Snow white overclocking specialization strengthens the “board”! ROG Maximus Z790 Apex Motherboard


ASUS and Intel recently set a new record for processor overclocking by reaching 9.008GHz on Intel’s 13th generation Core i9-13900K processor. The achievement was made using the ROG Maximus Z790 APEX motherboard, which is designed for overclocking and features a 24+0 phase power supply and support for high-frequency overclocking of 2-slot memory. The motherboard has many convenient switches for overclocking and does not include a built-in display output. It is expected that the ROG Maximus Z790 APEX will feature a snow-white appearance similar to the ROG Maximus Z690 Formula and will be released in the near future.

Here are the specifications for this motherboard:

  • Size: ATX
  • Processor support: 12th/13th Generation Intel Core i9/i7/i5/i3, Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron
  • CPU socket: Intel LGA1700
  • Chipset: Intel Z790
  • Memory support: Dual Channel DDR5 7800+(OC) – 4800, up to 128 GB
  • Expansion slots (CPU): 2 x PCIe 5.0 x16 Slot (x16 or x8/x8 mode)
  • Expansion slots (PCH): 1 x PCIe 4.0 x4 Slot, 1 x PCIe 4.0 x1 Slot
  • M.2 slots (CPU): 1 x M.2 PCIe 5.0(M.2_1), 1 x M.2 PCIe 5.0(PCIe 5.0 M.2 card)
  • M.2 slots (PCH): 1 x M.2 PCIe 4.0 / SATA( M.2_2), 2 x M.2 PCIe 4.0(ROG DIMM.2)
  • USB ports (rear I/O): 1 x USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) Type-C, 5x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A, 4 x USB 3.2 (Gen1) Type-A
  • USB ports (onboard): 1 x USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) Type-C (Quick Charge 4+), 2 x USB 3.2 (Gen2) 19-Pin, 2 x USB 2.0 9-Pin
  • Storage: 6 x SATA III
  • Ethernet: Intel 2.5Gb Ethernet
  • Wireless network: 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth v5.3
  • Audio: Realtek CODEC ALC4080

ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard out of the box

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard has undergone some changes in its design for this generation. It now features a new snow-white appearance and color scheme, and the outer packaging has been updated with a simplified design that no longer includes the iconic red color of ROG. This new packaging seems to suggest that overclocking players prioritize simplicity and usability over fancy design elements. This aligns with the needs of overclocking players who value ease of use and practicality.

The design of the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard omits built-in output, which allows for a special power supply configuration of 24+0 phases compared to the flagship ROG model. The motherboard also includes radiator openings for LGA 1700 and LGA 1200/115X, allowing overclocking players to use their existing liquid nitrogen barrels with the board. Additionally, the motherboard has a well-equipped overclocking tool kit located in the upper right corner, which enables overclocking players to perform tasks with ease and efficiency. This tool kit enhances the overclocking experience, allowing players to focus on the task at hand without having to worry about equipment issues.

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard lacks some of the features one might expect to find on a flagship motherboard. However, it makes up for this with two expansion cards included in the accessories that allow for up to 5 M.2 slots and the thick I/O USB connection that provides 1 Type-C and 9 Type-A ports. The onboard section includes 1 Type-C port that supports 60W fast charging and up to 8 USB Type-A outputs. The motherboard provides Intel 2.5Gb Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6E with Bluetooth 5.3 for networking capabilities. Despite lacking some of the typical features found on a flagship motherboard, the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard still provides a robust and efficient user experience.

ROG Maximus Z790 Apex has a unique looking case.
The back of the box for the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard prominently features a large APEX logo. While the box does include some product feature printing, it may not be as important to overclockers who are familiar with the product and its capabilities. This is because overclockers tend to prioritize the performance and features of a product over its packaging or marketing materials. As a result, they may not need as much information about the product’s features and may instead focus on its technical specifications and performance capabilities.
List of motherboards and accessories.

