Best Z490 motherboard in 2022

Best Z490 motherboard in 2022

A powerful motherboard offering a number of features, the ASUS Z490 is an excellent choice for those who need to take advantage of multiple graphics cards and PCIe lanes. This motherboard works with both Intel® Core™ i7 and i9 processors, providing ample power for any computing needs. Additionally, this board offers support for up to 64GB of ram and eight SATA 3 ports which can be configured as RAID 0 or 1. The USB 3 Type C port makes transferring data quick and easy while still offering compatibility with previous generations of USB technology. Those looking for a great board should consider the ASUS Z490!

At a Glance:

The new generation of Intel Core CPUs has been compliment by the latest Z490 based motherboards. At the moment, there are over 50 different Z490 motherboards available in the market with prices ranging from $150 up to $1,300. Due to this reason, choosing the best Z490 board for yourself is a challenge. No doubt the Z390 and Z490 along with Intel 10th generation CPUs are similar to their predecessors with small tweaks here and there. But Intel has moved from LGA115x onto the LGA1200 socket. Mostly, LGA115x coolers can work with the new sockets. But if you are in the market for a 10th gen Intel Core processor, you will need to buy a new Z490 motherboard.

Our buying guide is developed to make the purchase decision simple for you and to rule out all the bad boards which are often present in the entry-level market e.g. Mini-ITX, and Micro ATX segments.

DesignMotherboardsRetailer
Best PickAsus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme
Check Price
Staff Pick MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
Check Price
Budget PickGIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X
Check Price

Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme

Best Pick
BrandASUS
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
SeriesROG MAXIMUS XIII EXTREME
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Graphics Card InterfacePCI-E
Memory Slots Available4

If you are such an enthusiast builder who wants the fully-featured Intel motherboard, then we are afraid that you have to pay for it. Because Asus’ Z490 Maximus XII Extreme is worth paying for! As the name suggests (extreme), it packs a variety of incredible and luxurious extras (we mean a frickin’ screwdriver). Moreover, it’s also one of the best Z490 boards that we have tested so far!

But purchasing this board only makes sense if you are buying a Core i9 with the genuine intention of overclocking it. The XII board will allow you to get the fastest clock speed out of your processor while saving it from becoming a pile of melted slag. The MSI Z490 is truly the fastest outright in stock speeds.

Of course, it’s only for the very extreme and high-end PC builds, as for the price tag you can build a completely respectable PC for the price of this motherboard. But it’s arguably the best motherboard for Comet Lake overclocking. Let’s face it this purchase is not for all of us!

Our verdict

A sleek and amazingly stunning board with one of the best Z490s available. But its costs are the same as that of a completely respectable gaming PC.

Pros

  • High-end performance
  • Stunning bundle
  • Incredible build quality

Cons

  • Very expensive

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

Staff Pick
BrandMSI
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Compatible ProcessorsIntel Celeron, Intel Pentium Gold
Chipset TypeIntel Z490
Memory Speed5000 MHz
PlatformWindows 10
Memory Storage Capacity128 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Graphics Card InterfacePCI-Express x16, PCI-E

We all know high-end motherboards cost a fortune to get your hands on them. But if you are looking into something like the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike, you are guaranteed the highest performance (especially if you are using the Intel components). This is by far the best z490 board out there right now if you are willing to pay the price. The board has an excellent and extremely efficient thermal solution, astounding overclocking performance, and easy diagnostic and installation solutions along with a solid build

Our verdict

The MSI MEG Z490 Ace brings a sleek design with modern connectivity, including USB 3.2 Gen2 (20 Gbps), Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201, and high-quality robust delivery of power. Moreover, it offers good (not the best) performance. It is an attractive option in its price range, though you can get other boards with similar features at a lower cost.

Pros

  • Superb build quality
  • On-board thunderbolt video output
  • Easy overclocking in BIOS

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Uses two 8-pin CPU power connectors

GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X

Budget Pick
BrandGigabyte
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Graphics Card InterfacePCI-E
Memory Slots Available4
Wireless TypeBluetooth
System Bus Standard SupportedSATA 3

The GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X may not include flashy features, but if you are looking for an Intel-based motherboard within the budget, it’s recommended by us. The motherboard is in an entry-level space with having decent features against its price tag. Most important of all, it performs like the best among the bunch without cutting a hole in your pocket. The motherboard packs three PCIe3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, and four memory slots with support for DDR4-4600 and up to 128GB.

Our verdict

The GIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X has a lot of handy features in the budget space. It has pre-installed I/O shields. If you are on a budget but looking for a compatible RGB motherboard, this is the board for you.

