Asus ProArt Z690 Creator Wifi

Motherboards

Asus ProArt Z690-CREATOR WIFI

Pros

  • Two Thunderbolt 4, 10GbE, 2.5GbE LAN & WiFi 6E (AX)
  • Four NVMe slots
  • Two PCI Express x16 slots have PCI Express 5.0 standard
  • DDR5, but looking at the prices not necessarily a pro
  • Enough options and possibilities
  • RGB & A-RGB capabalities
  • USB-DAC integrated into the motherboard
  • Asus Armory Crate is astonishing.

Cons

  • A price tag of 500,- Euros makes it quite an investment
Asus ProArt Z690-CREATOR WIFI Review

Introduction

With the 12th generation of Intel lots of new contenders are being brought on the market when it comes to motherboards. Something for every budget. Today, we’ll be looking at the Asus ProArt Z690-Creator WiFi. How does it hold up? You can read it here!

Specifications

The list of specs are REALLY long, if you want to skip this part, press the chapter Unboxing in the Index!

CPU
Supports Intel® 10 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0**

Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR5 6000(OC)/ 5800(OC)/ 5600(OC)/ 5400(OC)/ 5200(OC)/ 5000(OC)/ 4800MT/s Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory*
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
OptiMem II

Graphics
1 x HDMI® port**
2 x Intel® Thunderbolt™ 4 ports (USB Type-C®) support DisplayPort*** and Thunderbolt™ video outputs****

Expansion Slots
Intel® 12th Gen Processors*
2 x PCIe 5.0/4.0/3.0 x16 slot(s) (supports x16 or x8/x8 mode(s))

Intel® Z690 Chipset**
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (supports x4 mode)

Storage
Intel® 12th Gen Processors
M.2_1 slot (Key M), type 2242/2260/2280/22110
– Intel® 12th Gen processors support PCIe 4.0 x4 mode.

Intel® Z690 Chipset**
M.2_2 slot (Key M), type 2242/2260/2280 (supports PCIe 4.0 x4 mode)
M.2_3 slot (Key M), type 2242/2260/2280/22110 (supports PCIe 4.0 x4 mode)
M.2_4 slot (Key M), type 2242/2260/2280 (supports PCIe 4.0 x4 & SATA modes)***
8 x SATA 6Gb/s ports***

Ethernet
ASUS LANGuard
Wireless & Bluetooth
Wi-Fi 6E
2×2 Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
Supports 2.4/5/6GHz frequency band*
Bluetooth v5.2 hardware ready**

USB
2 x Thunderbolt™ 4 port(s) (2 x USB
Type-C®) with up to 5V/3A, 15W charging support
6 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s) (6 x Type-A)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connector(s)
(support(s) USB Type-C® with 60W PD/QC4+)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 header(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0 header(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 ports

Audio
Realtek S1220A 7.1 Surround Sound High Definition Audio CODEC*
– Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
– Internal audio Amplifier to enhance the highest quality sound for headphone and speakers
– Supports: Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
– High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
– Supports up to 32-Bit/192 kHz playback*”

Audio Features
– Power pre-regulator reduces power input noise to ensure consistent performance
– Premium Japanese audio capacitors
– Dedicated audio PCB layers
– Audio cover
– Unique de-pop circuit

Deel van de tekst is weggehaald en in de review zelf geplaatst. (Wat bedoel je?)

Special Features
ASUS 5X PROTECTION III
– DIGI+ VRM (- Digital power design with DrMOS)
– Enhanced DRAM Overcurrent Protection
– ESD Guards
– LANGuard
– Overvoltage Protection
– SafeSlot
– Stainless-Steel Back I/O

ASUS Q-Design
– M.2 Q-Latch
– Q-Connector
– Q-DIMM
– Q-LED (CPU [red], DRAM [yellow], VGA [white], Boot Device [yellow green])
– Q-Slot

ASUS Thermal Solution
– M.2 heatsink
– VRM heatsink design

ASUS EZ DIY
– BIOS FlashBack™ button
– BIOS FlashBack™ LED
– Box Headers
– ProCool II
– Pre-mounted I/O shield

AURA Sync
– AURA RGB header(s)
– Addressable Gen 2 header(s)

Software Features
Armoury Crate
– AURA Creator
– AURA Sync
– Fan Xpert 4
– Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation

AI Suite 3
– 5-Way Optimization with AI Overclocking

TPU
EPU
DIGI+ VRM
Fan Xpert 4
Turbo app
ASUS CPU-Z
IT Management software supported
– ASUS Control Center Express(ACCE)
ProArt Creator Hub
CreationFirst
MyAsus
Norton Anti-virus software (Free Trial version)
WinRAR

UEFI BIOS
AI Overclocking Guide
ASUS EZ DIY
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
– ASUS EZ Flash 3
– ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
FlexKey

BIOS
256 Mb

Unboxing

Time to reveal the Asus ProArt Z690 Creator WIFI from its shell.

