ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming Review

The ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming motherboard is designed to offer a great price without compromising any of the core features. It’s a noble goal, but does this board meet those lofty ambitions?

We played around with the motherboard to review everything you need to know about it. We take a look at everything from the hardware and storage to all the included TUF software.

ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming

If there’s anything you’re still unsure about, stick around until the end where we answer some commonly asked questions about this motherboard.

If you want to read up on our best-reviewed motherboard, be sure to check out our ASUS brand review.

Sale
ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (Wi-Fi) LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) DDR4...
  • Designed for 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors to maximize connectivity and speed with dual M.2, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Military-Grade TUF Components like TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs maximize system durability
  • Gamer’s Guardian with Safe Slot and FanXpert 4 provides hardware-level safeguards for maximum performance with dynamic system cooling
  • 8-channel HD Gaming Audio with TUF Gaming Headphone featuring Realtek S1200A high definition audio codec driven by Japanese capacitors for warm, immersive sound
  • ASUS Optimum II improves memory stability and performance by improving trace isolation between PCB layers to maintain signal integrity even at higher frequencies

ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (Our Review)

Overall Assessment

Hardware and Storage

The ASUS TUF Z390-PLUS Gaming is powered by an LGA 1151 CPU socket that can support both the 8th and 9th generation CPUs from Intel.

ASUS fitted the Z390-Plus Gaming with military-grade MOSFETs. They amplify and regulate the voltage of the VRMs, making it easier to switch from a high to a low voltage on your CPU. This keeps your clock running at optimal speeds without potentially harming your processor.

Speaking of VRMs, this motherboard includes a two-stage VRM heatsink. This means that two independent heatsinks shield the entirety of the VRM array.

The motherboard has ASUS DIGI+ VRM software. This enables you to configure the VRM and choke configuration through easy-to-access settings.

The ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming has dual DDR4 DIMM slots supporting a maximum of 64GB capacity. This same design is present on other TUF series motherboards like the ASUS TUF B450m-Plus Gaming.

Two M.2 sockets are allowing for the use of SSD storage, and one of these slots is shielded with a thermal pad to maximize heat dissipation.

These slots are Optane ready, allowing you to swap data between the SSDs at speeds up to 32Gb/s. So you can copy the entirety of the new Modern Warfare in less than 8 seconds.

There are a total of six SATA ports that transfer data up to 6Gb/s. They can be configured to RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, which is great if you need an extra performance boost by combining multiple hard drives.

Rear I/O

Probably the most disappointing aspect of the ASUS Z390-Plus Gaming motherboard is the rear I/O. It could generously be described as desolate due to all the space that could’ve been filled with extra ports.

The rear I/O doesn’t have a pre-mounted shield, but the ports are made from stainless steel. This gives them a longer lifespan than the typical plastic ports and is protected from corrosion.

The Z390-Plus Gaming motherboard doesn’t have any integrated Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, like the ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming.  Considering this is a fairly recent motherboard, we think the fact that there aren’t any Wi-Fi antennae is a mark against it.

There are resettable fuses that prevent short-circuiting and overcurrent damages, which adds another layer of protection to your peripherals.

TUF Gaming Audio

ASUS implemented their TUF audio design in the Z390-Plus Gaming motherboard. This audio system is fully isolated from the rest of the components.

This maximizes audio quality and minimizes any noise interference from the other components.

This audio system is a custom S1200 codec that offers the best possible audio playback performance. Similar codecs are found in other motherboards, like the ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming.

There’s a five-band equalizer to customize the sound profile of all your media players and apps, giving you even more control and fine-tuning.

Sale
ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (Wi-Fi) LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) DDR4...
  • Designed for 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors to maximize connectivity and speed with dual M.2, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Military-Grade TUF Components like TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs maximize system durability
  • Gamer’s Guardian with Safe Slot and FanXpert 4 provides hardware-level safeguards for maximum performance with dynamic system cooling
  • 8-channel HD Gaming Audio with TUF Gaming Headphone featuring Realtek S1200A high definition audio codec driven by Japanese capacitors for warm, immersive sound
  • ASUS Optimum II improves memory stability and performance by improving trace isolation between PCB layers to maintain signal integrity even at higher frequencies

Gaming

As its name suggests, the ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming gives gamers a load of features through its onboard hardware and software. However, only one of these areas truly benefits the gamers.

On the hardware side, the motherboard includes three PCIe 3.0 slots with one of them being reinforced with SafeSlot protection. These are ASUS’s strengthened slots that provide solid preservation and resistance.

The board has two-way Crossfire support, which is AMD’s solution to NVIDIA’s SLI feature.

This runs into significant problems, though, as only the first PCIe 3.0 slot has 16x full bus speed. The second is capped at 4x meaning that you won’t get the best performance when using two AMD cards.

In terms of software, there are some truly astounding features. One impressive addition is the Turbo Lan packet priority software.

This allows you to configure your game to receive immediate network prioritization. This gives gamers the best possible network connection.

Despite the hardware limitations, the included software is more than enough to provide gamers with a solid experience.

Aesthetics and RGB

The ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming motherboard boasts a black and yellow accent design.

There are two RGB zones, one on the side profile of the board and the other being the TUF logo near the bottom. If you want more RGB options, there’s an addressable RGB connector.

The RGB is controlled using the ASUS AURA Sync software. This provides a variety of color choices and lighting options that will suit your aesthetic preferences.  

BIOS and Overclocking

Like the ASUS TUF Z270 Mark I, this motherboard has Dual AMI UEFI BIOS with two modes: An EZ mode for your fan profiles and CPU core voltage readings, and an advanced mode where most of the overclocking will take place.

The advanced mode has a tab that allows you to add settings that you change frequently, which saves you from having to search for them in the BIOS.

When it comes to overclocking, a tool tab is included in the Advanced Mode that allows you to change and set an overclocking profile without having an operating system.

Overclocking the DRAM is easy with the UEFI BIOS XMP options. This gives you higher clock frequencies at the click of a button.

The motherboard’s memory has a maximum overclock of 4266 MHz, with the CPU comfortably overclocking at 5Ghz.  

Pros

  • Good inclusion of software
  • Innovative audio
  • Affordable
  • Good RAID support
Sale
ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (Wi-Fi) LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) DDR4...
  • Designed for 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors to maximize connectivity and speed with dual M.2, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.1 Gen2
  • Military-Grade TUF Components like TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs maximize system durability
  • Gamer’s Guardian with Safe Slot and FanXpert 4 provides hardware-level safeguards for maximum performance with dynamic system cooling
  • 8-channel HD Gaming Audio with TUF Gaming Headphone featuring Realtek S1200A high definition audio codec driven by Japanese capacitors for warm, immersive sound
  • ASUS Optimum II improves memory stability and performance by improving trace isolation between PCB layers to maintain signal integrity even at higher frequencies

Cons

  • No integrated Wi-Fi
  • No SLI or USB Type-C support

Common Questions about ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming

What is the recommended tower size for this motherboard?

A mid-tower case is perfect for the ASUS TUF Z390-Plus. Note that all the necessary cables and connectors can be found inside the package.

What is the form factor of this board?

The ASUS TUF Z390-Plus boasts a 12×9.6-inch ATX (advanced technology extended) form factor, typical for most TUF motherboards.

How does this board compare to the other Z-series ASUS boards?

Comparing the ASUS TUF Z390-Plus to something like the ASUS Strix Z270e Gaming, the latter comes out on top. Other Z-series boards tend to have more features and bundled software, making them better value for money.

Customer Reviews

“Aesthetically, this motherboard looks great with its black and yellow design. Not only does it excel in the looks department, but performance and BIOS wise, this is a really good motherboard at an affordable price!”

Petestar88

5/5 stars

“Despite this motherboard being a bit dated by now, it is still decent. My biggest issue was trying to update the BIOS to the latest version. You will need BIOS version 0805, if you don’t have then you will stare at a blank screen. I, unfortunately, had to return this motherboard because there was no way to update the BIOS.”

Bren N.

2/5 stars

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