The Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is arguably just as good-looking as the pricier ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, but costs nearly $300 less and shaves a significant amount off the price of the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi too. Unlike the MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4, some premium features have filtered down to this more affordable Z790 motherboard as well.
These include Asus’ quick-release PCIe slot button, double-sided SSD cooling for the top M.2 slot (though no tool-free installation), and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support for both the rear Type-C port and the onboard Type-C header. There are USB BIOS Flashback and CMOS-clear buttons on the rear I/O panel and a large RGB-illuminated logo on the I/O shroud, as well as RGB lighting on the I/O panel.
That’s not to say that this board has feature parity with the Hero – the latter also steps up to include Thunderbolt 4 on the rear I/O panel, a PCIe 5 M.2 port, and some nifty accessories, including a large M.2 expansion card, none of which are found on the ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4.
The Strix’s 16+1 phase design power delivery system is also less lavish than that of the Hero, but it’s still solid, and the Strix’s onboard audio is based on the Realtek ALC4080 codec, just like the Hero. You only get four SATA 6Gbps ports on the Strix, compared with six on the Hero and even eight on the ASRock Z790 PG Riptide, but four is usually more than enough for most people’s needs these days.
You also get a thermal probe header with this comparatively affordable board, which pairs well with the board’s excellent fan control suites in Asus’ EFI and software. This is a feature the pricier MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi lacks, and its software is clunky too. The sensor allows you to use a thermal probe to control your fans based on coolant temperature, rather than the CPU temperature, which is useful for water-cooled systems.
The Strix’s audio performance was on par with that of the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, with a noise level of -114dBA, dynamic range of 115.5dBA, and total harmonic distortion of 0.0016 percent, which are excellent results. The M.2 temperature of 50°C with our PCIe 4 SSD was excellent too.
Meanwhile, the VRM temperature of 48°C with our overclocked Core i5-13600K at a P-core frequency of 5.7GHz with a 1.35V vcore was cooler than the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi, and the Strix produced solid benchmark results, and a Cinebench Multi-threaded score of 24,656 that rose to 26,332 once overclocked.
Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 pros and cons
- Attractive design
- Good feature set
- DDR4 memory support
- Still pricey
- No tool-free M.2 heatsinks
- No PCIe 5 M.2 support
Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 specs
The Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 specs list is:
|Dimensions (mm):||305 x 244|
|CPU socket:||Intel LGA1700|
|Memory support:||4 slots: max 128GB DDR4 (up to 5333MHz)|
|Expansion slots:||One 16x PCIe 5, two 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 PCIe 4, 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|
Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 price
The ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is reasonably priced for a Z790 motherboard with this feature set, and its support for DDR4 memory will save you a bit of money too.
Price: Expect to pay $400 USD / £388 GBP
Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 review conclusion
It’s a shame there’s no PCIe 5 M.2 port on the Strix, as someone spending $400 on a motherboard is likely to want the latest tech, but with no PCIe 5 SSDs in sight yet, this isn’t a dealbreaker.
Otherwise, we definitely recommend the Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 over the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon WiFi, and unless you want scope for using PCIe 5 SSDs in the future, or you really want Thunderbolt 4, then it also offers much better value than the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero. 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.
Asus ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 rating
Still pricey, but the Strix strikes a great balance between the cheap and over-the-top options on test this month.