Best Intel Z490 Motherboard 2020: Top 6 options for Comet Lake

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Intel has unleashed a full smoke-stack of new Comet Lake 10th Gen processors, yet you’ll need a new motherboard in sequence to muster one of these CPUs. There are copiousness of choices to select from, yet what is a best Intel Z490 motherboard for your cash?

The new CPUs supplement some-more cores and some-more speed when compared to Intel’s prior chips, and a new Z490 chipset creates large strides in networking – it now supports 2.5Gbps Ethernet and WiFi 6. In other areas, though, a chipset stays mostly unvaried from Z390, and there’s still no PCI-E 4.0 support.

We’ve dull adult 6 of a best new Z490 motherboards to find out that options have a best features, opening and cost – so we can see accurately that play should find a home in your new PC.

Each house in this exam has been sealed and commissioned with a Intel Core i9-10900K CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card, 16GB of memory and an NVMe SSD, and they’ve been tested in Geekbench, Cinebench and 3D Mark Time Spy.

We’ve also paid tighten courtesy to a areas that anyone should inspect when shopping a new board: a PCI, memory, storage and networking configurations, a behind I/O options, a accumulation of onboard connectors and a reward facilities enclosed for tweaking and overclocking. Aesthetics are critical too – so we’ve remarkable what a play demeanour like and what RGB LED options are included.

Check out a outline below, and corkscrew serve down for some-more sum on any board:

  • Best Intel Z490 motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme
  • Best mainstream Intel Z490 motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming
  • Best Intel Z490 motherboard for gaming: ASRock Z490 Taichi
  • Best Intel Z490 motherboard for applications: MSI MEG Z490 ACE
  • Best bill Intel Z490 motherboard: MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi
  • Another Intel Z490 motherboard: Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master

More sum on these motherboards, keep scrolling down as we give an in-depth research on any pick.

Related: Best Intel Z490 Motherboard

Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

1. Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

Incredible high-end facilities for enthusiasts – yet a prohibitively high price

Pros:

  • Stunning underline set
  • Superb gaming performance
  • Ample overclocking support
  • Loads of RGB LEDs

Cons:

  • Incredibly expensive
  • No PCI-E x1 or 4.0
  • Mediocre in some app tests

Review price: £850

The Maximus XII Extreme is a strong motherboard. It’ll set we behind a beast £850, and a it’s got a fearsome set of features.

It has steel-supported memory slots, twin PCI-E x16 sockets, 8 SATA ports and 4 M.2 connectors – twin of that support longer SSDs and are commissioned on their possess enlargement card. At a rear, a house has 8 USB 3.2 ports and twin Type-C connectors – including a super-fast USB 3.2 Gen2x2 port.

The house facilities a whopping 12 fan headers, 6 connectors for water-cooling, 6 onboard USB headers, 4 for lighting, 8 heat dimensions points and a jumper to support a Liquid Nitrogen mode.

It looks sensational, with aluminium heatsinks full of RGB LEDs, and during a rear, there’s a outrageous image of steel to accelerate a board. In a center of a board, there’s a LiveDash OLED screen, that can be used to guard complement information, refurbish a BIOS and diagnose problems. Elsewhere, you’ll find a energy button, POST display, toggles for protected booting and for contrast profiles, and a customisable Reset button.

Tweakers will also be happy to find twin eight-pin CPU energy slots, a plain 16-phase energy smoothness complement and both Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons on a behind I/O.

The house is fully-loaded with accessories: as good as a M.2 prolongation card, there’s a fan prolongation section that adds fan headers, heat sensor points and RGB LED connectors and a Thunderbolt prolongation card. Asus even includes a screwdriver.

Connectivity is stellar. The Asus is a usually house here to embody 10Gbps Ethernet alongside 2.5Gbps Ethernet, that means implausible speeds. WiFi 6 is also included. When it comes to audio, you’re lonesome by a glorious SupremeFX S1220 chipset with an ESS ES9023P DAC.

The usually teenager selection oppose is that there is no third PCI-E x16 container and no PCI-E x1 sockets, yet there’s literally no room left on a board. Asus also hasn’t taken any PCI-E 4.0 gambles here.

The Maximus is a fastest house in a organisation in gaming tests, and it’s decent in Cinebench too – yet a bad outcome in Geekbench’s single-core exam does expel slight doubt on a focus speeds.

