ASUS Z590 motherboard guide: ROG Maximus XIII, ROG Strix, TUF Gaming, and Prime bring power to the core

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The Republic of Gamers pulls out all the stops

Back in 2006, a group of our engineers embarked on a mission to create the best motherboards possible, by any means necessary. We wanted to craft products exhibiting the finest workmanship, loaded with the most cutting-edge components, and kitted out with power delivery circuitry fit to push the highest-end CPUs to the very limits of performance. In other words, we set out to build motherboards without compromises. The Republic of Gamers has satisfied the lofty demands of the most hardcore enthusiasts ever since.

Our ROG Maximus XIII series leads the Z590 charge. The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is the latest result of our long-running partnership with the liquid-cooling experts at EKWB. It pairs our highest-end PCB design with a full-coverage water block that cools the CPU, VRM, chipset, and more for an unshakeable high-end foundation. The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme uses the same no-holds-barred E-ATX PCB in an air-cooled configuration that’s compatible with a broader range of system builds. And the ROG Maximus XIII Hero brings the quintessential ROG DNA to the broadest range of our most demanding fans.

The Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is a bespoke foundation for bespoke builds

The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial stands at the summit of our Z590 motherboard lineup. It’s crammed full of top-shelf hardware and a massive power delivery subsystem that all rests under a bespoke cooling monoblock.

This exquisite Ultrablock, designed in collaboration with the liquid cooling experts at EKWB, covers the CPU, VRM, and chipset to keep those critical components running at their best. In addition to the impressive chill it puts on the CPU, the Ultrablock delivers VRM temperatures up to 37.2°C lower than a common air-cooled configuration. Its primary contact surfaces are made of 99% pure electrolytic copper, and each unit is leak-tested at 15 PSI for rock-solid reliability. A dazzling 1.77” color OLED LiveDash on the Ultrablock displays key system parameters or custom graphics.

To unleash the full performance of overclocked CPUs under the Ultrablock, we lay out an 18+2 teamed power stage topology to power the CPU Vcore and onboard graphics processor. Each power stage is rated for up to 100A of output, and we couple them with MicroFine chokes and 10K black metallic capacitors for the smoothest possible power delivery to the processor, even under the highest loads.

Overclockers will find a comprehensive set of capabilities to let them unleash 11th Gen Core CPUs on the Extreme Glacial. Raw power makes its way into the board via ProCool II EPS connectors. The solid pins in these connectors offer better contact with PSU plugs, improved heat dissipation, and better reliability over common hardware. The four memory slots next to the CPU socket can drive capable DIMMs up to a dizzying 5333MHz thanks to the optimized signaling and layout from our OptiMem III layout. The Q-Code display, eight ProbeIt measurement points, and LN2 mode jumper will come in handy for overclockers probing the limit of 11th Gen CPU performance with exotic coolants and cryo pots.

Liquid cooling setups based around the Extreme Glacial will doubtless include lots of fans, and the board is ready to indulge the vision of the most creative custom builders with a collection of 12 fan headers that can drive 16 fans in total. Six PWM fan headers reside on the board itself, and the included ROG Fan Controller adds another six to the mix. Two of the onboard headers include our exclusive HydraNode technology to run three compatible fans from a single splitter with full control and monitoring over each one. You can keep tabs on every aspect of your cooling loop with a comprehensive collection of liquid flow monitoring headers and sensors, too.

Cooling isn’t the only place where the Extreme Glacial indulges the wildest dreams of bespoke system builders. Custom lighting setups are a key part of any custom-built PC nowadays, and the Extreme Glacial can command a light show worthy of a festival stage. Three Gen 2 addressable RGB headers and a single traditional RGB header on the board itself combine with a whopping six separate Gen 2 addressable headers on the ROG Fan Controller module for a total of ten separate control channels for RGB LED devices. Aura Sync keeps the entire light show running in perfect harmony.

Storage-hungry builders will find five NVMe slots to fill. Three PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots are integrated into the motherboard itself, while the ROG DIMM.2 riser card adds another two PCIe 3.0 mounting points to the party. The main M.2 slots all feature alloy back plates in addition to a monolithic primary storage heatsink to stave off thermal throttling under intense I/O loads. This double-sided cooling design can drop temperatures by up to 10° C compared to traditional M.2 heatsinks. The latest graphics cards can drop into one of the two metal-reinforced PCIe 4.0 x16 SafeSlots, and an additional PCIe 3.0 x4 slot adds extra hardware expansion ability.

