includes a Wi-Fi antenna on the far left, followed by thermal pads for the M.2 slots and SATA cables for any legacy storage.

Motherboard Overview

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 08

The Strix is a standard ATX motherboard, and the overall layout is unchanged: memory to the right, CPU socket centered, and PCIe slots spaced out between the NVMe slots. VRM cooling can be found around the CPU socket, while a large flat cooling unit handles the chipset and NVMe slots.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 09

The Strix has no additional connectivity, armor, or ICs on the back of the board.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 10

The rear I/O includes display connectivity at the top and a massive array of 10GBps USB-A ports. Two USB-C are tucked away towards the bottom edge of the board while the LAN and Wi-Fi antenna connections separate the audio I/O.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 11

Going around the board, we start with the front panel audio header and a Thunderbolt 4 header. Further along, we have RGB headers and USB 2.0.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 12

Towards the right edge, we find a couple of fan connections and the front panel chassis connections.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 13

Continuing, we have an internal USB 3.2 Gen 1 header and four SATA connections.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 14

Getting to the top of the board, we have several more USB 3.2 headers and 24-pin power connections; the onboard power button rounds out this side of the motherboard.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 15

Across the top of the board, we have more RGB headers in white, followed by fan headers.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 16

Last, as usual, we have two eight-pin CPU power connections.

UEFI, Software and Test System

UEFI

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 20ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 21
ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 22ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 23
ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 24ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 25
ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 26ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 27

Anyone who has used an ROG board in the last few generations will find the BIOS nearly identical, as ASUS hasn't changed the layout. This includes EZ-Mode, which offers access to the most common functionality, including hardware information, voltages, and temperatures. Tuners can change XMP and storage; you can also enable AI overclocking from this menu.

Further into the BIOS, the main menu will offer more in-depth hardware information, while the Tweaker menu is where you find all the voltage and clock controls for manually tuning your CPU and memory. The advanced menu will give you options for peripheral ports like your M.2 slots, SATA, and USB ports.

The monitoring section includes AI fan controls with Q-Fan and monitoring for temps and voltages. The tools menu will aid you in updating the BIOS, Saving BIOS profiles, and even secure erasing your storage.

TweakTown Intel Motherboard Test System

Cinebench 2024 and AIDA64

Cinebench 2024

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests: a single-core workload utilizing one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 30

With our move to Cinebench 2024, our charts have just a few comparisons. The Strix offered us 127 points in single-core while picking up 2017 in multi-core.

CrossMark

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 31

We reset our charts for Crossmark as well. This gives us a fresh start just for the Z790 refresh boards. Strix Z790-E picked up an overall of 2637, just a few points behind our top board at 2745.

AIDA64 Memory

AIDA was recently updated to version 7, which improved performance in both AES and SHA3 workloads for Alder Lake CPUs. You will notice this performance jump in the charts below compared to earlier Z690/Z790 reviews.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 32

In AES, we picked up 261K with the Strix.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 33

SHA3 comes in at 7783.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 34

Memory bandwidth is tested at DDR5 7600MHz, the Strix giving us 112K in read, 97K in write, and 101K in copy.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 35

Memory latency for the ASUS was 66.3ns.

UL Procyon and 3DMark

UL Procyon Suite

The UL Procyon Office Productivity Benchmark uses Microsoft Office apps to measure PC performance for office productivity work.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 36

UL Procyon Office gave us an overall score of 9781 for the ROG Strix.

3DMark

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 37

CPU Profile for one and two threads gave us scores of 1190 and 2376.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 38

Moving to four threads, performance ticked up to 4663 for the Strix. Eight threads landed at 8827, and we wrapped testing at sixteen threads with a score of 11979, our highest to date.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 39

Time Spy was up next; with our 14700K+7900XTX combo, the ROG board gave us an overall score of 28701.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 40

Speed Way scored 6042 overall with our setup.

Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 43

In our lonely gaming workload, we fire up Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty. This gives us a 76.2 FPS score for 4K, while 1440p sees a nice 135 FPS and 1080p lands at 194 FPS, all using the Ultra preset.

Storage Benchmarks and Final Thoughts

3DMark Storage Benchmarks

UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it to be superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is, in fact, the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.

In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSD's gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:

  • Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 41

Storage performance on the Z790-E scored 911.6 MB/s with our Crucial T700.

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review 42

Testing the motherboard Gen 5 NVMe cooling solution, we have deployed our T700 from Crucial. As seen in the chart above, we have the drive compared to not running a heatsink at all; Strix is clearly a fantastic solution holding our drive around 38c.

Final Thoughts

While the ROG Hero, Formula, and Apex all have their strengths, I have come away from testing the Strix Z790-E feeling pretty good about its build quality and features for the price. Off the bat, this motherboard fits into the ASUS lineup quite well; the cheapest current-gen "Maximus" mainstream offering is the Dark Hero, which happens to land at $700 and offers only a touch better connectivity than this Z790-E Strix. Networking support between the two models is nearly identical.

Performance testing of the Z790-E Strix started with Cinebench as it has for years; we picked up 127 points for single core, which was well on par with both the Xtreme and Godlike offerings we have tested so far. Multi-core performance, too, stayed on point; the Strix pulled a 2017-point peak, only a few points shy of the Godlike. Moving into further testing, we ran through Crossmark and AIDA64, both showing solid system performance from the Strix, 2637 in Crossmark put this board just three points shy of the Godlike, while AIDA showed nearly identical AES and SHA3 performance.

UL benchmarks, Procyon being our applications workload, showed the Strix on par with our two previous boards with a solid 9781 score overall, 5 points under the Godlike. Moving into 3DMark, we have a full suite of numbers for the Strix. CPU Profile once again has the Strix neck and neck with the Godlike, with a 2376 two-core score, while eight and sixteen-thread scores land nearly identical. I wrapped testing with Gaming and Storage performance on the Strix. Storage managed a solid 911 MB/s throughput, which was a full eight points higher than the Godlike. We also put our T700 through some thermal testing in this same benchmark, showing the Strix is easily capable of handling the heat from the Gen 5 T700 from Crucial.

Closing this one out, the ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II might have one of the longest names for a motherboard in history, but it does offer solid performance for its price. Connectivity sticks to the mid-range with a solid number of USB 3.2 Gen 2, some of those being USB-C compatible. Networking keeps 2.5Gbe LAN as a standard while Wi-Fi has been upgraded to 802.11BE (Wi-Fi 7).

Photo of product for sale

Performance

92%

Quality

90%

Features

95%

Value

90%

Overall

92%

The Bottom Line

ASUS delivers a fantastic mid-range motherboard option that rivals much higher-end offerings when it comes to connectivity and performance.

TweakTown award
92%

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$439.99$479.99$479.99
Buy at Newegg
$449.99$479.99$489.99
* Prices last scanned on 4/23/2024 at 9:27 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.