ASRock Z790 Nova Motherboard Review: Stylish New SKU With Six M.2 Sockets

A handsomely equipped (six M.2 sockets), good-looking, and reasonably priced mid-range motherboard.

ASRock Z790 Nova
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Like the other ASRock boards, the Nova starts in Easy Mode – mostly informative – but it lets you change a few options (XMP, profiles, boot order, Fan-Tastic Tuning, etc.). The black background and blue/purple accent colors match the Nova’s look and are easy to read. Advanced mode displays headings across the top, with details below.

Here, you can tweak everything that can be tweaked, as ASRock includes every option you can think of. Overclocking is easy, with most options on the same page, although some power options are in a different section. It’s a logical layout. The movement is smooth, and it’s easy to read. No significant complaints from us about the ASRock firmware.


For software, ASRock provides several different options. It has the App Shop to install drivers and software, the Nahimic 3 audio control panel, the A-Tune application that overclocks your system (if applicable), control fans, the Polychrome RGB software, and more. There’s even a pop-up to install drivers when you first boot the system. ASRock’s software provides everything users need to manage and tweak their system.

Test System / Comparison Products

We’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied as of mid-October 2023. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but have updated the driver to the latest, keeping our games, F1 22 and Far Cry 6, the same. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public, unless otherwise noted, using ‘optimized default’ settings except for the memory (XMP). The hardware and drivers we used is as follows:

Test System Components

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel Core i9-14900K
MemoryKingston Fury Beast DDR5-6000 CL36 (KF560C36BBEAK2-32)
Row 2 - Cell 0 Teamgroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5- 7200 CL34 (FF3D516G7200HC34ABK)
Row 3 - Cell 0 Klevv CRAS XR5 RGB (KD5AGUA80-80R380S)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingCoolermaster MasterLiquid PL360 Flux
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (22H2)
GraphicsNVIDIA Driver 537.42

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Benchmark Settings

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Synthetic Benchmarks and SettingsRow 0 - Cell 1
ProcyonVersion 2.6.848 64
Row 2 - Cell 0 Office Suite (Office 365), Video Editing (Premiere Pro 23.6), Photo Editing (Photoshop 25.0, Lightroom Classic 12.5)
3DMarkVersion 2.27.8177 64
Row 4 - Cell 0 Firestrike Extreme (v1.1) and Time Spy (v1.2) Default Presets
Cinebench R24Version ‘build unknown’
Row 6 - Cell 0 Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 3.6.0
Row 8 - Cell 0 Full benchmark (all 3 tests)
Application Tests and SettingsRow 9 - Cell 1
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Row 11 - Cell 0 Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Row 13 - Cell 0 Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Row 15 - Cell 0 Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Row 17 - Cell 0 Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and SettingsRow 18 - Cell 1
Far Cry 6Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON
F1 2022Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, Ultra High (default) Bahrain (Clear/Dry), FPS Counter ON

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Joe Shields
Motherboard Reviewer

Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.

  • slash3
    Good review. It's certainly one of the more full featured boards, and isn't priced through the stratosphere, either.

    Remember, for 14th-gen CPUs, the maximum stock spec for memory is DDR5-6000 versus DDR5-5600 for 13th-gen.

    This isn't the case. Both 13th and 14th-gen -K series CPUs are officially rated (footnote 10) at the same 5600MT for 1DPC/1Rx8 & 1Rx16 operation.
    "DDR5-5600 MT/s 1DPC UDIMM 1Rx8, 1Rx16 (lead supplier) and DDR5-5200 1Rx8, 1Rx16, 2Rx8 are POR on all Intel® Core™ i9 desktop processor SKUs, all Intel® Core™ i7 desktop processor SKUs, and select Intel® Core™ i5 desktop processor SKUs (14th gen)."
  • bart simpson
    Don't you wish they made a similar board for AMD CPUs?
  • FoxTread3
    This a very detailed and informative article. I'm an EVGA fan boy and have only purchased one motherboard from another company and had to replace that one within a year. I have found having to slide plugs in from the sides of the MBs frustrating in the past. It's nice to see headers and sockets that can connected with a straight down push, rather than having to slide a plug in sideways. I didn't see it mentioned here, but one feature I would like to see all MB manufacturers adopt. Which is a "quick release" button for GPUs. That was the one feature that I found very useful on an otherwise disappointing ASUS MB I purchased, and had to discard.
  • ocer9999
    The Z790 Nova did pretty good on the latest round up on HWunboxed as well. For this price is a very good option if you want to build a Intel rig.