Asus is prepping at least five motherboards based on Intel’s range-topping Z790 chipset that will support DDR4 memory. In addition, the motherboards will support Intel’s flagship 13th Generation Core ‘Raptor Lake’ processors and users will be able to keep their existing high-performance memory modules.
Asus plans to release two TUF Gaming (TUF Gaming Z790-Plus D4 and TUF Gaming Z790-Plus WiFi D4) as well as three Prime-series (Prime Z790-P D4, Prime Z790M-Plus D4, and Prime Z790-P WiFi D4) motherboards powered by Intel’s Z790 chipset that will support DDR4 memory, based on an EAC filing discovered by @momomo_us. Of course, filings with EAC do not always guarantee that one product will be released, but three out of five motherboards are on the list of South Korea’s RRA regulator (1, 2, 3), so Asus is indeed prepping DDR4-supporting Intel Z790 platforms.
At reasonable prices, Asustek’s TUF Gaming motherboards cater to demanding gamers who want performance, reliability, and overclockability. While TUF Gaming mainboards sit below the company’s ROG platforms in the company’s hierarchy, these are still relatively advanced motherboards with premium features.
The Asus Prime family sits below TUF Gaming but still offers premium features, enhanced voltage regulating modules (VRMs) to enable overclocking, and various tuning capabilities. So it is a natural fit for the Prime Z790 family to include advanced LGA1700 motherboards that support DDR4 memory sticks.
Like it or not, DDR4 memory’s days are numbered, so Intel prefers to talk about DDR5 SDRAM even though its current 600-series and upcoming 700-series platforms support DDR4 and DDR5. But motherboard makers tend to offer what their customers want, and many want to continue using good-old DDR4 for a while, which is why both Asus and MSI will provide Z790-based platforms with DDR4.
DDR4 memory has been around for seven years, and producers of high-end memory modules have sold a boatload of enthusiast-grade DDR4 modules with data transfer rates in DDR5’s territory (yet with lower latencies and better performance). Throwing those modules away (or selling them at a bargain price) does not make sense, so keeping them for a couple of years is undoubtedly reasonable.
The biggest question about midrange Z790 motherboards for Intel’s Raptor Lake processors is whether they will adequately support the rumored 350W mode enabling ultimate turbo frequencies and therefore requiring an advanced voltage regulating module to deliver immaculate power to the CPU. TUF Gaming and Prime are still premium motherboards, but they are not as good as the Asus ROG family. It will be exciting to see how different Intel Z790 platforms perform.