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My thoughts on the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC Motherboard (2024)

My thoughts on the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC: performance, audio, customization, and technical support issues.
Donald Moore



December 27, 2023


I picked up the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC motherboard recently, drawn in by its features and Sonic-themed design. In this review, I get into its performance and design as well as pros and cons.


Property Value Property Value
Brand ASRock Compatible Devices Personal Computer
RAM Memory Technology DDR4 Memory Clock Speed 3600 MHz
Platform Windows 10 Model Name Sonic Z790
Memory Storage Capacity 192 GB Graphics Card Interface Integrated
S/PDIF Connector Type Optical System Bus Standard Supported SATA 3


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Performance and Compatibility

Asrock z790 pg sonic motherboard 1

Taking a closer look at the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC Motherboard, it’s easy to be impressed with its technical prowess and versatility. The board is definitely built for performance, offering support for high-speed DDR4 RAM with memory clocks peaking at 3600 MHz, which is a sweet spot for gamers and professionals alike. Here’s a quick rundown of what stands out:

  • Memory Compatibility: With support for a massive 192 GB of RAM, future-proofing your rig is a breeze.

  • SATA 3 Support: The inclusion means you won’t be bottlenecked when it comes to storage speed and expansion.

  • Built for Windows 10 Platform: Seamless compatibility if you’re not ready to make the jump to Windows 11.

On the processor side of things, the Sonic Z790’s compatibility with something like an i5 14600k is excellent. It’s not just about fitting the CPU to the socket; the board’s ability to handle overclocking is a big plus. Even though I don’t plan to tweak performance to the max, it’s nice to know that the extensive BIOS options are there should I decide to squeeze out some extra power.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I noticed that despite being a Z790 chipset, this board is designed for DDR4 rather than DDR5 RAM. This could be a limiting factor for those wanting to leverage the latest in memory technology for even better performance. Also, while it does have an integrated graphics card interface, that might not be suitable for intense GPU tasks. It’s definitely something to consider depending on your needs.

Now, on a sour note, my board arrived missing the integrated WiFi module. Sure, it’s an inconvenience and something I didn’t expect to worry about after reading through the manual. The lack of onboard WiFi out of the box could be a deal-breaker for some, and I’m currently reaching out for support on this.

In terms of general experience, unfortunately, there have been reports of instability with the chipset, particularly when paired with high-speed DDR5 memory. It’s a bit of a gamble as to whether you’ll hit those issues, which is compounded if you’re a pioneer with the latest OS platforms like Windows 10 or 11 where some bugs are still being ironed out.

Audio and lighting are areas where ASRock typically shines, but as those aspects are covered in other sections, I’m focusing on the raw performance and compatibility here.

Overall, the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC is a performance workhorse with enough features to satisfy most, though you may want to consider the DDR4 constraint and check about the WiFi feature if that’s critical for you. Despite some drawbacks, the board has a lot to offer, especially if you’re sticking to a Windows 10 environment and aren’t planning to push ultra-high-speed DDR5 memory. It’s a compelling option in a market that’s crowded with alternatives.

Gaming and Audio Experience

Asrock z790 pg sonic motherboard 2

The ASRock Z790 PG SONIC motherboard packs features geared towards gamers and audiophiles, and my personal use reflects a mix of excitement and slight reservations. Let’s break this down:

  • Lightning Gaming Ports: These ports are a boon for gamers who swear by wired mice and keyboards. Lesser jitter and reduced latency mean inputs are snappier, and in competitive gaming, that could make the difference between victory and defeat.

  • Nahimic Audio: The sound quality is seriously impressive. It’s immersive, with crisp details, giving games and media a sonic depth that onboard audio often lacks. The soundstage feels wider, and the clarity is something I appreciate, especially when using high-quality headphones or speakers.

  • Polychrome SYNC: RGB isn’t for everyone, but for personal flair, syncing lighting across devices creates a visually cohesive setup. It’s not a necessary feature, but it’s a nice-to-have for those who love to show off their rig.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Gamers looking for high-speed DDR5 compatibility might run into issues, as noted by users experiencing reboot loops and freezes with Z790 on Windows 10 and 11. This is a significant drawback for early adopters craving top-notch performance with the latest DDR5 memory modules.

While a drawback for me was the missing integrated WiFi module—an oversight on my part—I can’t overlook the inconvenience it caused. It’s a hiccup that buyers should be aware of and verify upon purchase to avoid additional hassle.

In terms of audio and gaming performance, here’s a summary:


  • Reduced latency and jitter with specialized ports

  • Engaging audio with Nahimic

  • Customizable RGB lighting with sync options


  • Potential DDR5 compatibility issues

  • Missing integrated WiFi in my package

Overall, the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC leans more into the “win” column for my setup. While some issues like the DDR5 compatibility are bothersome, they are partly mitigated by the fact that many users, myself included, are still on DDR4 and won’t feel the sting of this con. The Lightning Gaming Ports and Nahimic Audio add real value to my gaming and listening experience, pushing me to keep a positive outlook on this motherboard’s capabilities.

