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Asus’ Z690-Plus WIFI D4 BIOS is essentially the same as what we saw with Z590, except for items new to Alder Lake (P and E core adjustments, to name a couple). The orange and black/grey theme remains, as does the ease of movement through the UEFI. It’s loaded with options and menus, though the most frequently accessed items are easily accessible and not buried several layers down. There’s also an easy mode that’s more of a dashboard with limited functionality. In all, we’re a fan of the Asus BIOS and its logical layout. It has everything you need, and then some, to tweak your motherboard and component settings.
Asus has applications designed for various 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, we’ll capture several screenshots of a few major utilities moving forward. In this case, here’s a look at Ai Suite 3, Armoury Crate, Sonic Studio and the Realtek Audio application.
Test System / Comparison Products
As of October 2021, we’ve updated our test system to Windows 11 64-bit OS with all updates applied. We kept the same Asus TUF RTX 3070 video card from our previous testing platforms but updated the driver to version 496.13. Additionally, our game selection was updated, as noted in the table below. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted. The hardware used is as follows:
Test System Components
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900K|
|Memory||Kingston Fury DDR5 5200 CL40 (9KF552C40BBK2-32)|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||GSkill Trident Z DDR5 5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)|
|GPU||Asus TUF RTX 3070|
|Cooling||MSI MEG Coreliquid S360|
|PSU||EVGA Supernova 850W P6|
|Software||Windows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)|
|Graphics Driver||NVIDIA Driver 496.13|
|Sound||Integrated HD audio|
|Network||Integrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)|
EVGA supplied our Supernova 850W P6 power supply (appropriately sized and more efficient than the outgoing 1.2KW monster we used) for our test systems, and GSkill sent us a fast and good-looking DDR5-5600 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK) memory kit for launch day testing. MSI and Asus also sent launch day kits.
|Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings||Row 0 - Cell 1|
|Procyon||Version 2.0.249 64|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)|
|3DMark||Version 2.20.7290 64|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets|
|Cinebench R23||Version RBBENCHMARK330542|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||Full benchmark (all six sub-tests)|
|Application Tests and Settings||Row 9 - Cell 1|
|LAME MP3||Version SSE2_2019|
|Row 11 - Cell 0||Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)|
|HandBrake CLI||Version: 1.2.2|
|Row 13 - Cell 0||Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)|
|Corona 1.4||Version 1.4|
|Row 15 - Cell 0||Custom benchmark|
|Row 17 - Cell 0||Integrated benchmark (Command Line)|
|Game Tests and Settings||Row 18 - Cell 1|
|Far Cry 6||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON|
|F1 2021||Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, FPS Counter ON|
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Joe Shields is a Freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He reviews motherboards.
At $289.99, the Asus Z690-Plus WIFI D4 is a well-rounded board that will let you jump into Alder Lake for a lot less money by using DDR4.Yeah, soooo much less! Amazing! You could even say cheap, right? /s :rolleyes:
Just because half a million $$$ is "a lot less money" than a million $$$, does not mean is cheap or even a good price. That's the logic this article implies...
Let's face it Alder Lake will not have any amazing price/perf/features motherboards at any tier, as also show by the news of the pathetic B660s prices and their lack of basic features, like CPU OC. Somethig that mid tier AM4 motherboards have had for years now (since B350 actually)...