14 Best Z490 Motherboards

The Z490 chipset powers dozens of different motherboards spanning every price point. The only thing they all share in common is the support for the Intel LGA 1200 socket along with the usual selection of connection and expansion ports. Everything else varies from board to board, from price bracket to price bracket, from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Because of this, finding the right board for your needs can be a bit frustrating. With so many models out there getting a dud or a model that doesn’t do it for you can be relatively easy. So, before you go out and buy a new board explore this list and find the board fulfilling your requirements. We included boards from every price range along with the best mATX and Mini-ITX Z490 picks. Check them out below.

Best Z490 Motherboards – Our Picks

Best Z490 Motherboards – Our Picks
AwardModel 
Best Budget Z490 Board For OCing 10600KMSI Z490-A PRO msi z490 a pro
ASUS Prime Z490-P asus prime z490 p
Best Budget Z490 Board For OCing 10900KGigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC gigabyte z490 aorus elite ac
MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk msi mag z490 tomahawk
Best Mid-Range Z490 MotherboardASRock Z490 Taichi asrock z490 taichi
MSI MEG Z490 Unify msi meg z490 unify
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master gigabyte z490 aorus master
Best High-End Z490 MotherboardASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme asus rog maximus xii
MSI MEG Z490 Godlike msi meg z490 godlike
Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme gigabyte z490 aorus
Best Micro-ATX Z490 MotherboardASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming WiFi asus rog strix z490 g gaming wifi
MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge WiFi msi mpg z490m gaming edge wifi
Best Mini-ITX Z490 MotherboardMSI MEG Z490I Unify msi meg z490i unify
Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra gigabyte z490i aorus ultra

Best Budget Z490 Board For OCing 10600K

MSI Z490-A PRO
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 3 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
6 × audio jacks
Wi-FiNo

You don’t need an expensive board in case you’ve got yourself the Core i5-10600K. This particular CPU is great for gaming and the 6-core/12-thread design keeps the CPU cooler and less power-hungry than its larger cousins, the 10700K and the 10900K. So, if you don’t require a bunch of connectivity options and if you don’t plan on upgrading to a more powerful CPU down the line a few entry-level Z490 models might suit your needs.

They both have quality VRMs (for the price at least) and are capable of running a fully overclocked 10600K (up to 5.0 GHz). Going that high will make the 10600K pretty hot so don’t forget to outfit the CPU with a quality cooling solution. Anyway, the first board on the list is the MSI Z490-A PRO, which offers lots for the price. The 8+4 phase VRM is good enough to keep up with the OCed 10600K and the board supports memory up to 5000Mhz DDR4.

When it comes to storage options you have six SATA III ports along with two M.2 slots one of which includes a heatsink. There are two PCIe x16 slots and CrossFire support but we wouldn’t run two GPUs since the second PCIe x16 slot runs at x4 speed. The board also features three PCIe x1 slots, which is more than enough for most users. The audio section is basic, with the Realtek ALC892 Codec behind the helm.

Price cuts are also visible on the rear panel, which includes just two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one of which is USB-C, and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. The board includes two USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, one 2.5Gb LAN connector, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI, along with audio ports. The design combines dark grey and black coloring of the board with black elements, creating an industrial look that perfectly suits the board.

ASUS Prime Z490-P
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 4 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF out
5 × Audio jacks
Wi-FiNo

Next up is the ASUS Prime Z490-P, another entry-level Z490 board that offers excellent value. It features a 10+1 phase power design, which is more than enough for overclocking the 10600K. The board can run DDR4 memory with speeds up to 4800Mhz and when it comes to the storage options you can find just four SATA III ports along with two M.2 sockets.

When it comes to expansion slots the story’s the same as on the MSI model. There are two PCIe x16 slots but one of them works at x4 speed. As for the PCIe x1 slots, there are four of them. If you need wireless connectivity you can equip the board with a Wi-Fi card thanks to the dedicated M.2 Key E slot reserved for a wireless card. The rear panel includes two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (no USB-C here), two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. There’s also one PS/2 port, 2.5Gb LAN, audio ports, a DisplayPort, and one HDMI port.

