You’d be right to ask what the differences are between the ASRock Z790 PG Riptide and ASRock Z790 PG Lightning D4. If you’re looking to cut down your costs as far as possible, then the latter is a solid choice for an Intel Z790 motherboard with the added bonus of support for DDR4 memory.
If you’re happy to buy new memory and pay a little extra for DDR5, though, the Riptide looks a lot snazzier than the bare bones Z790 PG Lightning D4, plus it has a few extra features.
You get more heatsinks for M.2 SSDs for starters, and ASRock even manages to include a PCIe 5 M.2 port equipped with an oversized heatsink, although we’re still waiting for the first PCIe 5 SSDs to appear on the horizon. The other four M.2 connectors all support PCIe 4 and there’s a huge count of eight SATA 6Gbps ports too – if you have a bunch of hard disks to use, this is the board for you.
There’s still no VRM temperature readout, but the heatsinks here are larger than those on the ASRock Z790 PG Lightning D4, which is ideal if you’re planning to use a Core i9 CPU. There’s RGB lighting on the PCH heatsink and you get 3-pin and 4-pin RGB lighting headers too.
Meanwhile, the rear I/O panel offers a useful tally of eight Type-A USB ports, but its USB-C port is restricted to USB 3 specification. Thankfully, if you do need more speed and power, the USB-C header on the motherboard offers USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.
Out of the box, the board returned decent benchmark numbers with a RealBench system score of 371,347, a Handbrake video encoding score of 1,028,571, and a Cinebench multi-threaded score of 24,268. Importantly, it overclocked our Core i5-13600K fine.
It also managed to overclock our CPU to 5.7GHz with a vcore of 1.35V, but ASRock seems to apply a big amount of loadline calibration, which can see this figure rise to over 1.4V, so you’ll need some decent cooling. After overclocking, the Cinebench score rose to 26,050, offering a decent gain over stock speed.
As with the PG Lightning, there’s no VRM temperature readout, but our IR probe found a peak of 45°C in our stress test, and the actual temperature won’t be too far from this. Our SSD also only hit 59°C with the large heatsink, which was on par with other boards of this type.
Finally, audio performance was typical of an older Realtek codec, with a dynamic range of 95dBA and noise level of -93dBA – this is fine for everyday computer use, but it lags behind the quality audio on offer from some premium boards.
ASRock Z790 PG Riptide pros and cons
- Only costs $239
- PCIe 5 M.2 port
- Good overclocker
- Mediocre audio
- Needs DDR5 memory
- No Wi-Fi
ASRock Z790 PG Riptide specs
The ASRock Z790 PG Riptide specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm):||305 x 244|
|CPU socket:||Intel LGA1700|
|Memory support:||4 slots: max 128 GB DDR5 (up to 6800MHz)|
|Expansion slots:||One 16x PCIe 5, one 16x PCIe 4, one 1x PCIe 3|
|Sound:||8-channel Realtek ALC897|
|Networking:||1 x Realtek 2.5 Gigabit LAN|
|Cooling:||Seven 4-pin fan headers, VRM heatsinks, M.2 heatsink|
|Ports:||4 x SATA 6Gbps, 4 x M.2 PCI-E, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 5 x USB 3, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3 Type-C header, 1 x LAN, 3 x surround audio out|
ASRock Z790 PG Riptide price
The Z790 PG Riptide has a generous price for motherboard based on Intel’s Z790 chipset, especially as it also supports DDR5 memory.
Price: Expect to pay $239 USD / £239 GBP
ASRock Z790 PG Riptide review conclusion
It might lack some features, but the ASRock Z790 PG Riptide offers a PCIe 5 M.2 port, it overclocked our Core i5-13600K fine and it also gives you change from $250. It doesn’t have the visual prowess of pricier boards, but it offers far better value.
If you’re happy to splash out on new memory, this is a great budget buy. If this motherboard isn’t right for you, check out our guide to the best Z790 motherboard, which covers a range of specs to suit different budgets.
ASRock Z790 PG Riptide rating
An LGA1700 motherboard with PCIe 5 M.2 and graphics support for a great price, though it needs DDR5 memory.