Today, we’re looking at the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E which we’ll be discussing in our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review. It’s the newly-launched product from the company, and we’re more than excited to check out how good it is.
This new motherboard comes packed with a ton of features that everyone will surely love. Plus, it even sports several enhancements that make it better than others.
Continue reading our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review to get more insights about this board. But before anything else, let’s talk about its packaging and contents.
The motherboard arrived in an all-black cardboard box with hints of blue on it. The front displays ASRock on the upper centre while the board’s name is found at the centre. The sides of the box show off the product and the company’s name as well.
Continuing our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review, we’ll also discuss its contents. Inside the box, you’ll find the motherboard packed neatly and securely. That means, you won’t need to worry about damages when it’s being shipped to you.
Other than the board, you’ll also find a quick installation guide, support CD, and four SATA data cables inside. There’s an ASRock WiFi 2.4/5/6GHz antenna, three M.2 socket screws, and two M.2 socket standoffs. Lastly, ASRock included a graphics card holder in the package.
ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
This time, we’ll discuss everything about its design and functions in our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review. The board sports an ATX form factor and it measures 30.5 x 24.4cm. Not only that, but it comes with six layers of 2oz of copper PCB.
Appearance-wise, the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard’s exterior is somewhat similar to the earlier generation Z590 Extreme. It sports an all-black colour and small hints of blue lines for added appeal.
It comes with RGBs too, and these are tastefully combined by the company. You’ll find these along the built-in I/O shroud and at the top of the Z690 chipset. The RGBs also illuminate the Extreme branding with seven LED lights on the opposite side.
Other than that, there are also three additional RGBs along the SATA. Overall, the lights’ effects are subtle yet appealing.
When switching these on, you’ll find ASRock and Extreme highlighted nicely. What’s more, you can conveniently utilise the Polychrome Sync software for adjusting its effects.
PCIe and SATA
On the lower portion of the board are its storage and PCIe slots. The motherboard comes with a full-length PCIe 5.0 x16, PCIe 4.0 x4, and PCIe 3.0 x4. Additionally, it even has a smaller PCIe 3.0 x1 slot present on it.
The product’s storage options are made up of three PCIe M.2 slots. Two have support for the PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drives. Another one supports both the PCIe 3.0 4x and SATA drives.
ASRock makes use of the Z690 chipsets full-allocation of SATA with a total of eight SATA ports. All of these have support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. For its memory, it supports the DDR4 5,000 with a mixed capacity of 128GB on four memory slots.
Available Ports on the ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard
The motherboard has a couple of ports available. There’s a USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and a USB 3.2 G2 Type-A. If you’re someone searching for USB 3.2 G2 x2 Type-C’s, the board includes a front panel header for this.
To note, other connectivity available includes two Ethernet ports and a Realtek RTL 8125-BG 2.5 GbE-powered controller. Plus, its other connectivity is an Intel I219V Gigabit controller.
Additionally, ASRock added an HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 pairing for video outputting. Then, an S/PDIF optical and five 3.5mm audio jacks are powered using the Realtek ALC-1220 HD audio codec. To complete the rear panel, there’s a BIOS Flashback button, as well as a PS/2 combo port available.
Premium 60A Inductors
The utilisation of premium 60A high-quality inductors can efficiently boost saturation currents by three-times more. Thus, will improve and enhance the stability of V-core voltage supplies under large overclocking or high loads.
The Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E features Japanese Nichicon 12k black-gold capacitors which can last around 12,000 hours. This is under extreme environments of 105-degrees Celsius.
Technically, the service life is much better compared to most mainstream boards available today. Why? Because most of these use Taiwanese 5 or 10k capacitors instead.
BIOS Flashback button
Another element to note in our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review is the BIOS Flashback button. When the 24-pin ATX power supply is linked, pressing this specific button will update the BIOS version. In our opinion, it is extremely practical and convenient.
Key Features of the ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard
Now, let’s take a look at what the motherboard has in store for us. In this section, we’re looking deeper into what makes the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard better than its competitors.
