Update – Intel have released their new 11th-Gen Processors as of the 30th of March. To secure one for your new Z590 motherboard check out our where to buy pages for the Intel Core i9-11900(K), Intel Core i7-11700(K), Intel Core i5-11600(K), & Intel Core i5-11400 here.
The motherboard, an often forgotten component, however, a crucial one that needs careful consideration. As many will know, Intel announced its latest generation of processors – the 11th-gen Rocket Lake range, with Intel officially moving to PCIe 4.0. To support the new features from the upcoming 11-gen CPUs, we are going to be looking at Intel’s flagship 11-gen motherboard chipset – The Z590. To cover a lot of PC builders’ varied needs, we will be finding the best Z590 Motherboard, so that regardless of your budgetary and form factor requirements, we make sure you leave with the right board for your build.
These new motherboards promise native PCIe 4.0 support with the 11th-gen processors, USB 3.2 Gen2x2 support, and upgraded power delivery, so, let’s take a look.
Our Top Picks
Best Z590 Motherboard: First Look
The Asus Maximus XIII Hero Z590 comes with premium features to match its high price tag, giving builders a high-quality option for their flagship Intel CPU.
This board is considered to be very high-end, yet the Hero doesn’t feature extra power stages and 10Gb LAN. This doesn’t mean you aren’t getting one of the best though and this board will easily make your 11th-gen CPU flourish.
The Asus TUF Gaming Z590 brings excellent price to performance into the round-up, with a level of quality and reliability competitors struggle to match.
This is a very sturdy Z590 option and like the others features a complete overhaul in terms of design. We see an upgraded power solution and improved cooling system, packed into a very affordable board.
Another from Asus ROG Strix and it is hardly surprising, this premium board is a great alternative Z590 that comes in much cheaper than the top pick.
The Asus ROG Strix Z590-E is a high-performing motherboard and features everything you’re going to need to run your new high-end intel system.
For those looking to build a mini-ITX PC, the Gigabyte Aorus Z590I is a great option to go for.
To take full advantage of the new Intel 11th-gen CPUs while also creating a small gaming PC, you are going to want a reliable mini-ITX board, and that is where the Gigabyte Z590I comes in.
For the price-conscious builder, we recommend the Asus Prime Z590 and is about as budget as we are willing to go.
For those looking at picking up an 11th-gen CPU towards the lower end of the scale, the Asus Prime is a solid option that won’t break the bank.
The recommendations we have here are considered the best Z590 motherboards for Intel’s 11th-Gen CPU lineup and have been hand-selected to bring the best out of your chosen processor. Firstly, we conducted a thorough search to discover which motherboards gamers tend to prefer while trying to balance those with the highest reviews against those with the lowest price tags.
From CPUs to Z590 motherboards, we like to get hands-on with all the hardware we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is a way we can be sure that a specific option is the best for the job.
Products must pass our testing which is largely a lot of gaming, with some other boring stuff but most if not every recommendation will have gone through a strict testing process.
With motherboards regardless of the chipset, we need to assess build quality, performance, and finally, value.
When it comes to recommending the best Z590 motherboard, it is quite easy as this is Intel’s flagship chipset. These motherboards all ship with some of the best features money can buy but there are still a few key areas you need to consider before making that final purchase.
What Budget Do I Need For A Z590 Motherboard?
Just because we are talking about Intel’s premium chipset, it doesn’t mean there aren’t suitable options for a variety of budgets. Most of us when building a PC have budgetary limitations, which can have a massive impact on what Z590 motherboard you end up choosing.
The Z590 chipset does bring a slight extra cost to the table due to the included features but this is by far the best for the majority of Intel’s upcoming CPUs. Whether you are an avid AMD builder or have always stuck with Intel for single-core performance, you will know that generally speaking, Intel’s flagship chipset often comes with a higher price tag, leaving less cash for your other components.Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone, as many budget-focused builders will know but you can still expect to spend anything from $130+ on a Z590 motherboard.
While this can’t be said for all motherboards, generally, a higher price brings in more features like PCIe 4.0 support and better VRMs, which is exactly what you are going to get from these Z590’s.
Z490 Vs Z590
When Intel introduced the LGA 1200 socket and previous flagship Z490 chipset back for the 10th-gen Comet Lake CPUs, there were a few that worried future launches may not be supported. Well, this isn’t the case and some Z490 boards will support the upcoming Rocket Lake processors so even though Comet Lake processors will only support PCIe 3.0, some Z490 motherboards are set to get an upgrade to 4.0.
So, the Z590 comes with native PCIe 4.0 support but what else? These boards will also provide an additional x4 PCIe lanes, giving you a total of x20 lanes. The Z590 chipset will also feature x8 DMI support, working only with the new 11th gen CPUs.
Another area we see the Z590 excel over its predecessor is with connectivity. The Z590 will feature USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (Type-C, 20 GB/s) support for up to three ports and will support 10 USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 (10GB/s) ports, where the Z490 can only support six.
