Intel has recently launched its 10th Generation Comet Lake desktops and with it, they are also coming up with a brand new 400 series system-level chipsets. This launch has brought out new motherboards for these chipsets in the market. The Intel Z490 is a chipset built specifically to function with the new Intel 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs. The Z490 motherboards are quite a high-end component but in our guide, we have put together categories for all kinds to suit the needs of all users.
Best Z490 Motherboards For Intel 10th Gen CPUs
Following is a glance of the motherboards recommended by us and then we will move on to the details:
|Product||Form Factor||RAM slots||M.2 slots||Socket Type|
|Asus TUF Gaming Z490-Plus (Wi-fi)||ATX||4||2||LGA 1200|
|Asus Prime Z490M-Plus||Micro ATX||4||2||LGA 1200|
|Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra||ATX||4||3||LGA 1200|
|MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi||ATX||4||2||LGA 1200|
|MSI MEG Z490 Godlike||Extended ATX||4||3||LGA 1200|
|Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme||Extended ATX||4||3||LGA 1200|
|Asus ROG Maximus XII Formula||ATX||4||3||LGA 1200|
|ASRock Z490 AQUA||Extended ATX||4||1||LGA 1200|
|Asrock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3||Mini ITX||2||1||LGA 1200|
|Asus ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming||Mini ITX||2||2||LGA 1200|
Now that we have gone over the specifications, we can look into each of these motherboards. Note that we are only going over the Z490 motherboards so you should only pair these with the K series CPUs that come with an unlocked multiplier and can be overclocked.
Best Budget Options
Z490 motherboards can be very expensive indeed. If you are not interested in spending too much money then the following are the models that we recommend.
The new TUF gaming motherboards are the most affordable Z490 component that is designed by Asus. These motherboards have a 12+2 power delivery system with a built-in Intel Wi-fi 6 AX201 chip. There will also be a non-wi-fi version available soon.
However, with the price difference, there are some downsides to this model too. The number of M.2 Key M slots is only two and the networking hardware is also not the most high end either, with just a single Intel i219-V Gigabit Ethernet controller.
- Good power design
- Fewer M.2 slots
- Networking hardware could be better
The Prime Z490M-Plus is another budget-friendly option in the Asus Z490 motherboards stack and is even cheaper than the TUF Gaming Plus.
It comes in the MicroATX form factor, which makes it appealing for users who prefer a component smaller in comparison to a full ATX board, but with more PCI Express expansion that can be provided by an average Mini ITX model. The power design with an 8+1 configuration is not up to par though. Hence the low price factor does cuts down on some features too.
- Very Affordable
- Small size
- Lacking in power delivery system
If you are interested in a mid-range PC build, then the following are the Z490 motherboards that we can recommend.
The Aorus Ultra by Gigabyte is the first one in our mid-range category. It has 12 power phases with 50-amp DrMOS controllers to drive them.
Although these motherboards might be slightly less efficient than a premium level motherboard they can still function quite capably even with overclocking. Other specs include 120db audio hardware and 3 M.2 slots with large metal heatsinks.
- Functions quite well at an affordable price
- Due to its particular MOSFETS, it will be driven to work harder to reach the efficiency level equal to other models
The next mid-range Z490 solution on our list is the Gaming Carbon WiFi by MSI. It has an impressive 60-amp power design with a 12+1+1 DRPS. The power phases are cooled by a metal heat pipe and two large heatsinks.
The rear I/O panel of this motherboard also sports a 20Gbps USB port. The networking features include a Wi-Fi 6 wireless chip and 2.5Gbps wired NIC. Overall, this board will keep your Comet Lake performing commendably.
- Doesn’t cut down on features despite less price
- No active cooling for the power circuit
Best premium Motherboards
If you are looking for the top of the line Z490 motherboards with all the bells and whistles then the following are the models that we can recommend.
Moving to the high-end options now, the MEG Z490 Godlike is as impressive as its name suggests. This can be the most feature-packed of all Z490 motherboards to be launched. With its 16+1+1 power design featuring 90 amp components, it is an excellent option for users who intend to overclock.