SPS – Smart Power Stage
The Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard features the Dr.MOS design with the newest Smart Power Stage technology. It’s made for monitoring each phase’s temperature and current. With this, the motherboard’s performance and capability are enhanced, allowing it to deliver power to the CPU smoothly
PCIe 5.0 + Surface-mount Tech
Compared to the usual DIP style PCIe slots, the SMT slot in this motherboard improves signal flow. It also maximises the motherboard’s stability under high speed. This is necessary to fully support the latest PCIe 5.0 standard’s fast speed.
The PCI Express 5.0 can offer an impressive bandwidth of 128GBps. With that, it’s ready to unleash the full potential of upcoming high-end graphic cards.
13 Power Phase Design of the ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard
With its design featuring 13 power phases, the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E can offer smooth power delivery. Aside from that, it offers unparalleled overclocking capabilities and improved performance with low temperatures. With this, the motherboard becomes an excellent product for advanced gamers.
6-layer PCB and 2 oz. Copper Inlays
The 6-layer PCB with 2 oz. copper inlays maintain stability in signal traces and power shapes. As a result, the motherboard delivers lower temperature and enhanced energy efficiency for memory overclocking. Also, it can support the newest memory modules with extreme memory performance.
Nahimic Audio is one of the features present in the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard. It enhances your listening experience and by adding richness and vibrance to the sound to make it more engaging.
ASRock Graphics Card Holder
ASRock included a graphics card holder with the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E. This is where you can install your heavy graphics card and flexibly slide it for the best height adjustment.
Addressable RGB and Polychrome RGB Synchronisation
Aside from the integrated RGB illumination, the motherboard also has onboard RGB headers and an addressable RGB header. These allow you to connect compatible LED devices like RGB strips, coolers, CPU fans, chassis, and more.
Since the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E is compatible with Polychrome RGB, you can synchronise Polychrome RGB-certified LED products.
PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD and Anti-Drop Screw
The Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E can accommodate multiple M.2 SSDs. This can support PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD, allowing it to perform twice faster than the previous PCIe generation. As a result, data transfer is faster and more convenient than ever.
Also, you won’t have to bother with dropping screws that go missing in the chassis. That’s because ASRock enhanced the M.2 heatsink with an anti-drop screw design to make installation easier.
Dragon 2.5 Gbps LAN
The Dragon 2.5 Gbps LAN platform is made for the highest networking performance. It’s excellent for the demands of home networking, content creation, high-quality media streaming, and online gaming. It boosts network performance by more than two times the bandwidth of standard Gigabit Ethernet.
With this technology, you can enjoy faster and uncompromised gaming, backups, and file transfers.
Intel Gigabit Ethernet and M.2 Key-E Module Cap
The Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E features Intel GbE which provides the best throughput performance, better stability and lower CPU utilisation. For this motherboard, ASRock also included a Key-E module cap to fix the issue with the SMA cable.
Dual USB 3.2 Gen2 Ports
ASRock’s Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E has onboard Type-A and Type-C ports (USB 3.2 Gen2). These are built on the rear I/O and supports the next generation USB 3.2 Gen2 devices. Plus, the ports deliver up to 10 Gbps data transfer rates.
Front USB 3.2 Gen2x2
The latest USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C port delivers up to 20 Gbps data transfer speed. This is two times faster than the previous generation of SB ports. Also, it has a reversible Type-C design that offers lightning fast data transfer.
Flexible Integrated I/O Shield
When we observed the product for our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review, we noticed its I/O shield. It was different compared to those that we’ve seen on other motherboards.
Unlike most pre-mounted I/O shields that only have aesthetic colour schemes, the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E’s is flexible. ASRock reserved additional tolerance space to make the I/O shield adjustable during installation. With that, it will fit the chassis perfectly and there won’t be any mechanical issues.
WiFi 6E 802.11ax
WiFi 6E has extended to the newest 6GHz spectrum band, offering more WiFi capability and better internet traffic. Also, WiFi 6E supports service levels equal to 5G networks while maintaining low latency.
We looked into the specifications of the board for our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review.
