ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming Review
Whereas the Maximus XII Extreme had braided SATA cables, the Strix sticks with the all-black plastic coated ones that most of us have dozens of kicking around. It never hurts to use new ones though, especially as it gives you a chance to fix your cable routing.
We all run RGB setups these days, and the ability to put the strips and things where you want them is vital. ASUS supply two extension cables letting you get your lighting just so.
The WiFi antenna supplied with the Strix is identical to the one we saw in the Maximus XII Extreme box, so we won't bore you with another shot of it here. Suffice to say it's about as attractive as an aerial can be.
Whereas the last batch of motherboard we reviewed all had active VRM cooling built in, the Strix-E goes for an add-on fan, letting those of you with good case airflow or perhaps less demanding overclocks to leave it in the box, whilst those of you who need alll the cooling that is available have an instant fix for higher temperatures on hand. How much the Strix-E needs this we'll find out when it comes to our testing in a few weeks time.
Although our detail shots let us talk about each individual feature on the motherboard, we like the look of it as an overview because you get a better feel for its aesthetic and how it might fit into your system. We're pleased that the Strix is a more 'all black' affair than it has been recently, even if there is one small detail that makes our teeth itch, which we'll get to at the end of this overview.
At the top end we find two beefy heatsinks tied together with heat pipes. You can see the caps, white headers for the RGB controls and four DIMM slots for the DDR4. We'll cover all this in more detail on the next pages.
Whilst the Strix hasn't got the full cover that we saw on the Maximus XII Extreme, it still has plenty of coverings to limit how much of the PCB shows through. With a GPU installed it will be a sleek motherboard inside your case, whilst still - hooray - letting you get at the M.2 heatspreader. Let's take our usual clockwise tour of the board.