Supermicro is a name synonymous with high-grade professional workstation motherboards. Although they tend to release just a small handful of models for the desktop market, it has some models ready for Z490. We've seen quite a few Supermicro motherboards over the years, with the most recent desktop offering via the Supermicro C9Z390-PGW which included a PLX chip and 10 G Ethernet. At present, Supermicro has two ATX sized models ready in preparation for Intel's Comet Lake 10th gen desktop processors, one with Wi-Fi 6 capability and one without. 

Supermicro C9Z490-PGW & C9Z490-PG

Both the Supermicro C9Z490-PGW and Supermicro C9Z490-PG share the same core feature set, with the only difference being that the C9Z490-PGW includes an Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, while the PG does not. Both include a premium controller and feature set with the most notable coming from Broadcom PEX8747 PLX chip for superior multi-graphics card support and PCIe bifurcation. Other exciting features include two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, an Aquantia 10 G Ethernet controller, and support for up to 128 GB of DDR4-4000 memory.


The Supermicro C9Z490-PG Motherboard

Dominating the lower portion of the C9Z490-PGW and C9Z490-PG are four full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16/x0/x16/x0 and x8/x8/x8/x8 which is made possible via a Broadcom PEX8747 PLX chip. At present this is the only Z490 motherboard that includes a PLX chip, which makes it unique for users looking to run 4-way NVIDIA SLI, or leverage the extra PCIe lanes for high-bandwidth PCIe 3.0 devices. There is also a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Across its four memory slots, both models support up to DDR4-4000 with a total capacity of 128 GB. Focusing on storage, there is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots which each come with a heatsink, and four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Both models are using a 6+2 power delivery with an XDPE122284C PWM controller, and TDA21490 power stages for the CPU element. 


The Supermicro C9Z490-PGW Motherboard with Wi-Fi 6

On the rear panel is one USB 3.2 G2 20 Gbps Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-C, two USB 3.2 G2 10 Gbps Type-A, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. Controlling the five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output is a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. At the same time, one Ethernet port is powered by an Aquantia AQC107 10 G controller, while an Intel-based Gigabit controller controls the other. A small clear CMOS button is present with an HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.2 video output pairing. Last but not least on the C9Z490-PGW is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface, likely the AX200 with BT 5.0 support.

Both the Supermicro C9Z490-PGW and C9Z490-PG are currently unique to the Z490 product stack with the inclusion of a Broadcom PEX8747 PLX controller, which allows for more PCIe bandwidth in slots which has a variety of use cases. It adds some flexibility to the Z490 chipset, something all other models at launch isn't offering. The Aquantia 10 G Ethernet controller is a common find on Supermicro's premium desktop motherboards, and its styling is very sleek and uniformed with its black and grey theme. The only pitfall is in the memory support, with the official backing for up to DDR4-4000 which is the lowest of any Z490 model we've overviewed for launch. The Supermicro C9Z490-PGW has an MSRP of $395, while the C9Z490-PG without Wi-Fi costs $375.

MSI Z490-A Pro Choosing The Right Z490 Motherboard
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  • Andrew LB - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - link

    So these boards bring Wifi6, PCI-Express 4.0, gigabit 2.5, and for people like myself who are upgrading from a Z87 board.... just about everything is a huge leap.... yet you think there is just 'more of the same'? I guess if you're one of those idiots who buys a new CPU every year, then clearly this is not the release for you. Nor would AMD's latest offerings if that same metric is applied.
    So what's your problem with Capitalism? Do incremental design improvements offend you? Or is it profit that does? Hate to break it to you, but its profit motive that fuels innovation. Collectivism is a cancer and by its very nature hinders progress due to it not rewarding exceptionalism. It's why countries like China don't innovate. Otherwise they wouldn't need forced technology transfers from those who manufacture goods in their country.
    Reply
  • ilkhan - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Details page for GIGABYTE Z490 Aorus Pro AX (copy and paste because who can keep them straight otherwise) makes a big deal of no usb-C, but it's there in the picture... Reply
  • ecjp - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Yeah, I noticed that too. Gigabytes site shows same picture and lists "1 x USB Type-C™ port on the back panel, with USB 3.2 Gen 2 support" in the specs, so I assume its an error in the article. Reply
  • gavbon - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Thanks for picking that up. I must have been writing about the wrong board. Apologies, it's updated Reply
  • regsEx - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    "Integrated into the Z490 chipset is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 CNVi which allows motherboard vendors to integrate its AX200 wireless solutions directly from the chipset with a CRF module."

    CNVi is an old generation 802.11ac controller. Here it is CNVio2. CRF module is AX201. AX200 is a standalone controller that can work on any system. X570 motherboards with 802.11ax support, for example, packs with AX200 card.
    Reply
  • lunaticbunny - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    There are no boards under $200. Seems like this Z490 chipset got the X570 inflation treatment as well. Reply
  • drexnx - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    just like the X570 boards, they've all got seriously beefed up VRMs

    and maybe the pcie4 tax wasn't just a cash grab? we'll really see when AMD B550 comes out, where those board prices land
    Reply
  • Andrew LB - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - link

    Plenty of boards under $200.
    ASUS Prime Z490M-PLUS
    GIGABYTE Z490 AORUS Elite
    ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus
    ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-Plus wifi
    GIGABYTE Z490 UD
    MSI Z490-A PRO ProSeries

    A bunch of Asrock boards will be under $200 as well. You can see many prices already on Amazon.
    Reply
  • dgingeri - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    It looks like, potentially, at least Gigabyte has decided to include a decent number of USB ports. I can't tell with the Asus board, but all the rest look to have only 6 USB ports, an annoyingly small number. I have been really annoyed with the lack of USB ports on boards for the last 5 years. Heck, with the old 440BX boards, we had 2 ps2, 4 or 6 USB, 1 or 2 serial, and a parallel port. We've lost the other ports, and internal drives in most computers, and not gained USB ports to compensate for it. External hubs aren't going to do it, either, as those stupid things keep dying in a matter of months. Reply
  • Tomatotech - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    Get better hubs then. At least mains powered hubs.

    I understand not everyone has wifi/ ethernet printers, bluetooth / radio mouse / keyboard / headset, or usb hubs in their monitors, but there does seem to be slightly less need for lots of USB ports compared to a few years ago.
    Reply

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