ASUS ROG: Intel Z690 Motherboard Launch

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) announces its new generation of Intel Z690 motherboard series, and more during its Break All Limits event. For the first time, gamers can wield DDR5 memory modules and PCIe 5.0 devices, plus Intel Core CPUs that have been redesigned from the ground up to feature as many as 16 cores and 24 threads. To prepare for these historic new technologies, the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme, Extreme Glacial, Apex and other Z690 ASUS motherboards come outfitted with cutting-edge power delivery that can react in split seconds to changes in voltage and frequencies introduced by the Intel Alder Lake platform. These new motherboards are designed to keep these potent new processors operating at maximum power and efficiency.

Furthermore, Z690 ROG motherboards are armed with an exclusive new feature called ASUS Extended Memory Profiles (AEMP). With AEMP, a simple setting in the BIOS can boost DDR5 memory module clock speeds and timings beyond their official limits, to eke out every last ounce of performance. This feature is made possible by unlocking voltage management on the Power Management Integrated Circuit

(PMIC), a technology that did not exist in previous generations of DDR RAM. ASUS also partnered with major DDR5 makers around the world to ensure high compatibility and top-tier speeds.

Editor’s Note: to better summarize the entire release, I’ve updated this article to note all of the significant features in bullet points for the motherboards listed.

ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme

As their label suggests, ROG Maximus Extreme motherboards are the pinnacle of enthusiast motherboard design, and the new Z690 version is no different.

Key Motherboard Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • DDR5 Support
  • 24+1 Teamed Power Stages (up to 105amps) / MicroFine alloy chokes and premium-grade capacitors.
  • Massive cold-forged VRM heatsink
  • ASUS Software Included: AI Overclocking, AI Cooling, Fan Xpert 4
  • Exclusive Software added: ASUS Extended Memory Profiles powered by OptiMem III for ROG motherboard
  • BIOS Flashback button, no more CPU or RAM required when updating BIOS
  • PCIe Slot Q-Release for graphics cards
  • Q-Code display for troubleshooting messages
  • 2-inch LiveDash OLED

Connectivity and Audio

  • Onboard WiFi 6E, 10Gbps and 2.5Gbps Ethernet
  • PCIe 5.0 M.2 / USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Front Panel Connector with Thunderbolt 4 support / Multiple USB Type-C ports in rear I/O panel
  • ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 sound chip with ESS ES9018Q2C DAC

ROG True Voltician Included

The ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme also comes with the brand-new ROG True Voltician, a USB oscilloscope that enables users to visualize voltages, clock speeds and more. This device connects to the Extreme via USB to show the VCore, VCCIN and System Agent rail readings on OSC Sense headers, and the companion software can even run on a nearby PC to help users diagnose issues that may be preventing another PC from booting.

This is just a sampling of the layers of tech that ROG offers to make DIY PC building accessible to everyone. Because while ROG motherboards are designed to break all limits, they don’t leave new users behind in the process.

ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme Glacial

The Glacial version of the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard has all the potency of its sibling, but it goes one step further for liquid-cooling enthusiasts.

Key Motherboard Features:

  • Transparent monobloc design in collaboration with EK that covers majority of the board including three onboard M.2 slots
  • AniMe Matrix LED display – ability to show of personalized text, animations, system time and date, and other visualization effects.
  • 2-inch LiveDash OLED
  • Aura Sync and four RGB headers
  • Lower half of motherboard cooled with an electroplated heatsink.
  • Inverted M.2 slot design. No need to remove the heatsink or waterblock to install M.2 drives.

ROG Maximus Z690 Apex

For users on the hunt for a streamlined top-of-the-line motherboard capable of liquid-nitrogen cooling and extreme memory module speeds, look no further than the ROG Maximus Z690 Apex. By cutting the number of DIMM slots to two, the Apex has virtually unbeatable signal integrity for its DDR5 memory module slots, and it’s rated for speeds as high as 6600MHz. It also features a Slow Mode switch, LN mode jumper, thermal sensor headers and eight ProbeIt measurement points to help manage every aspect of a user’s overclocking efforts.

