- DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 Support
- Robust Connectivity Options
- Excellent Performance
- User-Friendly BIOS
- Potential Quality Control Issues
- Limited Overclocking Capabilities
- BIOS Software issues.
Welcome to our comprehensive ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi review. As a seasoned PC builder and tech enthusiast, I’ve had my hands on countless motherboards over the years. The ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi, with its impressive feature set and competitive pricing, has certainly caught my attention.
This motherboard is part of ASUS’s Prime series, known for its balance of advanced features and affordability. It’s designed to support Intel’s 13th and 12th generation processors, making it a future-proof choice for those looking to build a high-performance PC. With DDR5 support, PCIe 5.0, and multiple M.2 slots, it’s ready to handle the latest hardware.
In this review, we’ll delve into the specifics of the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi, examining its features, performance, and value for money. We’ll also address common questions and concerns about this motherboard. Whether you’re a gamer, a professional, or a PC building enthusiast, this review will provide the insights you need to make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and explore what the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi has to offer.
Make sure you check the following comprehensive guide before you decide: How to Choose the Right Motherboard for Your Needs
Key Features and Specifications
Unleashing the Power of DDR5
The ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi is a game-changer in the realm of PC building, thanks to its support for DDR5 memory. This next-generation memory standard offers significantly higher speeds and improved efficiency compared to its predecessor, DDR4. With DDR5, you can expect faster data transfer rates, which translates to smoother gaming and more efficient multitasking.
PCIe 5.0: The Future of Gaming
The Z790-A Prime WiFi is equipped with PCIe 5.0, the latest iteration of the PCI Express interface standard. This feature doubles the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0, offering faster data transfer rates for your GPU and other components. This means you can expect smoother gaming and better performance from your high-end components.
Robust Power Delivery
The motherboard features a 16+1 DrMOS power stage design, ensuring stable power delivery to your CPU and other components. This robust power design can handle high-performance CPUs, making it a great choice for gamers and professionals alike.
Multiple M.2 Slots for Fast Storage
The Z790-A Prime WiFi comes with four M.2 slots, allowing you to install multiple NVMe SSDs for fast and efficient storage. These slots support PCIe 4.0, which provides faster data transfer rates compared to previous generations.
The motherboard offers advanced connectivity options, including WiFi 6E and 2.5Gb LAN. These features ensure fast and stable internet connections, whether you’re gaming online, streaming content, or transferring large files.
Aesthetics and Design
ASUS has made some design changes with the Z790-A Prime WiFi, moving from the white aesthetic of previous Prime models to a light silver design. The motherboard also features black design elements, echoing ASUS’s new “Space” theme.
While the motherboard’s specifications are impressive, it’s also important to consider user experiences. Some users have praised the motherboard’s solid performance and value for money. However, others have reported issues with memory compatibility and the BIOS software. As always, it’s recommended to check compatibility and update the BIOS to the latest version for optimal performance.
Design and Aesthetics
As a PC builder for over two decades, I’ve seen a myriad of motherboard designs, and I must say, the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi stands out. The motherboard’s design is a blend of functionality and aesthetics, making it a visually appealing component in any PC build.
The Z790-A Prime WiFi is a departure from the traditional black and RGB lighting that dominates the market. It adopts a silver aesthetic, which is light silver rather than gunmetal grey. The two largest heatsinks are covered with a black design, echoing the new “Space” theme that ASUS is aiming for. This unique color scheme gives the motherboard a sleek and modern look, making it a standout piece in any PC build.
However, it’s worth noting that some users might miss the white aesthetic that was a signature of the previous ASUS Prime models. The shift to silver might not appeal to everyone, but it’s a bold move that sets the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi apart from its competitors.
ASUS has a reputation for producing solid and durable motherboards, and the Z790-A Prime WiFi is no exception. The motherboard is built with high-quality materials that ensure its longevity. However, some users have reported issues with the M.2 slots, indicating that the contacts that are supposed to grab the card were covering the slot the card went into. This issue might limit the use of all four M.2 slots, but it doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem.
The design and aesthetics of the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi have received mixed reviews from users. Some appreciate the unique silver aesthetic and the departure from the traditional black and RGB lighting. However, others have expressed disappointment over the change from the white aesthetic that was a signature of the previous ASUS Prime models.
In terms of build quality, some users have reported issues with the M.2 slots. Despite these issues, the motherboard has received positive reviews for its overall performance and functionality.
In conclusion, the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard offers a unique aesthetic and solid build quality. Its design might not appeal to everyone, but it’s a standout piece that adds a touch of modernity to any PC build.
