You have to invest in one of the best Z490 motherboards to truly take advantage of the Intel 10th generation Comet Lake processors. These motherboards not only utilize the new LGA 1200 socket, but they’re also able to handle higher power draws.
With all the new hardware constantly coming into the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what to buy, even something as specific as the best Z490 motherboards. Since you’re investing in a new processor, it might be tough stretching the budget to include a new board as well.
Luckily, you’re not alone. While we haven’t been able to put all these boards through their paces, we can help navigate you to the best Z490 motherboards for whatever your needs are, whether that’s enterprise, gaming, or something else.
Best Z490 motherboards at a glance
- MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
- Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master
- Asus Maximus XII Hero
- MSI MEG Z490 Ace
- Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite
The MSI MEG Z490 Godlike is without a doubt one of the best Z490 motherboards out there. In addition to more slots and ports than you might know what to do with, the MEG Z490 Godlike squarely targets the gamer set with its customizable RGB lighting and OLED panel to make your gaming rig a veritable canvas.
For all its all of the bells and whistles though, expect to pay as much for this motherboard as you would for a midrange computer and all that hardware and lighting draws a lot of power, so invest in some serious cooling. If you're buying the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike, you can almost certainly afford it.
The Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master is about as close to a workhorse motherboard as you are going to find. While not as specced out as the best Z490 motherboards out there, the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master does everything you need it to do and it does it competently, down to the customizable RGB lighting.
So, if you're looking to build a gaming rig and you've go some money to spend, but you're not swimming in coins like Scrooge McDuck, the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master just might be the motherboard to do the trick.
- Comet Lake could make overclocking possible with cheaper motherboards
- Comet Lake motherboard prices could be hiked
- Intel’s 11th-gen Rocket Lake CPUs will work with Z490 motherboards
If you're looking for the absolute best Z490 motherboard, you probably won't go for the Asus Maximus XII Hero - but if you want a Z490 motherboard that will handle all but the most 1337 demands out there, the Maximus XII Hero will get you there. It has enough RGB lighting to satisfy the gamers out there who want to look the part as well as enough bus connections to put up some quality hardware to boot.
All that hardware means you'll need some serious cooling though. The board features plenty of built-in options for that, but with the cash you save on this midrange board expect to pay it back in trying to keep it from running too hot. The Hero only comes in a WiFi model at the moment, but since it's marketed as such, expect a non-WiFi model to be released at some point (and make sure you are buying the right one when it does eventually launch).
The MSI MEG Z490 Ace isn't as powerful or feature-rich as the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike, but for a mainstream system, the Ace is probably the best Z490 motherboard for general use. It has some overclocking potential and decent specs, but don't let the RGB lighting fool you, this probably isn't the gaming rig motherboard you're looking for. If that's not what you're after, then the MSI MEG Z490 Ace might just be as good as it gets.
Upgrading to a Comet Lake processor means you need to get a whole new motherboard, so for those without a lot of money to spend, the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite might be the best Z490 motherboard out there. Being cheap doesn't mean it scrimps on features though, just don't expect all the ports, PCIe, or M.2 slots you'll find on more expensive boards and you'll do just fine with this budget offering from Gigabyte.