Key Motherboard Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • Two DIMM Slots, optimized for Overclocking up to 6600MHz
  • Slow Mode switch
  • LN mode jumper
  • Thermal sensor headers and eight ProbeIt measurements points for overclocking use.
  • Two onboard M.2 slots / two more M.2 slots on a DIMM.2 cards / ROG Hyper M.2 Card
  • Q-Code display
  • BIOS FlashBack button
  • PCIe Slot Q-Release
  • M.2 Q-Latch

Conectivity and Audio

  • Savitech SV3H712 DAC/amp
  • Addressable Gen 2 RGB headers

The Apex also uniquely features ASUS Auto-Extreme technology, a manufacturing technique where all soldering is completed on a single pass. This is intended to deliver better overclocking stability, cooling performance, power efficiency and product longevity, plus larger voltage thresholds.

ROG Maximus Z690 Formula

While black goes with everything, some may want a different aesthetic for their elite motherboard. Enter the ROG Maximus Z690 Formula with its Moonlight White colorway (which has also recently arrived for select ROG laptops, keyboards, headphones and mice). Featuring an eye-pleasing blend of white, light gray, and brushed metal, the Formula can brighten up any gamer space with a touch of refinement.

Key Motherboard Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O shield
  • DDR5 Memory modules
  • CrossChill EK III VRM Heatsink – built-in liquid cooling outlets and inlets allow incorporation to custom water loops to chill the Formula’s VRMs.
  • 20+1 Power Stages up to 105 amps
  • ROG Hyper M.2 card
  • PCIe Slot Q-Release
  • M.2 Q-Latch
  • BIOS Flashback / Clr CMOS
  • 2-inch LiveDash OLED
  • FlexKey

Connectivity and Audio

  • SupremeFX ALC4082 sound chip
  • ESS ES9018Q2C DAC
  • Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation
  • Onboard WiFi 6E / 10Gbps Ethernet
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 front panel connector
  • Dual Thunderbolt 4 ports rear I/O panel

ROG Maximus Z690 Hero

For users interested in dipping their toes into the Maximus line, ASUS offers the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboard.

Key Motherboard Features

  • 20+1 Power Stages (up to 90 amps)
  • New Polymo lighting. This LED display display graces the I/O cover of this motherboard. It features an eye-catching microstructural array of light and color made up of intricate RGB patterns.

Connectivity and Audio

  • WiFi 6E / 2.5Gbps Ethernet
  • Three onboard M.2 slots / two more available with the bundled ROG Hyper M.2 card
  • ESS 9018Q2C DAC for high-fidelity audio
  • Thunderbolt 4 / USB Type C
  • PCIe Slot Q-Release button

ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi

The ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi offers a competitive motherboard package having some of the features found in the ROG Maximus line at a lower pricing bracket.

Motherboard Key Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • 18+1 Power Stages
  • 8+8 ProCool II power connectors / high-end alloy chokes / rugged capacitors
  • Aluminum heatsinks covering rear I/O and VRMs and connected by an L-shaped heat-pipe.
  • PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot ASUS Combo-Sink featuring a heat-pipe / Other M.2 slots have backplates and heatsinks.
  • ROG Hyper M.2 card with two additional slots for PCIe 4.0 drives
  • ASUS Software: AI Overclocking, AI Cooling, AI Networking
  • PCIE Slot Q-Release, M.2 Q-Latch
  • BIOS FlashBack button / Clr CMOS button

Connectivity and Audio

  • WiFi 6E / Intel 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
  • HDMI 2.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
  • Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation
  • Savitech SV3H712 DAC
  • DTS Sound Unbound / Sonic Studio III

ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming WiFi

The ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming WiFi motherboard arrives just below the Z690-E while still packing a hefty punch. While users need to upgrade to the Z690-E Gaming WiFi to get features like M.2 Combo-Sink and built-in PCIe 5.0 M.2 support, there’s still a lot to like about the Z690-F Gaming WiFi.

Motherboard Key Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • 16+1 Power Stages
  • PCIe 4.0 storage options
  • ASUS Software Included: AI Overclocking, AI Cooling, AI Networking
  • PCIe Slot Q-Release / M.2 Q-Latch
  • BIOS FlashBack button, Clr CMOS button, FlexKey

Connectivity and Audio

  • WiFi 6E / Intel 2.5Gbps Ethernet
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
  • Savitech SV3H712 DAC
  • Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation

The ROG Strix Z690-F Gaming WiFi does have one perk that the Z690-E Gaming WiFi does not: the ROG Reusable Cable Organizer. This compact piece of premium stitched fabric can be used to tidy a variety of cables and wires inside a PC, and its Velcro interior lets builders reuse it continually as they upgrade their PCs over time.

ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming WiFi

For enthusiasts who enjoy building in a micro-ATX system, the ROG Strix Z690-G Gaming WiFi motherboard is the premiere choice.

Motherboard Key Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • 14+1 DrMos
  • Thick heatsink design on I/O cover, VRMs, and M.2 slots
  • M.2 Q-Latch
  • BIOS FlashBack button / Clr CMOS button / FlexKey
  • Aura Sync: one RGB header / three addressable Gen 2 headers

Connectivity and Audio

  • Wifi 6E / Intel 2.5 Gbps
  • HDMI 2.1
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
  • Savitech SV3H712 DAC / DTS Sound Unbound

ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4

Going back up to the ATX form factor, we have the ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard, which arrives with a Moonlight White aesthetic across all of its many heatsinks that robustly cool the VRMs, Z690 chipset and onboard M.2 slots.

Motherboard Key Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • 16+1 DrMOS Power Stages (up to 80 amps) / 8+8 ProCool II Power Connectors / premium alloy chokes
  • PCIe Slot Q-Release / M.2 Q-Latch
  • ROG Reusable Cable Organizer
  • BIOS FlashBack button / Clr CMOS button / FlexKey
  • Aura Sync: One RGB Header, three addressable Gen 2 headers

Connectivity and Audio

  • Savitech SV3H712 amplifier / DTS Sound Unbound / Sonic Studio III
  • WiFi 6, Intel 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
  • HDMI 2.1
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type C
  • Four M.2 slots

The ROG Strix Z690-A Gaming WiFi D4 also uses DDR4 memory modules exclusively, to give ROG fans more DIY builder options for the components they may prefer. And it still retains the ROG-exclusive OptiMem III design to maximize memory performance.

ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi

For those who enjoy particularly compact PCs, the ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming WiFi motherboard delivers premium specs in a scaled-down ITX form factor.

Motherboard Key Features:

  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • DDR5 Memory Support
  • 10+1 Power Stages / ProCool II Power Connectors / high-end allow chokes / rugged capacitors
  • AI Overclocking / AI Cooling
  • Triple Decker heatsink integrating two M.2 slots with Q-Latch and two M.2 backplates

Connectivity and Audio

  • WiFi 6E / Intel 2.5 Gbps Ethernet
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Five USB 3.2 Type-A
  • Custom ROG Strix Front Panel SATA Card adding four SATA Ports, front panel headers, speaker header, one addressable RGB Gen 2 Header
  • RGB and ARGB headers onboard
  • Savitech SV3H712 DAC / DTS Sound Unbound / Sonic Studio III / Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation

ROG Thor 1600W Titanium and Thor 850W, 1000W, 1200W Platinum II PSUs

To help enthusiasts feed their systems with all the clean and reliable power that modern PCs demand, the ROG Thor 1600W Titanium presents a new pinnacle of ROG PSU design. Alongside this new king of the hill, the ROG Thor Platinum II series boasts several enhancements that make these PSUs even better.

For example, Titanium certification requires greater than 90% efficiency for loads ranging from 10% to 100%. The ROG Thor 1600W delivers on this lofty goal thanks in part to a digital control design infused with the painstakingly precise regulation required by a gaming PC or workstation, plus advanced solid-state gallium-nitride components. This ambitious combination leads to a heady 93.54% efficiency at 100% load.

ROG Thor PSUs are also designed to run fanlessly at up to 50% load. As this threshold is crossed, the 1600W, 1200W, and 1000W models leverage a new 135 mm fan built with the latest axial-tech design to circulate air through highly-swept blades, a compact fan hub and an outer barrier ring, generating whisper-quiet cooling at a given rotational speed. Meanwhile, large ROG heatsinks help chill discrete ICs and components with more mass and surface area than average, extending the life of those heat- sensitive parts.

This mission of excellence empowers all PSUs in the new ROG Thor family to achieve Lambda A++ certification — the most stringent noise performance standard defined by independent testing firm Cybenetics. To meet this lofty standard, PSUs must produce less than 15 dBA during the testing process.

In doing so, the ROG Thor 1000W, 1200W, and 1600W secure an enviable position as the quietest PSUs of their type on the market.

