With Intel finally coming out with their new Z490 chipset and 10700k and 10900k processors, it was only a matter of time before we saw the usual suspects drop their own bombs onto the computer market. Intel really upped their game with their lineup. With 10700K having 8 cores and 16 threads and their flagship 10900K having 10 cores and 20 threads, the motherboard manufacturers too had to bring their best game to the table. Understandably, buyers of Intel’s 10700K and 10900K will be looking for overclocking capabilities to test their money’s worth. However, the process is incomplete without the right motherboard to support these two powerhouse CPUs. Boards that can handle their raw powers and give you the best results possible.
What Are The Best Z490 Motherboards You Can Buy Right Now?
All of these products are relatively new and that is why the main question arises, what are the 5 best motherboards for 10700k and 10900k Intel processors? Well, you’re in luck because that is what we are going to find out today. Let’s get to it!
1.MSI MEG Z490 Unify
The Undisputed Best Choice
- Excellent cooling
- Variety of USB slots
- Three M.2 slots
- Sleek design
- Has an expensive price tag
Chipset: Intel Z490 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Video ports: HDMI | Maximum Memory: 128GB, DDR4-4800 MHz| USB Ports: 8x rear, 7x front | Expansion slots: PCIe x16 x3, PCIe X1 x2 | Storage: 3x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: 1x2.5G LAN Ethernet, WI-FI 6 | Lighting: None | Form Factor: ATX
Micro-Star International, also known as MSI is one of the most familiar names in the world of gaming products. From graphic cards, motherboards, casings, peripherals such as keyboards, mouse, and headphones to desktops and laptops specifically made for gaming and PC enthusiasts, MSI products have never failed to give the best and latest technology. Though MSI is best known for laptops and motherboards, which is why it is no surprise that the first pick in our list of the 5 best motherboards for the 10700k and 10900k processors bears the MSI name. The MSI MEG Z490 Unify was released earlier this year and has taken the computer world by storm.
With the release of the Z490 chipset, it became a necessity to obtain motherboards able to match and uplift the performance of the new technology. The MEG Z490 Unify has been the pick of the lot so far. Starting off with the basic features that this motherboard offers, there is a multitude of different USB slots, six SATA cables, DDR4 memory up to 4800, and strengthened graphic card channels. There is the PCIe 4 slot with future support as well. There are a lot of different USB slots. There is a USB 3.2 Type-C on the front as well as the rear along with the many different USB slots on both the front and the rear of the board. The lightning USB 20GBPS is also a very useful feature.
The Frozr Heatsinks offer excellent cooling for the motherboard. The aluminum cover with the heatsink design and the heat pipe design for more surface area in heat dissipation coupled with the M.2 slots thermal solution provides the ultimate in-built cooling system for your setup. Even when overclocking the MEG was able to match and even surpass most of the motherboards thermally. The overclocking and performance are impressive as well.
There are three M.2 slots available on this motherboard. The wifi-6, 2.5G LAN, and the LAN manager make sure you are getting the most optimal internet connection and usage for your PC. The overall design of the Unify is less vibrant due to the lack of RGB and lighting. Though this can be a blessing in disguise as many PC enthusiasts do not like to have RGB in everything they see. The sleek and finesse filled design with the full black color of the MEG Z490 give it a stylish and classy look. It fits nicely into any setup even with the lack of RGB. The price range under which it falls makes it one of the more expensive Z490 motherboards out there but it is definitely worth the price for your 10700k or 10900k Intel processors.
2. Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC
- High overclocking potential
- Interactive RGB settings
- Durable and sturdy build
- Effective cooling mechanism
- Pricetag is not favourable for all
Chipset: Intel Z490 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Video ports: HDMI | Maximum Memory: 128GB, DDR4-5000 MHz | USB Ports: 10x rear, 7x internal USB headers | Expansion slots: PCIe X16x2, PCIe X1 x2 | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: 2.5G LAN Ethernet, Dual Band WIFI | Lighting: Heatsink and DIMM slots RGB, 2x RGBW headers | Form Factor: ATX
Gigabyte has been a common name in the PC market for a long time. From desktops and laptops to computer peripherals and components like graphic cards and motherboards. They also make enterprise and server-level products. Though their most famous products can be said are motherboards. With the release of the z490 chipset, Gigabyte has jumped onto the Z490 motherboard product line, much like its competitors.