Pros

  • Pre-installed I/O shield
  • Additional optional 4-pin connector

Cons

  • No USB Type-C connectivity

MSI MEG Z490 Ace

BrandMSI
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Compatible ProcessorsIntel Celeron, Intel Pentium Gold
Memory Speed4800 MHz
PlatformWindows 10
Memory Storage Capacity128 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Graphics Card InterfacePCI-Express x16, PCI-E

MSI MEG Z490 Ace is another great Z490 based board from MSI as it also looks amazing with its delicate metallic elements and gold highlights. Moreover, it has the primary M.2 slot above the GPU rather than underneath it, to save it from cooking away. What makes the Ace a polished and refined product is its excellent control of fans, fast booting, and white postcode display. Moreover, the installation of M.2 is also extremely easy as it doesn’t require the removal of a heap of screws and half of the heat sink.

The board has an excellent and strong VRM design, which makes it knock out the competition. The board has a small fan that operates only when it’s required. The board is cooled by big chunks of heat sinks while it gets powered by Dual 8-pin power connectors feeding 16+1 phase 90A supply to it. You can also overclock the board to your heart’s content as it also has rear MOSFET baseplates.

Our verdict

The MSI MEG Z490 ACE has a strong and well-built VRM design, Dual 8-pin power, and on top of that an excellent finish. Moreover, the board features a well-laid-out BIOS, capable of cloaking, and performance efficiency. It’s Ace by name as well as Ace by nature.

Pros

  • Subtle looks
  • Strong VRM design
  • High-end performance
  • Double 8-PIN EPS Power Connectors
  • Mirrored VRM with 16 90A power stages
  • ESS Sabre DAC audio solution to drive 600 Amp headphones

Cons

  • Heat sinks aren’t finned stacks
  • Bit pricey

ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING

BrandASUS
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Chipset TypeIntel Z490
Memory Speed4600 MHz
SeriesROG STRIX Z490-G GAMING(WI-FI)
Memory Storage Capacity2.5 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Memory Slots Available4
Wireless TypeBluetooth

The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming Wi-Fi micro-ATX motherboard is a solid competitor and packs a great punch. The LGA1200 package supports Intel’s 10th generation processors and has two 32GB/s M.2 slots and even boasts Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity.
The ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming (Wi-Fi) motherboard is capable of providing a boosted power delivery, in-built ROG software, and a cooling design (optimized) to assist you to utilize the most out of the 10th generation Intel Core processors. The board is not all about performance, it is also aesthetically built. It has a mirrored stainless steel Strix nameplate which gives the board looks to match the performance.

Our verdict

ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming (Wi-Fi) assists to utilize the complete functionality of your build as it provides boosted power delivery and optimized cooling. To provide you the control of unlocking the full potential of your build for top-tier performance, the board lets you manage cooling, networking settings, and overclocking.

Pros

  • Top-notch features
  • Well-built, excellent cooling
  • Deep rear I/O panel
  • Easy-to-use BIOS
  • Reasonably priced for Z490 chipset and feature set

Cons

  • Must remove plastic chipset shroud to access top M.2 heat spreader
  • Memory-profile option available only in BIOS’s EZ Mode

ASUS Prime Z490-A

BrandASUS
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Chipset TypeIntel Z490
Memory Speed4600 MHz
PlatformWindows 10
SeriesPRIME Z490-A
Memory Storage Capacity128 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB

One of the most solid options of Z490 based motherboards is ASUS’ Prime Z490-A. This board is the only one available in the market at the moment which includes white aesthetics. Thus, it’s the only option for such gamers who wants to build a white-themed based 10th generation Intel-based build.


The ASUS Prime Z490-A has a white pre-installed I/O shield along with white heatsinks, both of which will complement a white-based PC case build. The board (standard-ATX) can handle up to 128 GB of memory (DDR4). Moreover, it features two M.2 slots along with supporting USB 3.2 technology. This motherboard also handles overclocking well as it has a 12+2 power phase design.


ASUS’ Prime Z490-A will be best capable of providing you great performance when paired with Intel Core i7-10700k. In addition to all the attractive features, the board will cost you one-third of the price of MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

Our verdict

The Asus Prime Z490-A is a noteworthy ATX board and a stable one to build a system based on Intel’s 10th generation core. But, you can still find better options in this price range.

Pros

  • Well-rounded feature set
  • Easy-to-use BIOS
  • Flawless setup and install process in our test build

Cons

  • Slightly high pricing for the feature set

ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus

BrandASUS
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Chipset TypeIntel Z490
Memory Speed4600 MHz
PlatformWindows 10
SeriesTUF Gaming Z490-PLUS (WI-FI)
Memory Storage Capacity128 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Main Power Connector Type24-pin

To be included in the TUF gaming line up ASUS has brought up its affordable Z490-Plus. The board has a 12+2 power staged VRM along with a large heatsink for protection against thermal damage. In this board, ASUS has also included a socket (named Pro cool socket), which is a modified EATX 8-pin having 25% faster speed.


The board features many connectors to include extra fans or strip headers for that Aura RGB. The motherboard has fewer USB ports than its rivals and has four DDR4 slots, a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and three 3.0 x1 slots. In the end, we must say that the motherboard can provide excellent gaming performance. In addition to this, the board can handle Overwatch with ease.

