Ten months ago, AMD released the Ryzen 3000 series desktop processors in one of the most monumental hardware launches of the modern era. This final step completed the Red brand's ascent back into the forefront of the desktop processor market that began with the launch of the first generation of Ryzen CPUs. Today, Intel is finally firing back with the launch of the 10th Generation Intel Core processors, along with a new motherboard standard to drive them.
As should be no surprise, the focus will remain on the new motherboards. While the 10th Gen Intel Core processors will not support PCIe 4.0 connectivity due to signal integrity issues, many of the Z490 motherboards are designed to support the PCIe 4.0 specification. This is accomplished by adding clock generators to help clean up the signal. Generally speaking, when it comes to long-term platform support, AMD has been the trendsetter. Has AMD's long support of the AM4 socket on its newer generation processors inspired Intel to take similar steps?
So what is Z490 offering right now? For starters, there has been a large focus on VRM and VRM cooling design. With the top-level Intel i9 10900K featuring 10 cores along with HyperThreading, the ability to deliver clean, continuous power is going to be one of the primary factors that separates a good Z490 board from the competition. With the introduction of HyperThreading on Intel's mid-range line-up, power delivery is going to be vital in all segments.
The ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E Gaming is our first look at ASUS's new Z490 lineup. The STRIX family bridges the gap between the excellent value of TUF series boards and the no-expense-spared MAXIMUS series boards. This middle ground is perfect for high-end builds where budget is still a factor, but so are aesthetics and a broad feature set. The ROG STRIX Z490-E is at the top end of the ASUS Z490 STRIX series, and there is a lot of board being offered here!
The ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E Gaming features a robust VRM cooling solution complete with an optional active cooling fan, all paired with no less than 16 power stages from Vishay. BIOS flashback has also been included, as well as ASUS's excellent BIOS designed to provide an optimal and stress-free overclocking experience. The ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E Gaming also offers great connectivity with plenty of USB options on the rear I/O and internally. All of this performance is bundled in an attractive, neutral package with excellent RGB options for those who want more flare in their final build.
Let's take a closer look at what the ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E Gaming has to offer.
|CPU Support:||Intel 10th Gen or later processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 16 phase* |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependant on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, supports Dual-channel DDR4-4600 (OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots |
3x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 2x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
2x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel I2225V 2.5 Gb/s LAN|
1x Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
|Rear Ports:||2x Antenna ports|
1x Bios Flashback Button
1x HDMI port
1x DisplayPort 1.4
1x Optical SPDIF out port
1x LAN (RJ45) port
1x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-C port
2x USB 3.2 (Gen1) ports
3x USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-A ports
2x USB 2.0 ports
5x 3.5 mm audio jacks
|Audio:||1x Realtek ALC1220 Codec|
|Fan Headers:||8x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|