This is what you can expect from the package of the Creator WiFi.
– 4 sata cables
– 2 clamps to affix M.2 SSD’s
– Extension cable for your pins, making it easier to route it to the on/off button on the front
– WiFi 6E antenna
– User Guide with an old-fashioned CD. Would have preferred to see a solution through USB.
– M.2 pads designed for SSD’s that have their memory modules on one side.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Personally I like the look of this motherboard. Top left there’s a translucent cap that contains the audio, aptly displaying; Crystal Sound.

The ProArt doesn’t have RGB onboard, but through 3 and 4-pin connectors there is the option to have RGB/A-RGB, fans etc. to complete your airport runway.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

The ProArt logo has a good looking plastic plate, which combined with the ribs under it give off a cool looking effect.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

The ProArt Creator is equipped with four M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots and can be expanded to 8 sata slots. The Four DDR5 ram-slots offer space up to 128GB.

The three PCIe slots are capable of the followin:
2 x PCIe 5.0/4.0/3.0 x16 slot(s) (supports x16 or x8/x8 mode(s))
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (supports x4 mode)

Two out of three slots have a metal encasing. This prevents the PCI slot from a lot of pain, especially considering the weight of GPU’s nowadays.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

There are the components used in this review:
– 2x Kingston KC600 2.5” SSD
– 2x Kingston Renegade 2TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD
– Kingston Fury Beast KF560C40BBK2-32 (6000Mhz 32GB)
– BeQuiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2
– Intel i5-12500 (Hexa (6) core @ 3GHz-4,6GHz).

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Whilst taking pictures for this review, I wasn’t able to use the 32GB 6000Mhz, so that’s why the image shows a 16GB 4800Mhz.

The Kingston Fury memory looks great, even though the board isn’t RGB.

The board doesn’t have a POST LCD. But Asus has fixed that problem by placing 4 LEDs. With the blink of an eye looking at the 4 LEDs, you can see if the problem lies with the CPU, memory, GPU or whatever media boots the OS.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Time to affix the M.2 Renegate SSD. The PCIe 4.0 SSDs are capable of stunning speeds of 6.5GB/s. The steel (SafeSlot) heatsinks/strips enveloping the SSD’s ensure a good temperature, flowing the heat away well. When you place the heatsinks, make sure you take off any stickers, the blue ones with the letters as shown in the image.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

A personal annoyance is affixing the SSD’s. Not that it needs to be more exciting, but it could definitely be easier. And Asus managed to make it easier. Rotating clamps ensure that the SSD is in the right place, leaving enough space for the heatsink.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

The motherboard is equipped with the following connections.

1 x 4-pin CPU Fan header(s)
1 x 4-pin CPU OPT Fan header(s)
1 x 4-pin AIO Pump header(s)
5 x 4-pin Chassis Fan header(s)
8 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (support(s) USB Type-C®)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 header(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
2 x USB 2.0 header(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
3 x Addressable Gen 2 header(s)
1 x AURA RGB header(s)
1 x Clear CMOS header
1 x COM Port header
1 x CPU Over Voltage jumper
1 x Front Panel Audio header (AAFP)
1 x M.2 slot (Key E)
1 x SPI TPM header (14-1pin)
1 x 20-3 pin System Panel header with Chassis intrude function
1 x RTC Battery header
1 x Thermal Sensor header

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Like I’ve mentioned in the introduction, the board will be used in combination with an Intel i5 12500.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

The I/O backplate has the following connections:
2 x Thunderbolt™ 4 USB Type-C® port(s)
6 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s) (6 x Type-A)
2 x DisplayPort (Input only)
1 x HDMI® port
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
1 x Marvell® AQtion 10Gb Ethernet port
1 x Intel® 2.5Gb Ethernet port
5 x Audio jacks
1 x BIOS FlashBack™ button