Our verdict

TUF Gaming Z490 Plus (WiFi) is the best value for money in the market at the moment. It offers an excellent combination of useful features along with the delivery of a strong and competitive performance.

Pros

  • Unique visual design
  • Great at overclocking
  • VRM/chipset cooling is good
  • Performs well
  • Minimal integrated RGB lighting
  • Includes Thunderbolt 3 header

Cons

  • Lacks NVIDIA SLI support
  • Lacks triple M.2 slots

MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge

BrandMSI
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Compatible ProcessorsIntel Celeron, Intel Pentium Gold
Memory Speed4800 MHz
PlatformWindows 10
Memory Storage Capacity128 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Graphics Card InterfacePCI-E
Memory Slots Available4

If you want a more affordable than the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus, then the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus is for you. The MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus features a sleek all-black design, a handful of heatsinks, and a solid 12+1+1 power design phase. Moreover, it also includes a pre-installed I/O shield. The board also complements its aesthetic by having an RGB lighting option. It supports up to 128 GB of RAM and has the standard four DIMM slots along with USB 3.2 technology.
To speak concisely, keeping in mind its moderate price tag, the MSI MPG 2490 Gaming Plus is perfect to pair with Core i7-10700K, or i5-10600K in a top-tier gaming PC build

Our verdict

To give our honest opinion, with this board the MSI has gone with the strategy to redesign its popular MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi motherboard with a few tweaks. For example, higher ratified memory speeds, better M.2 cooling, RGB lighting relocation, and faster Ethernet.

Pros

  • Efficient BIOS
  • Great price
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Memory is close to the chip, making heatsink install a bit of an issue

GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master

BrandGigabyte
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Graphics Card InterfacePCI-E
Memory Slots Available4
Wireless Type802.11ax

The GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master is an option for such gamers and builders that are looking to build a PC having a board between the value- and budget-oriented options and the extreme options listed above. The GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master is relatively cheaper than the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE and ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme, but relatively more expensive than the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus and MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus.
The board itself is a very capable one and it supports a multi-GPU setup. The board features an innovative and advanced design with a handful of shields and heatsinks. Also, the boards come with three M.2 slots and USB 3.2 technology.

Our verdict

The Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master is a board that ticks all the boxes and is an all-rounder. It has high-end features, performance, good aesthetics, and over cloaking. If you don’t mind the absence of dual LAN or PCIe x1 slots, the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Master is a great choice

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • High-speed Ethernet Port (Realtek 2.5GbE) and Wi-Fi 6 (Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201)
  • Solid VRM heatsink design with Aluminum fins for better cooling
  • Good overclocking capabilities
  • Pre-installed rear I/O shield
  • Plenty of USB ports on the rear I/O

Cons

  • Price is rather high for the features it offers
  • Bottom M.2 slots require the removal of the entire heatsink plate

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk Gaming Motherboard

BrandMSI
CPU SocketLGA 1200
RAM Memory TechnologyDDR4
Compatible ProcessorsIntel Celeron, Intel Pentium Gold
Memory Speed4800 MHz
PlatformWindows 10
Memory Storage Capacity128 GB
RAM Memory Maximum Size128 GB
Memory Slots Available4
Wireless Type802.11ax

MSI Tomahawk” is a piece of art every enthusiast and PC builder has come across in his lifetime, and it’s for sure not without any solid reason. The tomahawk is a board that is between the boundary of the mid-end spectrum, and the cheaper spectrum of boards.


MSI has done an excellent job in the series of Intel 10th generation lineup by spearheading the competition with MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk. The board is well-known because of its great functionality in comparison to its price. It’s not the best of the best but it does an effective job in handling most of the workload thrown upon it.


The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk holds against its competition firmly and packs as many features as it can pack for the price range. As the real tomahawk, the board itself can handle all the problems you can throw at it.

Our verdict

The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk is a great option for the price which is capable of pushing a Core i9-10900K to its limits. However, at the moment we will suggest you opt for a Core i5-10600K instead.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Excellent VRM cooling
  • 2.5 Gigabit LAN

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi
  • CPU boosting issues
  • Struggled to overclock Core i9-10900K

Summary Best Z490 motherboard

DesignMotherboardsRetailer
Best PickAsus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme
Check Price
Staff Pick MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
Check Price
Budget PickGIGABYTE Z490 Gaming X
Check Price

Conclusion Best Z490 motherboard

Whether you need a motherboard for gaming, work, or school, the ASUS Z490 is an excellent choice. This board offers plenty of power with Intel Core i7 and i9 processors, supports up to 64GB RAM, and even has USB 3 Type C ports for quick data transfers. If you want all your peripherals to plug into one port on your computer, this board will serve that purpose as well. With its compatibility across multiple generations of technology standards like USB 2 Type A or HDMI 1.4a (with HDCP), there’s no end to what can be done with the ASUS Z480!


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Taimour
By Taimour

Taimour is a data analyst and a digital marketer, Every since he opened his eyes he lives and breath tech.


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