The product of Gigabyte that has caught our eye is the Z490 Aorus Elite AC. This product seems to be on par with the MSI MEG Z490. In functions and features and maybe even outdoes it in performance at some levels. The Aorus Elite has the highest overclocking potential for any motherboard that we have so far seen. It goes as high as 5000 MHz’s. All the other Z490 motherboards got as high as 4800 MHz but hitting the 5k mark is an accomplishment on its own.
The Aorus Elite also contains RGB with all its customizable options that everyone who has any interest in PC parts will be familiar with. This motherboard is quite sturdy and durable. The people at Gigabyte have taken extra care to make this a solid piece of technology. This is a notable feature as no one wants to spend close to 300 $ and have the thing be broken in a short time. The cooling mechanism of the Aorus is also very effective and functions well.
With the fans being able to speed up and down individually and the user being able to tell the temperature for different parts of the PC, between that, the heatsinks and the thermal guard of the M.2 slots, the cooling system works like a charm. The only thing not going for it is its high asking price. You need to dig deep into your pocket to buy this.
3. MSI Z490 Gaming Edge WiFi
Best Bang for Buck
- Effective BIOS
- WiFi-6 connectivity
- Dragon center app
- Great value for money
- Inadequate cooling
Chipset: Intel Z490 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Video ports: HDMI | Maximum Memory: 128GB, DDR4-4800 MHz | USB Ports: 8x rear, 7x front | Expansion slots: PCIe X16x2, PCIe X1 x2 | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: 2.5G LAN Ethernet, WI-FI 6 | Lighting: Heatsink and DIMM slots RGB, 2x RGBW headers | Form Factor: ATX
MSI is one of the most high-end motherboard manufacturers. It is quite common to see that a last of the best motherboards contain more than one MSI product. After looking through various motherboards we had to include the MSI Z40 Gaming Edge WIFI in our list. While there are motherboards such as the Aorus Elite which are quite good in their own right, there is just something about MSI motherboards that puts them above the rest. So, without further ado, we will now attempt to explain what makes the Z490 Gaming Edge one of the best budget-friendly motherboards.
Many motherboards boast of having top-notch BIOS readings, but that is often not the case. With the MSI Gaming Edge, however, you get absolutely on point and accurate readings. Whether it is Intel speed readings or the required stability, its BIOS is effective. Not many motherboards can match it in this regard. In the BIOS settings, you can overclock your PC with a single button to get the extra boost. There is also the WIFI 6 connectivity feature. You can use the MSI LAN manager to prioritize internet usage efficiently and according to your needs. For example, when gaming you can prioritize the internet speed to go to your game rather than any other application or updates.
The Dragon Center App allows you to customize your PC to the smallest detail. You can change the brightness or make color profiles via the Dragon Center. Get hardware information in real-time, adjust and optimize fan speeds according to the PC temperature, boost your core performance, or add optimum cooling options. Change the RGB and lighting to your preferred mode or make new color combinations.
The one drawback that has been an issue is the cooling may be inadequate or insufficient in some places. For example, you only get the cooling on side of the M.2 slots. The VRM has also been noted to not get optimum cooling. The pricing of this product, however, is really one of its biggest plus points. It is definitely one of the most value for money product we have seen. Coming under 200 $ with all the features that it gives and the performance it gives, makes it one of the best motherboards available.
4. MSI Z490 Tomahawk
The Budget Pick
- Stabilizes current
- Audio features
- Economical and easy on the pocket
- No WiFi connectivity
- Performance and cooling is mediocre
Chipset: Intel Z490 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Video ports: HDMI | Maximum Memory: 128GB, DDR4-4800 | USB Ports: 8x Rear, 7x front | Expansion slots: PCIe X16 X2, PCIe X1 x3,| Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: 1x 2.5G LAN, 1x1G LAN Ethernet, WI-FI 6 | Lighting: Heatsink and DIMM slots RGB, 2x RGBW headers | Form Factor: ATX
Our last pick from the MSI Z490 product line for the new Intel Z490 chipset processors, the MSI Z490 Tomahawk. The Tomahawk does not come in the best motherboards at the time discussion, though that is quite understandable given its low-end pricing. It is, however, a top tier pick in the price it is available in. As always, you can count on an MSI product being loaded with features and having high customizability and being user friendly.