Performance and Benchmarking
In the world of PC building, performance is king. And when it comes to the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard, it doesn’t disappoint. Let’s dive into the specifics.
As a seasoned PC builder, I’ve seen my fair share of motherboards. But the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi stands out with its impressive performance. It’s equipped with DDR5 support and a single PCIe 5.0 slot for your GPU, which is a significant upgrade from its predecessors. This means faster data transfer and improved overall performance, especially for high-end gaming and demanding applications.
Benchmarking is a critical part of understanding a motherboard’s performance. According to the tests conducted by OC3D, the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi performs best when running at stock with the Core i9-13900K. However, it truly shines when paired with the Core i5-13600K, providing more room for tweaking. This is a testament to the motherboard’s versatility and adaptability to different processors.
Real-world performance can often differ from lab tests. But according to user reviews on Amazon, the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi has proven to be reliable and efficient. Users have reported fast boot times and solid performance for daily PC use. However, some users have encountered issues with memory compatibility, which is something to keep in mind.
While the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi is a powerful motherboard, it’s important to note its limitations. The 16+1 60A teamed Power Stage may struggle with power-hungry processors like the Core i9-13900K. This is something to consider if you’re planning on heavy overclocking or running high-end applications.
Connectivity and Expansion Options
The ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard is a connectivity powerhouse, designed to cater to a wide range of users’ needs.
USB Ports and Networking
The motherboard comes with a plethora of USB ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C ports, offering up to 20Gbps of data transfer speeds. This is a boon for users who frequently transfer large files or use high-speed peripherals.
For networking, the Z790-A Prime WiFi doesn’t disappoint. It features Intel’s I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, providing faster, more reliable wired connections. But the real star of the show is the integrated WiFi 6E, offering three times the bandwidth of WiFi 5. This ensures smooth online gaming and 4K UHD streaming, even in crowded networks.
When it comes to expansion, the Z790-A Prime WiFi is well-equipped. It has three PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, allowing for multi-GPU setups for those who need extreme graphical power. Additionally, it has three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots for further expansion.
For storage, the motherboard offers six SATA ports and four M.2 slots, supporting both SATA and PCIe 4.0 x4 SSDs. This gives users the flexibility to choose the storage solution that best fits their needs.
User Experience and Ease of Use
BIOS and Software: A Mixed Bag
The ASUS Prime Z790-A WiFi motherboard comes with a BIOS that is both comprehensive and user-friendly. The BIOS has an easy-to-navigate interface with a wide range of options for tweaking and tuning your system. However, some users have reported difficulties with enabling XMP memory profiles, even after updating the BIOS to the latest version. This could be a potential drawback for those who want to push their system to its limits.
The motherboard also comes with ASUS’s Armory Crate software. This software is designed to provide a centralized hub for controlling various aspects of your system, including RGB lighting and system performance. However, some users have reported issues with the software, such as preventing the system from entering sleep mode. It’s important to note that these issues can often be resolved by installing the software as an administrator.
Installation and Setup: A Generally Smooth Experience
This motherboard is generally easy to install and set up. The motherboard’s layout is intuitive, with clearly labeled ports and slots. However, one user reported an issue with the M.2 slot contacts covering the slot, which made it difficult to install the M.2 card. This seems to be an isolated incident, but it’s something to be aware of.
User Reviews and Feedback: A Solid Choice with Some Caveats
ASUS Prime Z790-A WiFi has received generally positive reviews from users. It currently holds a 4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, with 63% of reviewers giving it a 5-star rating.
Many users have praised the motherboard for its solid performance and value for money. One user noted that the motherboard is a “solid choice for a daily use pc build”. Another user commented that the motherboard “works like a charm” and was able to easily overclock their CPU.
However, some users have reported issues with the motherboard. These include difficulties with enabling XMP memory profiles, issues with the Armory Crate software, and a potential quality control issue with the M.2 slot. Despite these issues, many users still consider the ASUS Prime Z790-A WiFi motherboard to be a good choice for their needs.
Value for Money
The board is priced at around $280-300, which is a competitive price for a Z790 motherboard with DDR5 support. It’s an affordable entry point for those looking to upgrade to the latest Intel platform. However, it’s important to note that the price-performance ratio of this motherboard is highly dependent on the specific use case.
For users who are looking to run high-end processors like the Core i9-13900K, the motherboard’s 16+1 60A teamed Power Stage may show its limitations, especially when overclocking. However, for users running mid-range processors like the Core i5-13600K, the motherboard performs exceptionally well, offering good value for its price.
