Best Z490 Motherboard for Gaming & Overclocking [Budget to High-end]

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Z490 is the flagship or top-end motherboard chipset for the latest Intel 10th generation processors using the LGA 1200 socket. If you are planning to buy a mid to high-end Intel 10th Generation Core processor (unlocked one), then it is imperative to get a Z490 motherboard, as you can get the best performance out the processor and can also benefit from the extra features of that motherboard. When comparing to a Z390 motherboard, there is not much of a difference between the Z490 and Z390 motherboards. In addition to the features offered by Z390 motherboards, Z490 motherboards also include the support for the faster 2.5G LAN and WiFi 6 support. Z490 motherboards still lag behind the flagship X570 motherboards from AMD that include the support for the faster PCIe Gen 4 interface. However, some high-end Z490 motherboards do include the support for the PCIe 4.0, but from the future generation Intel processors (with PCIe Gen4 Lanes).

The Z490 Motherboards support all the 10th Gen Intel Core and Pentium Processors and overclocking. Not all Z490 motherboards are created equal as the higher-end, or top-end ones come with extra features, more and better VRMs or Power Phases, better heatsinks & components, and have better build quality. Moreover, the overclocking capability of high-end Z490 motherboards is much higher compared to cheaper or budget Z490 options. So, here I am going to list the best Z490 motherboards, starting from budget to the top-end, so that you can buy the best Z490 motherboard based on your budget and requirements.

Note: Almost all CPU Coolers that support LGA 1151 Socket are also compatible with the LGA 1200 Socket too.

Best Budget Z490 Motherboards

Here are the best budget Z490 motherboards that you can get for a budget, mid-range, or even high-end 10th generation Intel Core series processors. 

MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK

[Great Performance for the Price, Reliable]

MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK is one of the best budget Z490 motherboards that you can get for running even the top-end Intel 10th processor, i.e., Intel Core i9 10900K. The Tomahawk motherboard series from MSI has always been a top choice among users who want high performance along with features at an affordable price. It is a clean looking ATX motherboard and comes in the black and grey color scheme. The motherboard comes with two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and supports CrossFire. For NVMe solid-state drives, it has got two M.2 slots with thermal guards or heatsinks installed.

MSI-MAG-Z490-TOMAHAWK

The motherboard has 12+1+1 VRM power phases and can easily support high-end Intel 10th generation processors, even with overclocking. You can overclock an Intel Core i9 10900K processor to up to 5.2 GHz on this board. The board has got heatsink over the MOSFETs and chipset that keeps them cool during overclocking and higher loads. The I/O shield comes integrated with the motherboard. The board features 2.5G LAN for fast ethernet connectivity, fast USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, USB Type-C port, and an optical S/PDIF out port. When it comes to features, then you won’t be disappointed as it has almost all the essential features that you generally find in a high-end and more expensive motherboard. The build quality of the motherboard is very good (6-layer PCB construction), and it does come with a slight bit of RGB lighting too. Overall, a great affordable motherboard for someone who does not want to spend a large amount of money on a high-end premium category z490 motherboard but still wants to have all the goodies of it. Highly recommended by me.

MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK Motherboard Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Gen Intel Core and Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA1200 socket
RAM Support DDR4 4400+ MHz up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 2, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 2, M.2 x 2 (PCI-E Gen3 x4 32Gb/s)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, USB 3.2 Gen2 x 1, USB 3.2 Gen1 x 7, USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C x 1
Features 2.5G LAN, PCIe Steel Armor, CrossFire Support, 12+1+1 VRM power phases, Overclocking Support, M.2 Shield Frozr (heatsink), VRM heatsinks, I/O Shield, DDR44 Support, 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio with Audio Boost, 4-pin RGB Headers (MSI Mystic Light Sync support), Optical S/PDIF OUT, RAID Support (0/1/5/10)
Display Output HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK

ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI)

[Solid Build & Performance, WiFi 6 support, Feature Rich]

Just like the MSI Tomahawk motherboard series that offers great performance and quality for the price, Asus has its TUF series, which is known for its high durability and performance. Here we have ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI), which is quite a feature-rich and high-performance motherboard that you can get without breaking the bank. This an ATX motherboard and comes in black and gray color scheme with yellow color elements here and there. The motherboard comes with two PCIe x16 slots and supports 2-way CrossFire for the supported graphics cards. The top or main PCIe x16 is armored (Asus Safe slot) to prevent longer and heavy graphics cards putting strain on the motherboard. For NVMe SSDs, it has two M.2 slots (one has heatsink) and supports Intel Optane memory.

ASUS-TUF-GAMING-Z490-PLUS-WI-FI

The motherboard has solid build quality and has heatsinks over VRMs and chipset. It uses 12+2 DrMOS power stages or VRM power phases and can run a Core i9 10900K at 5.2 GHz with a good AIO cooler. On the network connectivity front, it comes with 2.5GbE LAN and Dual-band Intel Wi-Fi6 & Bluetooth. It is quite a feature-rich motherboard and comes with RGB and ARGB headers, Thunderbolt 3 support, fast USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (USB Type-C and Type-A), 8 channel Realtek S1200A gaming audio with 108 SNR ratio and has 6-layer PCB design. The motherboard offers great value but is a little costlier than the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK. Overall, a very good affordable Z490 motherboard from Asus, which is enough for all needs, whether it is gaming or work.

ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI) Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Gen Intel Core and Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA1200 socket
RAM Support DDR4 4600 (OC), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 x PCIe x1, M.2 x 2 (32Gb/s M.2 x4 PCIe)
Ports 6 x SATA 6Gb/s, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 + Type-A +1 + USB Type-C), 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front panel connector, 2 x USB 2.0
Features 12+2 DrMOS power stages, Overclocking support, 2.5GbE LAN, Intel WiFi 6 & BT5 (2×2 WiFi 6), Asus SafeSlot, 2-Way CrossFire support, Realtek 8.1 Channel Audio, Thunderbolt Header, RGB and Addressable Gen 2 RGB header (support Aura Sync), RAID Support
Display Output HDMI 1.4b, DisplayPort 1.4

Buy ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS (WI-FI)

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ELITE

[Affordable, Feature Rich, Good Performance & Overclocking]

The Gigabyte’s answer to the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK and ASUS TUF GAMING Z490-PLUS is the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ELITE. It is an ATX motherboard that is high in the features list as well as on the performance level. The motherboard comes with two PCIe x16 slots and supports 2-Way AMD CrossFire and include two ultra-fast M.2 slots with thermal guards (heatsinks) for NVMe solid-state drives. The motherboard supports 5000 MHz DDR4 memory in OC mode, which is quite fascinating. Not only the primary PCIe x16 slot, but all the DDR4 slots are reinforced with steel armor to provide extra strength and rigidity. The PCIe x16 slot on this motherboard is PCIe 4.0 ready, which means you can use a PCIe 4.0 graphics card or NVMe drive in PCIe 4.0 mode with future Intel CPUs having PCIe 4.0 lanes. The Z490 chipset natively does not support the PCIe Gen4 standard.

Gigabyte-Z490-AORUS-ELITE

The motherboard comes with 12+1 power phases (DrMOS) and can even run a high-end 10th CPU with quite a bit of overclocking. The VRM and chipset have big heatsinks on them, and the I/O shield comes pre-installed. It has got fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and allows you to upgrade the BIOS without any CPU through the Q-Flash feature. The motherboard comes with 2.5G LAN, ARGB and RGB headers, 8 Channel Audio, plenty of fan headers & temperature sensors, Optical S/PDIF Out port, and has good build quality. The board also has some RGB LED on it that looks pretty nice. Overall, an outstanding offering from the Gigabyte in the affordable segment category.

