The Intel Comet Lake processors and the 400 series chipset motherboards are finally a reality,
The new motherboards announced by almost all major makers -- Asus, gigabyte, ASRock, Biostar, EVGA, MSi and others -- support the new LGA 2100 socket of the new CPUs, some enhancements in network connectivity, namely in Ethernet and Wi-Fi, as well as support for PCIe 4.0, although the new Comet Lake-S processors still support PCIe 3.0.
Intel has changed the socket for the new 10 core Intel processors, since many of them have increased power requirements. Hopefully, the size of the new socket is unchanged, meaning that the LGA115x family of CPU coolers physically fit to the LGA1200.
Integrated into the Z490 chipset is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 CNVi which allows motherboard vendors to integrate its AX200 wireless solutions directly from the chipset with a CRF module. In addition, thew new chipset now supports a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet connection, however this requires purchase of an Intel I225 network controller.
Z490 chipset features
|Max PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes||24|
|Max USB 3.1 (Gen2/Gen1)||6/10|
|Max SATA Ports||6|
|Memory Channels (Dual)||2/2|
|Intel Optane Memory Support||Yes|
|Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST)||Yes|
|Max Rapid Storage Technology Ports||3|
|Integrated WiFi MAC||Wi-Fi 6|
|Intel Smart Sound||Yes|
|Max HSIO Lanes||30|
The new platform also supports Optane memory modules and uses dual-channel memory, up to DDR4-2933 with Core i9 and Core i7 parts, or DDR4-2666 with all other processors. Most motherboard vendors use controllers such as the ASMedia ASM3242 chip to offer USB 3.2 G2 and 20 Gbps connectivity. he Z490 chipset supports overclocking with Intel's unlocked processors.ASUS
ASUS has many motherboards available for Z490, with the high-end ROG Maximus XII series with the Extreme leading the charge, to the Formula for water coolers and the Apex primarily geared up for extreme overclocking.There are models in the gaming-focused Strix , the Prime series, as well as the content creator focused ProArt Z490-Creator 10G.
The range includes everything from rom Mini-ITX to EATX, from bright RGBs to blackout. Asus says that its new Z490 boards are built to cope with the demands of up to the highest-end Core i9 models in Intel's latest CPU lineup, with TDPs up to 125W.
|ASUS Z490 Motherboards|
|ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme||EATX||$750|
|ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula||ATX||$500|
|ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex||ATX||-|
|ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero WiFi||ATX||$399|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming||ATX||$300|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z490-F Gaming||ATX||$269|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming||mATX||-|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Wi-Fi Gaming||mATX||-|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming||ATX||-|
|ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming||mITX||$300|
|ASUS TUF Z490-Plus||ATX||-|
|ASUS TUF Z490-Plus WiFi||ATX||$200|
|ASUS Prime Z490-A||ATX||$230|
|ASUS Prime Z490-P||ATX||$160|
|ASUS Prime Z490M-Plus||mATX||$150|
|ASUS ProArt Z490-Creator 10G||ATX||-|
Every new Asus Z490 motherboard can run faster RAM than before, and the ROG Maximus XII models take this further, with Asus proprietary OptiMem III technology using an enhanced trace layout for better signal integrity. Asus says that the OC enthusiasts will be able to dial in memory speeds beyond 5,000MHz.
Asus says that if you buy an Intel K processor the Asus proprietary algorithm "carefully determines the quality of your CPU's silicon and predicts its optimal clock speed and voltage settings in a compatible motherboard".
Asus also leverages AI Cooling (works with Asus Q-Fan intelligence) on all Z490 models, and AI Networking optimizations in its new motherboards. Furthermore, the ROG/Maximus motherboards lines offer 'GameFirst VI' tech, and the ProArt motherboard has 'CreationFirst' optimizations. Asus says these optimizations priorities appropriate traffic, response times etc.
Elsewhere with these new designs users will benefit from features such as cutting-edge connectivity options such as; USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 10 / 5 /2.5Gb Ethernet, and Intel WiFi 6. Nearly all the new boards come with Thunderbolt 3 headers to support a Thunderbolt 3 expansion card. Intel Optane memory and chipset RAID support is present too.
In terms of integrated audio, Asus says it has implemented shielded circuits, independent traces, and Japanese capacitors throughout the range. Asus ROG and ROG Strix Z490 motherboards come armed with SupremeFX audio based on S1220/A chips coupled with dedicated op-amps. Meanwhile the Maximus XII lineup includes a dedicated ESS Sabre audiophile-grade DAC and a special headphone amplifier (except for the OC focussed Apex). Lastly, Asus includes its Sonic Studio III software with integrated virtual mixer. Select models include a DTS Sound Unbound package.
Asus Z490 motherboards will be available from 20th May 2020.ASRock
Whatever the build requirements, with over 30 models available, ASRock has the right motherboard to meet your needs. This includes the flagship Z490 Taichi and Z490 PG Velocita for performance and overclocking enthusiasts, and extreme gamers; popular Z490 Steel Legend, Pro and Phantom Gaming series'; comprehensive mini-ITX options for SFF builds; plus H470, B460 mainstream and H410 entry options.
