Z390 Motherboard Roundup: 50+ New Releases from ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, and more

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October 8th was the release date for some embargos for the new Z390 chipset. And with this date coming and going we saw the major board partners show off most/all of their new lineups. With this brings new naming conventions, new looks, and new features on the motherboards. We’ll list the boards from each partner along with any high-level features.

Z390 is the second generation high-end chipset for Intel’s 300-series platform used with Coffee Lake desktop CPUs. It looks to improve upon Z370 in two key aspects, chipset support for up to six USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) ports, as well as built-in wireless networking MAC for dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The Z390 chipset itself isn’t so much of a generational update, regardless if it was designed for 9th generation CPUs. The chipset, outside of supporting the 9th gen CPUs, has also brought with it a few features which are now integrated as opposed to being supported by 3rd party chips. Features just as the integrated 2T2R 802.11ac Wi-Fi (Wave 2 with up to 160 MHz wireless bands), native USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports, as well as other features including Modern Standby/Smart Connect, and ambient computing (wake-on-voice in low powered mode…think how a smartphone behaves or Cortana and Alexa with the screen off or Modern standby).

The takeaway here is the integration of existing features and functionality along with 9th gen CPU support. There is a possibility that this integration brings with it a slight amount of power savings due to not using 3rd party chips to drive the features, and perhaps the cost may be a bit lower. Unless these features are used, about the only real difference on the chipset will be additional CPU support. These additions allude to the fact that Z390 will be the real high-end chipset on Intel’s mainstream platform.

A Couple of Details

The chipset integrated Wi-Fi depends on its integrated connectivity feature, CNVi, which first made an appearance in Gemini Lake as well as the latest 8th generations CPUs. This integration replaces the 3rd party Wi-Fi module and integrates it into the PCH (items such as memory, MAC, and logic) leaving PHY and antenna on the companion RF module. These then connect through the CNVio interface through a specialized M.2. Intel’s website says there are three different companion modules possible. The AC-9560 (2T2R, vPro enabled), AC-9462 (1T1E with FIPS9 support), and AC-9461 (low-end 1T1R).

The other major feature is the native USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps). The integration means motherboard partners will have to use the HSIO lanes to enable the ports. A total of four are supported on Z390, Q470, and H370/B360. It will be up to the motherboard partner to determine how many 10 Gbps ports are on each motherboard.

Audio selections will be the same ranging from Realtek ALC887 to ALC1220 codecs. Each manufacturer will put their own op-amp parts and capacitors to make their own twist, but the codecs do remain the same.

Below is a list for each motherboard manufacturer. We have also compiled a list of chipset features from Z390 and Z370 for a quick comparison before we dive into each board partner’s offerings.

Intel Z370 and Z390 Chipset (PCH) Comparison
Chipset Z390 Z370
Release Date October 2018 October 2017
ME Firmware 12 11
HSIO Lanes 30
Total USB 14
USB 3.1 G2 (Max) 6
USB 3.1 G1 (Max) 10
SATA 6 Gbps 6
PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes 24
RST PCIe Storage (Max) 3
Optane Support Y
Integrated 802.11ac Y N
Intel Smart Sounds Y
Intel vPro N
TDP ? 6W

Chipset Diagrams

Pictured below are the chipset diagrams for Z370 and Z390 to show the (two) differences.

z390 Chipset Diagram (Intel)

z370 Chipset Diagram (Intel)

ASRock

ASRock has announced a total of 12 motherboards at this time. Boards will range from Mini-ITX to ATX with the Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 in the flagship position. ASRock’s naming convention is a bit different here compared to Z370 or previous generations with the use of the Phantom Gaming lineup of boards (six) which spreads across a wide variety of features, size, and pricing instead of the ‘Extreme’ lineup. What we do not see, yet, is an OC Formula which was absent on Z370 as well, perhaps to make an appearance here.

  • Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 – $269 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Z390 Taichi Ultimate – $300 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390 Taichi – $240 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390 Phantom Gaming 6 – $196 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Z390 Extreme4 – $180 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI/ac – $168 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Z390 Phantom Gaming 4 – $140 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac – $190 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390 Pro4 – $135 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390M ITX/ac – $150 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Z390M Pro4 – $135 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
ASRock Z390 Motherboard Specifications
Memory Capacity Memory Support (Max) SATA 6 Gbps Ports M.2 / Type LAN WiFi USB 3.1 G2 USB 3.1 G1 / 2.0 PCIe Slots (Full-Length)
Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 64 GB
(4x DRAM Slots)
4266+ 8 3 – SATA + PCIe 1x 2.5 Gigabit
2x Gigabit
Y 4 4 / 0 3
Z390 Taichi Ultimate 4200+ 8 3 – SATA + PCIe 1x 10 Gigabit
2x Gigabit
Y 4 4 / 0 3
Z390 Taichi 4200+ 8 3 – SATA + PCIe 2x Gigabit Y 4 4 / 0 3
Z390 Phantom Gaming 6 4300+ 8 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x 2.5 Gigabit
2x Gigabit
N 2 4 / 0 3
Z390 Extreme4 4300+ 8 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 2 4 / 0 3
Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI/ac 4300+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x 2.5 Gigabit Y 2 4 / 0 2
Z390 Phantom Gaming SLI 4300+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x 2.5 Gigabit N 2 4 / 0 2
Z390 Phantom Gaming 4 4300+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 2 2 / 2 2
Z390 Pro4 4300+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 2 2 / 2 2
Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac 32 GB (2x DRAM Slots) 4500+ 4 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 4 2 2
Z390M ITX/ac 4000+ 6 1 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 6 0 / 2 2
Z390M Pro4 64 GB (4x DRAM slots) 4300+ 6 1 – PCIe + SATA, 1 PCIe only 1x Gigabit N 2 4 / 0 2

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ASUS

ASUS has brought the house with their Z390 motherboards giving users a total of 17 boards to choose from. Within the product stack is a workstation class board (WS Z390 Pro), The Prime series (three boards) aimed more at entry-level, the Strix and TUF Gaming series for gaming oriented boards as well as a refresh of the premium Maximus motherboards which include the full lineup from the Extreme to the Gene. Prices on the ASUS offerings will range from $150 to $500.

  • Maximus XI Extreme – $500 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Maximus XI Formula – $450 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Maximus XI Code – $350 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Maximus XI Hero COD – $340 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Maximus XI Hero – $290 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Maximus X Gene – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Strix Z390-E Gaming – $245 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Strix Z390-F Gaming – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Strix Z390-I Gaming – $210 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Strix Z390-H Gaming – $190 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • TUF Z390 Pro Gaming – $170 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • TUF Z390M-Pro Gaming – $180 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • TUF Z390-PLUS Gaming – $170 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Prime Z390-A – $190 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Prime Z390-P – $150 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • Prime Z390M-PLUS – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • WS Z390 Pro – $400 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
ASUS Z390 Motherboard Specifications
Memory Capacity Memory Support (Max) SATA 6 Gbps Ports M.2 / Type LAN WiFi USB 3.1 G2 USB 3.1 G1 / 2.0 PCIe Slots (Full-Length)
Maximus XI Extreme 64 GB
(4x DRAM Slots)
4400+ 6 4 / ? 1x 5 Gigabit
1x Gigabit
Y 4 ? 3
Maximus XI Formula 4400+ 6 2 / ? 1x 5 Gigabit
1x Gigabit
Y 4 ? 3
Maximus XI Code 4400+ 6 2 / ? 1x Gigabit Y 4 ? 3
Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)  4400+ 6 2 / ?  1x Gigabit Y (optional) 4  ? 3
Maximus X Gene 32 GB (2x DRAM slots) 4600+ 4 4 / ? 1x Gigabit Y 4 ? 1
Strix Z390-E Gaming 64 GB
(4x DRAM Slots)
4266+ 6 2 / ?  1x Gigabit N 4  ? 3
Strix Z390-I Gaming 4600+ 4 2 / ?  1x Gigabit Y 2  ? 1
Strix Z390-H Gaming  4266+ 6 2 / ?  1x Gigabit N 4 ? 3
TUF Z390 Pro Gaming 4266+ 6 2 / ?  1x Gigabit N 2 ? 3
TUF Z390M-Pro Gaming (Wi-Fi) 4266+ 6 2 / ?  1x Gigabit Y
(optional)
1  ? 2
TUF Z390-PLUS Gaming (Wi-Fi) 4266+ 6 2 / ?  1x Gigabit Y
(optional)
2 ? 2
Prime Z390-A 4266+ 6  2 / ?  1x Gigabit N  4  ? 3
Prime Z390-P 4266+ 4 2 / ? 1x Gigabit N 2 ? 2
Prime Z390M-PLUS 4266+ 4 2 / ? 1x Gigabit N 2 ? 2
WS Z390 Pro 4266+ 6 2 / ? 2x Gigabit N 3 ? 4

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EVGA

EVGA comes to the Z390 party with two motherboards around launch time with the Z390 Dark with its rotated CPU slot, two DRAM slots above the CPU (as opposed to sitting on the right) as well as a uniquely colored board with its black base color and gold highlights. The other board is the Z390 FTW which is more of a standard piece compared to the Dark. No mention of a small form factor option, such as the Stinger, so far.