The accessories included with the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard feature two M.2 expansion cards. The smaller of the two is the ROG DIMM.2 expansion card, which provides two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots. These two M.2 slots on the main board are provided by the chipset. The larger expansion card is the PCIe 5.0 M.2 expansion card, which provides a PCIe 5.0 x4 M.2 slot. However, because this expansion card needs to be installed in the PCIe 5.0 slot provided by the CPU to function, it must be used separately from the first PCIe 5.0 slot installed on the graphics card, even though it is connected directly to the CPU.

The left is the ROG DIMM.2 expansion card, and the right is the PCIe 5.0 M.2 expansion card.
There is a PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot on each side of the ROG DIMM.2 expansion card.
The PCIe 5.0 M.2 expansion card has a PCIe 5.0 slot under the heat sink.

The accessories that come with the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard include some interesting features, such as the ROG overclocking record board. This board has 6 digits that allow players to record overclocking clocks, scores, and other numbers. Additionally, the accessories include a small memory cooling fan with a dedicated bracket that makes it easy for players to install. However, it is worth noting that only one of the 3 connection ports in this area is designed to be connected sideways. When installing, users must be careful to avoid the fan when connecting cables. Finally, the accessories also include the ROG driver flash drive and a multi-segment Wi-Fi Bluetooth antenna that is angle-adjustable for better connectivity.

ROG overclocking record board.
Memory cooling fan module.
ROG driver pen drive.
Wi-Fi antenna.

24+0 phase power supply, multiple overclocking special designs

When comparing the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex and ROG Maximus Z790 Formula motherboards, one will notice that the VRM heat dissipation module and rear I/O cover on the ROG Maximus Z790 Formula motherboard are integrated on one half of the motherboard. The design includes a C-shaped heat pipe that penetrates the middle of the all-metal heat dissipation module to provide ample heat dissipation in the VRM area. This design ensures that the VRM area does not overheat during use, which can be a concern for overclocking and high-performance gaming.

The front of the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard.
A list of the back of the motherboard.
The word ROG is printed in a dot matrix style on the rear I/O cover.
The VRM is powered by the C-shaped cooling module.
The bottom half of the heat sink has the ROG luminous Logo, and the corner of the heat sink hides the word ROG in the oblique section.

The Z790 motherboard features an LGA 1700 processor socket and supports Intel’s 12th/13th generation Core processors. It is likely that overclockers who purchase this motherboard will choose to pair it with high-end processors such as the i9-13900K or i9-13900KS. The motherboard includes radiator mounting holes for both LGA 1700 and LGA 1200/115X, allowing professional overclocking players to use liquid nitrogen barrels that support the 115X buckle directly. This feature provides additional flexibility and compatibility for overclocking enthusiasts who may already have cooling solutions in place.

LGA 1700 socket.
Radiator openings include LGA1700 and LGA1200/115X.

The new generation ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard continues the 24+0-phase VRM power supply design from the previous generation. However, since this motherboard does not provide internal insurance output, the VccGT power supply phase is 0, and the vCore is a 24-phase 105A integrated power stage design. The materials for this design include the RA229131 digital PWM control chip and the 105A RAA220105 Dr.MOS Mosfet. This design ensures that the motherboard can provide stable and reliable power to the processor during use, which is essential for high-performance computing and overclocking.

A list of the main board’s all-white PCB appearance.
24+0 phase digital power supply.
RA229131, digital PWM control chip.
105A RAA220105 Dr. MOS Mosfet.

The memory section of the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard includes 2 traditional bilateral snap slots, which can support a maximum capacity of 128 GB. The DIMM.2 slot is located on the side, and it is a dedicated slot for the ROG DIMM.2 expansion card. This design allows for a more streamlined and efficient use of the motherboard’s resources, as well as providing additional flexibility for memory expansion and upgrades.

The area next to the DIMM.2 slot on the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard features more switches than typical high-end motherboards. This is because the motherboard is primarily designed to meet the needs of overclockers. In addition to common features like Q-Code debug lights, power buttons, and the FLEX button, the motherboard also includes a BCLK clock adjustment button that allows overclockers to directly adjust the BCLK clock in the system. Other features that are important to extreme overclockers include the pause switch, slow mode switch, RSVD switch, and LN2 mode jumper. These features allow for greater flexibility and customization during the overclocking process.

