These will be the first Intel Comet Lake-S Z490 motherboards

Intel Z490
(Image credit: Asus)

With the release of Intel's Comet Lake-S 10th-generation Core processors, manufacturers are wasting no time in unveiling their new lineups of motherboards sporting the Intel Z490 chipset, which will support Intel's latest CPUs. 

Both Asus and MSI revealed new details of their upcoming boards, including some specs, pricing, and anticipated release dates to whet the appetites of Comet Lake enthusiasts out there.

Asus announced six new Intel Z490 motherboards that will be released at the end of May, with several more coming later without a firm release date.

Meanwhile, MSI announced several new boards that are also expected to go on sale in the next few weeks, though no firm dates or pricing is available yet.

Asus Tuf Gaming Z490

(Image credit: Asus)


Asus unveiled several new models for its familiar lines of motherboards, like the Asus ROG Maximus XII, the Asus ROG Strix Z490 E-Gaming, and the TUF Gaming Z490 Plus.

The Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero will be the first of the Maximus XII series to be released, set to go on sale at launch on May 27 for $399 (about £320, AU$600). 

The Maximus XII Hero will have four DDR4 4700+ memory slots, three PCIe 3.0x16 and three PCIe 3.0x1 expansion slots, as well as two M.2 22110 and a M.2 2280 slot for M.2 SSDs, and an HDMI 1.4b port for onboard graphics. It will also support ThunderBolt 3. 

The Asus Maximus XII Hero also features hybrid-cooling compatibility and promises to use AI features to make overclocking, thermal dissipation, and faster networking more accessible, aided by its Wi-fi 6 capability. 

Not all of Asus' Z490 boards will come with onboard Wi-Fi 6 capability, mind you, so make sure to check the specs of any specific board you're looking at before buying.

The Asus ROG Strix Z490 series launches on the May 27 as well with the ROG Strix Z490 E-Gaming motherboard for $299 (about £240, A$460) and will have four DDR4 4600 memory slots, three PCIe 3.0x16 and three PCIe 3.0x1 expansion slots, two M.2 22110 slots, and HDMI 1.4b and DisplayPort 1.2 ports for onboard graphics. 

Also Wi-Fi 6 capable, the ROG Strix Z490 E-Gaming will feature similar AI overclocking, cooling, and networking as the Maximus XII.

Meanwhile, the TUF Gaming Z490 Plus will launch alongside the Maximus XII and Strix Z490 for $199 (about £160/AU$300). It will have four DDR4 4600+ memory slots, two PCIe 3.0x16 and three PCIe 3.0x1 expansion slots, M.2 22110 and M.2 2280 slots, and HDMI 1.4b and DisplayPort 1.4 ports for onboard graphics. It isn't clear at this time whether it will have the same AI features as the other two motherboards.

(Image credit: MSI)


We know a lot less about Z490 motherboards that MSI will be launching soon. What we do know is that they will basically fall into four tiers from high-performance to entry-level gaming and an enterprise model series.

The four models are the MSI MEG Z490, the MSI MPG Z490, the MSI MAG Z490 and the MSI Z490-A Pro. They will all feature things like active cooling, M.2 slots, front-panel USB-C ports and Gbps networking speeds, thanks to Gigabit Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. 

We don't know anything about pricing or a release date for any of MSI's Z490 motherboards, but be sure to check back soon as we'll keep you posted as soon as we hear more from MSI about its upcoming Z490 launch.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).