Asus Z690 Q-Release Button Makes GPU Removal a Breeze

Asus ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi
(Image credit: VideoCardz)

Asus is delivering an excellent quality of life improvement with its upcoming Z690 motherboards with what it calls PCIe Slot Q-Release. As spotted by @momomo_us, this feature will allow users to easily remove a graphics card installed in the primary PCIe 5.0 slot on a Z690-based motherboard. 

Removing a modern graphics card from a motherboard shouldn't be too much of a hassle in most cases. However, the heatsink design of some cards coupled with motherboards becoming increasingly crammed with components around the PCIe slot, can sometimes make removal a bit more cumbersome. The Q-Release aims to alleviate this by pressing a button mounted near the DDR4/DDR5 memory slots.

ASUS PCIe Slot Q-Release

(Image credit: VideoCardz)

According to Asus' documentation, it "unlocks the first PCIe slot's security latch with one tap, greatly simplifying the process of detaching a PCIe card." Switching out graphics cards isn't something that enthusiasts typically perform daily. Still, we can see this coming in handy for hardware reviewers that are constantly swapping out graphics cards to run benchmarks.

Twitter hardware leaker @momomo_us was the first to bring attention to the Asus Q-Release. However, VideoCardz performed further investigations to determine that the feature is present on these upcoming Z690 motherboards (that we know of thus far):

  • ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme
  • ROG Maximus Z690 Formula
  • ROG Maximus Z690 Apex
  • ROG Maximus Z690 Hero
  • ROG Strix Z690-A
  • ROG Strix Z690-E
  • ROG Strix Z690-F

As for actual Asus Z690 motherboard pricing, retailer PC Canada recently posted the following to its website before taking it down:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Asus Z690 Motherboard Pricing (Canadian)
MotherboardPricingMemory Support
Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero$599DDR5
Asus ROG Strix Z690-F$401DDR5
Asus ROG Strix Z690-A$350DDR5
Asus Prime Z690-A$306DDR5
ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi D4$294DDR5
Asus Prime Z690-P WiFi$255DDR5
Asus Prime Z690-P WiFi D4$243DDR4
Asus Prime Z690-P$231DDR5
Asus Prime Z690-P D4$222DDR4

The Z690 platform, of course, will underpin Intel's upcoming 12th generation Alder Lake processors. The processors to be announced this week include the flagship Core i9-12900K followed by the Core i7-12700K and the Core i5-12600K. In addition, the supporting Z690 chipset brings native support for the new PCI 5.0 interface -- for next-generation discrete graphics cards and SSDs -- along with support for DDR5 memory.

Asus, like other motherboard manufacturers, will offer its Z690 motherboards with both DDR4 and DDR5 memory options. The decision to give customers the ability to pair Intel's new processors with DDR4 memory is to deliver a more cost-effective upgrade path. It's reported that DDR5 pricing could come in at a 50 to 60 percent premium over the best DDR4 modules.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • jpe1701
    I never have a problem with the latch on the pcie slot, I'm more interested in those heatsinks on the m.2 slot with an actual heatpipe.
  • jpe1701 said:
    I never have a problem with the latch on the pcie slot, I'm more interested in those heatsinks on the m.2 slot with an actual heatpipe.
    I have. They're the reason why I went with an AIO cooler for my current PC.
    The sheer size of high-end CPU air coolers makes accessing the PCIe latch nearly impossible. I never managed to remove a GPU without either removing the CPU cooler first, or cutting my hand on the radiator.
    I even once scratched my mainboard with a screwdriver when I couldn't reach the latch with my fingers.

    I for one am glad about any improvement in the PC parts market.
  • Co BIY
    Still a lot harder to install one than remove one ...

    You have to find one first.
  • d0x360
    I don't understand what this does lol... Does it move the little clip on the pcie slot (release it from locked position) and slightly pop the gpu out or does it just release the clip?

    That little clip doesn't even really do anything because they are just help in by 2 small plastic nubs. Mine actually fell off the other day on a brand new Asus ROG Crossfire VIII Formula motherboard. I popped it back in, installed the 3080ti ftw3 ultra (that I got for MSRP at microcenter) and then cried when I realized I needed to order another power cable because I only had 2...

    If you think it's painful finding a gpu just imagine how painful it is to actually have one of the high end ones and not be able to use it until the post office gets a cable to you.
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    What people want: Less expensive, more fully featured motherboards.
    What Gigabyte gives us: 4 PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots
    What ASUS gives us: A GPU quick release!

    And this is why I used my first non-ASUS motherboard since 2008.