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Third Party Review

Author: Catherine Dempsey

The ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is a motherboard designed with overclocking in mind. A defining feature of this motherboard is by using cutting edge teamed power architecture. This modern CPU architecture allows the motherboard to swing from deep power saving mode to a full load nearly instantaneously without disrupting the system’s thermals. This is achieved by utilizing the higher number of cores in modern CPUs, which eliminates the need for a doubler. While doublers were originally designed to extend the number of effective phases, the trade off was that their use caused a delay in processing. By eliminating the need for doublers, this motherboard can handle a dense workload and transition between states at rapid speeds. Additionally, this modern CPU design consumes less power at idle and can handle higher currents without overheating.

Another key feature of this motherboard is it’s cooling system. Since overheating is a major concern when overclocking, the Maximus Z690 Formula includes the CrossChill EK III water block to allow for both air and water cooling. This fusion cooling system means that the motherboard will stay safe and cool when it’s being pushed to it’s limits when you’re overclocking, but won’t consume excessive amounts of power performing everyday tasks. The nickel water channel can cool the motherboards MOSFETs up to 63.7°C more than a strictly air cooled system, and all without adding extra noise. This motherboard features AI enhanced cooling, which monitors the load that the computer is carrying and adjusts it’s fans accordingly to keep critical parts cool without generating unnecessary fan noise. A high conductivity thermal pad, a solid steel backplate, a chipset heatsink, and three extra large dedicated M.2 heatsinks further draw and disperse heat from critical components, so even a beginner can overclock without fear of damaging your rig.

The ROG Maximus Z690 Formula comes equipped with a host of other features as well. This motherboard has a whopping 20+1 power stages, DDR5, and five M.2 ports. In addition to the already mentioned AI enhanced cooling, this motherboard comes equipped with AI Overclocking, AI Networking, and Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation, all ASUS exclusive tools designed to make for an easier user experience, both for beginners just starting out and veterans who don’t want to sweat the small stuff. A USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 front-panel connector allows for the use of modern high speed peripherals, along with Quick Charge 4+ to rapidly charge plugged in compatible devices. Dual Thunderbolt™ 4 supports up to two external 4k displays and extends the PCIe bandwidth up to 32 Gbps. One of the M.2 slots comes PCIe® 5.0 ready, and can potentially perform at twice the speed as it’s accompanying PCIe® 4.0 slot. Onboard WiFi 6E stands ready to make use of newly available 6 GHz radio spectrums, with up to three times the bandwidth of older 5 GHz bands. Marvell® AQtion 10 Gb Ethernet provides 10 times the bandwidth of standard gigabit Ethernet, while ASUS LANGaurd protects against surges. The Formula comes ready made for Windows 11, and even includes a free month of Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes industry standards such as Photoshop and Premier Pro. Overall, the ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is a great motherboard for users new and experienced alike who want to push their system past its limits.