  • Z390 Dark – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Z390 FTW – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
EVGA Z390 Motherboard Specifications
Memory Capacity Memory Support (Max) SATA 6 Gbps Ports M.2 / Type LAN WiFi USB 3.1 G2 USB 3.1 G1 / 2.0 PCIe Slots (Full-Length)
Z390 Dark 32 GB
(2x DRAM Slots)
4133+ 8 2 – SATA + PCIe 2x Gigabit Y 6 2 / 0 3
Z390 FTW 64 GB(4x DRAM Slots) 4133+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 5 4 / 2 2

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GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE brings to the table 10 motherboards as well, with offerings from Mini-ITX to eATX with the yet to be announced Aorus Extreme. Pricing is said to range from $130 up to $290 with the Aorus Extreme likely to fetch more.

Gigabyte Z390 Motherboard Specifications
Memory Capacity Memory Support (Max) SATA 6 Gbps Ports M.2 / Type LAN WiFi USB 3.1 G2 USB 3.1 G1 / 2.0 PCIe Slots (Full-Length)
Z390 Aorus Master 64 GB
(4x DRAM Slots)
4133+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe, 1 – PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 4 4 / 4 3
Z390 Aorus Ultra 4133+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe, 1 – PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 4 4 / 4 3
Z390 Aorus Pro Wi-Fi 4200+ 8 3 – SATA + PCIe 2x Gigabit Y 4 4 / 0 3
Z390 Aorus Elite  2666+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe  1x Gigabit N  2  4 / 0 2
Z390 Aorus Pro 4133+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 3 3 / 0 3
Z390 Gaming SLI 2666+ 6 1 – SATA + PCIe
1 – PCIe
 1x Gigabit N 2  6 / 0 3
Z390 M Gaming 2666+ 6 1 – SATA + PCIe
1 – PCIe
 1x Gigabit N 2  4 / 0 2
Z390 Gaming X  2666+  6 2 – SATA + PCIe   1x Gigabit N 1  5 / 2  2
Z390 UD  2666+  6  1 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 0 6 / 0  3
Z390 I Aorus Pro Wi-Fi 32 GB (2x DRAM Slots) 2666+  4 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit  Y 2  4 / 0 1

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MSI

MSI brings 12 total motherboards to the party with eight listed on the website. Like the other major board partners, there is seemingly a board and a price point for everyone with features differing from board to board.

  • MEG Z390 Godlike – $600 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MEG Z390 ACE – $290 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC – $230 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon – $200 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC – $190 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC – $180 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC – $165 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MPG Z390 Gaming Plus – $150 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MAG Z390 Tomahawk – $160 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
  • MAG Z390M Tomahawk – $160 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • MAG Z390M Mortar – $N/A MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
  • Z390-A Pro – $140 MSRP – AmazonNewegg
MSI Z390 Motherboard Specifications
Memory Capacity Memory Support (Max) SATA 6 Gbps Ports M.2 / Type LAN WiFi USB 3.1 G2 USB 3.1 G1 / 2.0 PCIe Slots (Full-Length)
MEG Z390 Godlike 64 GB
(4x DRAM Slots)
4600+ 6 3 – SATA + PCIe 2x Killer E2500 Gigabit Y 4 2 / 0 4
MEG Z390 ACE 4500+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe, 1 – PCIe 1x Killer E2500 Gigabit Y 6 0 / 4 3
MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon AC 4400+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 4 0 / 2 3
MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon 4400+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 4 0 / 2 3
MPG Z390 Gaming Edge AC 4400+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 2 2 / 2 3
MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC 32 GB (2x DRAM Slots) 4600+ 4 1 – SATA + PCIe, 1 – PCIe 1x Gigabit Y 2 2 / 2 1
MPG Z390 Gaming Plus 64 GB (4x DRAM slots) 4400+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 2 2 / 2 2
MAG Z390 Tomahawk 4400+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 2x Gigabit N 4 0 / 2 3
MAG Z390M Tomahawk 4400+ 6 2 – SATA + PCIe 2x Gigabit N 4 0 / 4 3
MAG Z390M Mortar
Z390-A Pro 4400+ 6 1 – SATA + PCIe 1x Gigabit N 2 2 / 2 2

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NZXT

NZXT joins the fray with a single entry, just as they did with their first motherboard with the N7 Z370. The new board is the N7 Z390. It comes in black or white and has the same design aesthetic using the shrouding on the majority of the board giving it a really clean appearance.

  • N7 Z390 – $280 MSRP – Amazon – Newegg
NZXT Z390 Motherboard Specifications
Memory Capacity Memory Support (Max) SATA 6 Gbps Ports M.2 / Type LAN WiFi USB 3.1 G2 USB 3.1 G1 / 2.0 PCIe Slots (Full-Length)
N7 Z390 32 GB (2x DRAM Slots)  NA 4  1 PCIe, 1 PCIe + SATA  1 Gigabit Y 4 2 / 0 2

 

Well, there we have it, a listing of over 50 motherboards that are out or will be released in the coming months. While we won’t get to review the majority of them, we are certain to see many of them which should give users an idea of their performance and look at their feature sets in a lot more detail. We will be updating this article with links to Newegg, Amazon, and our reviews for any of the boards to make it easier to get the board you are looking for. Keep an eye out on the front page for our i9 9900K review and new Z390 motherboard reviews in the coming weeks and months!