The people at MSI really care for their user’s PC and the safety of the product they are selling. That much is evident by the care that is placed in regulating the voltage passing through the PC and the motherboard. The Load Line Calibration of the Tomahawk makes sure that the voltage remains stable all the time, alleviating any fear of short-circuiting. The added voltage stability also gives more stability to the CPU. The Dragon Center App allows for full adjustability and customizability of your PC settings. Whether it be colors such as the brightness or color schemes or RGB lighting patterns, hardware, and PC temperature data. Regulating the cooling and fan speeds to your preference and for different modes and adjustable according to the temperature automatically.
The audio options and features are also quite numerous. The dedicated audio processor makes sure to give the best sound quality, with the high-end audio capacitors giving you the smooth audio experience one would expect. The De-POP mechanism makes the irritating noise that comes with removing or plugging in devices non-existent. There is, however, the downside of having no WIFI connectivity. Unlike the previous two MSI motherboards we mentioned, this does not have WIFI compatibility. In order to be connected to the internet, you must be using a LAN cable.
The pricing is perhaps the biggest plus point of the Tomahawk. While sporting quite a reasonable price the MSI Z490 Tomahawk gives us many features along with quite an admirable performance. However, as expected, there are certain drawbacks to this product. The performance is not able to compete with the best of the best. The cooling of the motherboard is not the most adequate. This is rather expected when one looks at the price and you cannot really blame MSI for not making it the best product in the market while being at such an affordable price.
5. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Gaming
Best Micro RTX Choice
- Intelligent and smart optimization
- Good audio capabilities
- Affordable price
- Lacks WiFi connection
- Only 2 M.2 slots are available
Chipset: Intel Z490 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Video ports: HDMI | Maximum Memory: 128GB, DDR4-4800 MHz | USB Ports: 8x rear, 7x front | Expansion slots: PCIe X16 x2, PCIe X1 x1 | Storage: 2x M.2, 6x SATA | Network: 2.5GB Ethernet LAN | Lighting: Heatsink and DIMM slots RGB, 2x RGBW headers | Form Factor: M-ATX
Asus is another extremely popular name in the world of computer technology. Their most famous products are monitors and LED screens or motherboard. The ASUS ROG STRIX has been a very familiar and famous product line over the years. Though they make a ton of computer products and tech-related products. Such as tablets, headphones and mics, PC’s network routers, etc. Though their most approved and used products are monitors and screens, graphic cards, and motherboards. With the release of the new Z490 chipset, it was only a matter of time before ASUS released mouthwatering products for the new Intel processors.
The ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-G Gaming motherboard is one of the most notable mid to high range motherboards at this time. One of the features that make this motherboard noteworthy is its AI customization and optimization. When you are overclocking your PC, the AI overclocking feature automatically gives your PC the most optimal cooling and frequency possible to help your PC give better performance. The AI cooling feature makes sure your fans that are connected to the motherboard are giving you maximum value. The AI networking feature makes sure your internet and network speeds are being utilized to their highest.
When you are in a grueling online gaming session, your internet speed will be focused on the game and giving you a more lag-free experience. The fan control and the power controls etc. can all be overlooked via the turbo app which allows you to make fan profiles and settings, audio settings, and network date customizability that is optimum for the task you are doing. The RGB is in-built into the ASUS logo on the motherboard and there are also 4 RGB headers to which you can connect RGB stripes for more lighting and flamboyance if desired.
There is however a significant lack of any WIFI connecting settings in this motherboard. The only way to connect to the internet is through the ethernet cable LAN connection. The next thing to take into consideration is the audio of the ROG STRIX Z490-G. There are many features and settings which are built into the motherboard audio options. From making your own settings and audio profiles to the different sound modes you can apply. Stereo, surround sound, partial sound, etc. are all available. Then there is the price of the Z490-G. Its price is affordable and much less as compared to the MSI MEG Unify. While it also cuts down on some of the features such as only giving two M.2 slots, not having WIFI connectivity, there is a considerable number of features and performance levels that it does give.
When we started looking for the best motherboards for Intel 107000k and 10900k processors, we expected to find these well-known and storied companies such as MSI, ASUS, and Gigabyte to leave us to spell bounded and astonished. We were not disappointed. These motherboards are some of the most powerful beasts we have seen in the computer game. From the overclocking power of the Aorus Elite to the reliable, long-term, and classy looking MEG Unify, the best micro ATX motherboard ROG STRIX Z490-G and the ever-resilient and budget-friendly Tomahawk. These are bound to satisfy your Intel 10700k and 10900k processor’s requirements.