Still, this isn’t indispensably a house to buy if you’re meddlesome in pristine focus pace. It’s a stellar gaming board, and it’s packaged with facilities – yet it’s usually value shopping if you’re truly going to use a facilities and pull a bounds in terms of opening and overclocking.

Related: Best AMD motherboards

Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming

2. Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming

Solid pace, a good operation of facilities and a decent cost – a good mid-range option

Pros:

  • Reasonable app and gaming performance
  • Solid mainstream features
  • Mid-range price

Cons:

  • Few high-end features
  • No super-fast USB Type-C

Review price: £300

The Asus Strix charity is a second-cheapest house in this organisation and, during £300, it’s usually £40 some-more costly than a MSI MPG.

The additional room in a bill means that this house has teenager improvements in some pivotal areas. It’s got a Thunderbolt 3 header onboard, for instance. The further of a POST arrangement and an over-voltage header creates overclocking and tweaking easier, and it has 16-phase CPU energy – twin some-more than a MSI. It also has an additional four-pin energy connector – a underline common with a MSI.

The Asus has one additional PCI-E x1 socket, so smaller enlargement models are some-more welcome. Its ROG S1220A audio has twin OP amplifiers and SupremeFX helmet – so a Asus is a small better.

In other departments, a Asus matches a cheaper MSI board. It’s got 4 memory slots, 6 SATA ports and twin M.2 connectors. Its PCI-E x16 options are a same, with good dual-GPU support and steel on a twin tip slots, and a twin play demeanour matching – they’ve got sizeable heatsinks and a behind I/O cover with RGB LEDs.

One thing to mention: a Asus house has marginally bigger heatsinks around a CPU socket, that could make installing fan-based heatsinks some-more of a challenge.

Connectivity is good and matching too: a Asus house has 2.5Gbps Ethernet, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 At a rear, a Asus has 5 full-size USB 3.2 ports and 4 USB 2.0 connectors alongside one USB 3.2 Type-C pier – so we get some-more USB ports, notwithstanding yet MSI’s high-speed USB Type-C. The Asus has no primitive PS/2 port, yet it does have a BIOS Flashback button.

The house has 8 fan and siphon connectors and 4 USB headers – usually like a MSI. However, MSI’s house went one improved by charity 4 kinds of lighting header. The usually thing blank on a Asus house are loyal high-end facilities – a house has a POST display, yet no additional buttons.

The Asus house does offer reasonable performance: it’s good in Geekbench, yet intermediate in Cinebench and 3D Mark. At this price, that’s decent, and it offers improved gait than a MSI MPG.

The improved performance, additional PCI-E x1 hollow and improved audio make us cite a Asus – we’d usually switch to a MSI if we had budgetary concerns or unequivocally wanted a additional lighting or USB Type-C features.

Related: Best PC Games 2020

ASRock Z490 Taichi

3. ASRock Z490 Taichi

Good gaming gait and storage facilities – yet common in applications

Pros:

  • Decent gaming speed
  • Good storage options
  • Includes PCI-E 4.0
  • Super-fast USB Type-C and Thunderbolt

Cons:

  • Mediocre focus speeds

Review price: £395

The Taichi is a second-priciest house in this group, notwithstanding by a slim domain – a MSI MEG indication and Gigabyte Aorus house lay within £15 of this ASRock unit.

The ASRock house has one of a many particular looks here. Its southbridge heatsink has a smart, Steampunk-inspired pattern with RGB LEDs, and there are some-more lights in a behind I/O heatsink – and in a additional heatsink enclosed along a right-hand side of a rear.

ASRock has interconnected that Steampunk pattern with some forward-thinking features. The large one is support for PCI-E 4.0 on twin PCI-E x16 slots and one M.2 connector. It’s a faster storage customary that AMD introduced in 2019, yet it’s not upheld by Intel’s Z490 chipset.

This inclusion is a play as it’s utterly probable that Intel’s CPU and chipset specifications will change between now and destiny releases that do support PCI-E 4.0 – that could meant that this house won’t scrupulously function. If it works, though, it means you’ll get support for faster storage and graphics cards.

The Taichi sees 8 SATA ports – twin some-more than rivals. It has 5 onboard USB connectors – one some-more than rivals. It has a super-fast USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C port, like a MSI yet distinct a Aorus. It’s got a Thunderbolt connector, like a Gigabyte.

