ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 Review

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 Preview

Conclusion

A lot of what we said about the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi can also apply to the newest model in the ASUS Strix range. The decision to go with a lighter colour scheme is fine, and we’re sure that a white Strix would fly off the shelves just as fast as the Strix models usually do. This, though, is a halfway house. It’s too silver to appeal to the white brigade, and too light to appeal to those who want a more standard black Strix. It’s neither one thing nor the other, and we’re struggling to think of to whom this might be a desirable design.

But, get your head past that, and it’s a model that is deserving of the Strix name. When we first got it out of the box the colour scheme shocked us almost as much as the fact this is a Z790 that supports DDR4. We wondered if ASUS had stuck the wrong stickers on the box. After all, the Prime is the kind of “no brand” board that suits DDR4, but the Strix has a reputation to live up to. To swap those roles seems curious. Once we had done our testing though you could see what hidden depths it has. It might not have the power stages capable of overclocking the heck out of our Intel Core i9-13900K, but it would happily run it if you left it to overclock itself. Similarly the lower latency of DDR4, albeit high-end DDR4, is sufficient to overcome any bandwidth reduction over a standard DDR5 kit.

All of which means that the performance of the ROG Strix Z790A Gaming WiFi D4 is as excellent as its name is long. It won’t challenge the Maximus, but it’s not meant to. Additionally, unlike the Aorus Elite AX, the Strix brand might fit under the ROG umbrella but is so strong that it’s very much its own thing. So whilst this might be the least we expect to see a motherboard have whilst still having enough to sneak under the Strix label, it’s not as jarring as the AX was. You have enough M.2 slots to keep the average user happy, a very good selection of USB ports both front and rear, and ASUS haven’t scrimped on the fan headers either. Heck we’ll give it a few extra points for somehow striking a deal with Namco to use Pacman on both the main board and the IO section.

What you have to get over are those looks though. It’s not white, it’s silver. The Chipset/M.2 heatsink area in particular is an absolute mess. You can see where they’ve tried to have uniform slashes through it to keep the eye moving, but it looks like a very piecemeal design instead of a uniform whole. It looks like the sort of design you’d end up with if you got some third party M.2 heat spreaders. Not something we want to see from a brand as famous as the ROG Strix one.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is a very affordable way to get on the Z790 train, and has the performance and connectivity to back up the Strix branding, thus it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.

In the UK, ASUS’ ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WIFI D4 motherboard is available for prices around £399.99 at various UK retailers.  

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 Review  

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We have also tested this board with both the i5 13600K and i9 13900K in our DDR4 vs DDR5 Review