The ROG Thor series isn’t just poised to provide ample and reliable power in large quantities today. ROG Thor PSUs get a 10-year warranty, and they also include a new 12-pin high-capacity auxiliary PCIe 5.0 connector for assured compatibility with components of the future.

The pedigree of the ROG Thor line also extends beyond pinnacle performance and into head-turning aesthetics. The trademark ROG OLED power gauge makes a return across all models this time with an arresting mirrored border. Addressable Aura RGB LED lighting also shines through the iconic ROG logo, and Aura Sync can seamlessly integrate this display into the rest of a system’s design vision.

ROG Strix XG309CM Gaming Monitor

For gamers seeking a sizeable and high-end wide-aspect monitor, ASUS introduces the ROG Strix XG309CM. At 29.5 inches with a 2560 x 1080 resolution, it features a 1 ms GTG response time and up to 200 Hz refresh bolstered by ASUS ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur) Sync. ELMB Sync enables the simultaneous use of ELMB and variable-refresh-rate technology for fluid and responsive gameplay. This Fast IPS unit can keep up with the twitchiest shooters around.

The ROG Strix XG309CM also offers a USB Type-C port, ideal for connecting to a laptop as a secondary display, and it allows the monitor to act as a USB hub for keyboards, mice, and other peripherals. Speaking of which, the ROG Strix XG309CM features an integrated KVM switch as well, so keyboards and mice can control two separate PCs that are plugged into this monitor, instead of having to physically swap input devices back and forth each time. Just flick the switch to toggle input control from one PC to another in a matter of seconds.

Add the integrated tripod on the display stand for mounting a webcam or microphone, and users have a monitor that’s well-suited for both work and play.

ROG Strix XG276Q Gaming Monitor

For gamers who prefer to stick to 1080p displays, ASUS offers the ROG Strix XG276Q finished in Space Grey, with a new gaming-inspired pattern on the backside of the monitor. This 27-inch Fast IPS model is  capable of a 165 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms GTG response times, and is DisplayHDR 400 compliant. And likethe ROG Strix XG309CM, the ROG Strix XG276Q features a tripod on the monitor stand that’s ideal for attaching a webcam or microphone, allowing gamers to create their own streaming setup.

For those who want a more compact high-performance gaming monitor, ASUS also now offers ROG Strix
monitors in 24.5-inch and 23.8-inch sizes.

ROG Delta S Animate Gaming Headset

New to this generation of the ROG Delta S headsets are customizable AniMe Matrix ™ displays on the outside of each ear cup. These feature mini LEDs that can be programmed to show off style with custom lighting designs, unique animations and live audio visualizations. Plus, distinctive soundwave lighting effects can even flash to the sound of a person’s voice. Its industry-leading ESS 9281 Quad DAC ™ with MQA support and 50 mm ASUS Essence drivers combine to deliver an impeccable sonic experience, and an ASUS AI Noise-Canceling Microphone offers crystal-clear in-game voice communication. It also features a comfortable and lightweight design with ergonomic, fast-cooling D-shaped ear cushions for a perfect fit. And instead of a 3.5 mm audio cable, the ROG Delta S Animate features USB-C ® and USB-A connectors for compatibility with PCs, Macs, PlayStation ® , Nintendo Switch ™ and mobile devices.

Prize Giveaways for Those Who Dare

The year 2021 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Republic of Gamers, which has dedicated itself to breaking the limits of what gamers can achieve around the world by delivering the most advanced gaming gear possible.

In celebration of this achievement, ROG is launching an exclusive video built around its slogan, For Those Who Dare, which honors the spirit of those daring to take a step further to experience eye-popping gaming, graphics and design. Explore the evolution of the Republic of Gamers with the core contributors at ROG who shaped the division’s foundations using the principles of innovation, boldness and diversity.

For more details, subscribe to and follow ROG’s YouTube channel where fans can look back at this groundbreaking journey, and get the chance to enter two prize giveaways: one for an exclusive For Those Who Dare ROG gift set and another for the new ROG products showcased at the Break All Limits event. Stay tuned to the ROG YouTube channel and visit the ROG Break All Limits event page and the For Those Who Dare campaign page.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

ASUS ROG products are available worldwide. ROG Z690 motherboard prices can be read here. For the other devices, please check the local ASUS and ROG social media pages for further information.

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