Memory won’t be an issue, especially with 4 NVMe drives + 8 SATA connections, but you also want that data to be stored quickly. This board has Thunderbolt 4 and 10GbE, now that’s something that will make quick work of any data you need to transfer.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Let’s put it in its place, we’re using the BeQuiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

At the top of the case, towards the front we can find a QI charger, which is pretty cool, provided the PC is turned on. If it’s off, it won’t work.
Two USB 3.0, one USB 3.1 and one USB Type-C should be enough to fit your needs. And not to forget, the headphone connectors and the RGB button, the latter useful if you want to switch between RGB profiles.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

And last but not least, the i5 with the standard Intel fan. The fans have been replaced by BeQuiet! Light Wings 140mm PWM. Of course the A-RGB can be toggled on/off. The fun thing is that this case has 2 RGB lightstrips that work in conjunction with the fans, combining the colors.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

A pretty cool system if I say so myself, if you’re not a fan of all the colors, not a problem, turn it off through the BIOS.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

BIOS

Now that’s a transition that I didn’t plan! Let’s go through the Creator’s BIOS, which seems to have a good amount of options.

On the starting page’s ‘EZ mode’ we can see timings, CPU info and the option to configure an XMP.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

When you open the advanced mode, you’ll end up on the ‘My Favorites’ page. From there all pages can be placed on the favorites. So you can decide which important settings you want to see together, instead of the usual 300 different tabs.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

At the top, an ‘AI Overclocking Guide’ that can help you extract the maximum amount of potential from your system.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

And under the ‘Tweaker’ tab you can ‘tweak’ you can tweak to your heart’s content. Ranging from timings to voltages. And you can also edit the XMP not counting the other plethora of options.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

The ‘Advanced’ tab can be used to surf to other options. Editing your NVMe SSD’s and its options, or whatever USB configuration you want to use.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

‘Monitor’ contains all the temperatures, sensor & fan settings.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Asus loaded up this board with options. Run an expansive memory test, configure if the Asus Armory crate has to be installed, or not, and lots and lots more.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

What can you expect from a BIOS? Not that much. But it still would be nice if it was at least decent enough for a creator that isn’t tech savvy to understand and be able to edit. How does it achieve that? All options have a summary of its function. And all those functions are enough to completely edit things to your wishes. No, it’s not an ROG Extreme board that has even more options, but a board like this should suffice if you’re not going too crazy.

Software

Every manufacturer has its own software. A while ago, I reviewed two Gigabyte motherboards, comparing that software to the Asus Armory Crate, the latter is superior. The menus with their options actually fit together, amazing!

This software can be used to edit the RGB (Aura), monitor the system, tune it and even run a performance optimization. The latter ensures that certain categories of programs get higher priority on the network.

Benchmarks

With a board like this, we need to run some benchmarks.

PC benchmarks

Benchmarks with the Creator WiFi have been run with the i5 12500 and Kingston Fury Beast KF560C40BBK2-32 (6000Mhz 32GB). Whilst testing the memory has received the standard X.M.P profile that has the recommended speeds of the memory.

Geekbench 5

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

CPU-Z

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Cinebench20 &R23

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

PassMark

Testing with PassMark a few things are displayed well. The 2D and 3D tests we’re interesting.
Due to the PCI 4.0 NVMe, the Disk Score scores on the high end.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

PCMark 10

PCMark scores are quite nice too. A creator might wish for a bit more raw processing speed like the i9 12900k. But then you’d have the perfect little system.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Gaming

As a gamer I am obviously interested in the capabilities for gaming. And that seems to be going well. After the benchmarks I’ve played loads of Forza Horizon 5 and a plethora of other games. And it truly matters having a stable system. I haven’t come across a single BSOD!

The Gigabyte RTX 3070Ti on two different monitors was used to play games.
The monitors ran on a resolution of 3840×1600 and 2560×1080 (because why make it easy when you can do it the hard way).
Memory wise, the previously mentioned Kingston 32GB 6000Mhz (Two sticks). Of course in combination with the Intel i5 12500.

All the tests have been executed three times and I’ve extrapolated an average from them. If there was a difference ‘too’ big to be true, I always neglect the test and run it once more. During these tests I did not have to do that once.

