ASUS has been at the forefront when it comes to innovation in the tech industry as we have witnessed numerous jaw-dropping first-time products from the brand, especially on tradeshows like CES and Computex. One of the latest innovations that ASUS is working on and has yet to become mainstream among gamers is AI. That’s right, ASUS has been quietly implementing AI functionalities on its motherboards since the Z390 chipset. A lot of changed since then and now we have the ASUS ROG Z590-E Gaming motherboard to test out the latest set of AI features namely AI Overclocking, AI Cooling, AI Networking, and AI Noise Cancellation.
|ASUS ROG Z590 AI Feature Testing Suite|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 10700K|
|COOLER||Corsair H100i RGB XT – Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Paste|
|MOTHERBOARD||ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming Motherboard|
|MEMORY||Tforce XTREEM ARGB 16GB 3600Mhz|
|GPU||PNY RTX 3080|
|STORAGE||WD SN750 2TB SSD|
|PSU||ThermalTake ToughPower 1200w Platinum|
The heart of our ASUS AI Features deep dive is the ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming Motherboard paired with the Intel Core i7 10700K. The ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming motherboard and the rest of the ROG Z590 boards are the only ASUS motherboards(as of writing) that fully support AI OC, AI Cooling, AI Networking, and Two-Way AI noise cancellation. ROG Z490 motherboards don’t have support for two-way AI noise cancellation while the Z390 motherboards only support AI Overclocking.
ASUS’ AI Overclocking, not to be confused with software overclocking, is a rather impressive feature especially for PC Builders who would like to squeeze more performance of their gaming rigs without the ordeal of research and trial & error. AI Overclocking addresses the fatal flow of software overclocking, applying too much voltage and a conservative ratio. AI Overclocking applies a “human touch” by using an algorithm to analyze the CPU that’s plugged in as well as to measure the cooler’s capability whether it be an air cooler or an AIO. Additionally, AI OC-supported motherboards adjust these values in real-time as the algorithm learns your PC’s behavior over time. AI Overclocking can be enabled via the AI Suite Software or through the UEFI BIOS.
As stated in our Intel Core i7 10700K Review, we managed to overclock the 10700k to 5.1Ghz at 1.385 volts on the ROG Strix Z490-E We enabled AI Overclocking in the Extreme Tweaker tab of the UEFI Screen to see if the ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming Motherboard could push a similar, if not better overclock.
Benchmarks show that the AI Overclocking Utility tweaked per-core ratio settings depending on the workload compared to our all-core overclock of 5.1Ghz. On single-core and lighter workloads, the Core i7 10700k runs at 5.3Ghz and runs at 4.9Ghz on heavy workloads. AI Overclocked Single-threaded or single-core scores are about 5% faster than our manual OC. Multi-threaded workloads on the other hand shower by 1-2% compared to the 5.1Ghz overclock. Unlike the typical software overclock which attempts the highest possible all-core clock speeds, the AI OC utility finds a balance between single-threaded and multithreaded performance.
Complimentary to the AI Overclocking feature is the AI Cooling which, as you guessed it, adjusts not only your CPU cooler but also all motherboard-connected fans’ RPM based on the system workload and temperature. The proprietary algorithm behind AI cooling prioritizes calculating the optimal fan speed required to cool your PC all while keeping the fan noise at a minimum.
AI Cooling can be activated in the Fan Xpert 4 dashboard in the ASUS AI Suite 3 software. The app will then test each fan connected to the supported fan headers to determine the optimal fan curve for each fan. Users can also bind each fan to a component’s temperature for a more sophisticated cooling solution.
We connected our AIO fans to the CPU Fan header of the ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming Motherboard to enable AI tuning. The default fan curve shows a linear speed RPM increase as the CPU temp gets higher whereas the AI tuned fan curve shows a more gradual increase. Interestingly, the AI decides to lower the minimum radiator fan speed at 20% RPM before gradually increasing its speed as the temperature rises compared to the default fan curve at 30% RPM until 40°c.
We tested the two fan curve profiles and measured their respective noise levels in relation to the Intel Core i7 10700k’s temperature with an AIDA64 stress test. True to ASUS’ marketing spiel, the AI-optimized fan curve yielded a quieter fan noise at only 39.5 decibels, around 6 decibels quieter than the default fan curve. However, it’s also noisier by 4 decibels once the 10700k is on load.
The inverse relationship between fan speed and CPU temp is evident as the quieter 39.5 dBa AI fan curve landed an idle temp of 34°c versus the breezy 31°c temp on the default fan curve. The 4dBa higher fan noise on load seems to be not in vain as it’s 1-degree cooler than the default fan curve. The trade-off in having a much quieter fan at the cost of temperatures is very minimal to the point where it won’t cost you any performance whatsoever – I’d personally take that trade-off any day.
AI Networking, not the pyramid scheme, is a feature geared towards gamers as it intelligently optimizes the system’s networking settings to ensure a smooth and stable gameplay experience. Unlike your standard one-click ping boost app, GameFirst VI analyzes your PC’s usage pattern and monitors your current activity to retroactively adjust the bandwidth for a lag-free experience even when streaming a video or downloading.
AI Networking requires the installation of the GameFirst VI application which manages incoming and outgoing bandwidth. GameFirst VI taps to ASUS’ 200,000 app database to determine which applications need to be prioritized and optimized.
When GameFirst VI is open, it will automatically optimize and prioritize games once they’re launched.
To see if there’s any noticeable performance improvement, we launched DOTA 2 and measured the in-game ping with the additional scenario of a torrent download running in the background. Our ping on the SEA server drastically lowered when GameFirst VI was enabled. We even saw a latency improvement in using GameFirst VI despite a demanding torrent download at 5MB/s running in the background.
Two-Way AI Noise Cancellation
ASUS recently launched the AI Noise-cancelling Mic Adapter which was just the perfect product when the COVID-19 pandemic started. The product’s huge success resulted in ASUS integrating the feature across all of its Z590 motherboards.
The previous AI-noise canceling mic adapter had one flaw namely the limitation of only using 3.5mm microphones or headsets. Luckily, AI-noise cancellation on the ROG Z590 Motherboards supported USB devices, even wireless ones as we tested the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless Gaming Headset. Moreover, its AI-noise cancellation goes two-ways as you can also configure the setting found in the Armoury Crate app to intelligently filter incoming background noise – A convenient feature when using voice chat apps like discord.
Final Thoughts – Feature or Gimmick?
Clearly, the AI Implementation on ASUS’ latest Z590 motherboards is worth the praise as it brings so much to the table for newbies and enthusiasts alike. AI Overclocking shows promise considering how close the AI OC is to our manual overclock numbers. AI Cooling, on the other hand, is where ROG Z590 motherboard users should use right off the bat. The time saved in fine-tuning each fan’s RPM curve as well as assigning each fan to react to a specific component in the system is invaluable. Both AI Networking and AI Noise Cancellation are just cherry-on-top features especially if you already own high-end hardware that won’t need many optimizations.
Overall, ASUS’ ROG Z590 motherboards separate themselves from the stack thanks to the latest AI Features. Not only is it super easy to set up for newbies, but it also empowers enthusiasts to further optimize their system to achieve higher in-game framerates and optimal temperatures.
Where To Buy
ASUS ROG Strix Z590 Motherboards are available at ASUS’ partner retailers. You can also purchase the motherboards on Lazada and Shopee. Check out the official price list of ASUS ROG Z590 Motherboards here.