In this guide, we’ve taken a look at a variety of Z490 chipset motherboards and made selections for the best Z490 motherboards across a handful of categories.
The Z490 chipset is currently Intel’s most overclocking-friendly chipset. However, not all Z490 chipset motherboards are created equally. In fact, the Z490 chipset has a wide range of motherboard options, with prices ranging from ~$150 on the low end, all the way up to ~$750 on the high end.
That’s a huge discrepancy in price and it makes choosing the right Z490 motherboard for your needs a bit more challenging. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the best Z490 motherboards across a handful of categories to help you find the right option for you.
Below you’ll find nine different Z490 motherboards, including our pick for the best option overall, a top value pick, the best Z490 mini-ITX motherboard, and the best budget option.
Our Top Picks for the Best Z490 Motherboards
In the table below, we’ve listed our picks for some of the best Z490 motherboards across five different categories. We’ve made selections for the best overall Z490 motherboard, the best option with white aesthetics, the best mini-ITX option, our top value pick, and our favorite budget Z490 motherboard.
MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE
ASUS Prime Z490-A
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I
ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus
MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus
*For more information about the motherboards listed in the table, click the “Read Review »” link to read our overview on that motherboard.
1. MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE
Our pick for the best Z490 motherboard
If you have a huge budget and you’re looking at getting an Intel Core i9-10900K processor (and are planning on overclocking it to extreme levels), you might want to consider a premium Z490 motherboard option like the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE.
The MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE isn’t cheap. In fact, for the ~$750 it costs, you could build an entire $700 gaming computer.
However, along with its steep pricetag comes a host of features and specs that make it an excellent option for anyone who has the budget to accommodate it. For starters, the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE is an extended-ATX motherboard that sports a 16-phase power design for serious overclocking. The board also supports up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM and can hit memory clock speeds up to 5000MHz. It comes with three M.2 slots, USB 3.2 technology, three PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, and a ton of RGB lighting features.
Ultimately, the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE won’t be a viable option for everyone. And, honestly, if you’re not choosing the Intel Core i9-10900K, but are instead opting for a more affordable 10th generation Intel CPU (like the i7-10700K), you would probably be better off opting for a more affordable Z490 motherboard option. However, if you have an unlimited budget, this board will give you everything you could ever need and then some.
2. ASUS Prime Z490-A
The best white Z490 motherboard
One solid Z490 motherboard option is ASUS’ Prime Z490-A. The ASUS Prime Z490-A is one of the only Z490 chipset motherboards currently available that features white aesthetics on it and, thus, is one of the only options for gamers who want to build a white-themed 10th generation Intel-based build.
The ASUS Prime Z490-A comes with white heatsinks and a white pre-installed I/O shield, both of which will help it fit well inside of an all-white PC case. The standard-ATX board can accommodate up to 128GB of DDR4 memory, it comes with two M.2 slots, and it sports USB 3.2 technology. With a 12+2 power phase design, this motherboard will also serve very well for overclocking.
And, perhaps the best feature of the ASUS Prime Z490-A is that it won’t cost a third of what the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE listed above will. Overall, it is probably best suited to be paired with an Intel Core i7-10700K.
3. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I
Our top Z490 mini-ITX motherboard pick
If you’re looking to build a mini-ITX gaming PC, one Z490 chipset motherboard worth checking out is the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I. This mini-ITX motherboard comes with an 8+2 phase power design, making it a capable overclocker (although, it won’t be suited for extreme overclocking).
It can also support up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and can hit memory clock speeds of up to 4800MHz. It also comes with dual M.2 slots (with an M.2 heatsink), USB 3.2 headers, and plenty of RGB lighting customization.
The bottom line, though, is that if you’re looking to build a high-end Intel-based mini-ITX desktop, the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I is one premium motherboard option to consider. There are cheaper Z490 mini-ITX motherboard options out there, however. So, if you want to save some money you could opt for a more affordable option like the GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra listed in the Honorable Mentions section below.
4. ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus
A solid value Z490 motherboard option
If you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a Z490 motherboard, you still have quite a few solid options to choose from. The ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus is one such motherboard.
At just under $200, the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus comes with a lot of options that serious system builders will appreciate. For starters, it sports a 12+2 phase power design, making a great overclocking board for the price. It also comes with military grade capacitors and components, it can support up to 128GB of RAM, it comes with multiple heatsinks (including an M.2 heatsink), and dual M.2 slots.
