If you intend to build a new computer using a 12th or 13th Gen Intel Core processor, there are two paths you can follow. You could get on the fast lane using the latest DDR5 memory or choose the slightly slower yet more affordable road where keeping your old DDR4 memory is still a choice. Fortunately, Alder Lake and Raptor Lake processors too can work with both DDR4 and DDR5. An interesting motherboard for those who want to use DDR4 is the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4. With a black-and-white design and a generous amount of features, it might be exactly what you were looking for. Would you like to know what to expect from the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4? Then read this review:
ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4: Who is it good for?
The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is the motherboard you should get if:
- You’re looking for a Z790 motherboard that supports 13th Gen Intel Core processors
- You intend to keep on using your DDR4 memory or don’t want to buy DDR5
- You’re a gamer and want a capable motherboard
Pros and cons
There are many positive aspects about the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard:
- Its price is lower than that of DDR5-compatible motherboards
- The black and white/silver design looks great
- Includes a PCI Express 5.0 x16 graphics port
- Plenty of PCIe 4.0 slots
- Compatible with Wi-Fi 6E networks
- Offers USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 that can transfer data at speeds of up to 20 Gbps
As for the downsides:
- It’s more expensive than similar DDR4-compatible motherboards
In my opinion, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is a motherboard you should consider buying if you’re a gamer first and foremost. It’s a great choice for anyone who plays a lot and still wants to keep and use their DDR4 memory modules. Compared to DDR5, DDR4 has tighter timings, and games should run similarly well. For other software, where RAM bandwidth matters more, it’s worth looking into DDR5-compatible motherboards. Besides offering excellent performance, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is also a beautiful motherboard that includes numerous features you might want. You get PCI Express 5.0 for the graphics port, PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, and WiFi 6E. Taking everything into account, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is a high-end proposition among the Z790-based motherboards with DDR4 and deserves our “Buy for Gamers” award.
Unboxing the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4
The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard arrives in a relatively large box that’s made of premium cardboard. The package looks great, showcasing the white and silver color accents of the motherboard. On the top of the box, you get to see a large image of the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4, while on the back, you’ll find details about its main features and specs.
Besides the motherboard, the box includes two SATA 6Gb/s cables, an ASUS Wi-Fi moving antennas kit, a thermal pad for M.2 drives, some cable ties, an M.2 Q-Latch package, two M.2 rubber packages and one M.2 backplate rubber, a ROG key chain, a series of ROG Strix stickers, a thank you card, and the user manual.
Unboxing the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is exactly as I expected. The high-quality packaging and the generous bundle of accessories make you feel good about your acquisition.
Hardware specifications and design
Measuring exactly 30.5 cm (12 inches) in length and 24.4 cm (9.6 inches) in width, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 is a motherboard with a standard ATX form factor. To carry out its duties, the motherboard relies on a Z790 chipset that can work with both 13th and 12th Gen Intel Core processors. This is the latest chipset from Intel, launched in 2022, and compared to the older high-end Z690 chipset, the main improvement it brings is support for more and faster PCI Express 4.0 lanes. Z790 offers up to twenty PCI Express 4.0 lanes and up to eight PCI Express 3.0 lanes. It also integrates Intel Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity and up to five USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 ports. Moreover, the chipset allows motherboards based on it to run with either DDR5 or DDR4, depending on the manufacturer’s choice. The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard that we’re looking at in this review uses DDR4. You’ve probably noticed that already in its naming: the D4 stands for DDR4. 🙂
In terms of design, the motherboard looks beautiful in my opinion, but it’s also a bit unexpected to see a ROG Strix painted in white and silver. Usually, ASUS’ ROG Strix lineup is black, and white was something reserved for the company’s Prime motherboards. Nonetheless, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 looks great, and its elegance can attract many PC builders who love white or black & white designs.
The components of the motherboard appear to be of high quality. The M.2 slots are covered by large heatsinks, just like the chipset and VRM modules. Similarly, the input/output panel is protected by a large plate that features not only an RGB-lit Strix logo but also some discreet Pac-Man hints. 🙂
The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 has 16+1 power stages able to handle 70 amperes each. In other words, it can handle overclocking without any kind of issues. Above the VRMs, on the top-left corner of the motherboard, you’ll find two reinforced standard 8-pin (12 Volts) CPU power connectors.
The master 24-pin ATX power connector is located on the upper right side of the motherboard. Next to it, you get four DIMM slots that accept DDR4 memory modules. You can insert up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM running at a maximum speed of 5333 MT/s (megatransfers per second) in dual channel mode.
Connected to the PCI Express lanes of the processor, the motherboard gives you:
- one PCIe 5.0 (x16 mode) slot for the graphics card
- one M.2 PCIe 4.0 (x4 mode) slot for a fast solid-state drive (type 2242/2260/2280/22110)
Routed to the PCI Express lanes of the motherboard’s Z790 chipset, you get:
- two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots (support x4/x4 mode)
- one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
- one PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot (supports x4 mode, type 2242/2260/2280)
- one PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot (supports x4 mode, type 2242/2260/2280/22110)
- one PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot (supports x4 and SATA modes, type 2242/2260/2280)
- four SATA 6Gb/s ports
To connect to the outer world, the motherboard includes an Intel 2.5 Gbps Ethernet chip and an Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip. The wireless chip features 2x2 MIMO and is compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards on the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz frequency bands. It also supports Bluetooth version 5.3. Sound is provided by an ASUS ROG SupremeFX 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC ALC4080 that supports playback in up to 32-Bit/384kHz.
On the I/O (input/output) panel, the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 hands you numerous ports. There’s a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port (Type-C), three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (two are Type-A, one is USB Type-C), four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (Type-A), two USB 2.0 ports (Type-A), a DisplayPort and an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi antenna module with two connectors, a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, five audio jacks and an optical S/PDIF out port, a BIOS FlashBack button, and a Clear CMOS button.
Furthermore, there are many internal I/O connectors available on the motherboard too. There are two CPU fan headers, an AIO pump header, and five PC case fan headers. If you like RGB lights, know that there are also three addressable Gen 2 headers plus an Aura RGB header. USB-wise, the motherboard comes with a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 connector (supports Type-C), a USB 3.2 Gen 1 header (supports two additional ports), and two USB 2.0 headers (that support four ports). Last but not least, you also have a Thunderbolt header.
If you want the complete list of specifications, head to the motherboard’s official webpage: ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 Tech Specs.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 shapes up as a high-end motherboard, even if it’s still using DDR4 instead of DDR5. The Z790 chipset is tip-top, and ASUS’ implementation on this board gives you all the modern features you’d expect: a PCIe 5.0 graphics port, four PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, and WiFi 6E. If you’re a gamer and an Intel fan and intend to reuse your DDR4 memory, then this is a splendid motherboard to get.
Check the next page of this review to get a glimpse of what a test computer based on the ASUS ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi D4 motherboard and an Intel Core i9-13900K can do in benchmarks and games.