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ELITE Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Generation Intel Core i9 processors/Intel Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/Intel Core i3 processors/Intel Pentium processors/Intel Celeron processors in the LGA 1200 package
RAM Support DDR4 5000(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe x16 x 2, PCIe x1 x 1, M.2 x 2
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, USB 3.2 Gen 2 x 2, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 6, USB Type-C x 1 (USB 3.2 Gen 1), USB 2.0 x 8
Features Overclocking support, 12+1 Power Phases with DrMOS, M.2 Heatsinks, Optical S/PDIF Out, 7.1 Channel Audio, PCIe Armor PCIe x16 Slot, RGB and ARGB Header (RGB Fusion 2.0), 2.5 Gbe LAN, Q-Flash Plus BIOS update, Smart Fan 5, VRM Heatsinks, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Pre-installed IO Shield, DDR4 Memory Armor, RAID Support
Display Output HDMI

Buy Gigabyte Z490 AORUS ELITE

Other Good Affordable Z490 Motherboards

Best Mid-range Z490 Motherboards

Here are the best mid-range Z490 motherboards for Intel 10th generation core series processor. These motherboards are best suited for Intel’s mid-range to high-end 10th generation Core series processors. Users who prefer more features and extra performance over budget or affordable Z490 motherboards can go with these mid to high-end motherboards. These mainstream motherboards generally come with three PCIe x16 slots and support both 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology.

MSI MPG Z490 GAMING CARBON WIFI

[Affordable, Feature Rich, Good Looks & Performance]

The carbon motherboard series from MSI has always been a favorite for someone looking for more features at a lower price. Here we have MSI MPG Z490 GAMING CARBON WIFI, which is a budget mid-range X490 motherboard in the ATX form factor. The motherboard comes with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology. For fast NVMe solid-state drives, it comes with two M.2 slots with integrated heatsinks. The motherboard also has large and extended heatsinks over VRM and chipset for better heat dissipation.

MSI-MPG-Z490-GAMING-CARBON-WIFI

The motherboard uses 12+1+1 power phases and can run top of the 10th Gen Intel Coffee Lake-S processors with mid to high overlocking. The build quality of the motherboard is good, and it feels robust. In terms of network connectivity, it has got 2.5G LAN and Intel WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1. The RGB lighting on the motherboard is vert tastefully done. Some of the other features include 8 Channel HD Audio, Integrated I/O Shield, PCI-E Steel Armor, fast USB 3.2 Gen2 ports with USB Type-C port, Optical S/PDIF output port and RGB Mystic Light Sync support. Overall, a good feature-rich mid-range motherboard that has got it all.  

MSI MPG Z490 GAMING CARBON WIFI Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Gen Intel Core and Pentium Gold / Celeron processors for LGA1200 socket
RAM Support DDR4 4800+ (OC), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 2, M.2 x 2
Ports SATA3 x 6, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 6 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (Type-C)
Features Overclocking support, M.2 Heatsinks (M.2 Shield Frozr), PCI-E Steel Armor, VRM heatsinks with 7W/mK thermal pads, Enlarged Chipset Heatsink, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, Intel WiFi 6 + BT 5.1, RGB LED header, Integrated I/O Shield, DDR4 Boost, RGB LED Lighting with RGB Mystic Light Sync support, 12+1+1 Duet Rail Power System, Optical S/PDIF output, Supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology, RAID support
Display Output DisplayPort, HDMI

Buy MSI MPG Z490 GAMING CARBON WIFI

ASUS PRIME Z490-A

[Elegant and Classy Design, Good Performance, Competitively Priced]

If you are looking for a good affordable mid-range motherboard that does not have a gaming theme to it, then ASUS PRIME Z490-A fits the bill perfectly. It is a classy looking motherboard that uses a black and silver color scheme. The board PCB is black with some silver elements while the Integrated I/O shield and VRM & Chipset heatsinks are in silver color. It is a high-quality motherboard that uses 6-layer PCB construction and comes with three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots with support for 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology. There are two M.2 slots (one with heatsink) for NVMe solid-state drives.

ASUS-PRIME-Z490-A

It is an ATX form factor motherboard and comes with 2.5G LAN, RGB and ARGB Headers, Thunderbolt header, Integrated I/O Shield, USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports include USB Type-C, 8 Channel Realtek HD audio with Optical S/PDIF out and AI-controlled overclocking and cooling. The motherboard uses 12+2 power phases for VRM with DrMOS and is capable of running high-end Intel 10th generation processors with a decent amount of overclocking. The motherboard does come with RGB LED lighting on the I/O shield and chipset heatsink. However, it does not look flashy but rather elegant and supports Asus Aura Sync. The motherboard is competitively priced and can be used for building gaming or work PC.    

