Note: The Z490 is an older chipset made to support Intel’s 10th and 11th generation processors, if you want a more recent choice of motherboards, I suggest you read our selection of the best motherboards instead .
Released very recently, the Z490 is Intel’s latest chipset for 10th generation processors. With this new chipset comes the new LGA 2000 socket.
In this article, I’ll show you the motherboards I recommend getting if you want to buy a 10th Gen Intel processor.
The motherboard is the foundation of a computer. On it are installed the various components, the motherboard implies to be chosen judiciously in order to guarantee both compatibility and scalability .
Fortunately the Z490 is a recent chipset, and therefore you will be able to upgrade your PC to 11th generation processors.
Comparison table of the best Z490 motherboards
MSI Z490 Gaming Carbon Wifi: the best Z490 motherboard under 300€
If your budget is limited to 200-300€, the MSI Z490 Gaming Carbon Wifi motherboard is undoubtedly one of the best choices. It sold for around 270 €.
Designed for gaming, it is characterized by an ultra-fast transfer speed (Lightning 20G, Lan 2.5G, Wifi 6, DDR4 Boost, two Turbo M.2 slots), optimal cooling (heatsink with 7W/mK thermal pads , M.2 Shield Frozr, Support for water pump, Larger heatsink), exclusive features (Core Boost technology, digital power supply, 6-layer printed circuit, PCI-E Steel Armor).
MSI MEG Z490 ACE: one of the 2 best Z490 motherboards under 400€
For a budget between 300€ and 400€, the MSI MEG Z490 ACE motherboard is one of the two best choices with the Z490 chipset. It costs around € 400 .
Designed for video games, it offers a complete connection and connectivity (Lightning USB 20G, Wifi 6, 2.5G LAN, 3 Turbo M.2 slots), high-level cooling (larger heatsink with 7W/mK thermal pads , M.2 Shield Frozr slots, MOSFET baseplate, Frozr heatsink with Zero Frozr technology, heatsink heat pipes), high stability (shield plate, PCIe Steel Armor, 6-layer PCB, Smart Button, DDRA Steel Armor, power supply 16-phase digital ISL with Smart Power Stage 90A).
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS HERO XII Wifi: one of the 2 best Z490 motherboards under 400€
For budgets under €400, the Asus Rog Maximus Hero XII Wifi motherboard is one of the two best to benefit from the Z490 chipset. It costs around € 390 .
Suitable for gaming, this motherboard offers connectors for water cooling , as well as a dual M.2 radiator and numerous headers for fans. At the connection level, it has two LAN ports , one of 1Gb and one of 5Gb. Without forgetting Wifi 6 accompanied by Bluetooth 5.1 . It is also suitable for users who wish to practice overlocking .
Its rear panel also includes an HDMI 1.4b port allowing you to enjoy a resolution of 4096 x 2160 up to 30Hz.
MSI MEG Z490 Godlike: The best high-end Z490 motherboard
For those with a high budget, the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike motherboard is surely one of the best Z490 models. Plan a budget of around 750 € .
At this price you benefit from a scalable motherboard benefiting from the latest technologies . Cooling has been studied to be optimal, even with the most demanding games and applications.
More generally, the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike motherboard is based on an exceptional design quality which should ensure an excellent lifespan for your PC.
Similarly, in terms of connectors , this Z490 motherboard benefits from the fastest solutions with in particular 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3 Turbo M.2 slots, and the possibility of extending this M.2 storage thanks to the Xpander-Z Gen 4 S .
The network connectivity is also high-end with a 10Gb LAN port and a 2.5Gb LAN port, as well as Wifi 6 accompanied by Bluetooth 5.1.
ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING: the best Z490 micro ATX motherboard
For those looking for a micro ATX motherboard to have a more compact PC, the Asus ROG STRIX Z490-G Gaming card is the best solution. It costs less than € 300 .
Even though it is a micro ATX motherboard, it integrates two PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots in order to take advantage of 2-Way AMD CrossFire technology (although multi-gpu is almost dead in 2020) .
It is equipped with an HDMI 1.4b port and a DisplayPort 1.4 port allowing you to take full advantage of 4K up to 60Hz . Connectivity level, there is also a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port which can be very practical for recharging your smartphone and which is rarely present on micro ATX motherboards.
There is also a 2.5Gb Ethernet socket .
Note that it also exists in a Wifi version (Wifi 6), essential if you regularly play online, or more generally if you need a Wifi connection. Count about 20 € more for this model.
Conclusion: the Z490 a chipset in which to invest?
Should You Buy Z490 Motherboards for 10th Gen Intel CPUs? For me the AMD offer with its X570 remains more interesting than that of Intel. Certainly Intel processors remain the best in gaming, the i9-10900K is at the top in all video game benchmarks. That said, if you invest 3000€ in a PC as much as it is good everywhere. And so a Ryzen 9 3900X with its 12 physical cores will serve you better for professional applications, especially in everything related to video editing.
Why is the choice of motherboard so important?
Comparing a PC to a human, the motherboard is somewhat the equivalent of the backbone in allowing information to be transferred from one component to another. Thanks to its printed circuit and its connection ports , it connects the various components.
Therefore, choosing a motherboard for your PC determines the components that you can then install. Indeed, by choosing a basic motherboard, it will be compatible with connectivity and will be made for entry-level components. On the other hand, by opting for a high-end motherboard, the list of compatible components grows longer, we can take advantage of powerful peripherals and the latest technologies, and we can upgrade our PC.
To sum up, the choice of the motherboard depends above all on the utility we have of our PC. If you just need a desktop computer, then you don’t need to invest in a high-performance motherboard. But if you want to build a high-performance PC for gaming and/or for resource-intensive activities (video editing, 3D rendering, etc.), then a high-end card is highly recommended, especially if you want to keep your PC for the long haul. term by changing a component from time to time.
Motherboards are first listed by their chipset . More specifically, the chipset refers to one or more chips that control and ensure the operation of the motherboard and its various elements:
- The system bus
- The memory bus
- The PCI bus
For a component to be installed on the motherboard, it must absolutely be compatible with the chipset.
Chipset manufacturers are few and the two most common are Intel and AMD. The Z490 chipset is an Intel model made for the latest generation Intel processors. It falls into the category of high-end chipsets . Its specificities are particularly interesting for those who wish to take advantage of a powerful PC:
- Up to 6 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
- Up to 10 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
- Up to 14 USB 2.0 ports
- Up to 6 SATA 6.0Gb/s ports
- Built-in Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
- Up to 3 graphics card ports
Z490 motherboards are designed to work with 10th generation Intel processors and thus take advantage of the latest technological advances:
- Wi-Fi 6
- 4k hdr
- Thunderbolt 3
The 10th generation Intel processors are excellent for gaming, but for a PC that touches everything AMD remains the best compromise.
Several manufacturers offer a motherboard based on the Z490 chipset. These are high-end motherboards designed for gaming and resource-intensive applications . However, depending on the quality of the materials used and the options offered, the prices vary between 200 € and 800 € .