As for the audio section, it’s another basic offering powered by the Realtek ALC887. The design is the complete opposite of the MSI board. Here you have silver combined with black which gives the board a clean and minimalistic look that is far away from the stealth feeling of the MSI Z490-A PRO. If you want a white motherboard for cheap, this is the one to get.

Best Budget Z490 Board For OCing 10900K

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × HDMI
2 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
4 × USB 3.2 Gen1
4 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

Overclocking the 10900K requires at least a mid-range board since the flagship Intel CPU is a power-hungry beast that runs pretty hot when going over stock clocks. It also requires a powerful VRM and a high-end cooler. Luckily, there’s a ton of quality mid-range Z490 boards sitting just above budget models. Each of them is capable of running an overlocked 10900K, with a wide range of extra features depending on the particular model.

We’re starting with the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC, a great mid-ranger with wireless connectivity. It features a 12+1 phase VRM solution, which should be enough for a moderate CPU overclock. The memory support goes up to 5000Mhz and the board includes six SATA III ports and two M.2 slots, both of which have heatsinks. There are two PCIe x16 slots with the second one running at x4 speed. They are coupled with two PCIe x1 slots for expansion cards.

The rear panel is well populated. You have two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports coupled with four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. There’s also one 2.5Gb LAN port, and HDMI, and a selection of audio ports. The wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 5 card that also offers Bluetooth 5 connectivity. The Realtek ALC1200 coded is responsible for audio, which is a step up from our budget 10600K picks. When it comes to OC-friendly features you only have a Q-Flash button found on the motherboard.

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × 1G LAN
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × HD Audio Connectors
Wi-FiNo

The MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk is the best choice for users who want a quality board that won’t break the bank and that can run the 10900K at around 5.0 GHz. The 12+2 power design is enough for a moderate overclock and the support for 5000MHz DDR4 memory is overkill but hey, it’s better than not having it. This is another board that features two PCIe x16 where the second slot runs at just x4 speed. The two PCIe x1 slots complete the expansion slot offering on the Z490 Tomahawk.

As for the storage you get six SATA III ports and two M.2 slots, both of which featuring thermal shields. The audio section runs via the Realtek ALC1200 codec. The rear panel hosts two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one of which is USB-C), four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. There’s also one HDMI and one DisplayPort, a PS/2 port, dual LAN ports (1Gb+2.5Gb), and a selection of audio ports. As for the design, it’s mostly black with a few white details and a bit of RGB LEDs found around the chipset.

Remember that you’re not limited to just these two boards. The lower mid-range market has a lot of quality boards on top of our two picks. The MSI Z490 Gaming Edge is another excellent board that’s great for overclocking the 10900K. It’s a bit more expensive than the Tomahawk but it comes with a Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. ASUS has two excellent boards in this price bracket, the TUF Gaming Z490-Plus that comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, and the Strix Z490-A Gaming that has a striking silver design. Another quality board in this price bracket is the ASUS Prime Z490-A. You should also take a look at the Gigabyte Z490 vision G if you want one of the best-looking motherboards on the market. Fans of RGB motherboards should consider the ASRock Z490 Extreme4.

Best Mid-Range Z490 Motherboard

ASRock Z490 Taichi
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 8 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × BIOS Flashback
1 × PS/2
1 × HDMI
1 × DisplayPort 1.4
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
2 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
5 × USB 3.2 Gen1
2 × SMA
2 × LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF-Out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

The upper mid-range market includes lots of quality boards. They are great for overclocking, contain more connectivity and storage options, have high-end VRMs along with hi-def audio support, and bigger heatsinks. The first board on our list is the Z490 Taichi from ASRock. The board includes a massive armor that covers most of the lower half of the PCB while the heatsink and I/O shroud dominate the upper half. There are also lots of RGB effects all over the board.