ASUS PRIME Z490-A Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Intel Socket 1200 for 10th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron Processors
RAM Support DDR4 4800(O.C.), up to 128 GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 3, M.2 x 2
Ports SATA 3.0 x 6, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB Type-C x 1), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 6 x USB 2.0
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, Asus SafeSlot, supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire, RGB LEDs, RGB, and ARGB Headers, Intel Optane Memory Ready, M.2 heatsink, VRM & Chipset heatsinks, AI Cooling and Overclocking, 12+2 DrMOS power stages, Thunderbolt header, Integrated I/O Shield, Optical S/PDIF out
Display Output DisplayPort, HDMI

Buy ASUS PRIME Z490-A

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX

[High Performance and Feature-Rich, Q-Flash BIOS Upgrade]

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX is one of the best mid-range Z490 motherboards that you can get for your Intel 10th generation processor. It is an ATX high-performance motherboard that has a solid build quality and includes a lot of features. The motherboard comes with three PCIe x16 slots and supports multi-GPU configurations like 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 2-Way AMD CrossFire. There are two M.2 slots with heatsink and support PCI-E Gen3 solid-state drives. The motherboard supports 5000MHz (OC) DDR4 RAM up to 128GB capacity. The first two PCI-E x16 slots and all DIMM slots are reinforced with steel to give them extra strength and rigidity. The VRM module has fins array heatsink with Heatpipe for better heat dissipation and cooling. The RGB lighting on the motherboard can be seen on the Integrated I/O shield that looks very stylish.

Gigabyte-Z490-AORUS-PRO-AX

The motherboard uses 12+2 Power Phase design and can run a high-end CPU like Core i9 10900K with 5.2 GHz overclock comfortably. It features a Q-Flash button that allows you to upgrade the BIOS without any CPU and GPU. For network connectivity, it is equipped with 2.5G LAN and Intel WiFi 6. It is quite a feature-rich motherboard and comes with 8 Channel HD Audio, RGB Lighting, RGB and ARGB headers, Hybrid Fan headers, Integrated I/O Shield, Fast USB 3.2 Gen Ports (with USB Type-C port), Optical S/PDIF Out port and an HDMI port for onboard display. It is a good looking motherboard that is high on performance, quality and is quite loaded with features. Highly Recommended by me.

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Generation Intel Core i9 processors/Intel Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/Intel Core i3 processors/Intel Pentium processors/Intel Celeron processors in the LGA 1200 package
RAM Support DDR4 5000(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x 16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 2, M.2 x 2 (NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, 8 x USB 2.0, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB Type-C x 2 (Back Panel + Internal Header)
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, PCIe 4.0 Ready, 2-Way NVIDIA SLI, and 2-Way AMD CrossFire, 12+2 Power Stages with DrMOS, Q-FLASH Onboard Button, PCIe Armor, Reinforced RAM Slots, Intel WiFi 6 + BT, M.2 Thermal Guards (heatsink), VRM heatsinks with Heatpipe, Optical S/PDIF Out, RGB Lighting, RGB and ARGB headers, Integrated I/O Shield, Smart Fan 5, Intel Optane Memory Ready,
Display Output HDMI

Buy Gigabyte Z490 AORUS PRO AX

Other Mid-range Z490 Motherboards

Best High-end Z490 Motherboards

Below are the high-end Z490 motherboards for gamers and enthusiasts for building high-end gaming or work PC. These motherboards come with more and better VRMs, are PCIe 4.0 ready, offer a lot of features, and exhibit great performance and high overclocking.

MSI MEG Z490 ACE

[Super Performance, Feature Loaded, Great Looks, Good Ovverclocking & VRM Cooling]

If you in search of an enthusiast-grade motherboard at a competitive price, then MSI MEG Z490 ACE is unarguably the best in class. This high-end Z490 chipset ATX motherboard excels in every department, whether it is aesthetics, performance, features, or quality. The motherboard comes with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology. It has three M.2 slots with heatsinks for PCI-Express NVMe solid-state drives. All the PCI-E x16 slots and DDR4 slots are steel armored.

