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Best Intel Z490 Motherboards from $150 to $750: i5-10600K, i7-10700K, i9-10900K

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Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
This video recaps the most noteworthy or best Intel Z490 motherboards for 10th Gen CPUs. We're walking through the features progressively, with a specific goal to establish what the real needs of a user are. We'll start in the under $200 price class, including a $150 motherboard, and work our way up to $750. On the way, focal points include $200 motherboards, $300 motherboards, and $400 motherboards. For each board, we're attempting to outline what features are truly needed versus those which may be unnecessary add-ons to cost for the PC build. This video is hosted by Buildzoid, who is primarily knowledgeable on extreme overclocking and memory overclocking, but who also talks about workstation features, I/O and USB features, and other bonuses on the boards, like debug features and LEDs.

We're not as focused on the VRM quality in this one, because most of the boards -- at least once you enter the high-end of $300 and up -- have VRMs that are hardly different from the standpoint of most users. Even for extreme overclocking, the best OC boards all end up functionally the same for VRM quality, and so VRM analysis isn't as critical as it might be in a more VRM-diverse group of motherboards. We'll therefore be focused on things like cheapest 10GbE, PCIe and I/O options, VRM cooling, form factor, and other deciding factors discussed herein.

00:00 | Best Z490 Motherboards Intro
00:42 | Cheapest Z490 Boards Recapped
05:43 | Best ~$200 Z490 Motherboards
09:13 | Best Micro-ATX & Mini-ITX Z490 Boards
13:38 | $300 Z490 Workstation Boards & 10GbE Recap
18:24 | Best $300 Z490 OC & Gaming Boards
22:17 | THE Overclocking Motherboard: ASUS APEX vs. Hero
26:00 | $750 Z490 Motherboards Trying to Do Everything
28:03 | Conclusion: Figure Out Features You Want & Spend Less

 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
As far as these videos can be good then I only have on my mind "yet, one more reposted video from the same website". I just wish to see some more comments and personal thoughts about hardware, not forced stuff by the same 2-3 websites and literally 3 guys who have their own, specific point of view.
Don't take this personally, I'm just sick of marketing stuff and this video is like the point of view of one guy and fully sponsored stuff in the background.

There are pretty much no threads about Z490 motherboards on OCF. I also doubt that except reviewers, we can find more than 10 members who actually own a Z490 motherboard. Most redactions barely tested their review samples and really, looking at VRM can't say everything about the motherboard.
 
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Kenrou

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Completely agree with you, the problem is that, apart from the low posting numbers, all the cool kids are buying AMD right now 😉
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
AMD is simply cheaper and seems to have fewer design flaws.

Back to Z490. I find the list in the video a bit stupid and more like a marketing presentation, and this is why:
- all mentioned ITX mobos are pretty much the same and cost almost the same, memory support is about the same and additional features are in most cases not important for 99% users
- they clearly like ASUS Strix micro ATX mobo and there is nothing else they recommend, it was mentioned somewhere else too ... for me, this mobo is pretty average, performance is a bit worse than on ASRocks and everything else is pretty standard... good VRM and what else? I will only add that if you install Noctua D15 or any other really big cooler and you won't install a graphics card in the first PCIe and the second one is only x4.
- workstation boards, really? ... what's the difference between gaming motherboard and workstation as literally there is nothing if we compare most available models with the exception that memory is overclocking worse on the workstation series
- best OC and gaming for ~$300, so this is the top reasonable shelf and still, almost every popular motherboard overclocks the same, every review gives about the same results using 10900K CPU and competitive brands offer similar features for about the same price
- everything above $300 is just a waste of money

Some examples of why many Z490 motherboards are just overpriced:
- MSI Unify costs ~$350 and is the same as Ace (literally the same PCB and power design) but Ace has 1 more LAN and RGB LEDs for +$100-120, Godlike is not much better too but already costs ~$800, I only wonder why it costs so much
- Gigabyte line is like everything between ~$270 and ~$450 is the same for overclocking and supports exactly the same memory kits so you pay the premium for additional M.2 socket, heatsinks, and RGB LEDs ... and maybe 2 more power phases, everything above $450 is overclocking also the same as lower models but well, have even more heatsinks and LEDs.
- ASUS looks like everything is as good for overclocking on ambient temps and above the average is only Apex for ~$500 which is dedicated for overclocking enthusiasts, I still don't get price bumps above the last generation
- ASRock the same, everything overclocks the same and additional features are similar with the exception of +wifi or something that is less important

Regardless of what you read about VRM, PCB design, etc, every Z490 motherboard that I've seen in reviews or personally tested handles 10900K without problems and overclocks the same till around 5.1-5.2GHz on all cores.

I really see no point in videos like that but they clearly affect the way how "future platform users" think and what they buy.
 
OP
Kenrou

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
It's all about the $ they get for it, but the reviews are useful just the same. For example, I got mine from a buildzoid video where he did a stripdown and VRM showcase, cost me ~$170UK and I got a budget board that has all I need (and RGB), can handle an OC 3950x without issues or more next gen and hasn't given me any problems whatsoever so far. Why I mentioned in another thread that Gigabyte has done a superb job so far on the motherboard section (with the apparent exception of one z490).

I will only add that if you install Noctua D15 or any other really big cooler and you won't install a graphics card in the first PCIe and the second one is only x4.

I thought it was +- standard ?
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Pretty much every X570 motherboard handles 3900/3950X without issues :) Problems are only with B450 mobos which were not designed for that.

Sadly most reviews on the web are nowadays mostly pure marketing and whatever left are some additional comments which are accepted by vendors delivering review samples. Most websites always give good reviews because they know that every bad comment is the risk of losing review samples. I'm not saying that the guys from the video do that as I don't know how they work. I just know how many others review their products.

Re Noctua D15, almost the same is with ASRock Z490 PG Velocita. I can install the cooler but on ASRock, it puts some pressure on the graphics card backplate. On Z490 G Strix I had to use PCIe riser. No problems with ASRock Z490 PG ITX/TB3 and some others.
There is no standard, more like Intel suggestions about space on each side. It's like there is a standard regarding CPU socket and stock cooler dimensions. Everything else depends on the motherboard manufacturer. They look mostly on the space between the CPU socket and memory slots.

Btw. Buildzoid said a lot of, lightly said, bad things about the Z490 PG Velocita power design. Somehow, I see no difference between this motherboard and any other, using 10900K under full load. So even not the best design is still more than enough for any CPU. Also, PG Velocita supports memory better than all my other Z490 mobos. Probably I will get MSI Z490I Unify in some days and I'm counting it will be better.
 
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Kenrou

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
"Only reason to buy this board is the POST codes" :rofl: He likes to gripe about the iGPU phases doesn't he ? Did the same with mine.