The Extreme Glacial’s networking capabilities start with a wired dynamic duo. An Intel-powered 2.5GbE port rests next to a 10GbE connector for the fastest local network transfers. If you’d rather cut the cord, an Intel WiFi 6E adapter lets the efficient and low-latency WiFi 6 protocol stretch its legs over pristine 6GHz spectrum. There’s Bluetooth 5.2 support on tap for the latest wireless peripherals.

When it comes to peripheral I/O, this board has it all. The stars of the show are two Thunderbolt 4 ports with 40Gbps of bandwidth each that are also capable of pushing 15W to charge a phone or a tablet. Eight more USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports complete the package. Internal headers let builders wire up a total of 10 more USB connectors, including a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port for blazing-fast front panel connectivity.

The next-gen ROG SupremeFX 7.1 ALC4082 audio codec enables a 120dB signal-to-noise ratio for playback and a 113dB SNR for recording, so you’ll both hear and be heard with crystal clarity in games. The front panel output is wired to a dedicated ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC for the best experience with audiophile headphones and headsets. For extra convenience, the audio jacks on the panel are all lit up with colored LEDs to make them easy to identify when you’re plugging in a device.

For gamers and audiophiles who want the absolute finest audio output with the most capable headphones, we took a page from our finest gaming headsets to create the ROG Clavis USB-C external DAC. It features not one, but four ESS converters dedicated to discrete ranges of the audible spectrum: lows, mids, highs, and ultra-highs. The Clavis then combines these separate signals into an especially high-fidelity output for an enviable listening experience.

This distinctive DAC can handle 32-bit audio at a 384KHz sampling rate, and it can perform the final “unfold” for Master Quality Authenticated streams to allow for studio-quality playback from services like Tidal. The Clavis’s built-in headphone amplifier can feed demanding cans with impedances up to 300Ω.

The Extreme Glacial’s Sonic Studio software suite includes support for two-way AI Noise Cancelation, cutting down on 95% of background noise from both your microphone and your teammates’ incoming signals. DTS Sound Unbound support lets you enjoy pinpoint-accurate 3D audio

The Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial includes our full suite of AI features: AI Overclocking for one-click performance boosts, AI Cooling to minimize system noise without any negative impact on operating temperatures, AI Networking for trouble-free traffic prioritization, and the aforementioned two-way AI Noise Cancelation for clear comms.

No matter how extreme your vision for an 11th Gen Core-powered gaming PC may be, the Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is an ideal starting point.

 ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial
SizeEATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 5333+ (OC)
Multi-GPU2 x SLI
PCIe2 PCIe 4.0 x16 @ x16, x8/x8
1 PCIe 3.0 x4
Storage3 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4)
1 x M.2 on DIMM.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 on DIMM.2 (PCIe 3.0)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingMarvell AQtion AQC113CS 10Gb Ethernet
Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Intel AX210 WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
AudioSupremeFX ALC4082 codec
ESS Sabre 9018Q2 DAC
ROG Clavis USB-C external DAC with ESS Quad-DAC
Thunderbolt 42 x USB-C ports
USB4: 2 x Type-C
3.2 Gen 2x2: 1 Type-C at front
3.2 Gen 2: 8 x Type-A, 1 x Type-C at front
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A at front
2.0: 4 x Type-A at front
AuraOnboard: 3 x Gen 2 addressable RGB headers, 1 x standard
ROG Fan Controller: 6 x Gen 2 addressable RGB headers
CoolingOnboard: 6 x fan headers
ROG Fan Controller: 6 x headers, 2 x sensor
2 x pump, waterblock sensor, water in, water out, flow
2 x HydraNode headers
PriceTBA
Availability (USA)TBA
Availability (Canada)TBA

The ROG Maximus XIII Extreme is air-cooled perfection

If you fancy the Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial but don’t intend to build a custom liquid-cooling loop, worry not. We have an alternative: the ROG Maximus XIII Extreme.

Unlike its fully liquid-cooled sibling, the Maximus XIII Extreme relies on massive high-surface-area heatsinks to keep its VRM, chipset, and M.2 slots chilly. It’s also got a unique style of its own thanks to new ROG typography and iconography spread across the blacked-out I/O shroud and chipset heatsink.

A monochrome LiveDash OLED display mid-board lets you show off custom text and graphics of your choosing, and a 90-degree rotation of the main 24-pin power connector and USB 3.0 front-panel headers ensure clean cable routing for a sharp-looking build. Besides its reliance on air as a cooling medium for its components, the Maximus XIII Extreme includes all the same features and bundled extras as its Glacial stablemate, with an added bonus: the board layout allows you to use two triple-slot graphics cards simultaneously.