MSI-MEG-Z490-ACE

The build quality of the motherboard is superb, and it also has a metal backplate that gives it extra strength and rigidity. The board uses 16+1 power phases and can drive flagship Intel 10th generation processor with extreme overclocking, given that you have a high-performance AIO with a large radiator. The VRM heatsinks use aluminum fins, copper heatpipe, MOSFET Baseplate, and there is also a small fan for providing better cooling performance during high load and overclocking.

For network connectivity, it comes with dual LAN (1G+2.5G) and Intel WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1. It has got high-speed USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (USB Type-A + Type-C) and has got BIOS Flashback button, Clear CMOS button, and BIOS debug LED. Other prominent features include RGB LED Lighting, Power and Reset Smart Button, Optical S/PDIF output, RGB header, etc. Overall, an excellent motherboard for the price that is loaded with features and exhibits great performance. It also scores top marks in the looks department too. Highly Recommended by me.

MSI MEG Z490 ACE Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Gen Intel Core and Pentium Gold /Celeron processors for LGA 1200 socket
RAM Support DDR4 4800(OC) MHz, up to 128 GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 2, M.2 x 3 (PCI-E Gen3 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 6 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps Type-C
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 1G and 2.5G LAN, Intel WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Optical S/PDIF output, BIOS Flashback Button, Clear CMOS Button, M.2 with Shield Frozr Heatsinks, RGB Mystic Light, 16+1 Power Phases, MOSFET Baseplate, Backplate, VRM Heatsinks with Heatpipe and Fan, Chipset Heatsink, PCIe Steel Armor, DDR4 Steel Armor, Power and Reset Smart Button, BIOS debug LED, Supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology, Integrated I/O Shield
Display Output NA

Buy MSI MEG Z490 ACE

MSI MEG Z490 UNIFY

[No RGB, Solid Performance and Competitive Pricing, Feature Rich, Good VRM Cooling]

If you have a conservative taste and do not like the fancy RGB lighting and frills, then MSI MEG Z490 UNIFY will definitely impress you. It is basically a non-RGB and simpler looking MSI MEG Z490 ACE motherboard. It comes without dual LAN, backplate, and some armor, and heatsinks are slightly dialed down to make it more cost-effective. However, the motherboard still packs a solid punch and delivers impressive performance and is quite feature-rich. The board comes in an all-black color scheme, and this gives it a stealth look. It comes with three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (all steel armored) with support for 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology and three M.2 slots (with heatsinks) for NVMe storage. The network connectivity options include one 2.5G LAN port and Intel WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1.

MSI-MEG-Z490-UNIFY

The motherboard uses 16+1 VRM power phases and can run any 10th generation Intel processor, overclocked to high levels. The VRM heatsink uses heatpipe, 7W/ml thermal pad, and a fan for delivering better cooling. Some of the prominent features of this motherboard include BIOS Flashback Button, Clear CMOS Button, Power and Reset Smart Button, and BIOS debug LED. The board also possess super-fast USB 3.2 Gen2 USB ports along with USB Type-C port. Even though the board does come with in-built RGB lighting, but it does include a 4-pin RGB header for hooking up an RGB device. The motherboard may not appeal to everyone because of the lack of RGB & fancy colors and is mainly meant for users who only prefer performance and features. Overall, an excellent motherboard for the price and is capable of everything that a more expensive flagship motherboard is. Highly Recommended by me.

