Difference Between z390 and z490 Motherboards

Motherboard manufacturers cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal, not with the introduction of new chipsets regularly. This time, Intel is about launching a new Z490 chipset for its Corner Lake-S processors, which many believe will have better-advanced features than the previous Z390 motherboards, but what is the difference between z390 and z490 motherboards.

The Z390 motherboards were introduced in 2018 after the chipset for the motherboard was introduced earlier that year. However, Intel’s Z490 motherboards are expected to be released in May this year. It’s the latest set of chipset coming from Intel, which will contain enhanced features compared to the Z390 model.

The new Z490 lineup will carter for seventeen Z490 motherboard models, which is quite extensive. But what will be the differences between Z390 and Z490?

Difference Between z390 and z490 Motherboards

Difference Between z390 and z490 Motherboards

Learn the Difference between z390 vs z490 motherboards

For starters, the Z490 motherboards will have a new socket, LGA 1200. There is also an I/O enhancement, particularly the PCI Express 4.0 support. These are other updated features in the upcoming Z490 that have previously not been existing in the Z390 motherboards. Both most of the differences are just upgrades and not additions of features. Let’s take a closer look at some other differences between the two motherboards.

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – features

The z490 motherboard will come with a lot of features, which includes Intel Rapid Storage technology, Integrated USB 3.2 Gen 2 support, advanced core and memory overclock, Intel Wi-Fi, Features for 4k contents, and about 10 processor cores for enhanced performance.

The z490 motherboard is particularly built with Intel’s latest 10th generation processors, which will make it one of the fastest with the latest technology. In terms of performance, the Z490 is ahead of z390 motherboards.

Z490 motherboards will not include new features, but it’s rather an upgrade of existing features. So, while Z390 uses LGA 1151 socket, the new Z490 will make use of LGA 1200 sockets.

Also, while Z390 motherboards support up to 30 Coffee Lake CPUs, the Z490 will be offering additional support to about 17 Corner Lake-S processors. That’s because while Z390 supports up to 9th generation processors, the Z490 motherboard offers support for the latest 10th generation processors.

Also, the Z490 motherboards will have fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, improved performance, and better turbo speeds than the Z490 motherboard that supports 9th generation Coffee Lakes.

If you want the newest kit inside your PC or have older hardware, then the upgrade is certainly worth it.

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – Socket Design

We mentioned earlier that while the Z390 has LGA 1151 socket, its Z290 counterpart comes with LGA 1200 platform. Both the LGA 1151 and LGA 1200 have the same socket dimensions. However, the LGA 1200 is now on the left side, which makes the Comet Lake now incompatible with the Coffee Lake motherboard.

With the new improvements, Comet Lake can move into a higher count without ant backward compatibility issues with legacy platforms.

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – performance           

Intel’s Z390 chipset is used to build different types of PCs, including high-end 4k gaming machines and affordable day-to-day machines. The same thing applies to the upcoming Z490 Chipset, which many will see in different ranges of motherboards. But it offers more advanced overclocking features and is much faster than what Z390 motherboards can offer.

Also, while the Z390 motherboards offer support for both the 8th and 9th generation processors, the Z490 is a step ahead as it offers support for the latest 10th generation processors. Although there is no much difference between the 9th and 10th generation processors, the latter is still slightly better, especially when you are using the latest advanced technology.

Difference Between z390 and z490 Motherboards

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – ports and connections

Since the Z490 is a revision of z390, several chipset upgrades are either evolutionary or minor.

For example, there is both DDR4 support in both motherboards. But it seems z490 will offer more allocation than the 128GB presently allocated for Z390. Also, Z490 is going to have more USB gen ports than Z390 to cater to more advanced connections.

But both of them have a lot of connections in common. The bandwidth and PCI support levels remain the same, as well as the support for SATA 3 ports. And if you’re worried about the support for the graphics card, you won’t have issues even running several graphics cards with either of these models. Also, the Optane and SATA RAID memory support is still the same between the two types of processors.

Intel introduced native support for 802.11AC wireless internet for Z390. But the support has now gone a step higher as it offers Wi-Fi 6 support in the latest Z490 motherboards.

When full-system buyers or builders want to buy a motherboard with flagship chipsets, they will be looking for all the top features the motherboard will offer, including the overclocking options. It means that they will be looking for the latest memory and USB support, I/O, storage options, as well as a wide range of motherboards to chose from.

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – CPU Support

There are more compatible options now for those who want to equip their system with the latest 10th generation processors. Right now, Z490 supports different compatible CPUs. It offers support to the latest range of CPUs, including Gold G5xxx as well as 49xx. If your system comes with a 10th generation processor, it’s obvious the better motherboard option is the Z490 motherboard.

However, if you are using anything less than that, such as the 9th or 8th generation, you will be fine with Z390. The only thing is you won’t be enjoying the few upgrades Intel has included in the Z490 chipsets.

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – Memory Support

Memory support is another area where there is a noticeable difference between z390 and z490. Memory support and speed are slightly better in Z490 motherboards because of the higher level of processor it supports.

While the Z390 motherboard comes with a base specification of DDR4-2666MHz, Z490 is slightly ahead with DDR4-3600 memory speeds. However, some more impressive z390 motherboards can reach the DDR4-3600 memory speeds, although these are rare to find. Surely, these prices will also be much higher compared to their DDR4-2666MHz counterpart.

Z390 vs Z490 motherboards – Overclocking

The performance of both the Z390 and Z490 motherboards in terms of overclocking is impressive. However, Z490 still offers extreme overclocking abilities, which can go as far as reaching the DDR4-6000 mark. But if you are pushing a Core i9 processor to its limits, only a few Z390 motherboards can do that. But the Z490 is particularly built to handle several kinds of overclocking, including for i9 processors.

Frequently asked Questions

The following are answers to some of the most common questions about z390 vs z490 motherboards.

  1. Is the Z390 motherboard good?

    Yes, the Z390 motherboard still can handle a wide range of activities, and it offers support to both the 8th and 9th generation processors.

  2. Can the Z390 overclock very well?

    Yes, most Z390 motherboards can overclock even Core i9 processors.

  3. Between Z390 and Z490 motherboard which is better?

    The Z390 does not offer support for 10th generation processors, but the Z490 does. The latter is slightly better than the former because of its upgrades.