 ROG Maximus XIII Extreme
SizeEATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 5333+ (OC)
Multi-GPU2 x SLI
PCIe2 PCIe 4.0 x16 @ x16, x8/x8
1 PCIe 3.0 x4
Storage3 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4)
1 x M.2 on DIMM.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 on DIMM.2 (PCIe 3.0)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingMarvell AQtion AQC113CS 10Gb Ethernet
Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Intel AX210 WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
AudioSupremeFX ALC4082 codec
ESS Sabre 9018Q2 DAC
ROG Clavis USB-C external DAC with ESS Quad-DAC
Thunderbolt 42 x USB-C ports
USB4: 2 x Type-C
3.2 Gen 2x2: 1 Type-C at front
3.2 Gen 2: 8 x Type-A, 1 x Type-C at front
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A at front
2.0: 4 x Type-A at front
AuraOnboard: 3 x Gen 2 addressable RGB headers, 1 x standard
ROG Fan Controller: 6 x Gen 2 addressable RGB headers
CoolingOnboard: 8 x fan headers
ROG Fan Controller: 6 x headers, 2 x sensor
2 x pump, waterblock sensor, water in, water out, flow
2 x HydraNode headers
PriceTBA
Availability (USA)TBA
Availability (Canada)TBA

The ROG Maximus XIII Hero brings elite specs to ATX

For enthusiasts who want top-level performance in a more mainstream-friendly form factor, we have the ROG Maximus XIII Hero. This board maintains the thoroughly next-generation loadout of its Extreme cousins while trimming down for more typical ATX cases.

The Maximus XIII Hero boasts a 14+2 VRM topology built with 90A integrated power stages. It’s tailored to the task of overclocking any 11th Gen Core chip you want to drop into the LGA 1200 socket. Thanks to our OptiMem III design approach, DDR4 memory speeds can hit 5333MHz with compatible modules, just like with the Extreme variants.

VRM and chipset cooling comes by way of sizable alloy heatsinks with upgraded thermal pads underneath. The four M.2 slots all have backplates to pull extra heat away from installed SSDs, too. Six fan headers are available, along with two dedicated pump headers and three headers for liquid flow rate, input, and output. Three of the chassis fan headers support our HydraNode tech for individual fan control over three-way splitters.

Around the back, you’ll again find two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connectors, along with six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. You can hook up a front-panel USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port for convenient 20Gbps connectivity, along with four USB 3.2 Gen 1 and two USB 2.0 internal headers. Network packets travel to and from the Hero thanks to two Intel 2.5G Ethernet adapters and a mighty Intel WiFi 6E controller that can talk to upcoming routers like our ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 in the 6GHz band. It also enables Bluetooth 5.2 communication for the latest crop of wireless peripherals.

The Maximus XIII Hero is quite a looker all by itself, but it can put on a light show with its built-in LEDs and four RGB headers—three Gen 2 addressable and one standard. The audio configuration is nearly the same as on the Extreme boards. You get an upmarket SupremeFX ALC4082 codec, a refined ESS Sabre 9018Q2C for the front-end connectors, and DTS Sound Unbound support.

Similarly, all of our AI features are available, along with an overclocker-friendly Q-Code LED display and dedicated Start, FlexKey, Reset, and Clear CMOS buttons for easy operation on a test bench.

 ROG Maximus XIII Hero
SizeATX
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 5333+ (OC)
Multi-GPU2 x SLI
PCIe2 PCIe 4.0 x16 @ x16, x8/x8, x8/x4
1 PCIe 3.0 x16 @ x4
Storage1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 4.0 x4)
1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4)
1 x M.2 2280 (PCIe 4.0 x3)
1 x M.2 22110 (PCIe 3.0 x4)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingIntel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet
Intel AX210 WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
AudioSupremeFX ALC4082 codec
ESS Sabre 9018Q2 DAC
Thunderbolt 42 x USB-C ports
USB4: 2 x Type-C
3.2 Gen 2x2: 1 Type-C at front
3.2 Gen 2: 6 x Type-A
3.2 Gen 1: 4 x Type-A at front
2.0: 2 x Type-A, 4 x Type-A at front
Aura3 x Gen 2 addressable RGB headers, 1 x standard
Cooling6 x fan headers
2 x pump, waterblock sensor, water in, water out, flow
Price$499.99
Availability (USA)Amazon
Newegg
Availability (Canada)Canada Computers
Newegg Canada