The board is installed with small fans on the back I/O panel for improved thermal performance. The networking system includes a second 2.5Gbps NIC, an Aquantia 10Gbps Ethernet support, and a 2.5Gbps Wi-Fi 6 controller. It comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports and even additional features the upgraded full-colour version of MSI’s Dynamic Dashboard, which is an OLED display that allows you customization and troubleshooting.
- Notable features promising good performance
- Aesthetically pleasing
- None to be seen yet
If you are not restricted on budget, then the Aorus Xtreme is one of the best you can get. This motherboard has one of the best power delivery designs with 16 90-amp power stages. There is an 8mm Heatpipe and large heatsinks to cool it down.
So overclocking or any stressful function will not take its toll upon the Aorus Extreme. There is a Thunderbolt 3 port available the board also comes with a metal nanocarbon backplate. The 127dB audio hardware is excellent while the networking is not lacking either with a 10Gbps Aquantia NIC.
- Has all the features you can ask for.
- Apart from the steep price there aren’t any other negatives evident yet.
Best Z490 Motherboards With Waterblocks
If you are interested in a water-cooled build then it is best to get a motherboard that comes with a CPU water block. The following are the models that we can recommend.
Asus ROG Maximus XII Formula
This can be considered as the best option for users who are a fan of overclocking in a lesser price range than a premium Z490 motherboard. It has sixteen 70-amp power phases. The heat sinks for these can be connected to a water cooling system, hence improving the cooling process.
This motherboard comes with some remarkable networking hardware with a 10Gbps Marvell LAN controller, an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 Wi-Fi chip, and an Intel i225-V 2.5Gbps NIC.
- Capable of giving effective performance
- Liquid cooling option
- Aesthetic design
- 70-amp power design will make it a bit less powerful in comparison to some other boards
ASRock Z490 AQUA
This next liquid cooling motherboard we have for you is the AQUA by ASRock. They have certainly upped the game by launching this model with 2 oz copper PCBs and 16 Phase 90 A Dr.MOS, enabling it to deliver extreme VRM efficiency. Good thermals become even more necessary with the right specs to handle heavy loads, so this motherboard is installed with a high-end water cooling system which reduces the temperatures drastically.
The looks won’t fail to impress you either, as the Z490 AQUA comes encased in a matte black undershell covered in a refined metallic armor and attractive LED display. Networking configurations consist of AQUANTIA AQtion 10 Gbps network and WiF i6 (802.11ax) wireless internet connectivity.
- Impressive specs
- Attractive look
- Water block
Best ITX Z490 Motherboards
The following are the motherboards that we recommend for small form factor PC builds.
Asrock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3
ASRock hasn’t stayed back in the ITX department either, and their competitor of this market is the Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3. Although the small space limits a grand array of features, this board still does not have any serious lacks.
The networking configurations are quite remarkable in this board with an 802.11ax Wi-Fi module that can support up to 2.4Gbps of wireless speeds. For making it even faster you can use the RJ-45 jack powered by a Realtek Dragon RTL9125BG controller.
For cooling options there is a Heatpipe and small fan for the chipset and power circuitry, but as all VRMs are not cooled by it there is also a separate heatsink. Although the company has provided the utmost cooling solution possible that could fit in the mini ITX, it remains to be seen if it will be enough or not.
- Great networking specs
- Great for mini PCs
- Cooling might not be as efficient
Asus has come up with its contender for a Mini ITX form factor motherboard and that is the ROG Strix Z490-I. It has an 8+2 power phase system and an eight-layer PCB. Active cooling is provided by a small fan, two heatsinks, and a metal heat pipe.
The board is also equipped with an HDMI 2.0 port and an Intel 802.11ax Wi-FI chip. There are two M.2 slots available which have a passive cooler above them, and a PCI Express slot.
- Features are good enough to ensure effective performance
- Plenty of armor
- Looks great
- Ideal for high-performance small form factor PCs
- 2 M.2 slots
- None to be seen.
Here ends our list of the 10 best Z490 Motherboards for Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs. Hopefully, it will make it easier for you to choose the motherboard that is most suited to your requirements.