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My review of the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula ATX Gaming Motherboard (2024)

My review of ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula: top-tier performance, robust power, extensive connectivity, and a sleek design.
Joseph Slater



January 2, 2024


I recently upgraded my gaming setup with the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula - a motherboard with quite good specs. I use it mainly for gaming. Below are my thoughts on its features, performance, and more.


Property Value Property Value
Brand ASUS CPU Socket LGA 1700
Compatible Devices Personal Computer RAM Memory Technology DDR5
Compatible Processors intel celeron Chipset Type Intel
Memory Clock Speed 3200 MHz Platform Windows
Model Name ROG MAXIMUS Z690 FORMULA Memory Storage Capacity 64 GB


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Cutting-Edge Features and Performance

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When it comes to the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula gaming motherboard, I’ve found a mix of impressive features that really make a difference in performance. Right off the bat, the board’s ability to support 12th Gen Intel Core processors, PCIe 5.0, and DDR5 memory technology is a game changer. These are the cornerstones of a high-performance gaming setup and can handle the latest games and software with ease.

One of the first things I noticed was the Intelligent Control options like AI Overclocking and AI Cooling. These features are designed to optimize system performance and acclimate to your usage patterns over time. It’s an innovative approach and in my case, these smart technologies have simplified the process of fine-tuning performance settings.

However, despite the clever AI, there are a couple of drawbacks. The AI Overclocking didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I had to resort to manual adjustments to get the best stability and performance, which isn’t a huge deal but it does take extra effort and knowledge about overclocking.

Here’s a look at the key positives I’ve found:

  • Latest Processor and Memory Support: Ready for the cutting edge, this motherbard doesn’t shy away from the newest tech advancements.

  • Innovative AI Features: They promise to make life easier, though your mileage may vary depending on your level of expertise.

  • Stunning Aesthetics: That moonlight white finish isn’t just for show; it complements any high-end build visually.

Although impressive, it hasn’t been without its hiccups:

  • Price: The premium features come at a premium price.

  • AI Overclocking: Requires some manual intervention for optimum results.

On the networking front, the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E and 10Gb Ethernet ensures that I am getting some of the fastest and most reliable connections available, which is critical for both gaming and workstation tasks. I must admit, the rear USB port selection is generous, providing plenty of connectivity for all my devices.

The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula invokes a sense of trust and reliability. It holds the prestige of premium motherboards, which is enhanced by its alluring moonlight white finish. But even a piece of performance art like this can have its imperfections—questions about customer support and some concerns about the viability for non-liquid cooled configurations do linger.

In my personal experience, while there have been a few snags, the overall experience tilts positively. I’m particularly taken by how future-proof this motherboard feels, especially with the bundled PCIe 5.0 M.2 card for next-gen storage devices.

What I’ve learned over time is to expect the occasional issue with cutting-edge technology. But when it works, it’s a sight to behold—the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is a marvel that, when paired with the right components, is extraordinary for gaming and intensive tasks alike.

Robust Power and Cooling Systems

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When it comes to high-performance gaming rigs, power and cooling are non-negotiable. In my experience with the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula, I’ve observed that it takes these aspects seriously, with components and systems designed to sustain extreme performance. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 20+1 Power Stages: Each rated for 105A, these give the CPU a stable and reliable source of power.

  • ProCool II Power Connectors: They ensure a tight and secure connection to the PSU.

  • MicroFine Alloy Chokes and Premium Metallic Capacitors: These offer great durability and power efficiency.

The integrated cooling solutions are particularly impressive. The CrossChill EK III VRM block, in collaboration with EK Water Blocks, is a standout feature. It dissipates heat from the VRM effectively, which is crucial, especially when dealing with the potent Intel 12th gen CPUs.

The thermal design also includes features like high-conductivity thermal pads and triple M.2 heatsinks, which are essential for maintaining SSD performance and longevity. For someone who’s planning to push their build to the limit, these features provide a reassuring safeguard against thermal throttling.

However, the board ‘requires liquid cooling,’ a detail that wasn’t immediately clear from the marketing materials. You should be aware that this isn’t optional - it’s a fundamental part of the board’s design. This is perfect for enthusiasts like myself, who enjoy setting up custom liquid cooling loops, but it could be a drawback for those who are less experienced or were hoping for a simpler air-cooled setup.

One minor annoyance I’ve found with the power and cooling features is the AI overclocking. It doesn’t quite ‘just work’ as advertised. Be prepared to manually tweak the clock settings, which isn’t a dealbreaker but something to consider if you’re expecting a fully automated overclocking experience.

