Asus has several applications designed for a variety of functions, ranging from RGB lighting control, audio, system monitoring, overclocking and more. Instead of plodding through each application as if it changes for each review, moving forward, we’ll capture several screenshots of a few major utilities, in this case, Ai Suite 3, Armory Crate, and the Realtek Audio application, to show all the screens.
Like the software section above, we’ve shortened the Firmware section as well. Instead of describing each section, we’ve gathered screenshots covering the vast majority of the bios screens. If there is anything of interest, we’ll make note of it.
I’ve been a longtime fan of the Asus UEFIs as they are easy to get around, have a lot of options, and the most frequently accessed items are not buried deep within the menus. The BIOS is high-contrast and easy to read, too. The EZ Mode provides enough information and options to be useful while the Advanced part of the BIOS has everything you need, and more, to tweak your motherboard.
Worth noting on these Asus boards: On the first boot or after a CPU change, a prompt comes up asking you to choose or avoid Intel specifications, by pressing F1, which locks the BIOS down to Intel specifications (for power limit, etc). The other option, F3, loosens up the stock limits allowing the CPU to stretch its legs. For testing, we use the F3 option in order to match other board partners who do not conform to the Intel specifications by default.
Our test system uses Windows 10 64-bit OS (1909) with all threat mitigations applied. The motherboard BIOS used is the latest non-beta available to the public, unless otherwise noted. The hardware used is as follows:
|CPU||Intel i9-10900K||Row 0 - Cell 2|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z Neo 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (F4-3600C16D-16GTZNC)||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|Memory 2||G.Skill Trident Z Royale 4x8GB DDR4 4000 (F4-4000C18Q-32GTRS)||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|GPU||Asus ROG Strix RTX 2070||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H150i||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|PSU||Corsair AX1200i||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|Software||Windows 10 64-bit 1909||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|Graphics Driver||Nvidia Driver 445.75||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|Sound||Integrated HD audio||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|Network||Integrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|Graphics Driver||GeForce 445.74||Row 10 - Cell 2|
For this review, we’ll be directly comparing the Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming ($299.99), with the ASRock Z490 PG Velocita ($259.99), and the Biostar Z490GTA Evo ($249.99). The performance charts cover all of the Z490 motherboards we’ve tested so far for comparison.
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings||Header Cell - Column 1|
|PCMark 10||Version 2.1.2177 64|
|Row 1 - Cell 0||Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, MS Office|
|3DMark||Version 2.11.6866 64|
|Row 3 - Cell 0||Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets|
|Cinebench R20||Version RBBENCHMARK271150|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded|
|Application Tests and Settings||Row 6 - Cell 1|
|LAME MP3||Version SSE2_2019|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 1.2.2|
|Row 10 - Cell 0||Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)|
|Corona 1.4||Version 1.4|
|Row 12 - Cell 0||Custom benchmark|
|Row 14 - Cell 0||Integrated benchmark|
|Game Tests and Settings||Row 15 - Cell 1|
|The Division 2||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080|
|Forza Horizon 4||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080|
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