Cyberpunk 2077

In Cyberpunk 2077 I’ve ran a few different tests.
One on Low, having the lowest settings for the most amount of frames, medium, and Ray Tracing: Ultra. For each test there are three different scores. Min-, Average- en Max FPS.

The scores are quite interesting, even with Ray Tracing: Ultra it looks incredible, but it isn’t ideal for gaming. Do not expect a buttery smooth frame rate like on 120 FPS. In this case I’d go for medium and tweak it until you are satisfied. And probably on a normal resolution, the 3860×1600 is a bit overboard for this game and setup.

2560×1080:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

3860×1600:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

F1 2020

F1 2020 is scoring pretty well, even though it’s not that heavy of a game. Even on high (High is actually ultra high) presets the average framerate doesn’t drop below 153 FPS on the highest resolution. And that’s quite a feat.

2560×1080:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

3860×1600:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Far Cry New Dawn

Far Cry New Dawn plays great on this system. On low I’ve gotten an average of 121 FPS and on Ultra 87. Despite the average difference of 24 frames during the benchmark, It’s very noticeable. Details on Ultra are stunning compared to low settings.

2560×1080:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

3860×1600:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Metro: Last Light

Metro is a game that you have to tweak yourself instead of relying on the presets. And during the tests that became quite obvious. Definitely wouldn’t recommend maxing out everything on Very High. With a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS on medium you can definitely feel that. And that was on multiple runs of the lowest resolution. This can also be explained by the Texture Filtering that shot up from 4x at medium, to 16x at very high.

2560×1080:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

3860×1600:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

The minimum FPS are quite low with every benchmark weirdly enough. This was caused by multiple explosions in-game. But it’s still odd. The CPU didn’t seem to care, and neither did the memory and the SSD. Once again I’m learning the lesson not to follow the standard presets, but to tweak it myself. We are after all…Tweakers.

3860×1600:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Tomb Raider

The last gaming benchmark for this board is Tomb Raider. And this one definitely has a few interesting scores. Between low and ultimate, there is a gigantic difference. At low it turns into Minecraft (Or the old Tomb Raider games, polygons anyone?) At Ultimate with an average frame rate of 152 It isn’t just smooth, it also looks stunning.

2560×1080:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

3860×1600:
ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

3DMark

Even though this test isn’t really suitable for the category gaming, there might be people interested in the score of this motherboard combined with the 3070Ti from Gigabyte.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Looking at the benchmarks that I’ve ran, including the gaming ones with the 3070Ti, it’s quite clear that the board combined with the Intel i5 12500 and 6000 Mhz is fast enough. The total sum of the whole build i wouldn’t call it a bargain, but it is definitely cool..

Conclusion

Before the Z690 I’ve reviewed 2 other boards, and during this review I’m occupied with two others again. It continues to be an interesting platform that Asus does well at in my opinion. The Asus ProArt Z690 Creator WiFi is the highlight in the Z690 series. It’s not an Xtreme board, and it doesn’t have to be, this has more than enough options.
It’s a good looking board, even without the RGB, but it does have the option to add it later on. A-RGB or RGB strips can be used to light it up like the 4th of July if you wish to do so. The software provided & Asus Armory Crate is a real addition to the whole package. Everything in one centralized piece of software, tweak, monitor or swiftly change profile, it’s all there.

With a price tag of around 480 Euros this motherboard is being sold. And truth be told, it’s not cheap. But looking at the multitude of options it has, it’s a price tag that seems fair. The PCI 5.0, NVMe 4.0 (Four of them), 10GbE, 2x Thunderbolt 4.0 etc. ensure premium quality, same goes for the manufacturing costs.

Whilst testing, gaming and loads of other things, I’ve ran it with random timings. Even without a complete XMP profile. Gaming/lightroom import/exports and editing is incredibly stable, and that is much appreciated.

The good thing about this socket is that you don’t HAVE to add a GPU, most CPUs have onboard graphics, so if you need a clean system designed for editing/surfing, this can be the one. If that is your wish, you don’t need to get that ridiculously expensive card. All the options that the board has to offer are displayed well, you could even hook up monitors through Thunderbolt.

The Asus ProArt Z690 Creator WiFi earns 5 out of 5 stars. Personally, a great board, especially for the creator that wants to blast his data through his network.

ASUS PROART Z690 CREATOR WIFI

Let’s start a discussion

Want to discuss with us: click here for Reddit and here for Discord.

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