A Closer Look
ASUS’s ROG Strix Z390-E follows the standard ATX form-factor with the Intel LGA1151 socket top center, Dual channel DDR4 sockets to the right, a beefy VRM heatsink assembly and a total of six PCIe slots below.
The rear of the board is pretty clean with very few minor components on this side. The board name is silk screened on the back along with a nice ROG themed design over most of the board.
The pre-mounted Rear I/O Shield is heavily populated. You get a split PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 (black), four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (red and Type-C), as well as two USB 3.0 ports (blue). Intel Gigabit Ethernet and Intel Wireless-AC 9560 provide network connectivity while display outputs include a Display Port 1.2 as well as HDMI 1.4b. Standard analog audio outputs along with an optical output round out this area.
ASUS uses a 4+2 phase VRM with 8 phases worth of hardware, providing a simple and efficient VRM. A bracket for a fan is pre-mounted to the heatsink and a fan is included in the box should you want to try pushing heavy overclocks. The rear I/O shield is pre-mounted and flows into a continuous cover sporting the ROG logo
Two M.2 slots hide under heatsinks between the CPU and top PCIe slot and the lower two PCIe x16 slot. The lower one blends into the chipset heatsink. The main two PCIe x16 slots from the CPU are armored SafeSlots and can run at x16/x0 or x8/x8. Another PCIe x16 slot (x4 electrical), as well as all three x1 slots, run from the chipset.
As with most ROG boards, there are tons of connections around the edge of the board. You get the front panel audio header, a COM port header, standard RGB header, new NODE port, TPM header, EXT_FAN controller connector, and USB 2.0 header.
Further forward you get a USB 3.0 header as well as another USB 2.0 header and front panel I/O connections.
The front edge has a temp probe connection, three fan headers, a digital RGB header, and six SATA ports. Further up we have a USB 3.1 header and main 24-pin power connection. Next, to the 24-pin, there are 4 diagnostic LED’s that let you quickly nail down which sub-system is causing issues and a MemOK! II Switch.
At the top is another RGB header as well as two more 4-pin fan headers for the CPU. tucked in the corner is the CPU’s 8-pin EPS power connector.
Hidden next to it is a jumper to enable CPU Overvoltage (more like removing safe limits) for extreme overclocking.
ASUS has dialed back the onboard RGB to just the rear I/O cover on this model.