The ASRock has a plain Realtek ALC1220 audio chip with an ESS 9218 DAC, and WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps Ethernet alongside a Gigabit Ethernet port. It has 3 M.2 connectors, steel PCI-E x16 slots and plain dual-GPU support alongside a POST display, energy and reset buttons and both Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons. In these respects, it’s probably matching to a rivals.

The ASRock has twin eight-pin CPU energy connectors, yet it usually has a intermediate 14-phase energy smoothness system. The MSI has 16+1-phase energy and is, therefore, improved for overclocking. You get 8 fan and siphon connectors and 4 lighting headers, and during a rear, we get 7 USB 3.2 ports – a same as a MSI and some-more than a Aorus.

When it comes to focus performance, a Taichi is mediocre, yet it was a second-best house here for gaming speed – marginally forward of both competitors.

If gaming speed is critical to you, afterwards a Taichi is improved than a competitors – and it’s higher when it comes to storage too.

Related: Best Graphics Card

MSI MEG Z490 ACE

4. MSI MEG Z490 ACE

Superb focus gait and plain facilities make for a mid-range winner

Pros:

  • Excellent focus performance
  • Solid mainstream features
  • Classy aesthetics

Cons:

  • Only common in games

Review price: £390

MSI’s MEG Z490 ACE house is usually 5 pounds cheaper than ASRock’s effort, and costs £10 some-more than a Gigabyte Z490 Aorus – so it’s sat right between those twin penetrating rivals.

Unsurprisingly, a MSI has a plain simple selection that shares many attributes with both of those boards. It’s got 4 DDR4 memory slots and 3 steel-support PCI-E x16 sockets with plain dual-GPU support – usually like a competition. It has 3 M.2 connectors, all with their possess heatsinks, and it has energy and reset buttons on a house alongside with BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS buttons during a rear. There’s a POST arrangement too.

Audio is rubbed by a Realtek ALC1220 codec with an ESS SABRE9018Q2C DAC – a good loadout that matches rivals. The MSI has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 alongside both 2.5Gbps and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity; a Aorus falls behind here with usually one Ethernet port.

On a house itself, you’ll find 8 fan and cooling siphon connectors and 4 lighting headers, that is customary for this partial of a market.

Getting closer reveals teenager differences between a MSI and a competition. This house is a best out of a 3 mid-range offerings for overclocking: it shares a twin eight-pin CPU energy connectors with a rivals, and it improves on those play by charity a 16+1 energy proviso smoothness system.

It has twin PCI-E x1 sockets, that is improved than a Aorus – that house eschews them altogether. However, while a MSI has 6 SATA ports, a ASRock goes twin improved by charity eight. The MSI has no Thunderbolt.

At a rear, a MSI has 5 USB 3.2 ports alongside one of those super-fast USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C ports. The ASRock is improved here since it has some-more full-size USB 3.2 ports. The Aorus is arguably worse – it has some-more USB 2.0 ports, yet it doesn’t have those super-fast Type-C connections.

MSI’s house looks classier than a competitors. Its heatsinks mix dim brushed steel with bullion accents. There are RGB LEDs in a heatsinks, as usual, yet fewer than on a confidant ASRock. The MSI also has somewhat smaller heatsinks around a CPU socket, that aids well-spoken building.

The MSI is a best house in a organisation when it comes to focus speed – it was a fastest here in 3 of a 4 app tests. It’s usually common in gaming, though.

That gaming outcome means a ASRock is a improved choice for gaming speed, yet a MSI MEG is a best motherboard in a organisation if we need focus opening – and it’s got decent facilities too.

 

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

5. MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

Affordable and glorious for mainstream computing, yet not feature-packed or fast

Pros:

  • Affordable compared to rivals
  • Solid mainstream features
  • Super-fast USB Type-C

Cons:

  • Underwhelming performance
  • No high-end features
  • Less versatile than competitors

Review price: £260

MSI’s MPG house is a cheapest house in this Z490 group, that means it has reduction embellishment than some of a peers. It still looks good, yet – it still has a large behind I/O cover with carbon-fibre fact and RGB LEDs alongside a sizeable, bright southbridge heatsink.

This house might be a cheapest here, yet a £260 cost still leaves room in a bill for some considerable features. The MPG has WiFi 6 and 2.5GBps Ethernet, and a behind row has a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C pier – that is a fastest USB pier now available.