Aesthetic and Customization Features

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When it comes to aesthetics and customization, the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC motherboard hits several sweet spots, though it’s not without its flaws. To kick things off, let’s break down the visual and personalization aspects:

  • RGB Lighting: The Polychrome SYNC feature is a major win for RGB enthusiasts like myself. It’s pretty satisfying to be able to synchronize the lighting across various components and accessories to create a cohesive look.

  • Design Theme: As a Sonic fan, the theme of the board is a delightful touch that blends nicely into my gaming setup.

  • Connectivity: While I appreciate the plentiful M.2 and SATA ports for flexible storage options, the absence of integrated Wi-Fi on my board was a disappointment and an unexpected hiccup in an otherwise impressive package.

Diving right into the Polychrome SYNC, hands down, customizing the LED effects adds another layer of enjoyment to the build process. Although RGB might not be everyone’s cup of tea, for those who do fancy a bit of flair, this feature makes the motherboard stand out in a sea of static-colored alternatives. Creating a custom lighting profile that complements my rig is a nice way to assert my personal style.

Moving onto the design, the Sonic branding on the motherboard is tastefully executed. It’s not overly done, striking a good balance between fan service and sleek design. It’s cool to see a theme that deviates from the standard techy or aggressive motifs, and this subtlety is something I appreciate.

However, the lack of an integrated Wi-Fi module was a bit of a letdown. While it might not be a dealbreaker for those who prefer Ethernet or have a Wi-Fi card ready to go, discovering this post-purchase was a bit of an oversight on my part—definitely something to keep in mind for prospective buyers.

The board’s commitment to aesthetics extends to its layout, which makes for a clean build. The placement of components is thoughtful, preventing any awkward cable management scenarios. A clean set-up is key for any transparent or open case builds, and this motherboard keeps things tidy.

Though it’s a minor quibble, the board is designed for DDR4 RAM, which means it’s not tapping into the faster speeds DDR5 can offer. Not exactly a drawback if you’re coming from an existing DDR4 setup, but worth mentioning for those considering future-proofing their system.

To sum it up, while I experienced a slight hiccup with the Wi-Fi misunderstanding and felt the pinch of DDR4 limits, the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC motherboard is a solid contender in the market. It has a clear appeal for gamers with a penchant for aesthetics, especially those who value a touch of personal flair in their build.

Technical Difficulties and Support

Asrock z790 pg sonic motherboard 4

In wrapping up this review, it’s only fair to discuss the technical difficulties and support aspects of the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC Motherboard. I like to think of myself as fairly experienced with PC builds, and even so, the occasional hiccup is inevitable.

First, let’s break things down into some core points:

  • Lightning Gaming Ports work as advertised, giving me an edge with lower jitter and latency on peripherals—this is a big win in my book.

  • The Nahimic Audio is genuinely impressive; it delivers a crisp and immersive sound that enhances the gaming experience.

  • Polychrome SYNC does its job well. Synchronizing RGB LED devices was relatively intuitive, and it allowed me to customize my rig with ease.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. My particular unit was supposed to come with integrated WiFi, but it arrived without this feature. Confusion kicked in only after a skim through the manual—a sour note in what was an otherwise sweet experience. I’ve reached out for support, hoping it’s a minor oversight that can be quickly rectified.

Additionally, while my love for Sonic made this motherboard an obvious choice aesthetically, I was a tad disappointed to find compatibility issues with high-speed DDR5 memory using the Z790 chipset. It seems to be an issue with Intel’s architecture rather than ASRock specifically, but it’s something to be mindful of. At times the system would enter a reboot loop or just freeze, which can be quite frustrating.


  • Excellent audio and connectivity

  • Aesthetically pleasing with customizable RGB LED lighting

  • Comprehensive BIOS for future overclocking endeavors


  • Missing integrated WiFi on a unit that was supposed to have it

  • Stability issues with high-speed DDR5 memory

It’s important for potential buyers to be aware that while ASRock delivers on many fronts, there can be caveats, as is the case with many high-end motherboards. Be prepared to troubleshoot and potentially contact customer support for assistance.

To conclude, the ASRock Z790 PG SONIC Motherboard is a solid piece of hardware with plenty to offer. While it excelled in providing a robust gaming and audio experience, as well as plenty of customization options, I encountered some technical difficulties that put a damper on the whole experience. Still, my interactions with customer support have been promising, and I’m optimistic that these issues can be ironed out. I’ll be holding off on my final verdict until these matters are resolved.