Intel has finally announced the 10th generation processors for desktop and with that, has also ushered in a new socket. This means that anyone wanting to buy or upgrade to an Intel 10th generation processor will also need to purchase a new motherboard as the new chips are not backwards compatible in both hardware and software. Asus has thus announced its new lineup of Z490 motherboards for the new 10th generation Intel processors. In addition to Asus, Gigabyte and MSI too have announced new boards for the new Intel processors.
The key features of the new Z490-chipset based motherboards happens to be robust power delivery by means of improved VRMs. Asus has also highlighted that the new motherboards also feature significantly better cooling than before, not just for the VRMs, but also for the m.2 drives. There’s also enhanced connectivity in the form of USB 3.2 Gen 2, WiFi 6 and even 2.5Gb ethernet. The company has announced a number of new motherboards, of which, seven are on their way to India.
At the very pinnacle of Asus’ Z490 offering is the Maximus XII Extreme. Designed keeping water cooling in mind, the Maximus XII features a CrossChill water block for its VRMs developed together with EK Water Blocks. Asus claims that the CrossChil EK III hybrid heatsink is capable of running up to 50-degree Celsius cooler than in comparison to air-cooled VRMs. The board also features 4 m.2 slots, two on the mid-board and the other two on the underside, all configurable in RAID. The board also features dual ethernet ports, one with 10Gbps speeds and the other supporting 2.5Gbps speed. Additionally, there’s also Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 onboard.
The ROG STRIX Z490-E and Z490-F GAMING come with14+2 and 12+2 power stages respectively ready to be overclocked with ease. This pair of motherboards feature heatsinks to cool the VRMs and also the chipset itself. The Strix Z490-E Gaming has an optional fan that can be attached to the VRM heatsink for additional cooling during overclocking. Four DIMM slots drive RAM to speeds of 4600 MHz. Strix Z490-E Gaming has built-in WiFi 6 and Bluetooth connectivity, while Strix Z490-F Gaming has an M.2 E-key slot for an optional WiFi module. Two M.2 slots are available for NVMe SSDs, and those slots are found under heatsinks to ensure consistent performance.
The Asus TUF Gaming Z490-Plus features a six-layer PCB for better heat dissipation and signal integrity, as well as a 12+2 teamed power stage design with DrMOS components. There are two PCIe x16 slots available, with one featuring the metal-reinforced ASUS SafeSlot design. Two M.2 slots are on hand for NVMe SSDs, with one of them covered by heatsink to keep thermal throttling at bay.
The rear I/O panel features USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports with both Type-A and Type-C connectors, and that’s complemented by a Gen 2 front-panel header. An onboard Thunderbolt 3 header is available for users looking to add a ThunderboltEX 3-TR card. The TUF Gaming Z490-Plus board also comes with a standard Intel Gigabit ethernet port.
The Prime series of motherboards have traditionaly been aimed at content creators. This year, the Prime Z490-A and Z490-P are two boards in the series that Asus will bring to India. The Z-490A can accommodate up to 128GB of DDR4 memory, while both the boards support speeds of up to 4600MHz. Both the boards also come with dual NVMe slots, while the Z490-P also features 4 SATA III ports. In terms of connectivity, The Z-490A comes with a 2.5Gbps ethernet port while the Z-490P sports a standard gigabit ethernet port.
Asus has announced the MRP of their motherboards but has not revealed the date at which the boards will be available in India. The MRP as given by Asus is below, but we expect the boards to be available at a lower price through the dealer network once they're available.
|Asus Z490 Motherboard Lineup|
|Asus TUF Gaming Z490-Plus||2650|
|Asus Prime Z490M-Plus||2250|
|Asus Prime Z490-P||24000|
|Asus Prime Z490-A||31300|
|Asus ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming||39500|
|Asus ROG Strix Z490-F Gaming||34500|
|Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme||91485|