Croatian media outlet PC Ekspert shared a video unboxing a pair of Asus’ upcoming Z390 motherboards on its YouTube channel today. The ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming and Prime Z390-A are only two of the 19 Z390-based models that the Taiwanese motherboard maker is preparing to launch soon.
ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming
As denoted by the “I” in its name, the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is a mini-ITX format motherboard and the only confirmed one from Asus’ Z390 motherboard portfolio so far. The little monster has undergone a complete makeover and looks nothing like its Z370 predecessor. Asus has replaced the silver heat sinks with sleek, black variants. The motherboard now comes with a rear panel cover and a pre-mounted I/O shield.
The ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming features what appears to be a 10-phase power delivery subsystem. Given the reduced dimensions, the motherboard only comes equipped with two DDR4 memory slots. However, the memory traces between the processor and memory slots are also shorter, which in turn, give the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming the edge in memory performance over standard ATX offerings. For storage, Asus outfitted the motherboard with four vertically oriented SATA III ports and two M.2 slots, one on the front of the motherboard with its heat sink and one hidden at the rear of the motherboard. There is only one PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot for a single graphics card; therefore, owners have to make it count.
The rear I/O area of the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is populated by two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port. There are one USB 3.1 Gen 1, Gen 2 and USB 2.0 headers present on the motherboard as well. The remaining ports consist of a DisplayPort out, HDMI port, LAN port, five audio jacks and optical S/PDIF out. As expected, the ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming is equipped with an onboard module to provide Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth v4.2 connectivity.
The Prime Z390-A maintains the black-and-white theme with a touch of silver accents that characterize the brand’s Prime series of motherboards. Nevertheless, the heat sinks have been redesigned on the Z390 iteration. Although the motherboard has a rear panel cover, it does lack the pre-mounted I/O shield present on the more expensive models.
From what we can tell from the YouTube video, the Prime Z390-A has an eight-phase power delivery subsystem. The motherboard can house up to four DDR4 memory modules. It also provides six SATA III ports and two M.2 ports for storage. One of the M.2 slot has its own heat sink, while the other sits naked below the processor socket. The number of expansion slots total up to three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.
The array of different ports on the rear I/O of the Prime Z370-A motherboard includes an old-school PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, DisplayPort output, an HDMI port, a LAN port, five audio jacks and optical S/PDIF out. As for front panel USB connectors, the motherboard has two USB 3.1 headers (Gen 1 and Gen 2) and three USB 2.0 headers.
Watch PC Ekspert’s unboxing video below: