Instead of the APEX


Aug 27, 2022
Hi folks...FNG here. Can anyone suggest an alternate to the ASUS Z690 APEX per this build. There are none stateside and ASUS can't give me a date on restock. Already have the CPU and cooler with the GPU inbound from EVGA. Thank you.

Oh...happy to be here.
What exactly is the goal? The only direct equivalents to the Apex are the EVGA Z690 Classified Kingpin and Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Tachyon, both of which are 1dpc EATX boards designed for subambient overclocking. The Apex and its cousins aren't the *top* LGA 1700 boards; if you are going for "most expensive build possible" you want something like the Maximus Extreme which has more consumer-oriented features and fewer subambient features.

The Z690 Classified (regular, not Kingpin) is currently half off:, but once again if you are going for "highest end build possible" you should wait for Raptor Lake, which has a few more cores and boosts higher.
Thanks. I chose the APEX for power, regulation, "SP caps", over all build quality and because it is an ATX board...not the Kingpin and Tachyon. I also like 1dpc because it's a waste to run 4 sticks DDR5 on Z690s. My bad for not stating ATX in the first. The Torrent does not play well with the larger boards without modding...I'd prefer not to do. Most expensive is/was not the's long term high quality. My current rig below is almost 14 YO, needing only a few fans and OS updates in that time. As stated, I already have the KS and the 3090 Ti is arriving in a few days. I'm just trying to regroup with a "comparable" high quality ATX MB I can finish shopping and put this thing together. ;)

X3380 @3.16 GHz
GA-EP45-UD3R (rev. 1.1)
GeForce GTX-295
8GB OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2-800 (4x2)
1000W PC
Antec P182 case
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1dpc ATX leaves you with just the Apex. It's a good board, for sure, but from a reliability standpoint I'm not convinced its much better than a $350 board. I think it's in stock on Amazon.
If you want longevity, I'd strongly recommend waiting until October. The next generation of GPUs is a full node smaller than the current gen and probably 50% faster, which a few years down the line is going to be the difference between a playable 30 fps and a 20 fps slideshow.
The Amazon, Newegg and MemoryC links for APEX all go back to 3rd party unauthorized in Hong Kong and China...and they are all "-M0EAY0" not "-M0UAY1". Even the UK and Germany options. I already drew a line in the sand with the first 2 purchases, so I'm not waiting for the next latest and greatest gen. You are definitely a few pay grades above me on this, but I think you understand. What are your thoughts on the MEG Unify-X as a compromise? Any other ATX board you could/would give a solid for?
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The brand is new but casual research seems to indicate the UNIFY-X is well received, the last time I used an MSI board was in 2017 but I suspect their firmware has improved since then.
Thanks, I'll look into it as long as it will take the i9-12900KS and it's ATX. Already committed there.
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The EVGA 3090 Ti Ultra showed up yesterday. Have to pick the MB soon.
I'm using the EVGA Classified here with no issues. Honestly the only issue I ran into on Z690 was an Aorus Z690 Master. I have used an MSI Z690 board here recently as well with no issues so the Unify-X would be a good alternative in my opinion.
If tou want total overkill there is the MSI Z690 Godlike, unfortunatelly that is E-ATX.
Thanks, but I'm sticking with a standard size ATX board. The Torrent case is not provisioned for a "clean build" using E-ATX or bigger without sheetmetal work I don't feel like doing. When I choose the board, then I'll buy the memory and drives.
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Thanks. VRM board power might be the decider now since I WILL be running the KS. The ASUS Z690-E does not allow horizontal mounting of the D15 per Noctua has been dropped from consideration.
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You only need 300W to run the KS, its not that bad. The Apex class stuff is designed to run 500W+ at subambient temps.
I know. In all honesty...I don't need any of this, but I still want it as evidenced buying the KS, 3090Ti, AX1600i, Case, Cooler...and all the other goodies in my next buy basket when I finally pick an alternate board. I'm 63 and looking at retirement in a few...soooo...I've earned this one. 😉
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👍Thanks. Trust me...I've read and seen just about everything I can find on all these boards. "IF" I could just find an APEX p/n 90MB18I0-"M0UAY1" that would still be my choice, but they are just not available...anywhere. I'll probably get the Unify-X, but I'm going to give it another day before I commit and push those last buttons. There's already a stack of boxes beside me just begging to be assembled.
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In the end there's not much point in thinking hard about it, I usually go by a combination of looks and brand loyalty - if you're going for something like crazy memory speeds the boards are only relevant for two years anyway since the next socket will have a much better IMC. The Unify will serve you well - as will the Apex, Aorus Tachyon, Classified, Hero, etc.. All of them have M.2 slots, good VRMs, and no showstopper bugs which in the end are all you need for a good daily rig.
My over thinking and hesitancy "now" is the direct result of not getting the board I planned this build around. Looks and brand loyalty mean nothing to me. It's sole purpose is just to be a very reliable, do anything box that sits under the desk. If I want to show it off...I'll just turn it on and point to the screen.

You have been extremely helpful with your guidance bwang. Thank you very much.
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PSU "On the Way", but the Torrent just arrived. Time to sh-t or get off the pot.
Sorry I never got back to you guys on this build.

Build took about 2-1/2 hours and it booted into bios first try on main TV (was only HDMI cable in the house). Went to work (literally my work place) loaded W11 Pro, updated bios and all drivers, set fans, loaded Office 2021 Pro Plus and all other programs, move all personal files/folders and boom I'm live. Bring it home and I was only able to boot into Windows once out of more than a dozen tries. I would get the MSI Dragon and Windows status circle that would freeze and screen went black. All other indications it was up and running though. Took it in to MC and she works perfect...using their periphery cables. Bought a new HDMI cord as this and VGA are the only options on my old HP w2408h joy. HP drivers for this old monitor stopped at W8 and I didn't want to try 3rd party unknowns on this new box. Ended up being this monitor will not work on W11. Bought an ASUS VG32AQL1A (for now) and she's screaming like a baby. Second run at C23 score, 10 minutes, all core I hit 27667 with 5 of the 8 P-cores throttling at 100C.

Still have to clean up some old files and do a little tweaking to get the CPU temps down while running C23 @ full bore (25-27 at idle), but she's more or less done now. I have officially retired old faithful and I am VERY happy with the results.

Thank you EVERYONE who helped with my journey...directly and indirectly. 👍
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