The Intel Z690 Motherboard Overview (DDR5): Over 50+ New Modelsby Gavin Bonshor on November 9, 2021 9:00 AM EST
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Apex (DDR5)
More aimed at extreme overclockers than other boards in the Republic of Gamers series, the Apex is back for Z690. Equipped with a typical ASUS ROG theme throughout, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Apex uses a primarily black color scheme, with a fancy ROG logo effect on the rear panel cover, integrated RGB built into the rear panel cover and chipset heatsink. It also features silver diagonal lines across the chipset and M.2 heatsinks for a nice contrasting look. The Z690 Apex much like the previous Z590 Apex is also using an ATX sized frame, which other vendors for similar models have used an E-ATX sized frame.
Given this is a model designed primarily for extreme overclockers, ASUS is advertising a large 24-phase teamed power stage array with the latest 105 A smart power stages. Predominately located in the top right-hand corner of the board is an overclocker's toolkit, which includes PCIe dip switches, an LN2 mode switch, a Safe boot button, a power button, a reset button, and a two-digit LED debugger.
The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Apex includes two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots that can operate at x16 and x8/x8, with one half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. As this is an overclocking-focused model, ASUS includes two memory slots capable of supporting up to DDR5-6600, with a combined capacity of 64 GB. ASUS also includes a ROG DIMM.2 M.2 slot, with the Apex supporting up to five M.2 drives in total, and a total of six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.
On the rear panel, the Z690 Apex includes one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, five USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, with an Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE and Intel Wi-Fi 6E CNVi making up the board's networking array. For onboard audio, ASUS includes five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output which is powered by a SupremeFX ALC4080 HD audio codec and Savitech SV3H712 amplifier pairing. Finishing off the rear panel is one PS/2 keyboard port, one PS/2 mouse port, a BIOS Flashback button, and a clear CMOS button.