Whether you are buying a Z590 or an X570, it is important to consider your motherboards form factor. Motherboards come in a variety of sizes ranging from E-ATX all the way down to Mini-ITX, so you need to ensure they will fit inside your chosen PC case.
Below you can see the sizes that are available to most consumers and ideally you will want to go for an ATX sized board. ATX is the most common size and there are a greater number of cases that support this size. Don’t let that sway you but sometimes smaller-sized motherboards will lack features.
We generally recommend you go for ATX, but if you are on a tight budget, you may be limited with options from the Z590 chipset as they tend not to feature the cheaper MATX options that we see with others.
The socket on a motherboard is the physical slot that holds your CPU in place. You need to ensure your motherboard socket type matches the CPUs but as we are dealing with Z590 motherboards, we only need to concern ourselves with the LGA 1200 socket. All motherboards for both Intel’s 10th and 11th gen CPUs use this socket, so you can rest assured that our selections above are 100% compatible with the new Rocket Lake CPUs.
The Best Z590 Motherboards
Excellent build quality
Impressive power delivery
Supports 5333+MHz RAM
The Asus ROG Maximus HERO is a superb motherboard and one of the best in the Z590 chipset. This latest iteration features everything you need to get the best out of your Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPU.
Much like the Hero XIII’s predecessor, we see the LGA 1200 socket, a similar spacious layout, thermal cladding, and an impressive design. This board features a robust power solution of 14+2 power stages rated for 90 Amps, with enlarged VRM heatsinks and an aesthetically-superb integrated aluminum I/O cover. It is clear this has been made for high-performance and while it could seat any of Intels 11th-Gen CPUs, we feel this would be best for the high-end gamers out there who opt for the i9-11900K.
From a design perspective, this board is stunning. The armor that shrouds the board combines well with the ROG RGB lighting to create a thing of beauty. This comes with everything you need, featuring PCIe 4.0, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6E, a great board.
Now supports faster RAM (5133MHz)
Stable and reliable
Asus has enhanced a classic – the TUF Gaming Z590 Plus. The new Z590 variant now looks incredible and features plenty to bring the best out of your new Intel CPU.
This Z590 now comes with an upgraded power delivery, with 16 DrMOS power stages and an improved cooling system (enlarged VRM heatsink), enabling this to drive your new processor. This board can support faster memory than ever before (5133 MHz) and now features PCIe 4.0 m.2 support for up to 64Gbps.
On top of PCIe 4.0, we see USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. Furthermore, this board comes with Wi-fi 6 and a 2.5 Gb ethernet port. The Asus TUF is a bit of a favorite here at WePC and you can see why.
Integrated I/O + MOS heatsinks
14+2 power stages
Triple onboard M.2 heatsinks
The Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming motherboard is another high-end option in this round-up offering high-end performance at a slightly cheaper rate than the top selection.
This Z590 is designed to bring out the best of the upcoming 11th-gen Intel CPUs and features plenty of AI. This board comes with AI overclocking, AI networking, and AI noise cancelation. Unsurprisingly, we see a very robust power solution, with 14+2 power stages, durable capacitors, and decent alloy chokes, supporting multi-core processors. The thermal design has been optimized, with integrated I/O + MOS heatsinks, triple onboard M.2 heatsinks, and an L-shaped heat pipe.
Other features from the Z590 are PCIe 4.0, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6E, giving you everything you need to bring the best out of your new Intel-based build.
Excellent performance for the size
Lacks some features compared to ATX sized variants
From an aesthetics point of view, you may notice little difference between this Z590I and its predecessor but this comes packed with the features to make your Intel-based ITX system sing, such as an enhanced power design from 8 to a direct 10+1.
This board has been optimized and features improved memory trace, faster read/write speeds, and of course PCIe 4.0. All this power in such a small space is backed up with excellent thermal solutions. The M.2 features a large thermal guard and you can benefit from unthrottled performance thanks to the fin-arrays and heat pipes. This cooling solution dissipates heat well, making this a viable option for overclockers too.
The connectivity options are another area of improvement over the previous-gen, with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C and Wi-Fi 6.
Improved features and design
Less features than the premium options
An affordable and reliable option comes in the form of our budget pick – The Asus Prime Z590-P. While lacking the features of our main selections, this board features a bolstered power delivery and its cooling has been optimized to really help you push your new 11th-gen CPU as far as possible.
This Z590 will handle the additional bandwidth of your new Intel CPU and will provide the fundamentals to boost daily productivity. Cooling the VRMs we see two huge heatsinks and thermal pads to improve heat transfer. The M.2 slot also features a heatsink, stopping any throttling you may experience.
Whether or not Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs close the gap with AMD is yet to be discovered but we now know the best Z590 motherboard for the job. regardless of what budget or size build you are looking to create, this round-up has you covered. These selections are all of stellar quality and will bring the best out of your new CPU. Which motherboard you now go for is down to your own preferences but you can rest assured that every pick here will provide a reliable base for your next Intel PC.