In the end, the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus isn’t going to blow anyone away with its advanced feature set. However, it’s also not going to cost you an arm and a leg. But, it will provide better-than-normal overclocking capabilities and some upgraded features all for a very moderate price.
5. MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus
The best budget Z490 motherboard
An even more affordable option than the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus is the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus. The MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus comes in at about $20 less than the the ASUS TUF motherboard, sports a sleek all-black design, comes with a handful of heatsinks, features a solid 12+1+1 power phase design, and comes with a pre-installed I/O shield.
It also comes with plenty of RGB lighting options, the standard four DIMM slots (for support of up to 128GB of RAM), and USB 3.2 technology.
Overall, with its moderate pricetag, the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus would pair well with an Intel Core i7-10700K, or i5-10600K in a high-end gaming PC build.
6. ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme
Honorable mention #1
Another extreme Z490 chipset motherboard that costs ~$750 is ASUS’ ROG Maximus XII Extreme. In reality, there aren’t a whole lot of differences between the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme and the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE we listed at the top of this guide.
Both are extreme overclocking motherboards that are best suited to be paired with the Intel Core i9-10900K.
The main differences between the two boards will largely be aesthetics and the overclocking software they come with. So, if you prefer the look of the ASUS board, or you’re familiar with ASUS’ overclocking software, it might be a better option for you. Either way, if you have over $700 to spend on a motherboard, there really isn’t a wrong choice.
7. GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master
Honorable mention #2
The GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master is worth mentioning as an option that will sit somewhere between the value- and budget-oriented options and the extreme options listed above. At a little over $350, the GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master is significantly cheaper than the MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE and ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme, but nearly ~$200 more expensive than the ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus and MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Plus.
So, the reality is that, if you’re looking for a high-end motherboard to pair with an Intel Core i9-10900K (or i7-10700K), but you don’t want to spend over $700 to get one, the GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Master should offer a happy medium. It is a very capable overclocking motherboard, it has support for multi-GPU setups, it has an advanced design with plenty of heatsinks and shields, and it comes with three M.2 slots and USB 3.2 technology.
8. GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra
Honorable mention #3
As mentioned above, if you’re looking for a more affordable mini-ITX Z490 chipset motherboard than the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I, the GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra is worth checking out.
At a little under ~$230, the GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra is ~$60 cheaper than the ASUS mini-ITX motherboard listed above. And, yet, it still sports a lot of the same features.
It has an 8-phase power design, can handle up to 64GB of RAM, comes with plenty of heatsinks and shields, has a pre-installed I/O shield, and has a nice-looking all-black design.
The bottom line is that, if you’re looking for a premium mini-ITX motherboard, but you don’t want to spend the ~$300 necessary to get the ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I, this GIGABYTE Z490I AORUS Ultra mini-ITX motherboard is a nice alternative.
9. ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS
Honorable mention #4
- Z490 Chipset
- PCIe 3.0
- 64GB DDR4 RAM
If you’re working with a tight budget and you need an affordable Z490 motherboard, you might want to check out the ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS. This is a micro-ATX motherboard that is about as basic as you can get (for a Z490 chipset motherboard, anyways).
It has an 8-phase power design, its two DIMM slots can support up to 64GB of RAM, it has a single PCIe 3.0 slot, and it comes with USB 3.2 support.
All-in-all, there is nothing special about this motherboard, other than the fact that it costs under $150. However, if you’re building a gaming PC and you’re not looking to hit extreme overclocks, this board may be all you need. And, with the money saved, it may even allow you to upgrade your graphics card—which, ultimately, will provide you with better in-game performance.
Which Z490 Motherboard is Right for You?
There is a wide range of features and options to choose between in the Z490 motherboard market. There are extreme Z490 motherboards built for serious overclockers that will cost well over $700. There are mid-range options that will offer plenty of features without breaking the bank. There are small form-factor options for anyone looking to build a mini system. And, there are stripped-down budget options that will work well for mild overclocking.
In the end, the Z490 motherboard that is right for your needs will come down to your personal preferences, what kind of system you want to build, and how much money you have to spend. And, hopefully, the recommendations in this guide will help you make the right decision.