ASUS’ home for the 10th gen Intel Core desktop processors!
As we welcome the arrival of 10th-gen Intel Core processors, ASUS updates its motherboard offerings for the new powerhouse. Say hello to the company’s Z490 series. The line-up offers options from content creators up to the PC Enthusiast.
Leading the pack is the ROG Maximus XII Extreme. The board enjoys ASUS’ ProCool solid pins, a set of MicroFine Alloy chokes, Optimem III technology, and memory clocks of up to 4800MHz. Scattered throughout its body are four M.2 slots for ample storage. For I/O we’re getting a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 (one Type-A and two Type-A), and Intel Ethernet I225-V. For wireless connections we’re getting WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. Lastly, the Maximus XII Extreme comes bundled with a ThunderboltEX3-TR card, a Thunderblot 3 add-on card providing bi-directional speeds of up to 40Gbps. Lastly, we have a Thunderbolt 3 header than can support six devices in a daisy-chain for fast charging.
Next up we have the ROG Maximus XII Apex. It shares the same 16 teamed power stage design of the Extreme and an overclocking-optimized six-layer PCB. The Apex also enjoys ASUS’ OptiMem III technology and numerous headers for standard and high-amperage fans. For ports, we’re getting five USB 3.2 Gen 2 (4 Type-A and 1 Type-C), another five USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A for the rear. Then one USB 3.2 Gen 2 front panel connectors, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectors, and five USB 2.0 ports.
Then we have the ROG Maximus XII Formula, a liquid cooling focused motherboard. It features a VRM with a CrossChill water block in collaboration with EK Water Blocks dubbed the CrossChill EK III. The hybrid heatsink runs up to 50°C cooler than your standard air-cooler design. For I/O, we’re getting 6x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x Intel I225-V ethernet, 1x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port, 1x Optical S/PDIF out, 1x USB BIOS flasback button, 1x ASUS Wi-Fi Module, 5x gold-plated audio jacks, and 1x Aquantia AQC-107 10G Lan port.
Next is the ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi). Once again the board enjoys ASUS’ OptiMem III technology along with three NVMe storage devices, an Intel WiFi 6 adapter, and two Ethernet ports. It also supports Aura Sync for all your color coding needs, who doesn’t want them flashy lights right? For I/O we’re getting 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Gen 1, 2x USB 2.0, 1x Marvell AQtion AQC111C 5Gb Ethernet, 1x HDMI, 1x Intel I219-V 1Gb Ethernet, 1x Optical S/PDIF out, 1x Clear CMOS buttons, 1x USB Bios FlasBack button, 1x ASUS Wi-Fi module, and 5x gold-plated audio jacks.
Moving on we have the Strix family, starting with the Z490-E and Z490-F Gaming. The pair features heatsinks with an embedded heatpipe and a secondary one for cooling the Z490 chipset. Both boards also feature six-layer PCBs and ProCool II auxiliary power connectors. The Z490-E has an optional fan that can be attached to the VRM heatsink. What sets them apart is that the Z490-E features a 14+2 power stage while the Z490-F has 12+2.
Then we have the ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming, a compact mini-ITX motherboard with an eight-layer PCB and 8+2 VRM. We’re getting generous ports and storage options despite the small size. Including two M.2 slots and a wide-array of ports. For the back I/O ports we have 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (3x Type-A and 1x Type-C), 3x LED-illuminated audio jacks, 2x, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB Bios FlashBack button, 1x ASUS Wi-Fi module, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HMDI, and 1x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet.
Next we have the ROG Strix Z490-H Gaming, for those looking for a red and black ATX board. The Z490-H comes with a 12+2 VRM and DIMM slots that support speeds of up to 4,600MHz. Despite the overall red and black color scheme users can customize the lighting of the board with Aura Sync and LED strip headers. We also get extra durability as the PCIe slots has ASUS’ SafeSlot feature. Moving on to I/O, at the back we have 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (one Type-A and Type-C), 1x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Optical S/PDIF out, 1x USB BIOS FlashBack, and 5x gold-plated audio jacks.
Then we have a board similar to the Z490-H, the ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming. This time around it takes on a more refreshing color scheme with a silver and white aesthetic combo. The only difference is in the back I/O, it has one extra USB 2.0, and a front-panel USB Type-C connector.
Completing the Strix Z490 lineup is the ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming (Wi-Fi), a microATX board with a minimalistic design. Despite the smaller size we’re still getting a 12+2 VRM design and four DIMM slots. We have two PCIe x 16 slots and a PCIe x1 for expansion cards. Storage options come in two M.2 slots with a heatsink on the primary slot to keep SSDs cool. Back I/O includes 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (one Type-A and Type-C), 2x USB 2.0, 1x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Optical S/PDIF out, 1x USB BIOS FlashBack, 1x ASUS Wi-Fi module, and 5x gold-plated audio jacks.
Last but not least, we have the TUF Gaming Z490 line-up composed of the TUF Gaming Z490-Plus and Z490-Plus (WiFi). The only difference between the two is that the Z490-Plus (WiFi), well is wireless-enabled out of the box. Whereas the Z490-Plus requires some extra parts (WiFi card). Feature-wise the boards come with six-layer PCBs, a 12+2 power design, TUF capacitors and ProCool solid-core auxiliary power inputs, and two PCIe x16 slots with one protected by ASUS’ SafeSlot design. For storage, we have two M.2 slots with one covered by a heatsink. Right for the back I/O we have 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one Type-A and Type-C), 1x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ45 Lan, port, 1x Optical S/PDIF out, 1x ASUS Wi-Fi module, and 5x Audio jacks. The two boards also enjoy Realtek S1200A onboard audio that supports DTS Custom surround-sound virtualization.
And that’s it for the gaming motherboard lineup of ASUS for the Z490 chipset. Local pricing and availability for the boards are yet to be announced. So stay tuned!