MSI MEG Z490 UNIFY Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Gen Intel Core and Pentium Gold /Celeron processors for LGA 1200 socket
RAM Support DDR4 4800(OC) MHz, up to 128 GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 2, M.2 x 3 (PCI-E Gen3 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 6 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps Type-C
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, Intel WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Optical S/PDIF output, BIOS Flashback Button, Clear CMOS Button, M.2 with Shield Frozr Heatsinks, RGB Mystic Light, 16+1 Power Phases, VRM Heatsink with Heatpipe and Fan, Chipset Heatsink, PCIe Steel Armor, Power and Reset Smart Button, BIOS debug LED, Supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 3-Way AMD CrossFire Technology, Integrated I/O Shield
Display Output NA

Buy MSI MEG Z490 UNIFY

ASRock Z490 Taichi

[3 Fan VRM Cooling, Stylish & RGB LED, Solid Performance & Overclocking]

The Taichi series from ASRock has always been impressive in the high-end motherboards category. Here we have such a masterpiece, which is ASRock Z490 Taichi motherboard. It is a high-end ATX motherboard that comes will almost all the features and offers great performance at an unbeatable price. It is also a great looking motherboard that has an attractive and stylish design with a fancy mix of colors. The board comes with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (all steel armored) and supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX. There are three M.2 slots, all with heatsinks for fast NVMe storage drives. It is a PCI Express 4.0 Ready motherboard. The build quality of the motherboard is remarkable, and it also has a metal backplate that protects the motherboard and provides extra strength to it.

ASRock-Z490-Taichi

ASRock Z490 Taichi comes with 14+1 Power Phases VRM and delivers great overclocking results. You can run a high-end Intel Core i9 10900K at 5.2 GHz on this board without any issues. The best part is that all the VRMs on this motherboard are actively cooled. The VRM heatsinks use L shaped heatpipe, and there are two fans at one side and one at the other where the Integrated I/O shield + armor is present. On the network connectivity front, there is Dual LAN (1G & 2.5G) and Intel WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1. Other features include Optical S/PDIF out port, BIOS Flashback Button, RGB & ARGB headers, 8 Channel HD Audio, USB 3.2 Gen2 Ports with USB Type-C Gen2x2 Type-C Port (20 Gb/s), Reset & Power button and full spike protection. A very stylish looking premium and high-performance Z490 motherboard that offers great features and lots of connectivity options.

ASRock Z490 Taichi Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Gen and future generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1200)
RAM Support DDR4 4666+(OC), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 2, M.2 x 3 (PCI-E Gen3 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C Port (20 Gb/s), 9 x USB 3.2 Gen1
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Integrated I/O Shield and Armor, Dual LAN (Dragon 2.5 Gigabit LAN + Intel Gigabit LAN), Intel WiFi 6 802.11ax, Supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX, RGB LED Lighting, ASRock Polychrome SYNC, Metal Backplate, 14+1 Power Phases with DrMOS, RGB & ARGB headers, ASRock Steel Slots, VRM Heatsinks with Heatpipe and three Fans, M.2 Heatsinks, PCI Express 4.0 Ready, Optical S/PDIF out port, BIOS Flashback Button, 0dB Silent Cooling, Reset & Power button
Display Output HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy ASRock Z490 Taichi

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (WI-FI)

[Beautiful Design, Quite Feature Rich and Very Good Performance]

Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero is a solid contender in the high-end Z490 motherboards segment. As this is an Asus ROG series product, which means this motherboard is advertised for gaming, but in reality, it can do much more than that. It is a beautiful looking motherboard with great design elements, color scheme, and looks super stylish and elegant at the same time. The board comes with three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (top two steel armored) and supports NVIDIA 2-Way SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX. There are three M.2 slots (with heatsinks) for NVMe and SATA drives. The RGB lighting on the motherboard can be viewed on the chipset heatsink and the I/O shield armor.