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard also includes PROBEIT integrated measurement points on the side, which provide a total of 12 points for overclocking players to quickly monitor information. Since ultra-low temperature overclocking can cause moisture condensation on the motherboard, there are 3 hidden detection points located in the CPU, DRAM, and PCIe areas. These detection points can detect any water damage and activate the 3 corresponding indicators above the Q-Code, allowing overclocking players to compare and ensure peace of mind while overclocking. This design provides greater reliability and protection against water damage, which is a concern for extreme overclocking.

2 DDR5 memory slots, the bottom is DIMM.2 slot.
The Q-Code indicator light, power button, and flex button, the area beside the DIMM.2 slot on the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard also includes a retry button, BCLK clock pulse adjustment button, pause switch, slow mode switch, RSVD switch, LN2 mode jumper wire, and PROBEIT integrated measuring point. These features allow for greater control and customization during the overclocking process, providing overclocking players with the flexibility and options they need to achieve optimal performance.

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard is equipped with a ROG TPU chip, which is responsible for clock adjustment. Additionally, the motherboard features a dual Bios design, which is located under the motherboard. This design ensures that if there is a problem with one Bios during the overclocking process, there is a second Bios available. This feature provides greater reliability and protection against data loss, which is essential for overclocking players who demand high performance and stability from their systems.

ROG TPU chip.
The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard features 2 Bios chips located in the upper left corner. Additionally, the motherboard includes a dual Bios switch button located in the lower right corner. This feature allows users to switch between the two Bios chips easily and provides an additional layer of reliability and protection in case of any issues that may arise during overclocking or system use.

2 PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, 5 M.2 slots

The lower part of the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard features 4 PCIe slots, which is more than what is typically found on current mainstream models. However, this is mainly due to the fact that the motherboard includes PCIe 5.0 M.2 expansion cards, which require PCIe 5.0 x16 slots. The upper slot can run independently with PCIe 5.0 x16, while the lower slot can run at x8/x8 if a PCIe 5.0 M.2 expansion card is installed. The other 2 slots provided by the chipset include PCIe 4.0 x4 and PCIe 4.0 x1. This design allows for greater flexibility and compatibility for high-performance computing and overclocking, providing users with a wider range of options for configuring their systems.

A list of PCIe slots under the motherboard.
Second generation Q-RELEASE quick release system.

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard features two onboard M.2 slots for storage expansion. The top slot is a PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot that is directly connected to the CPU, while the bottom slot is a PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot provided by the chipset that supports the SATA interface. When combined with the ROG DIMM.2 expansion card and the PCIe 5.0 M.2 expansion card, the motherboard can provide up to 2 PCIe 5.0 M.2 slots and 3 PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots. The motherboard includes 6 SATA 6Gb/s plug slots for further storage expansion. This design provides ample options for high-speed storage expansion, allowing users to configure their systems for optimal performance and capacity.

Below the processor is the PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot.
The second M.2 slot at the bottom supports PCIe 4.0 and SATA.
6 SATA 6Gb/s slots.

After removing the M.2 heat sink on the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard, the heat dissipation module of the chipset is visible on the side. Below this module, the Z790 chip is also visible. This design allows for efficient heat dissipation and thermal management, which is essential for maintaining stable performance during overclocking and high-performance computing tasks. The motherboard’s advanced thermal design and robust construction provide users with the reliability and performance they need to push their systems to the limit.

The Z790 chip has a heat sink.
Z790 chip.

USB port expansion: 17 Type-A, 2 Type-C

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard offers excellent expansion options, particularly with regard to the rear I/O section. This area includes a range of USB ports, including 1 USB 3.2 GEN 2X2 Type-C port, 5 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports. In addition, the motherboard provides separate PS/2 connection ports for keyboard and mouse, which are essential for many overclocking and gaming setups. Furthermore, the motherboard features convenient shortcut keys for Bios Flashback and Clear CMOS, which enable users to quickly and easily reset their systems and troubleshoot any issues that may arise during use. This combination of features makes the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex a highly versatile and powerful motherboard that is ideal for a wide range of computing applications.