Just as its name states, the motherboard makes use of the Intel Z690 chipset and an ATX form factor. It supports the Intel Core 12th generation LGA 1700 processors while sporting a Digi Power and 13-PowerPhase design. It also works with the Intel Hybrid Technology and the Turbo Boost Max 3.0 Technology.
Speaking of its memory, it has a dual-channel DDR4 memory technology wherein its total system memory capacity is 128GB. It also supports the Intel Extreme Memory Profile or XMP 2.0.
This motherboard is good with RAIDs 0, 1, 5, and RAID 10 for the SATA storage devices. For the M.2 NVMe storage devices, it supports RAIDs 0, 1, and 5.
Speaking of its network and connectivity, its WiFi is the Intel AX-210 WiFi 6E (2.4 Gbps. When it comes to Bluetooth, it is the BT 5.2 combo.
ASRock designed the motherboard to have integrated 0|1|5|10 SATA controllers. Then for the Ethernet controllers, it’s the RTL-8125BG PCIe and WGI-219V PHY.
Ports, Connectors, Slots, and Audio Jacks
Speaking of its rear USB 10Gbps, there’s one Type-C and one Type-A available. For the 5Gbps ports, you’ll find four Type-A ports and two USB 2.0 connections. The available network jacks include one Gigabit Ethernet, a 2.5GbE, and two WiFi antennas.
As for the audio jacks, you’ll find five analogue jacks, one digital-out jack, and one PS/2 legacy ports/jack. You’ll find four DDR4 slots on the board as well.
The Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard has three PCIe x16 slots. These are v5.0 x16, v4.0 x4, and v3.0 x4 slots. Then, there’s the PCI3 Gen3 x1 slot too.
There are two CrossFires and four DDR4 DIMM slots available. And as for the M.2 slots, you’ll find two PCIe 4.0 x4 and one PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA. Speaking of the SATA, the available connections are eight 6Gbps ports shared with the PCIe M.2-3.
Other USB headers include one 3.2 Gen2 Type-A, 3.2 Gen2 Type-C, and four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports. LAN ports present include two RJ-45 ports with LED.
ASRock added seven 4-pin fan headers to the mix, while the I/O panel extras include the BIOS Flash.
Audio Support and Other Specifications of the ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard
Our ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard review won’t be complete without the board’s audio support specifications. It comes with HD audio jacks for the rear speaker, central, bass, line-in, front speaker, and microphone. To note, these are all gold audio jacks.
Then, there’s an ALC-1229 HD audio codec too.
The Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard operates with Windows 10 64-bit or Windows 11 64-bit. Additionally, it supports premium Blu-ray audio, surge protection, has direct drive technology, and comes with a three-year warranty.
Hands-on with the ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard
When we launched the firmware, it automatically opened to EZ Mode. This specific interface has less complex settings and is designed for beginners. To switch to the Advanced Mode, all we had to do was press the F6 key.
In the OC tweaker menu, we found all the submenus for overclocking. There were also 10 slots for saving custom overclocking profiles. Plus, we were able to export these into a thumb drive.
For the Polychrome RGB menu, this provided RGB controls for all compatible onboard products. We found a wide range of lighting patterns and we’re sure that every user will find what suits their build.
ASRock Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E Motherboard Review Summary
With the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E, ASRock has shown that immediately jumping into the DDR5 bandwagon isn’t necessary. Although this motherboard supports DDR4, its low latency allows it to deliver performance that’s close to those that support DDR5. If you want excellent performance while being practical, this product is one of the best you can opt for.
For its price, the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E from ASRock offers a lot. It has aesthetics, great power delivery, dual Ethernet, WiFi 6E technology, and a handy GPU holder. Plus, its speed makes it excellent for a lot of activities.
Since the pricing of the DDR5 stock is new, it can spike to a high extent. That makes the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E more favourable especially if you want to spend less.
Overall, ASRockk’s Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E is an excellent motherboard that’s integrated with a lot of impressive features. It may lack some elements like a fourth M.2 slot, but it’s still capable of handling heavy tasks. With that, you can still enjoy seamless performance without spending a fortune on motherboards that support DDR5.
You can purchase the Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E motherboard from various stores around the globe. Check out ASRock’s store locator to find authorised dealers near you.