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ASUS Z690 motherboard buying guide

Asus Z690 Motherboards
(Image credit: Asus)

Intel’s 12th Gen Core CPUs have landed. With up to eight high-performance Golden Cove cores, these processors offer enviable power for any workload, and up to eight energy-efficient Gracemont cores breeze through light tasks while only sipping power. This hybrid arrangement pays off with across-the-board performance improvements over last-gen chips. There’s a lot to be excited about with the new Z690 chipset, too. PCI Express 5.0 (PCIe) connectivity provides a front-row seat to the fastest graphics cards and SSDs of today and tomorrow, while support for blazing-fast DDR5 RAM lets you take advantage of the sizzling new speeds and supreme power efficiency offered by the next generation of system memory.

ASUS has a full range of ASUS and ROG Z690 motherboards available in the US and Canada now, and they’re ready to serve as the rock-solid foundation for your next build. This guide will help you sort through all the options and find the best motherboard for your needs and budget.

Asus ROG MAXIMUS Z690 FORMULA

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ROG Maximus

Do you crave a motherboard with unbridled performance, unique industrial design, and a feature set that’s second to none? ASUS has got you covered with its top-of-the-line ROG Maximus series. They’re the elites of PC DIY: the makers, the die-hard enthusiasts, and the custom PC pioneers who construct captivating machines that push performance boundaries. ROG Maximus Z690 motherboards, each with their own unique design and features, open new boundaries for these builders. 

Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4

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ROG Strix

ROG Strix motherboards, on the other hand, bring exceptional gaming performance to a larger audience. ROG Maximus motherboards deliver the best that the Z690 has to offer, and ROG Strix boards take that basic DNA and offer it in more attainable packages that balance exceptional gaming performance with striking style. For Z690, ASUS dialed up the aesthetics of its ROG Strix motherboards with a large piece of clear acrylic that spans the I/O shield. This intensifies the RGB LED illumination from beneath and provides a striking visual contrast with the silicon, metal, and even fabric elements that make up the rest of the motherboard.

Asus TUF Gaming Z690 Plus D4

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TUF Gaming

Looking for a no-frills motherboard that unlocks the gaming performance of 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs? The TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi D4 offers all the essential performance and features you need for a great gaming experience, and they do it at a more attainable price. These ATX boards support DDR4 kits up to 5333MHz (overclocked). A PCIe 5.0 x16 slot lets you the fastest graphics cards of today and tomorrow, while four onboard PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots make it easy to set up a large gaming library.

Asus ProArt Z690 Creator WIFI 3D

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ProArt

Gamers aren’t the only folks eyeballing the performance potential of Intel’s 12th Gen Core CPUs. Architects, 3D designers, videographers, and creators of all kinds rely on cutting-edge hardware to bring their creative visions to life. For these professionals, the ProArt Z690-Creator WiFi offers a compelling blend of performance, connectivity, and style. When it’s time to share your work with the outside world, this motherboard gives you all the options you need. For the fastest wired connections, there are 10Gb and 2.5Gb Ethernet ports.

ASUS Prime Z690-P WIFI D4

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Prime

Finally, motherboards in the ASUS Prime lineup provide a firm foundation for all-around builds. Some folks desire a bespoke motherboard laser-focused on their specific use cases. Others just want a straightforward board that gets the job done in a wide variety of contexts. That’s where the ASUS Prime series of motherboards come in. The Prime Z690-P WiFi, Prime Z690-P, Prime Z690-P WiFi D4, and Prime Z690-P D4 let you choose just what you need for your next build. Pick DDR4 or DDR5 RAM support, make a judgment call on whether you’ll need wireless networking for your new PC, and you’re off to the races. And with a high-speed PCIe 5.0 slot for graphics cards, you’ll be able to easily keep up-to-date with the next generation of video cards. Meanwhile the remaining PCIe 4.0 slots give you a great degree of flexibility for adding more of your favorite peripherals.

Asus Z690 Motherboards

(Image credit: Asus)

The new generation of ASUS motherboards

Each line of motherboards sports an all-new industrial design that will set the aesthetic tone for your entire build. From the glittering white metal of the ROG Maximus Z690 Formula to the aluminum ROG logo extrusion spread across the ROG Maximus Z690 Apex, each Maximus motherboard has a style all of its own. The AniMe MatrixTM display, a grid of 222 LEDs on the VRM heatsink of the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme and ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme Glacial, gives you an eye-catching location to display custom graphics.

A large piece of acrylic across the I/O shield of ROG Strix Z690 motherboards intensifies the illumination from the RGB LEDs beneath. For those who prefer a more understated look, ASUS draped Prime Z690 motherboards in timeless black and white. TUF Gaming motherboards exude confidence and durability, and the ProArt board offers an elegant and uncomplicated look that communicates creativity and professionalism.

ASUS also aims to help tinkers and PC builders with an excellent quality of life improvement with its Z690 motherboards with what it calls PCIe Slot Q-Release. This feature will allow users to easily remove a graphics card installed in the primary PCIe 5.0 slot on a Z690-based motherboard. As 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.

The Z690 chipset heralds the arrival of the next generation of high-speed components with its support for PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM. ASUS’s Z690 lineup includes options that let you overclock RAM to new heights—up to 6600MHz on the ROG Maximus Z690 Apex. ASUS makes it easy to upgrade your DDR5 performance. The exclusive ASUS Enhanced Memory Profile (AEMP) lets you unlock the potential of your DDR5 memory kit with a quick and simple trip into BIOS. What’s more, ASUS collaborated closely with Adata, Corsair, Crucial, Geil, G.SKILL, Kingston, Klevv, and Teamgroup during product development to ensure better and wider compatibility with your favorite brands of RAM.

To ensure backwards compatibility with as many coolers as possible, ASUS’s motherboards include LGA 1200-compatible mounting holes in addition to mounting holes for next-gen kits. If you already own an ASUS AIO liquid coolers, its LGA 1200 retention kit ensures that you’re ready for Z690. On all of ASUS’s boards, a plentiful array of fan headers lets you easily set up the cooling system of your dreams. For ASUS AIO liquid coolers in Canada click here

With style for every taste, next-gen connectivity, and exceptional performance, the Z690 motherboards equip gamers, creators, and users of all kinds to get the most out of their Intel 12th Gen Core CPU. To find out more, check out all of ASUS’s Z690 motherboards in the US here. For Canada, click here.