When it comes to actual specs you get a 15-phase VRM which should be enough for pushing the 10900K to its limit. The memory support goes up to 4666MHz and the storage options include eight SATA III ports and three M.2 slots. There’s three PCIe x16 slots in total, one working at x16, one at x8, and one at x4. There’s also two PCIe x1 slots and the board comes with full SLI and Crossfire support. When it comes to the audio section, it’s pretty good with the Realtek ALC1220 codec at the helm, coupled with the ESS SABRE9218 DAC.

The rear panel includes an HMDI and DisplayPort ports, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one of which is USB-C), five USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, two LAN ports (2.5Gb + 1Gb), and a selection of audio ports. When it comes to the OC-friendly features you get the BIOS flashback button on the rear panel, POST code, and power and reset buttons installed on the PCB. The ASRock Z490 Taichi also comes with wireless connectivity options that include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

MSI MEG Z490 Unify
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS
1 × Flash BIOS
1 × PS/2
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
3 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
2 × USB 3.2 Gen1
2 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF-Out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

Next up we have the Z490 Unify from MSI. This is another upper mid-range board with lots of extra features and a powerful, 16+1 phase VRM. That’s enough for extreme OC results that surpass 5.1 GHz. As for the design, we really like it. All-black PCB with all black heatsinks looks professional and is a far cry from aggressive RGB-friendly designs that dominate the higher tiers of the market.

The board can run DDR4 memory clocked up to 5000MHz and it features six SATA III and three M.2 slots, all of which are armored. There’s support for both SLI and Crossfire, with three PCIe x16 slots, one of which works at x16, one at x8, with the third working at x4. You also get two PCIe x1 slots for expansion cards. The Unify includes 2.5Gb LAN along with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. It also has a pretty solid audio section powered by the Realtek ALC1220 Codec and the ESS SABRE9018Q2C combo DAC.

On the rear panel you can find four USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (one of which is USB-C), two USB 2.0 ports, a selection of audio ports, and flash BIOS and clear CMOS buttons. Other OC-friendly features include debug LEDs, power and reset button installed on the PCB, and the POST code.

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS
1 × Q-Flash Plus
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
3 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
2 × USB 3.2 Gen1
4 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF-Out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

The third pick is the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master. It has a similar design as the other two picks, with large heatsinks and armored PCIe and DIMM slots. This one follows the RGB trend with multiple LED arrays found on the board. When it comes to the power design, you’re looking at 14 phases design, which is enough for serious overclocking. The memory speed can go up to 5000Mhz and the board includes six SATA III and three M.2 slots.

Expansion slots include three PCIe slots with support for SLI and Crossfire. Connectivity options include a 2.5Gb LAN port alongside Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. The rear panel hosts four USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (one of which is USB-C), two USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, and four USB 2.0 ports. Other elements found here are the clear CMOS and BIOS flash buttons, one HDMI port, and a selection of audio ports. The Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master also contains POST code and debug LEDs.

When it comes to the alternatives, they’re aplenty. The MSI MEG Z490 ACE and the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero are upper mid-range boards that come with high-end features. They are very expensive, on the limit of calling them high-end models, but come with a ton of features. These two can be great alternatives for users who want it all but don’t want to spend half a grand or more on a motherboard. The Gigabyte Z490 Vision D is another solid pick, this time for fans of slick design. Professionals can take a look at the ASUS ProART Z490-Creator and another solid upper mid-range model from ASUS is the ROG Strix Z490-E Gaming.

Best High-End Z490 Motherboard

ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 1 × ROG DIMM.2, 8 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x4
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS
1 × BIOS FlashBack
2 × USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
2 × USB 3.2 Gen2
6 × USB 3.2 Gen1
2 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × 10G LAN
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF-Out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

The high-end Z490 market is dominated by the three models from ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte. Other than those three, interesting alternatives are going both for less and more. We’re starting with the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme. This is one thick board, with the chipset and M.2 shroud covering the better part of the bottom while the I/O shroud and heatsinks covering most of the upper part of the board.

The VRM includes 16 power stages, which is enough for extreme overclocking. The board supports DDR4 memory up to two 4800MHz and it comes with eight SATA III and three M.2 slots. You get three PCIe x16 slots (one of which runs at x8 with the third working in x4 mode) and support for both SLI and Crossfire.

