The Asus ROG Strix Z590-E has arrived in the editor: a prelude to the Rocket Lake-S CPU tests




Like many other media, we have received a copy of the Z590 motherboard, which will allow us to test future Rocket Lake-S.

While the latest rumors point to the availability of its new processors during the month of April, Intel still surrounds this release with a certain mystery. Fortunately, a clear sign, the first Z590 chipset motherboards have arrived at retailers.



Three chipsets to surround the Rocket Lake-S

For our part, Asus sent us a copy of its ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi. It will not be the most high-end model of the manufacturer, but the card is already on sale for the 'modest' sum of 430-460 euros according to the dealers - despite an indicative price of 419.99 euros.

As the name unambiguously suggests, this is a Z590 chipset-based motherboard. A component which constitutes the top of the range from Intel to accompany the release of the Rocket Lake-S processors while other chipsets - B560 and H570 - will make it possible to take advantage of rather inexpensive solutions.





Up to 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes

This Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi will be our “benchmark” setup for testing Rocket Lake-S processors as they become available. We will then offer you the tests of as many processors as possible, ending with the motherboard itself.

In the meantime, we've decided to take a quick look at what the Z590 chipset and the Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi have to offer, focusing on some points that we think are worthy of interest. Below you will find the technical drawing of the latest chipset from Intel first.





As you can see, the chipset does not directly support PCI Express 4.0. For it to be part of the game, a Rocket Lake-S processor must be installed on the LGA1200. It should be noted in passing that this generation of CPU will be the last appearance of the LGA1200: the release of the Alder Lake-S will mark the arrival of the LGA1700.

The Z590 supports a maximum of 24 PCI Express 3.0 lanes and manages a large number of connectors: up to three USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, up to ten USB 3.2 Gen 2x1, up to ten USB 3.2 Gen 1x1 and up to to fourteen USB 2.0. A maximum of six SATA 6 Gb / s ports is obviously part of the game with RAID support (0/1/5/10).




Four NVMe SSDs with easy mounting

The Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi makes good use of this rich functionality, as you can see above. DisplayPort and HDMI are planned to use the graphics solution of Intel CPUs and two network ports are there: too bad, they are 'only' 2.5 GbE ports. Considering the price of the card, we could hope for a little better.

We will also notice the presence of two USB-C ports while Asus still multiplies the USB-A ports with a mix of 3.2 Gen 2x2, 3.2 Gen 2x1 and 3.2 Gen 1 connectors. A USB port is obviously provided to flash the BIOS without that it is necessary to put a processor; finally, all the audio connections are there.




We won't dwell on the motherboard any more than that, except to point out that the chipset doesn't need a fan. Asus still delivers a small one, which can be easily attached to the dedicated location if the need arises. Four DDR4 DIMM ports are, as always, part of the game with a dual-channel de rigueur.

High-end card requires, Asus includes a display for error codes, but no power button | reset. Among the main original features of the card, one will note - between the various PCI Express ports - the presence of no less than four slots for NVMe SSDs… Are we heading towards the end of SATA SSDs for the general public?




Most importantly, these four locations have their own cooling plate. Wise precaution. Asus took advantage of this generation to introduce its screwless fixing system for a problem-free installation: a simple piece of plastic that you turn to keep the NVMe SSD in place.




Let's end this preview by mentioning another interesting novelty, software this time. Asus has indeed integrated the MemTest86 software into the BIOS of its card for simplified diagnostics. We will have the opportunity to come back to this during our test of the platform… Patience, patience.


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