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CES 2021: ASUS unleashes its range of Z590 motherboards

After Intel introduced its 500-series chipsets yesterday, ASUS has announced a swathe of Z590 motherboards across the ROG, TUF and Prime families. There's some familiar names but a number of new features on show from these boards.

The first Z590 boards to be announced by ASUS include the ROG Maximus XIII Extreme, ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial, ROG Maximus XIII Hero, ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming, ASUS Prime Z590-A and TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi. As they are all Z590 boards, support is offered for Intel's 10th Gen desktop CPUs and the upcoming 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors. Z590 offers 16 PCIe 4.0 lanes for discrete GPUs, and four PCIe 4.0 lanes direct from CPU for Gen4 SSDs.

The Maximus XIII Extreme is the top of the line Z590 offering from ASUS, with an 18+2 power delivery design, with ‘highly capable and efficient integrated power stages'. DDR4 memory up to 5333MHz is supported, while up to five M.2 SSDs can be installed, with three native slots and a further two via ASUS DIMM.2 slot. Connectivity highlights include 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports and 8x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports.

The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme takes that same PCB, with the same key features as above, but slaps on a huge ‘full-coverage water block developed in tandem with the experts at EK'. ASUS says this block cools both the VRM and Z590 platform controller hub, delivering ‘the highest performance and the lowest temperatures in the most extreme gaming builds.'

Both of these motherboards also included ROG's Fan Controller module, which mounts to a 2.5in slot and offers 6x ARGB and 4x PWN fan headers. ROG Clavis also comes bundles with these boards, which is a new USB-C DAC that ASUS claims can offer ‘the absolute highest signal-to-noise ratio and lowest distortion in the final analog output'.

Just below the top-end is the ROG Maximus XIII Hero. This offers a 14+2 power stage design, and a total of four M.2 slots – two of which are fed by the CPU, and two by the chipset. There's also 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, 6x USB 3.2 Gen2 Ports, and 2x USB 2.0 ports. ASUS also makes a feature of the new Realtek ALC4000-series audio codecs which are supported on ROG and ROG Strix Z590 motherboards.

ASUS TUF Gaming brand has enhanced its reputation over the last year or so, and with the TUF Gaming Z590 Plus WIFI, ASUS offers 14+2 DrMOS power stages and a 6-layer PCB. There's also 3x M.2 slots, a fanless PCH heatsink and a Realtek S1200A audio codec. Lastly, we come to the ASUS Prime Z590-A. This is ASUS' more entry-level series, though it still boasts 14+2 DrMOS power stages. There doesn't appear to be a rear Thunderbolt 4 port however, but there's still 3x M.2 slots, two of which include integrated heatsinks.

ASUS says these boards will be available ‘immediately' in the UK, though we haven't spotted any on sale at the time of writing.

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KitGuru says: Stay tuned for more Z590 coverage over the coming months.

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