List of rear I/O ports.

The onboard section of the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard features a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-E slot, which supports Quick Charge 4+ technology and can provide 60W fast charging capabilities. However, it is important to note that this port must be connected to the 6-Pin PCIe power supply slot in order to activate the fast charging feature. In addition, the motherboard also includes a 19-Pin slot on the side and bottom, which can provide up to 4 USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, as well as 2 9-Pin sockets that provide up to 4 USB 2.0 ports. These features make the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex a highly versatile and powerful motherboard that is well-suited for a wide range of computing applications.

The right side is the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-E slot, the left 6-Pin PCIe power supply can provide Quick Charge 4+ technology 60W fast charging, and the middle is the 19-Pin USB 3.2 Gen1 19-Pin slot.
Two USB 2.0 9-Pin sockets.
TB_Header and USB 3.2 Gen1 19-Pin socket.


The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex is specifically designed for overclocking, which means that when users enter the BIOS, they will be taken directly to the advanced mode page, allowing for quick and easy adjustment of overclocking parameters. However, if users have purchased the motherboard for its white appearance, they can still switch to the simple mode by pressing F7, which provides a simplified interface for easier configuration.

Homepage of Advanced Mode.
EZ Mode page.

In the Extreme Tweaker page of the Advanced Mode in BIOS, users can adjust the clock frequency of the processor and memory in the upper section, while the lower section is used for adjusting voltage. In the case of the processor used in the test not being a special one, the AI Optimized for overclocking is turned on, and the temperature limit and power consumption limit in CPU Power Management are unlocked. The temperature limit is also released in AI Features, while the DIGI+ VRM page is used to adjust power supply related settings.

Ai Tweaker page memory overclocking settings.
Ai Tweaker page processor overclocking settings.
The temperature and power consumption limits can be unlocked in CPU Power Management.
The lower part of the Ai Tweaker page is the voltage setting.
Memory Presets in DRAM Timing Control provides some.
DIGI+ VRM page.
The lower part of the Ai Tweaker page is the voltage setting.

Although there are many motherboard function settings in the Advanced page, most of the functions that players will need to set have been placed in the shortcut key area at the top of the page. These functions include QFan settings, AURA light calibration settings, and ReSize BAR switch. TPM and fTPM settings can be found in the first two sub-tabs of the Advanced page.

Advanced page.
Trusted Computing sub-tab.
AMD fTPM configuration sub-page.

The Monitor page in the Advanced Mode provides comprehensive monitoring of various data, such as temperature, fan speed, and voltage. However, there is also a simplified version of the monitoring column located on the right side of the Advanced page. The EZ Mode page has a fan monitoring column that allows players to easily access the information they need on the top page.

Monitor page.
Temperature Monitor sub-tab.
Fan Speed ​​Monitor sub-tab.
Voltage Monitor sub-tab.
QFan Control page.

Armory Crate Software

Armory Crate software is a useful tool for ASUS motherboards and other peripherals, providing various functions such as monitoring system information, adjusting lighting effects, and customizing fan settings. The software can also automatically check and update the drivers for the motherboard, which makes it much more convenient for users to keep their system up to date. With the software, users can easily manage and optimize their system performance with just a few clicks.

Control Panel page.
Tools page.
Motherboard ARGB mode setting.
12v RGB pin alignment calibration.
Two-way AI noise reduction, the noise reduction function can be used for both audio input and output.
Disk information page.

Basic performance test

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex was put to the test with an 8 P-core / 16 E-core Intel Core i9-13900K and 16GBx2 Team Group T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR5 VALKYRIE Edition 7200MHz memory. During the test, the processor utilized AI Optimized overclocking and was able to reach up to 6.0 GHz on a single-core test and 5.5 GHz on an all-core P-Core test.

