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All the Intel Z390 motherboards announced so far

By Koh Wanzi - on 17 Oct 2018, 5:45pm

ASUS

ASUS

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme

ASUS has readied quite a selection of Z390 boards, ranging from its high-end Maximus XI range to the more affordable Prime series. 

Here's a look at the boards and their prices: 

  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme (S$739)
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula (S$689)
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Code (S$609)
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi AC) Call of Duty Edition (S$559)
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi AC) (S$559)
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (S$529)
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene m-ATX (S$519)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming (S$429)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming (S$389)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z390-H Gaming (S$359)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming m-ITX (S$419)
  • ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Gaming (Wi-Fi) (S$345)
  • ASUS TUF Z390M Pro Gaming (Wi-Fi) m-ATX (S$349)
  • ASUS Prime Z390A (S$369)
  • ASUS Prime Z390P (S$289)
  • ASUS Prime Z390M (S$269)

All the boards are available to buy now, with the exception of the ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi AC) and ROG Maximus XI Extreme.

ASUS is introducing a bunch of new and updated features on its Z390 motherboards. First and foremost is AI Overclocking and the new 5-way Optimization software, which offers an alternative to one-click tuning. It simulates manual overclocking by gradually increasing clock speeds, adjusting voltages, and testing stability, which ASUS says should be relatively on par with what you'll be able to achieve manually. 

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula

The software also intelligently monitors your system temperature, fan speeds, and power draw to evaluate cooling performance. You can supposedly train it over time as well, and it will adapt to upgrades, ambient temperature changes, and even dust buildup. 

AI Overclocking is available on all ROG models (except the ROG Strix Z390-H Gaming) and the Prime Z390-A. However, while TUF Gaming and the cheaper ROG Strix and Prime models lack 5-way Optimization, they still have OC Tuner, which lets you overclock your CPU using preset profiles. 

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi AC) Call of Duty Edition

In addition, the Z390 motherboards now feature OptiMem II, which is ASUS' name for its memory trace design. It uses a dedicated ground plane and a surrounding ground trace with via stitching to reduce interference for the traces connecting the CPU and memory slots. Traces are also routed through different PCB layers to reduce crosstalk. The whole point of this is to enable higher memory frequencies, to the tune of over 4,266MHz, according to ASUS. 

ASUS TUF Z390 Plus Gaming (Wi-Fi)

A dedicated AIO pump header is also arriving on all of ASUS' Z390 boards, should you want to install a closed loop liquid cooler. Mid-range boards and up will feature a second header for the standalone pumps used in custom loops, while the ROG boards are further equipped with sensors for monitoring coolant temperature and flow rate.

ASUS has upgraded the connectivity and networking options across the board as well. At least two M.2 sockets are present across the entire Z390 line-up, so you can install two SSDs without connecting any cables. M.2 heatsinks are also installed on a greater number of boards.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming

Higher-end boards like the ROG Maximus XI Extreme and the mini-ITX Gene also support up to four M.2 drives, two of which are sandwiched between heatsinks on ASUS' new DIMM.2 module. The latter slots into a dedicated socket beside the RAM slots, but you don't have to use it if you don't require that many drives.

Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers are used on just about every board, while the ROG Maximus XI Extreme and Formula also come with Aquantia controllers for speeds of up to 5Gbps. 

ASUS Prime Z390A

Other features common to the entire range are digital VRMs and overvoltage and ESD protections. The TUF Gaming series and up also feature metal-reinforced PCIe slots for heavier GPUs. 

Finally, ASUS has gone with a blacked-out aesthetic on its new ROG Maximus XI series, which really looks quite slick. There's RGB lighting in familiar places like the VRM and PCH heatsink, but you'll also be able to achieve a more stealthy look with the black PCB.

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