• Socket: LGA 1151
  • Form factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel Z390
  • RAM Slots: 2
  • Memory: 4266(O.C.)/4133(O.C.)/4000(O.C.)/3866(O.C.)/3733(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz DDR4
  • Ports: 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x LAN, 1x ASUS 2x2 WiFi Module, 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C, 3x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, 4x USB 2.0, 5x Audio port, 1x Optical (SPDIF), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x M.2
  • Pros:
  • Price
  • Printable M.2 fan
  • Has audio amps
  • Cons:
  • Some clearance issues

Affordably Premium

Intel’s Z390 chipset has been out for some time now and the jury is still out on it. This time around, ASUS sent us the new ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming, which is considered a middle-ground between the mainstream options and the high-end Rampage series powerhouses.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming is a regular ATX motherboard that leans towards the premium side. It looks rather sleek too thanks to its carbon black, as well as matte finishing on the PCB and various component shrouds.

Speaking of the components, this motherboard comes with a lot of features we’ve come to expect from high-end ASUS boards. There are four DDR4 DIMM slots, three PCIe slots, SupremeFX audio chip, two M.2 slots, and a healthy number of extra USB headers on board.

You can mount a M.2 fan to the M.2 slot of the bottom, instead of using the pre-installed heatsink

You can mount a M.2 fan to the M.2 slot of the bottom, instead of using the pre-installed heatsink

To properly cool the system build on it, the Strix Z390-E Gaming comes with two 4-pin headers for CPU fans so you can run an AIO with it. There are a few more for chassis fans, but for some reason only two are labelled as CHA_FAN. If you need more than two case fans you’ll either have to rely on the extra 5-pin extension fan connector (purchased separately) or use Y-splitters. There’s also a 4-pin header for a mini M.2 fan, though you’ll need to download the 3D model for it and have it printed.

Besides the above, it also comes with two RGB headers that are compatible with Aura Sync and there’s also an extension cable in the box for RGB strips. You’ll also find an external wireless-AC antenna that connects to the motherboard via the I/O port at the back. It supports dual-band WiFi and MU-MIMO, which is useful if you want to use the system wirelessly.

The installation process for this motherboard is rather straightforward, except for one point. The CPU fan and CPU OPT headers are placed close together in a vertical alignment, so make sure you plug in the cables first or you might have some clearance issues with larger air-coolers.

The position of the CPU fan headers might give you clearance issues

The position of the CPU fan headers might give you clearance issues

While this motherboard doesn’t provide extra power for overclocking, it does have some handy features. There’s the MemOK!! II feature for auto-tweaking your DRAM’s settings so you can successfully POST the system if you run into RAM issues. For improved sound quality, there’s SupremeFX audio chip that comes with dual OP amplifier too, providing even high impedance audiophile headphones with enough power.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Has a multitude of features, albeit not having a standout/unique characteristic.

(to be published in issue December 2019)