Test Platform
Processor: Intel Core i9-13900K
Motherboard: ROG Maximus Z790 Apex
Cooler: ROG Ryuo III 360 White Edition
Memory: Team Group T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR5 7200MHz 16GBx2
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
System Disk: CORSAIR MP400
power supply: Phanteks Revolt Pro 1000W
Operating system: Windows 11 Pro

Initially, it is evident from CPU-Z that the processor used in the test is the Intel Core i9-13900K, and the motherboard chipset is Raptor Lake’s Z790. The memory clock used is dual-channel 7200 MHz (4×32-Bit), providing a total of 32GB. Furthermore, the CPU obtained a score of 948.7 points for single-threading and 16902.3 points for multi-threading in the CPU-Z Bench test.


Cinebench is primarily designed to test the CPU’s image rendering capabilities, and Cinebench R20 incorporates ray tracing calculations into a complex scene. In this test, the Intel Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 873 points for single-core calculation and 15341 points for multi-core calculation. In the latest version of Cinebench, R23, the Intel Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 2274 points for single-core calculation and 40362 points for multi-core calculation.

Cinebench R20.
Cinebench R23.

The 3DMark CPU Profile test can directly evaluate the performance of the processor. The test comprises 6 items, which assess the performance of the processor in 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and full-thread operations. In this test, the Intel Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 1272 points for single-thread performance and a score of 16270 points for full-thread performance.

3DMark CPU Profile test.

The V-Ray 5 Benchmark includes three different test scenarios to evaluate rendering performance. The test solely assesses the processor’s rendering performance using the V-Ray project. In this test, the Intel Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 27,861 points.

V-Ray 5 Benchmark.

During the AIDA64 cache and memory test, the memory component successfully passed. For this test, two pieces of DDR5 memory (Team Group T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR5) were used, clocked at 7200 MHz with CL34. The test results showed that the memory read speed was 113.73 GB/s, the write speed was 108.65 GB/s, the copy speed was 107.87 GB/s, and the latency was 59.0 ns.

AIDA64 cache and memory test.

Daily use, game simulation test

CrossMark is a versatile testing software that uses scenes that closely resemble daily use to generate scores, making it easier for users to compare performance across different platforms. In the test, the Intel Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 2449 points for productivity, 3103 points for creativity, and a total score of 2533 out of 2723 points.


PCMark 10 is primarily designed to simulate everyday usage scenarios for testing, and it assesses performance in three primary areas: Essentials (basic computer test), Productivity (productivity test), and Digital Content Creation (video content creation test). In the PCMark 10 test, the Intel Core i9-13900K achieved a score of 12239 points in the Essentials test, 13054 points in the Productivity test, and a score in the Video Editing test was not completed, so a complete score for this area is not available for reference.

PCMark 10.

In the 3DMark game performance simulation test, the Fire Strike DX11 game simulation test evaluated the physics performance and resulted in a score of 53,057 points. The Time Spy DX12 game simulation test assessed the CPU performance and resulted in a score of 21,856 points.

3DMark Fire Strike.
3DMark Time Spy.

Summary of ROG Maximus Z790 Apex Motherboard


The new ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard is tailored to meet the practical design and functionality requirements of overclocking enthusiasts. The 24-phase power supply delivers ample power supply for processor overclocking. Although it was tested with the new ROG Ryuo III 360, it did not fully utilize the full potential of this motherboard. Nevertheless, during actual testing, the motherboard easily achieved a performance of 6GHz for single-core and 5.5GHz for all-core with the help of AI Optimized overclocking.

The appearance of the motherboard is subjective and can vary depending on personal preference. For overclocking enthusiasts, color may not be a crucial factor when selecting a motherboard. However, for players who want to buy the ROG series motherboard and desire a white appearance, the new ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard may fulfill their needs and cater to the majority of players.

The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard is priced at 19,990 yuan, which is identical to the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero. However, the Apex model offers a white appearance, a more robust power supply, and superior overclocking capabilities. In contrast, the Hero model has more expansion features and audio effects but similar performance. Players can choose between the two based on their specific requirements.

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Title: Snow white overclocking specialization strengthens the “board”! ROG Maximus Z790 Apex Motherboard