ASRock Z690 Extreme motherboard arrived in a retail package which is well described as all ASRock motherboards. The motherboard and its package have about the same design as the Z590 Extreme motherboard reviewed some months ago. ASRock decided to make it more minimalistic but at the same time functional and looking more professional. The Z690 Extreme motherboard has a dark theme, with a mix of blue and black colors. The same we can see on the box and on the motherboard itself.
We will find a well-protected motherboard, user’s manual, graphics card holder, drivers and software DVD, SATA data cables, cable stripes, ASRock logo sticker, and M.2 screws inside the box. This is more than we expected to see but also about the same set of accessories as we have seen with the Z590 Extreme motherboard.
The motherboard has no additional fans, but there are no problems with cooling because of large heatsinks. Heatsinks have a nice-looking texture, and there is less plastic than in the previous series.
The motherboard presents well. It’s not flashy and doesn’t have any useless components, so we can say it looks pretty simple. Everything is black with some blue stripes. On the side, we can see an orange EXTREME sign which is an effect of the stacked PCB layers without the paint what seems the most expressive part of the motherboard. On the other hand, we have everything that really counts for hardcore gamers and overclockers, so a solid power design with two 8-pin power connectors for the CPU and 13 power phases, heatsinks covering all components that may heat up, four memory slots with high memory frequency support, PCIe 5.0 slot and fast M.2 sockets.
The motherboard has a 13-power phase design, so one less than the previously reviewed Z590. It’s still more than enough for even the i9-12900K, and we had no problems with stability or overclocking.
The Z690 Extreme supports up to 128GB RAM in four 32GB memory modules, so exactly the same as four-slot ASRock Z590 motherboards. ASRock released their Z690 motherboards with some delay but spent this time to improve BIOS, so there are no problems with memory support of high frequencies.
RGB illumination is in the chipset cover and I/O cover, but also on the whole right side of the motherboard, just next to the semi-transparent EXTREME sign.
Below are some photos of the working setup. The motherboard supports various cooler and RAM products, so there shouldn’t be any problems with all popular brands. In our case, it’s Team Group DDR4-4000 RAM and Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black cooler which will be covered by a separate review in the upcoming days.
One more great feature is ASRock’s BIOS/UEFI, which I will describe on this review’s next page.