ASUS-ROG-MAXIMUS-XII-HERO-WI-FI

The motherboard uses 14+2 Power Phases and can easily run a high-end Intel 10th generation core series processor (Intel Core i9 10900K), overclocked to 5.2 GHz or maybe more. The VRMs have aluminum fin heatsinks with heatpipe, and an optional VRM fan is also included with the board package. The motherboard has dual LAN (2.5GbE and 1GbE) and Wi-Di 6 for super-fast network connectivity. The board also comes with AI Overclocking/Cooling/Networking, BIOS FlashBack Button, Clear CMOS Button, ARGB and RGB headers, Optical S/PDIF out port, and High fidelity audio with the SupremeFX S1220A codec. Overall, a high-performance Z490 motherboard with great looks and features.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (WI-FI) Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Intel Socket 1200 for 10th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron Processors
RAM Support DDR4 4800(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, PCIe 3.0 x1 x 3, M.2 x 3 (PCI-E Gen3 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (3 + Type-A +1 + USB Type-C + Front panel), 6 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 6 x USB 2.0
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, Dual LAN (2.5G + 1GB), Intel WiFi 6 + BT 5.1, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Integrated I/O Shield + Armor, 14+2 Power Stages, Optical S/PDIF out, BIOS FlashBack Button, RGB Lighting (Asus Aura Sync), Clear CMOS Button, Asus SafeSlot, M.2 Heatsinks, VRM Heatsinks with Heatpipe, VRM Fan and Fan Bracket, NVIDIA 2-Way SLI, and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX support, RGB and ARGB Headers, DIY Friendly Design, AI Overclocking/Cooling/Networking
Display Output HDMI

Buy ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (WI-FI)

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER

[Solid Build & Performance, Lots of Features, Dual BIOS]

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER is a premium Z490 motherboard that offers solid performance and great features at a competitive price compared to other high-end Z490 motherboards. The motherboard looks stunning and has a very modern feel to it. The built quality of the motherboard is solid, and it also has a metal backplate that gives it protection and provides extra strength to the PCB. The board comes with three PCIe 3.0 x16 (all steel armored) and supports 2-Way NVIDIA SLI and 2-Way AMD CrossFire multi-GPU technologies. For M.2 SATA and NMVe SSDs, there are three M.2 slots with integrated heatsinks. The motherboard can support DDR4 5000 MHz (OC) memory up to 128 GB total capacity. All the DDR4 RAM slots are also steel armored that prevents against PCB distortion/twisting and plate bending, in addition to preventing any possible ESD interference.

Gigabyte-Z490-AORUS-MASTER

The motherboard uses 14 Phase Digital Power Design and can run 10th Intel Core i9 10900K with 5 GHz or more overclocking. The VRM heatsinks have fins and a copper heatpipe for better heat dissipation. The RGB lighting on the board is present on the chipset heatsink and the integrated I/O shield armor, with support for RGB Fusion 2. The board does not come with dual LAN, and only 2.5G LAN is present along with Intel WiFi 6+BT5 as network connectivity options. Other features include Dual BIOS, Q-Flash BIOS Flashback button, fast USB 3.2 Gen2 ports with USB Type-C port, BIOS Debug LED, and HDMI port for onboard display connectivity. It is undoubtedly one of the best high-end Z490 motherboards that does not disappoint in any department. Overall, a good buy for anyone, especially the ones who prefer Gigabyte more than other brands.   

Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor ATX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Supports 10th Generation Intel Core i9 processors/Intel Core i7 processors/Intel Core i5 processors/Intel Core i3 processors/Intel Pentium processors/Intel Celeron processors in the LGA1200 package
RAM Support DDR4 5000(O.C.), up to 128GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 4, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 3, M.2 x 3 (PCI-E Gen3 x4)
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 6, 2 x USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2), 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 8 x USB 2.0
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, Intel WiFi 6 + BT5, Intel Optane Memory Ready, Integrated I/O Shield & Armor, VRM Heatsink with Heatpipe, PCIe Armor, DDR4 Armor, Power button and BIOS Debug LED, Thermal Guards II (M.2 Heatsink), ARGB and RGB Headers with RGB Fusion 2.0 support, Q-Flash Button, 14 Phase Digital Power Design, Thunderbolt add-in card connectors, RGB LED Lighting
Display Output HDMI

Buy Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER

Best Mini-ITX Z490 Motherboard

Below are the mini-ITX Z490 motherboards for use in mini-ITX or small form factor (SFF) cases. These motherboards come with a single PCI-E x16 slot and do not have PCIe x1 slots for expansion cards.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-I GAMING

[Active VRM Cooling, Looks Great, RGB, High Performance & Feature Rich]

Even though mini-ITX Z490 motherboards exist from Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock, ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-I GAMING has to be the best mini-ITX Z490 motherboard. It is a stunning looking motherboard that packs great performance and tons of features in a compact form factor. The motherboard comes with one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (reinforced Asus SafeSlot) and two M.2 slots for NVMe solid-state drives. The board has two DIMM slots and can support DDR4 4800(O.C.) RAM up to 64 GB capacity.