The ASRock Z490 Taichi and ASRock Z490 PG Velocita are dedicated to overclockers and PC build enthusiasts. Using the latest Dr.MOS & 2oz Copper PCBs, they deliver up to 95% VRM efficiency. Still, to ensure the motherboard VRMs stay cool even when using 10-core processors in sustained heavy loads, when liquid-cooled or even overclocked, both motherboards feature temperature-reactive active cooling heatsink on the CPU VRMs to reduce VRM temps.
Popular ASRock motherboard such as Z490 Taichi, PG Velocita, Steel Legend, Extreme4 and even H470 Steel Legend are prepped and the hardware is ready with PCI-Express Gen-4 support. By adding an external base clock generator, also PCIe 4.0 components such as slots and M.2 socket were used to ensure the motherboard is ready to accommodate the next generation CPU.
Using Nahimic Audio, ASRock has upgraded almost all its 400-series motherboards with best-in-class sound.
Top-end ASRock 400-series motherboards also feature the highest quality ESS 9218 SABRE DAC and specifically tailored WIMA Audio Capacitors that together create a high-end audio solution. With support for up to 600 ohm headphones, they're perfect for listening to music, movies or when gaming..
The ASRock B460 Steel Legend and ASRock B460 Pro series motherboard feature a robust VRM design, with large, styled heatsinks. Both motherboards include RGB LED headers and support for the ASRock Polychrome RGB utility allowing users to sync their RGB lighting within their PCs.
Featured on many ASRock 400-series motherboards, the Base Frequency Boost (BFB) technology increases the base frequency of non-K CPUs beyond the default standard, allowing users to enjoy an immediate performance uplift even on non-Z series motherboards,
|ASRock Z490 Motherboards|
|ASRock Z490 PG Velocita||ATX||-|
|ASRock Z490 Taichi||ATX||-|
|ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3||mITX||-|
|ASRock Z490 Steel Legend||ATX||-|
|ASRock Z490 Extreme4||ATX||-|
Biostar has just three models at launch, with two ATX sized models via the Z490GTA EVO, and Z490GTA, and a mini-ITX model, the Z490GTN.
|Biostar Z490 Motherboards|
|Biostar Racing Z490GTA Evo||ATX||$239|
|Biostar Racing Z490GTA||ATX||$209|
|Biostar Racing Z490GTN||mITX||$199|
EVGA announced models for Intel's Z490, the EVGA Z490 Dark which is heavily stacked on overclocking features. At the same time, the EVGA Z490 FTW WiFi offers users a solid-option for the mid-range.
|EVGA Z490 Motherboards|
|EVGA Z490 Dark||EATX||-|
|EVGA Z490 FTW WiFi||ATX||-|
GIGABYTE is offering a mixture of models in its product stack with a wave of Aorus branded boards aimed at gamers and enthusiasts, with some new additions and re-works to previous models on other chipsets.The company is offering a couple of models with subtler aesthetics including the new Z490 Vision D and Z490 Vision G. The GIGABYTE Z490 Vision series includes a couple of models, with the Z490 Vision D and Vision G seen as a direct replacement to the Designare series.
Other models making a return include the Aorus Xtreme, with the Xtreme WaterForce model decked with a custom water block. There is also the Aorus Ultra, Aorus Master, and Aorus Elite. For small form factor fans, there's also the mini-ITX Z490I Aorus Ultra, with the micro-ATX Z490M Gaming X expected shortly.
Gigabyte also hinted that its Z490-based platforms would support upcoming Rocket Lake designs. If true, this may shed some light on why motherboard manufacturers have given so much importance to PCIe 4.0 marketing on their Z490 motherboards.
|GIGABYTE Z490 Motherboards|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Xtreme WaterForce||EATX||$1299|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Xtreme||EATX||$799|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Master||ATX||$389|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Ultra||ATX||$299|
|GIGABYTE Z490 I Aorus Ultra||mITX||$269|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Pro AX||ATX||$269|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Elite AC||ATX||$219|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X||ATX||$200|
|GIGABYTE Z490M Gaming X||mATX||-|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Vision D||ATX||$299|
|GIGABYTE Z490 Vision G||ATX||$199|
The MSI Z490 product stack consists of many models including its flagship EATX sized MEG Z490 Godlike, with the Z490 Ace, and the more recent Unify range. MSI's only mini-ITX model comes under the MEG enthusiast gaming banner via the Z490I Unify, while the MPG range offers a good range of features for the mid-range.
|MSI Z490 Motherboards|
|MSI MEG Z490 Godlike||EATX||-|
|MSI MEG Z490 Ace||ATX||-|
|MSI MEG Z490 Unify||ATX||-|
|MSI MEG Z490I Unify||mITX||-|
|MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WIFI||ATX||-|
|MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge WIFI||ATX||-|
|MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge WIFI||mATX||-|
|MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk||ATX||-|
|MSI Z490-A Pro||ATX||-|