ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula Review
Any time a manufacturer introduces a new model in to their range there is a danger of confusing the issue. After all, anyone who has looked at, for example, graphics cards knows that most manu’s have half a dozen basically identical cards that are priced differently with no appreciable benefit to picking one over the other. When the brand you’re talking about is the Republic Of Gamers then there is an even heavier weight placed upon not watering down the brand. With the launch of their Hero models ASUS were somewhat in danger of that. The ‘money no object’ crowd went with the Extreme, but the Hero was the model picked by a lot of people as it still had to be good enough to wear that ROG badge, yet that meant that the Formula was left without an identity of its own. Stealing food off your own table is a curious thing to do.
Thankfully for ASUS and those of you who want a product which stands out in a crowded marketplace the decision to make the Formula Z690 their white model has benefits for all. On the one hand if you want a white motherboard then you’re not limited to choosing their Prime range, and on the other the Maximus Formula now has enough of a unique element to it that it stands apart from the more affordable Hero and can claim its own space.
The last thing we would want it to be, particularly if we wanted a white motherboard, is average in performance. Nobody likes having their choice narrowed, and often if you want something a little outside of the normal designs then manufacturers know that and can make you pay extra just for the aesthetic for those chunky profit margins. In the case of the Z690 Formula it’s everything you would expect a ROG Maximus Formula to be, it just also happens to be white. Although it might sound strange it just requires a slight change of viewpoint. This isn’t a motherboard that is white and is called the Formula, this is a Formula that just happens to be white. White isn’t the primary thing.
What this all means is that the performance is spectacular, as anyone would expect from an ASUS ROG product, particularly when it’s the legendary Maximus range. The power section is extremely sturdy and allows you to really push hard on your overclock without fearing you’ll run out of power or cooling potential. By giving us their hybrid heatsink those with a beefy custom waterloop can take full advantage of their watercooled system without indulging in a third-party heatsink. Similarly the AI Overclocking is there for those of you who just want to maximise a couple of cores of your processor for low-threaded tasks and in the format we have here is much better than it was on the Strix. Sure it still goes all in on single threaded performance instead of multicore, but if you want heavy multicore performance you just have to use the well-laid out UEFI to manually overclock. As you saw in our results the AIOC is blindingly fast in the right task.
With a fully-featured motherboard under that famous ROG Maximus branding the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula is the perfect choice for someone looking to leap on the Z690 platform, and if you want your motherboard to be white it doesn’t make you compromise anything to achieve that goal. A fantastic entry into their storied motherboard range and winner of our OC3D Performance Award.