Overall, my impression is that the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula has gone above and beyond to provide a foundation that you can count on to deliver power efficiently and maintain system coolness. For builders and gamers ready to embrace liquid cooling, this motherboard is a robust base for a rig that’s as cool as it is powerful. The potential issues with AI overclocking and the necessity for custom liquid cooling are worth noting, but they’re far outweighed by the sheer quality of performance you get.

Future-Proofing and Connectivity Options

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When building or upgrading a PC, one of my top priorities is ensuring that my investment stays current as long as possible. That’s where connectivity options and future-proofing elements become crucial. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula checks a lot of boxes in that department, which is reassuring. Here’s what stands out:

  • PCIe 5.0 Support: Essential for the newest, fastest SSDs and upcoming GPUs.

  • DDR5 Compatibility: A leap forward in memory technology for better speeds and efficiency.

  • Wi-Fi 6E and 10Gb Ethernet: For ultra-fast and flexible networking.

Those are significant draws for me. With technology evolving quickly, the last thing I want is my motherboard to become a bottleneck. Wi-Fi 6E is particularly attractive as it allows for more stable and faster wireless connections, which is excellent for gaming and streaming without cables trailing everywhere. And with PCIe 5.0, I am ready for future hardware that takes advantage of this new standard.

However, the ecosystem for some of these technologies, especially PCIe 5.0 and DDR5, is still in the growing stages. As a result, there’s a bit of a premium to pay for being on the cutting edge. Also, while the board does support these new standards, there might be compatibility issues—for instance, ensuring the right DDR5 memory to work in the most optimal way can be tricky, as noted by some users.

Another point that stands out is the onboard Thunderbolt 4 ports. This means I can connect the latest high-speed peripherals without needing additional cards or dongles. It’s a handy feature that extends the functionality of my PC further than just gaming.

It’s not all perfect, though. A potential concern is around BIOS updates, especially when considering the compatibility with the newest 13th gen Intel processors. Some users have mentioned challenges with the update process via the BIOS Flashback feature, and that’s something to keep in mind. It may require a bit of tech-savviness or patience to work through.

In essence, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula motherboard is like preparing a room for a 4K TV and the best surround sound system before you’ve even bought them—you know that when you do, everything will work seamlessly together. In the meantime, you might not use all the features to their full potential, but it’s nice to have them. This board offers a compelling glimpse into the future of PC tech, albeit with the minor bumps along the road of early adoption that are worth considering if you’re planning to take this route.

Overall Usage Experience and Recommendations

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After spending some quality time with the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula, my overall experience has been, on balance, quite positive. The moonlight white color scheme is eye-catching, and the motherboard’s design is simply top-notch. As for custom liquid cooling support, it’s a dream, but with that comes the extra step of setting up a custom loop. This aspect isn’t for everyone, and if it wasn’t for the CrossChill EK III solution, I’d likely struggle with high VRM temperatures due to my overclocking ventures.

Now, while performance-wise, the board is unflinchingly robust, offering a smooth experience with my Intel 12th gen CPU and DDR5 setup, there are a few things to note:

Here’s my shortlist as a summary:


  • Superior aesthetics with a unique white finish

  • Stable power delivery perfect for overclocking

  • Onboard WiFi 6E and Marvell AQtion 10Gb Ethernet for high-speed networking

  • Five M.2 slots and PCIe 5.0 support cater to my expansion needs


  • Price point is steep, reflecting its high-end status

  • The initial setup may be intimidating for newcomers, particularly with the liquid cooling requirement

  • Documentation and customer support could be more thorough and knowledgeable

One big drawback was the apparent handling of the board prior to my purchase. Despite a sealed package, there were signs of use, including a slight mishap with a pin on the CPU socket that I managed to rectify. For a product at this price range, that was a little disappointing.

The AI features like overclocking and cooling suggest a set-it-and-forget-it scenario, but in reality, they required more manual intervention than I expected. I advise any prospective buyer to be prepared to tinker with settings to get the best out of this board.

I was concerned about future-proofing, as one should be with a gaming rig, and this mobo does promise a good runway with the PCIe 5.0 M.2 card for storage expansion. Yet, if you’re planning to run a 13th gen processor, be mindful that a BIOS update is needed, and that process isn’t bulletproof as the BIOS flashback feature gave me a hard time.

In conclusion, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is an impressive piece of tech but comes with caveats that need consideration. It requires a certain level of expertise and additional investment in cooling. For those willing to dive in, it’s a high-performing motherboard with aesthetics to match and a suite of features that will delight any enthusiast or serious gamer. With a few tweaks and perhaps a more responsive support experience, it could easily outshine most of its competition.