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Asus TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WIFI D4 Review: Is DDR4 Good Enough?

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.

Asus TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WIFI D4
(Image: © Asus)

Firmware

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.

Software

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 (opens in new tab)Asus TUF RTX 3070 (opens in new tab) 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

CPUIntel Core i9-12900K
MemoryKingston Fury DDR5 5200 CL40 (9KF552C40BBK2-32)
GSkill Trident Z DDR5 5600 CL36 (F5-5600U3636C16GX2-TZ5RK)
GPUAsus TUF RTX 3070
CoolingMSI MEG Coreliquid S360
PSUEVGA Supernova 850W P6
SoftwareWindows 11 64-bit (21H2, Build 22000.282)
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 496.13
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated 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.

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
ProcyonVersion 2.0.249 64
Office Suite, Video Editing (Premiere Pro), Photo Editing (Photoshop, Lightroom Classic)
3DMarkVersion 2.20.7290 64
Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R23Version RBBENCHMARK330542
Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
BlenderVersion 2.93.1
Full benchmark (all six sub-tests)
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 21.03-beta
Integrated benchmark (Command Line)
Game Tests and Settings
Far Cry 6Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HD Textures ON
F1 2021Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, HBAO+, RT Med, TAA + 16xAF, Bahrain, 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.

  • VforV
    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)...
    Reply