ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi: A Feature-Rich Mid-Range Motherboard

The ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi, priced under $300, is a promising addition to the mid-range motherboard market. With features like six M.2 sockets, high-end audio, robust power delivery, and an attractive design, it's a solid choice for building a versatile and powerful PC system.

Dec 30, 2023 - 10:07
Jan 13, 2024 - 01:54
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ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi: A Feature-Rich Mid-Range Motherboard

Pros and Cons of ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi

Pros:

  1. Flagship-Class Audio Solution: Delivers high-quality sound for an immersive experience.
  2. Six M.2 Sockets: Offers ample storage options, including a PCIe 5.0 slot.
  3. Integrated Wi-Fi 7 and 2.5 GbE: Ensures fast and reliable network connectivity.
  4. Support for Intel 14th Gen CPUs: Ready for the latest processors out of the box.

Cons:

  1. Bright RGB LEDs: Might be too intense for some users.
  2. Flimsy Yokes: Despite reinforcement, durability concerns remain.
  3. Limited to One Toolless M.2 Design: Only one socket features a toolless design.

Design and Aesthetics

The Z790 Nova presents a sleek black-on-black design with subtle blue and purple accents, offering a premium look. The majority of the board is covered by heatsinks and shrouds, adding to its high-end appearance. Its aesthetic is further enhanced by RGB lighting, though the brightness of the LEDs may be overwhelming for some.

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Key Features and Specifications

  • Six M.2 Sockets: Includes one PCIe 5.0 and five PCIe 4.0 x4 slots.
  • Robust Power Delivery: Features 90A SPS MOSFETs for Vcore.
  • High-End Audio: Equipped with flagship-class audio components.
  • Integrated Connectivity: Offers Wi-Fi 7 and Killer-based 2.5 GbE.
  • Performance: Excels in productivity and gaming performance tests.

Board Layout and Build Quality

The Z790 Nova is built with an 8-layer PCB and 2 Oz copper, standard for mid-range and higher-end motherboards. It includes reinforced PCIe slots and six M.2 sockets, all with individual heatsinks. The stainless steel sliders for height adjustment on the earcups, although reinforced, seem flimsy, raising some durability concerns.

Connectivity and Ports

The motherboard supports a range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 7 and 2.5 GbE for network connections. The IO panel is well-equipped with USB ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C, and standard video outputs like HDMI and DisplayPort. It lacks an analog connection, limiting some users' flexibility in connectivity.

Installation and User Experience

Installation in the Z790 Nova is straightforward, with most cables pre-installed. The board's layout facilitates easy component placement, though the rigidity of the sliders might pose a challenge for some users. The memory foam earpads and FlowKnit fabric on the headband contribute to the headset's overall comfort.

Performance and Gaming Experience

The Z790 Nova's performance is impressive, especially with the Intel Core i9-14900K processor. It's suitable for both gaming and productivity tasks, with the included esports EQ profiles enhancing the gaming experience. The THX Spatial Audio adds an immersive quality to games, though the full experience requires an additional purchase.

Conclusion: A Solid Choice for Mid-Range Builds

The ASRock Z790 Nova Wi-Fi stands out as a well-rounded motherboard for mid-range system builds. Its combination of high-end features, including ample storage options and robust power delivery, make it a compelling choice for gamers and PC enthusiasts alike. While there are some concerns about the yokes' durability and the lack of an analog connection, the board's overall performance and aesthetics make it a strong contender in its price range.