So today we are going to take a look at the Z590-E Strix from Asus and see how it pairs up with the newly released 11th generation Intel i9 11900K and see how it performs.
Now as for the differences between Z490 and Z590 it isn’t really too big especially because some Z490 boards were future proofed for 11th gen. The difference on paper is that Z590 now fully supports PCIe 4.0, it now supports 8 lines for Desktop Management Interface (DMI) with the CPU instead of 4. For memory Z590 now ups memory speed from 4800mhz to 5333mhz with a XMP overclock. Then lastly you get support for more USB connectivity with now 3x USB 3.2 Gen2X2 connections and up to 10 for 4 more than Z490 USB 3.2 Gen2 connections.
So Z590 I would say is more aimed for all out options that most gamers might not always need but content creators or hardware enthusiasts might appreciate or use more.
But with that out of the way let’s move on to the Strix Z590-E and starting with price it is currently retailing for $380 on Amazon and R8600 for here in South Africa. Compared to the Z490-E its $80 or R500 more.
Taking a look at what you get inside the box along with the Motherboard, you get the standard Manual, driver DVD, a welcome card, some stickers, the WIFI antenna, 4 black SATA cables, some small cable ties, some rubbers for your M.2 SSD, a M.2 Q-Latch which makes installing a m.2 easier. Then you get a ROG keychain, a ROG Graphics card holder and an additional 40mm VRM fan with some screws.
Taking a look at the design of the board, the Z590-E does look a bit different again compared to the Z490-E but still keeps the styling on point with a full on black look. The biggest difference is between the IO cover with just the holographic ROG eye now and the chipset heat spreader being more separate from the M.2s. RGB does also differ a bit better with the small logo in the corner and the STRIX on the top m.2 heat spreader which I quite liked.
Moving on to the CPU the Z590 still uses the LGA 1200 socket and supports both 10th and 11th gen CPUs out of the box. With Z490 you will need to update the bios first for 11th gen.
As for the VRMs I was not able to find the exact setup but it has a 14+2 doubling Power Stages same as the Z490. The Z490-E used a 7 phase ASP1900B controller with a 50A power rating and for MOSFETS it used 14 SiC639 10A fets. I mention this because again I’m not sure which the Z590-E used but would either be the same or most likely be pushed up.
The VRM cooling setup does look a bit different but still has beefy multilayer black heat spreaders. Plus you still have the fan to help reduce temps even further.
As for how the VRMs performed from our stress test it had no issues keeping cool averaging around 74c in our Blender benchmark with our OC applied.
Speaking of overclocking, what a mission it has been with the 11900K. The Z590-E just like most other ROG boards are super easy to overclock with a user friendly BIOS. But the 11900K is just not a CPU that can OC that much as many other reviewers mentioned having problems as well. So in the end we managed a 5.1Ghz OC but wasn’t the most stable so we settled on a 5Ghz at 1.4v on all cores. This was no problem for the Z590-E and I feel it is a bit overpowered for this CPU to be honest.
Moving into memory, the Z590-E supports a maximum of 128GB on the 4x dual channel DDR4 DIMM slots, with overclocks up to 5333 MHz
Moving to the PCIe slots, this is again where most of the biggest differences come into play with full support for PCIe 4 now. Like I mentioned before, some Z490 boards already supported PCIe 4 both for graphics cards and m.2 storage; it was just the CPU needed. Unfortunately the previous Z490-E did not support PCIe 4 at all. So this is then where the Z590-E has the upper hand and would be needed if you are looking for PCIe 4.
The Z590-E has 3x full size PCIe slots with the top 2 being PCIe 4 (CPU) and the bottom one PCIe 3 (chipset). The top is running at x16, the middle at x8 and the bottom at x4. SLI is supported if by change you wanted to use it. The top 2 also features Asus’s safeslot for better durability when installing a GPU and to help prevent sag.
Moving on to storage you get the standard 6 SATA 3 ports, nothing new there, but then 4x M.2 slots. The top 2 being PCIe 4.0 and the bottom 2 PCIe 3. It is worth mentioning that the top PCIe 4 slot is only PCIe 4 and not 3, so it will only work with a 11th gen CPU. But the 2de M.2 works on both and 10th gen CPUs in PCIe 3 mode.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when the bottom PCIe is being used SATA 5 & 6 will be disabled. Also SATA 2 will be disabled when using the shorter m.2 in SATA mode.
Taking a look at the side for IO you do get a bit of an upgrade here compared to the Z490-E
1x DisplayPort v1.4
1x Clear CMOS
1x BIOS flash back
2x USB 2.0 ports (1 being BIOS USB)
4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Port
2 x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210 +BT5.2
1 x Optical S/PDIF Out
5 x Audio Jacks
With the SupremeFX ALC4080 CODEC
Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation
As for the internal connectors you get the following.
1x USB USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C header
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C headers
2x USB 2.0 headers
1x Thunderbolt 4 header
1x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1x 8-pin ATX 12v power connector
1x 4-pin ATX 12v power connector
8x PWM connectors for different components
3x Addressable LED strip headers
1x RGB LED strip header
Q Code LED indicator
1x CPU Over Voltage jumper
1x Temperature sensor headers
Now getting into benchmarks, the 11900K was kind of a disappointment for being a new flagship CPU. We compared it to our 9900K and wanted to compare it to a 10900K but looked to be a dead sample. So from the benchmarks the 11900K did outperform the 9900K in all benchmarks but not by the amount we would have liked to see. All in all both Gaming and more productivity benchmarks was good and still performs well. But again not at the level we would have liked to see and some other CPUs will be a better buy.
So now we have that out of the way, this board is quite kitted out with plenty of connectors and features. Compared to the Z490-E the Z590-E does have a few nice upgrades but it wont really be needed for everyone, especially for the majority of gamers. For them the Z490-E will be a great board IF they do not need PCIe 4 and all the new connectors and features when paired up with a new 11th gen CPU. For content creators it might be a different story, with again PCIe 4 allowing for much faster storage, the extra USB 3.2 Gen2x2 ports and even the extra 2.5Gbps ethernet port.
To end it all off the ASUS Z590-E WIFI is a beast of a motherboard and out performs the 11900K, to be honest I would rather pair this up with a 10900K and slap a very good overclock on there. Maybe even the 11600K that with a good overclock could actually keep up with the 11900K on stock.