ASUS ROG STRIX-E Gaming Z490 Motherboard Review

/ 5 days ago

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A Closer Look

There’s no doubt about it, this is one fantastic looking motherboard. It skimps a few premium details in a few minor places though. You can see there’s no armour on the DIMM slots, the audio hardware is exposed rather than under a shroud, but nothing serious. However, what really strikes me is that they’ve put the focus where it matters, with some enormous VRM cooling. There’s a huge heatsink at the top of the CPU socket and another on the left, each linked with a thick heat pipe. However, there’s another heat pipe coming off the bottom of that and joining to the chipset heatsink on the bottom half of the motherboard.

ASUS ROG STRIX-E Gaming Z490 Motherboard Review 1

The STRIX Z490-E GAMING is equipped with a 14+2 DrMOS Power Stage setup, as high-performance chokes and capacitors to ensure better voltage stability. Of course, those huge coolers will help a lot too.

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Power comes from the ProCool II connector, plus an optional 4-pin for added stability.

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The motherboard style details are superb, with the ROG STRIX logos pressed into the armour and heatsinks. There’s some mirror finish on the logos too, and you bet they’re all RGB lit when it’s powered up too. It looks fantastic. Of course, it’s more than that, as it splits off to the left, forming a pair of large M.2 heatsinks.

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There are three full size PCIe slots, with the top two fully armoured to support the weight of modern GPUs easily. There are also three 1x slots in-between, which are perfect for networking, M.2 cards, etc.

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The rear I/O is pre-installed, and it looks super clean and tidy too. There’s a LOT of USB ports here, as well as a Type C and BIOS Flash port, which is great! You also get both HDMI and DP out, gold-plated audio jacks, and SPDIF for all your multimedia needs. Finally, you get 1GbE LAN and WiFi 6.

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