Connectivity options include both 10Gb LAN and Wi-Fi 6 wireless cards that also supports Bluetooth 5.1. The audio section includes the Realtek S1220 audio codec that’s coupled with the ESS ES9023 DAC and RC4580 OP AMP, providing a high-end audio solution. The rear I/O port is quite rich. You have 12 USB ports in total (two USB 2.0, six USB 3.2 gen1, four USB 3.2 gen2) two of which are USB-C. There’s also the dual LAN port, the usual selection of audio ports, and the clear CMOS and BIOS flashback buttons. On the flip-side, the board doesn’t have any Thunderbolt 3 port, which is a huge omission on a board this expensive.

The Maximus XII Extreme also includes stuff like debug LEDs, POST code, power and reset buttons on the PCB, and more. The design includes a bit too much RGB effects but that’s the usual business when it comes to high-end gaming boards. On the other hand, we really like the OLED screen found on the board that can show all kinds of info about the system.

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD Crossfire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS Button
1 × Flash BIOS Button
1 × PS/2
2 × Thunderbolt 3
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 10G Super LAN
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × Optical S/PDIF out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

The MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE is another high-end board that packs everything you might need. Its expanded ATX form factor allows it to pack three PCIe x16 slots along with one PCIe x1 slot and to come with three M.2 slots. You also get an add-on card that raises the number of NVMe drives you can have installed to five. The VRM section features a 16-phase design, which is enough for any level of overclocking.

The board supports DDR4 memory up to 5000MHz and comes with a dual gigabit LAN (2.5Gb + 10Gb), Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.1. On the back, you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports coupled with four USB 3.2 gen1 and two USB 3.2 gen2. One advantage of the Godlike is the fact that it comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the I/O panel, which you won’t find on most other Z490 boards. Finally, the rear panel also hosts audio ports along with the PS/2 port and the clear CMOS and BIOS flash buttons.

Other OC-friendly features include debug LEDs and a large screen that shows all kinds of system info. When it comes to the design, the Z490 Godlike has lots of heatsinks and lots of RGB. It’s a proper high-end board when it comes to looks.

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage3 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots3 × PCIe x16
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS
1 × Q-Flash Plus
1 × HDMI
2 × Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
4 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
2 × USB 3.2 Gen1
2 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × 10G LAN
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF-Out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

The third pick is the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme. This is another chunky board with a ton of heatsinks placed all over it. This one also features the E-ATX form factor and stuff like six SATA III ports, three M.2 slots, three PCIe x16 slots with support for SLI and Crossfire, and support for up to 5000Mhz DDR4 memory.

The board features dual gigabit LAN (10Gb + 2.5Gb) and a Wi-Fi chip with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support. The rear I/O hosts four USB 3.2 gen2 and two USB 3.2 gen1 ports along with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, audio ports, one HDMI port, and the clear CMOS and BIOS flash buttons. The audio section includes the Realtek ALC1220-VB coded combined with the ESS ES9018K2M DAC and TI OPA1622 amp. Overall, excellent.

Other features include a couple of RGB LED arrays that look much more attractive than on the MSI and ASUS models. The board also features debug LEDs, POST code, and power and reset buttons. The overall design is also more attractive than on the ASUS and MSI boards because of the better looking RGB LED arrays and heatsinks that look cool but aren’t as aggressive looking as on the other two high-end boards.

The alternatives on the high-end market include the ultimate Z490 motherboards such as the Z490 Aorus Xtreme WF that comes with a water-cooling block and the ASRock Z490 AQUA, another flagship board with a water-cooling block pre-mounted on it. More affordable high-end boards include models such as the ASUS Maximus XII Apex and the MSI Z490 Carbon with a water-cooling block.

Best Micro-ATX Z490 Motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming Wi-Fi
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 6 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportAMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × USB BIOS FlashBack
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × optical S/PDIF Out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

The Z490 mATX market is rather poor but, luckily, we have two excellent boards that we can recommend to everyone. The first is the Z490-G Gaming from ASUS and this is one packed mATX board. The VRM features a 12+2 phase design which should be enough even for an OCed 10900K. The board supports DDR4 memory up to 4800Mhz and it comes with six SATA III and two M.2 slots. You have two PCIe x16 slots but the second one works at just x4 speed. There’s also one PCIe x1 slot.