ASUS-ROG-STRIX-Z490-I-GAMING

The motherboard uses 8+2 VRM Power Phases, which are less in number compared to full-size Z490 motherboards, but it is still capable of running high-end 10th generation Intel chips with a good amount of overclocking. The VRM cooling on this motherboard is very good because it uses VRM heatsinks with heatpipe, and a small fan is also present for enhanced cooling performance. The motherboard sports RGB lighting and comes with BIOS Flashback button to upgrade to BIOS without the need for any CPU in emergency situations or CPU upgrade. The audio jacks are illuminated, and for network connectivity, 2.5G LAN and Intel WiFi 6 are present. The motherboard is a bit on the expensive side compared to other mini-ITX Z490 motherboards, but if you are looking for the best mini-ITX Z490 motherboard that has got it all for your mini-ITX build, then you won’t find anything better than this.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-I GAMING Specifications
Socket Type LGA 1200
Form Factor Mini-ITX
Chipset Z490
Processor Support Intel Socket 1200 for 10th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron Processors
RAM Support DDR4 4800(O.C.), up to 64GB, Dual Channel
Slots DIMM x 2, PCIe 3.0 x16 x 1, M.2 x 2
Ports SATA 6Gb/s x 4, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 4 x USB 2.0, USB Type-C
Features Overclocking support, RAID support, 8 Channel HD Audio, 2.5G LAN, Intel WiFi 6 + BT 5.1, LED Illuminated Audio Jacks, RGB Lighting, ARGB Headers, M.2 Heatsink, 8 + 2 DRMOS Power Stages, Pre-mounted I/O Shield, VRM Heatsink with L-shaped Heatpipe and Fan, Chipset Heatsink, Asus SafeSlot
Display Output HDMI, DisplayPort

Buy ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-I GAMING

Other Mini-ITX Z490 Motherboards

Flagship Z490 Motherboards

Below the top of the line flagship Z490 motherboards for enthusiasts. These motherboards are quite expensive, but they offer excellent performance and have tons of features.

Entry Level Z490 Motherboards

If you are on a limited budget, then you can choose from the entry-level Z490 motherboards mentioned below. These motherboards are best suited for non-OC or a mid-range range Intel 10th Gen processor. You can perform some amount of overclocking on these boards but nothing serious.

The best entry-level Z490 motherboards are the ASUS PRIME Z490-P and MSI Z490-A PRO. The models that you should totally avoid are the ASRock Z490 Pro4 and ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4.

Micro-ATX Z490 Motherboards

Below are the Micro-ATX Z490 motherboards for smaller cases that include mini-tower, cube cases, and some smaller mid-tower cases.

Important Note: Z490 motherboards from almost all brands except Asus run on unlimited TDP setting on default (with MCE enabled), beyond the Intel specifications. It leads to higher CPU temperatures and may lead to throttling when your CPU cooler is not able to contain the excess heat generated by the CPU.

See also:

Final Words

Z490 motherboards do not bring anything special to the table compared to the Z390 ones, but the unfortunate thing is that you cannot use a 10th Intel processor with a Z390 motherboard because of the new LGA 1200 socket. There are various models of Z490 motherboards available from different board manufacturers. The boards at the top of the table are on the expensive side and offer more features. In contrast, the budget ones are only suitable for a budget to mid-range 10th generation processors and do not have that much of overclocking capabilities.

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, then you should go with the budget and mid-range Z490 boards. For enthusiasts and extreme overclockers, high-end boards make more sense, and if you want the best of the best and do not want to make any compromises, then go with the top of the line flagship Z490 boards. If you have any queries regarding Z490 motherboards or which one you should get for your next build, then do ask them in the comment section below.

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