 

Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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Discussion
  1. Asus boards are stupid expensive on the high end. How many bloody versions do you need? EVGA dark is pretty sinister. I like the dual 22110's but kind of wasted with that chipset.
    Gigabyte Aorus Master is probably my vote.
    custom90gt
    Awesome roundup!
    Only question I have is it says that the z390 Dark has 4 slots? I thought it only has two?
    Fixed.
    This was a looooooooooooooooot of data to put together. :)
    LMK if anyone else sees any discrepancies. :)
    Blaylock
    MMMM That ASRock Phantom Gaming ITX/ac is sexy as hell!

    I like 2x M.2 sockets on this board. From earlier series I don't remember other ITX boards with 2x M.2 except Supermicro Z370.
    Maybe will test my board during the weekend. Right now I have to finish some other tests. For sure I'm counting on high memory clock. ASRock sent me unofficial beta for this board, no idea what it improves over initial BIOS.
    EVGA Dark looks really interesting. I'm just afraid it will share similar issues as most EVGA boards.
    Woomack
    EVGA Dark looks really interesting. I'm just afraid it will share similar issues as most EVGA boards.

    Out of curiosity what similar issues? I've heard nothing but praise about the x299 Dark.
    I mean overall EVGA mobos, not only Dark series. In general problems with BIOS, problems with memory support and OC, some weird stability issues. Pretty much the same issues, mostly related to BIOS, were repeating in most EVGA motherboards since I remember. Good OC results were mostly on special BIOS releases used by overclockers related to EVGA like Vince. I don't think anyone else had really good results on these boards. You can check even our frontpage reviews. I remember that with last mobo were the same problems because of not so good BIOS.
    This is also one of the main reasons why you don't see EVGA mobos in competitive OC benching. Even Vince who works in EVGA, multiple times used competitive motherboards if he wanted to break some records. If lower clock but more CPU cores are better option then he always uses EVGA mobos, but many of his results are not on retail products. Many are additionally modified for extreme benching and the same is with graphics cards.
    Woomack
    I like 2x M.2 sockets on this board. From earlier series I don't remember other ITX boards with 2x M.2 except Supermicro Z370.
    Maybe will test my board during the weekend. Right now I have to finish some other tests. For sure I'm counting on high memory clock. ASRock sent me unofficial beta for this board, no idea what it improves over initial BIOS.
    EVGA Dark looks really interesting. I'm just afraid it will share similar issues as most EVGA boards.

    Asus Rog Strix did and I'm pretty sure Gigabyte had one too but don't quote me on that. The Strix is the one I was considering getting.
    Probably yes, don't really want to browse the web right now but from first available series of ITX Z370, I remember that only Supermicro had 2x M.2. Later were released other boards but I wasn't following all product lists. Anyway, if ASRock Z390 ITX will OC as I wish then will be good to replace MSI Z370 ITX. There is nothing wrong with MSI but ASRock simply offers some more. I only count I will find some time during the weekend.
    Here is one photo:
    I'm testing ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX/ac right now so if there are any questions then I guess I can answer them.
    Motherboard has initial BIOS 1.10. I have no idea how it works as I updated it to L1.23 beta after first boot. The only official version available is 1.20 which supports all processors. If I'm right then 1.10 had no 9th gen support. There is also L1.26 beta but I can't see any difference between this version and the L1.23.
    Regardless of BIOS, I'm able to boot at auto or XMP settings at DDR4-4500. My 4266 19-19-19 1.40V kit runs stable at 4500 19-19-19 1.40V. No problems with training etc. I had no time to check tighter timings but I couldn't even boot at 4533+ so there is exactly the same problem as I had on MSI Z370 with earlier BIOS. I guess that once BIOS will be improved then this mobo will reach DDR4-5000+. At least I haven't seen any other mobo that could so easily run at 4500.
    One more interesting thing, in BIOS are many additional voltages like only for PLL are 5 different settings. There are also voltages to pass cold bug while benching on LN2, separately for CPU and IMC/memory. This is acutally a surprise for me as I wouldn't think this mobo was designed for benching on LN2.
    Wow, that's fantastic news Bart.
    Assuming that you are correct I'm pretty surprised that a Z390 wouldn't have 9th gen support from initial BIOS since that chipset was purpose build for 9th gen.
    Also, DDR4-4500 out of the box is pretty fantastic. I may need to upgrade sooner than later.