The connection options include a 2.5Gb LAN, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.1. The rear I/O hosts two USB 3.2 gen2 (one of which is USB-C), four USB 3.2 gen1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. You also have one HDMI and one DisplayPort ports, a BIOS flashback button, and a selection of audio ports. The only other OC-friendly function is debug LED array on the right edge of the board. Design-wise the board looks in line with other ROG Strix models. It features lots of RGB and all-black PCB which looks rather cool.

MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge WiFi
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 128 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNvidia SLI, AMD CrossFire
Expansion Slots2 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1
Back Panel Ports1 × PS/2
1 × HDMI
1 × DisplayPort
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
2 × USB 3.2 Gen1
2 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × 2.5G LAN
1 × Optical S/PDIF-Out
5 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

The second Z490 mATX board we can recommend is the MSI Z490M Gaming Edge. This is a cut down version of the ATX Gaming Edge model. This means that you get an excellent 12+2 phase VRM, support for DDR4 5000MHz memory, two PCIe x16 slots that can work in a dual-GPU mode (both SLI and Crossfire) thanks to the x8x8 mode of work. The board also includes two PCIe x1 slots.

Connectivity-wise you get a 2.5Gb LAN, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.1 The audio section features the Realtek ALC1220 Codec and is pretty good for an mATX board. The rear I/O features two USB 3.2 gen2 (one of which is USB-C) ports, two USB 3.2 gen1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. You can also find one PS/2 port, DisplayPort, HDMI, and a selection of audio ports. OC-friendly features include debug LED array but that’s about it.

Best Mini-ITX Z490 Motherboard

MSI MEG Z490I Unify
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory2 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNone
Expansion Slots1 × PCIe x16
Back Panel Ports1 × Clear CMOS Button
1 × DisplayPort
1 × HDMI
1 × Thunderbolt 3
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 × USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × 2.5G LAN
2 × SMA
1 × Optical S/PDIF Out
5 × audio jacks
Wi-FiYes

Last but not least we have two excellent Mini-ITX Z490 motherboards for fans of SFF builds. Both are excellent choices, featuring 8-phase VRM (don’t overclock the 10900K on these boards), two M.2 slots, and four SATA III ports. You also get just one PCIe x16 slot, but that’s the standard on Mini-ITX motherboards. Also, both boards come with support for up to 5000MHz DDR4 memory. Another thing in common for both models are Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 capable wireless chips along with 2.5Gb LAN ports.

The MSI model features the Realtek ALC1220 audio codec while the Aorus Ultra features a bit better Realtek ALC1220-VB codec. The rear panel includes one USB 3.2 gen2 port, two USB 3.2 gen1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. You also get one Thunderbolt 3 port. The I/O panel also hosts one DisplayPort and one HDMI along with the usual selection of audio ports and the clear CMOS button.

Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra
ChipsetIntel Z490
Memory2 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB
Storage2 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII
Multi GPU SupportNone
Expansion Slots1 × PCIe x16
Back Panel Ports1 × Q-Flash Plus
1 × HDMI
1 × DisplayPort
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
4 × USB 3.2 Gen1
2 × USB 2.0
2 × SMA
1 × LAN
3 × Audio Connectors
Wi-FiYes

The Gigabyte board features almost the same selection of ports but here you’ll miss the Thunderbolt 3 but will get two additional USB 3.2 gen1 ports. When it comes to design the MSI model features an all-black, minimalistic design while the Gigabyte model has a black and grey design with a touch of RGB.

Alternatives include a pretty good ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX, which is priced similarly to our two picks. Those who need an affordable Z490 board for their CPU can get the ASRock Z490M-ITX/ac. It’s cheap, it doesn’t have a powerful VRM but if you plan on running something like the 10600K at stock clocks on it, the board should work just fine.

Goran Damnjanovic
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.

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