Comparison with Other Motherboards
When compared to other motherboards in the same price range, the ASUS Prime Z790-A WiFi holds its own. It offers a good balance of features, performance, and price. However, it’s worth noting that the motherboard’s aesthetic changes, moving from a unique white design to a more common silver, have been met with mixed reviews. Some users may prefer the aesthetics of other motherboards in the same price range.
Note: Prices may vary depending on the region and retailer. Always check the current price before making a purchase.
Pros and Cons of the ASUS Prime Z790-A WiFi Motherboard
After a comprehensive review of the ASUS Prime Z790-A WiFi motherboard, it’s time to summarize the pros and cons. This will provide a quick overview of the motherboard’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you make an informed decision.
DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 Support: The motherboard supports the latest DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0, which future-proofs your system and ensures compatibility with the latest hardware.
Robust Connectivity Options: With a plethora of USB ports, a 2.5G LAN port, and WiFi 6E, the motherboard offers ample connectivity options for various peripherals and devices.
Excellent Performance: The motherboard delivers excellent performance, especially when paired with the Intel Core i5-13600K processor. It’s capable of handling demanding tasks and gaming sessions without any hiccups.
User-Friendly BIOS: The motherboard’s BIOS is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for both beginners and experienced users to navigate and adjust settings.
Aesthetic Changes: Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the aesthetic changes ASUS made to the Prime series, moving from a white aesthetic to a silver one.
Potential Quality Control Issues: A few users have reported receiving DOA (Dead on Arrival) units or experiencing issues with the M.2 slots. However, these seem to be isolated incidents rather than a widespread problem.
Limited Overclocking Capabilities: While the motherboard supports overclocking, it’s best suited for running processors at stock speeds. The 16+1 60A teamed Power Stage may have limitations when dealing with power-hungry processors.
BIOS Software: Some users have reported difficulties with getting XMP memory to work, even after updating the BIOS to the latest version.
Recommendations for Specific User Groups
ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi is a great choice for gamers. It offers solid performance, particularly when paired with the Core i5-13600K. The motherboard also supports DDR5 and has a single PCIe 5.0 slot for your GPU, providing the necessary features for a smooth gaming experience.
For professionals, the motherboard’s performance and features make it a viable option. The DDR5 support and PCIe 5.0 slot can handle demanding tasks, and the motherboard’s affordability makes it a good choice for those working within a budget.
For PC builders like myself, the Z790-A Prime WiFi offers a good balance of features and performance. It’s an affordable way to get on the Z790 train, and while the aesthetics may not be to everyone’s liking, the motherboard’s performance makes up for it.
Final Thoughts on the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi Motherboard
After a thorough examination of the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard, it’s clear that it’s a solid choice for a variety of users. The motherboard offers a good balance of features and performance, making it a versatile option for different use cases.
The ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard is an affordable entry into the Z790 market, offering DDR5 support and a single PCIe 5.0 slot for your GPU. However, it’s important to note that the motherboard’s aesthetics may not be to everyone’s liking. The shift from a white aesthetic to a silver one, coupled with the black design on the two largest heatsinks, may not appeal to everyone.
Despite this, the motherboard performs well, particularly when paired with the Core i5-13600K. It’s not bad with the Core i9, but it truly shines with the Core i5, offering some room for tweaking.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard support overclocking?
Yes, the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard does support overclocking. However, it’s important to note that while the motherboard can handle mild overclocking, it may not be the best choice for extreme overclocking scenarios.
2. Is the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard compatible with DDR5 memory?
Yes, the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard is compatible with DDR5 memory. This is one of the key features of this motherboard, as DDR5 memory is the latest standard and offers higher speeds and improved performance over DDR4 memory.
3. Does the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard have any issues with XMP memory?
Some users have reported issues with getting XMP memory to work, even after updating the BIOS to the latest version. However, using the “use default” setting seems to work fine for most users. If you’re planning to use XMP memory with this motherboard, it might be worth keeping this in mind.
4. Can I use all four M.2 slots on the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard?
Yes, you can use all four M.2 slots on the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard. However, one user on Amazon reported a quality control issue where the contacts that are supposed to grab the M.2 card were covering the slot the card went into, limiting them to using only three M.2 slots. This seems to be an isolated incident, but it’s something to be aware of.
5. What kind of cooling solutions does the ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard support?
The ASUS Z790-A Prime WiFi motherboard supports both air and liquid cooling solutions. It comes with multiple fan headers for air cooling, and it also has support for AIO (All In One) and custom liquid cooling solutions.