After almost a decade of total market dominance, Intel has spent the past few years on the defensive. AMD's Ryzen processors continue to show improvement year over year, with the most recent Ryzen 5000 series taking the crown of best gaming processor: Intel's last bastion of superiority.
Now, with a booming hardware market, Intel is preparing to retake some of that lost ground with the new 11th Gen Core Processors. Intel is claiming these new 11th Gen CPUs offer double-digit IPC improvements despite remaining on a 14 nm process. The top-end 8-core Intel Core i9-11900K may not be able to compete against its AMD rival Ryzen 9 5900X in heavily multi-threaded scenarios, but the higher clock speeds and alleged IPC improvements could be enough to take back the gaming crown. Along with the new CPUs, there is a new chipset to match, the Intel Z590. Last year's Z490 chipset motherboards are also compatible with the new 11th Gen Core Processors, but Z590 brings some key advantages.
First, Z590 offers native PCIe 4.0 support from the CPU, which means the PCIe and M.2 slots powered off the CPU will offer PCIe 4.0 connectivity when an 11th Gen CPU is installed. The PCIe and M.2 slots controlled by the Z590 chipset are still PCI 3.0. While many high-end Z490 motherboards advertised this capability, it was not a standard feature for the platform. In addition to PCIe 4.0 support, Z590 offers USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 from the chipset. The USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 standard offers speeds of up to 20 Gb/s. Finally, Z590 boasts native support for 3200 MHz DDR4 memory. With these upgrades, Intel's Z series platform has feature parity with AMD's B550. On paper, Intel is catching up to AMD, but only testing will tell if these new Z590 motherboards are up to the challenge.
The Vision line from Gigabyte is targeted at content creators with a focus on connectivity, performance, and durability. The Gigabyte Z590 Vision G features a direct 13-phase VRM for clean power delivery. An ample helping of USB ports as well as 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet and four M.2 slots promote superior connectivity while the white aesthetic lends visual flare. Let's see how the Gigabyte Z590 Vision G stacks up against the competition.
Intel 10th Gen/ 11th Gen Core Processors
CPU Power: 13-phase Memory Power: 2-phase
Dependent on installed CPU
4x DIMM, supports dual-channel DDR4-5333 (OC) MHz
AMI UEFI BIOS
3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x4/x4)
6x SATA 6 Gb/s ports 4x M.2 ports (SATA3/PCIe x4)
1x Intel 2.5 GbE LAN
2x USB 2.0/1.1 ports 1x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports 1x DisplayPort In port 1x HDMI port 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports 1x USB Type-C® port, with USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 1x USB Type-C® port, with USB 3.2 Gen 1 1x RJ-45 port 6x audio jacks