Products from ASUS based on the Intel Z390 chipset differ significantly from last year’s products with the Z370 hub, mainly due to the redesigned VRM, which should appeal to overclockers. Today we will study the behavior of a compact model when interacting with the most powerful processor — Core i9-9900K.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

The main features of the model are built around the Z390 chip, a wireless network adapter is preinstalled here, support for an external temperature sensor can be distinguished from the features, but it is not included in the kit itself. The general list of characteristics is collected in the table:

Model ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming
Official product page on the Web asus.com
Chipset Intel Z390
Processor socket Socket 1151
Processors Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium Gold, Celeron (Coffee Lake-S)
Memory 2 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666/2800*/3000*/3200*/3300*/3333*/3400*/3466*/3600*/3733*/3866*/4000*/4133*/4266*/4333 */4400*/4500*(OC), 64 GB maximum
PCI slots 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16
M.2 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x4
SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280)
Integrated video core (in the processor) Intel UHD 610/630
Video connectors DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0
Number of connected fans 3x 4pin
PS/2 ports
The port is USB 3 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z390)
5 x 3.1 Gen1 (3 x rear panel (1x Type C), Z390)
4 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z390)
VR Ready
Serial ATA 4 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z390)
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z390)
Built-in sound SupremeFX (7.1, HDA):
Codec — S1220A (Realtek ALC1200)
Op Amp — Texas Instruments RC4580 и OPA1688
S/PDIF Optical (output)
Networking Intel I219V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9560 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5)
COM
TPM
UEFI AMI UEFI
Form factor Mini-ITX
Dimensions, mm 170 x 170
Additional features Thermal sensor connector, Lighting Control Center (ROG Aura lighting system, including Aura RGB Strip Header and Aura Addressable Strip Header), Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), external Wi-Fi antenna included
Retail price, $ 246

Packaging and equipment

The box is small, to match the size of the device.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

At the rear, accents are built around hardware features.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

In addition to the board, the box contains:

  • user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
  • a set of stickers with various images of the ROG Strix series, including those for cables;
  • ROG device owner welcome brochure;
  • disk with drivers and proprietary software;
  • coupon with a discount for the procedure of braiding wires (rounding);
  • mounting screw and M.2 device stand — two sets;
  • extension plate with screw for mounting type 2242 M.2 devices — two sets;
  • four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
  • seven nylon ties;
  • extension cord for connecting a controlled LED strip;
  • remote antenna with the possibility of fixing only one position;
  • an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors.
ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Appearance

To reset the settings, a contact pair has been prepared, the switch is responsible for the second version of MemOK! Its active status will help to track the LED soldered nearby. The chip with the firmware is the only one.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

A copious amount of electronic components on the open side of the board can cause compatibility issues with reinforcement plates for the CPU cooling system.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Illumination is dialed by a group of LEDs directed to the side, they are soldered along the right side of the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I GamingASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

The heatsink above the PCI-E x16 slot is intended primarily for an M.2 device, which is limited to eight centimeters in length.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

The thermal interface is pre-applied. The lower part of the composite cooler is designed for the hub.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Another M.2 form factor device can be rear mounted.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

There are four SATA ports, one pad is available for the needs of body cables of generations 2.0, 3.1 Gen1 and 3.1 Gen2. Everything just listed is of the transverse type.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

A simplified Q-LED diagnostic complex of multi-colored LEDs is located near the RAM slots.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

The sound subsystem includes op-amps of two different models and a group of special capacitors. The codec does not have a personal shielding element, it was unsoldered under a common «visor».

The protective structure located above the I / O ports is nothing more than a heatsink involved in cooling the batteries of the CPU stabilizer. The height is increased, so there is one more factor that does not make it easier to select a CO for the processor. The other, additional cooler is more squat, it already has both ribs and bulges that increase the heat dissipation area, unlike the first element.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Let’s analyze the composition of the power stabilizer, moving clockwise. A small choke is involved for CPU IO, and the first from the general group is for CPU SA Voltage. For the first voltage, TPS51362 from Texas Instruments was chosen, the second is obtained by interacting a pair of NTMFS4C10B and NTMFS4C06B from ON Semiconductor. The ASP1401CTB PWM controller manages eight DrMOS-type assemblies from the same manufacturer, model NCP302045. The scheme of work is 6 + 2 channels, I did not notice doublers. Considering the number of pins on the soldered PWM controller, it is most likely that double the number of elements in each of the CPU «phases» is used, so the real picture of events is 3 + 2 «phases». The last inductor from the general set is involved in the DRAM voltage regulator. Used capacitors «military» grade, designed for five thousand hours when operating in an environment of elevated temperatures.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I GamingASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Heat sinks concern both power elements and chokes, the areas of thermal pads are sufficient.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

Back panel saturation isn’t as bountiful as the top ROG Strix board we reviewed earlier, the Z390-E Gaming. There is no PS/2 and one less USB port. Going into technical nuances, the generation of symmetrical USB Type C has also dropped a notch, but the HDMI output is version 2.0. In a word, the provision with outputs is quite decent, but the set of available ports cannot be called the maximum.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming

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