The rest of a selection offers good quality, notwithstanding with some-more required features. There are twin M.2 connectors, and both have heatsinks. There are 3 PCI-E x16 slots, with a tip twin entirely set adult for dual-graphics and bolstered with steel, and there are twin PCI-E x1 connectors. Audio is rubbed by Realtek ALC1220 hardware – a glorious mainstream chipset yet yet any beefed-up features.

At a rear, you’ve got a required blueprint including 4 USB 3.2 ports, twin USB 2.0 sockets, 5 audio jacks and a PS/2 port. The house is dirty with fan, RGB and water-cooling connectors, too, and we get a required 6 SATA ports and 4 DDR4 slots. There’s also an additional four-pin CPU energy plug.

The reduce cost does meant that some facilities are missing. There are smaller heatsinks, no POST arrangement and no onboard buttons. The Asus has an additional PCI-E x1 container and improved audio.

The MPG is not a quite good performer, either, with a misfortune formula in a organisation in Cinebench and intermediate gait in both Geekbench and 3D Mark Time Spy.

The MPG’s reduce cost creates it a reasonable choice for affordable mainstream performance, yet if we can presumably means it we’d suggest jumping adult to a Asus – it’s faster, with improved features.

Related: Intel 10th Gen desktop CPU

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master

6. Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master

Good looks, yet underwhelming opening and some blank features

Pros:

  • Impressive aesthetics
  • PCI-E 4.0 support
  • Some decent mainstream features

Cons:

  • Sluggish performance
  • No second Ethernet port
  • No super-fast USB Type-C

Review price: £380

The Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master costs a plain £380, yet it undercuts a rivals from MSI and ASRock by a few pounds.

The reduce cost doesn’t meant that a core selection has been cut back. This house has 4 memory slots with support for marginally quicker speeds than both competitors, and a memory slots and PCI-E x16 sockets are all bolstered with steel.

The Gigabyte has 3 M.2 connectors and 6 SATA ports – usually a ASRock is better. And, like a ASRock, a Gigabyte product includes indeterminate support for PCI-E 4.0. This future-proofed customary isn’t upheld by Intel’s Comet Lake CPUs and chipsets, yet it’s expected to be enclosed in Rocket Lake chips. While there’s no pledge that destiny hardware will work flawlessly, it’s a acquire underline to have if it functions.

The Gigabyte has plain facilities elsewhere. It’s got a common 8 fan and siphon connectors and 4 lighting headers, and it has twin Thunderbolt connectors – while a ASRock usually has one. It has Realtek ALC1220 audio with an ESS ES9118EQ DAC, that matches rivals, and it also joins a foe by including 2.5Gbps Ethernet and WiFi 6.

The Gigabyte looks excellent, with overwhelming brushed aluminium heatsinks and RGB LEDs. The blueprint is solid, with a POST arrangement and energy symbol during a tip and some neat BIOS switches during a bottom.

Sadly, a Gigabyte does have some peculiar holes in a specification. This is a usually mid-range house here to not span a faster connected networking tie with a apart Gigabit Ethernet port. And while a Aorus has 5 USB 3.2 ports and a Type-C connection, it doesn’t have a super-fast USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C tie – and it struggles along with 4 slower USB 2.0 ports.

It matches both rivals with twin eight-pin CPU energy sockets, and a 14-phase energy pattern means it’s reasonable for overclocking. It also has twin heat sensor headers, that conjunction opposition offers. For pristine electrical power, though, a MSI MEG house is improved interjection to a 16+1 proviso energy delivery.

There’s one distinguished repudiation from a center of a board: no PCI-E x1 ports. These are reduction useful these days, generally with built-in WiFi, yet it’s still surprising.

When it comes to speed, a Aorus disappoints. Its 3D Mark and Geekbench formula are a misfortune in a group, and it’s usually intermediate in Cinebench. We’re usually articulate about little margins here – your opening will be shabby distant some-more by your choice of components elsewhere. But a Aorus isn’t a house to buy if you’re chasing tip speeds.

The underwhelming performance, miss of a second Ethernet pier and deficiency of faster USB Type-C meant that it’s formidable to suggest a Aorus notwithstanding some accessible tweaking features. The ASRock Taichi is improved for gaming, and a MSI MEG is higher in applications.

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