The Intel Z490 Overview: 44+ Motherboards Examinedby Gavin Bonshor on April 30, 2020 10:00 AM EST
ASUS has a pretty stacked Z490 line-up, which represents multiple key market areas for desktop users. It's gaming and enthusiast specific Republic of Gamers brand makes an appearance with a couple of interesting boards, with more ROG Z490 models set to be launched at a later date. Other brands include the TUF Gaming which is its entry-level offering for gamers, its Prime series which are aimed more at professional users with clean-cut aesthetics, and its ProArt range which caters to content creators.
Some of the ASUS ROG specific features which we've seen on previous chipsets including Intel's Z390, and AMD's X570 include ROG Optimem III. ASUS claims Optimem III can boost memory performance with intelligent overclocking thus increasing memory frequency and lowering latencies. ASUS also uses its AI overclocking intelligent automatic overclocking technology, with support for the ASUS AI Suite. ROG is famous for its red and black branding but now opts for more subtle silver and black themes throughout to allow users to create vivacious looking systems without color mismatches.
ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme & Extreme Glacial
Although the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme nor the new ROG Maximus XII Glacial isn't announced for launch, we do have some information that we can share on the non-Glacial variant. Both models are E-ATX in size, and the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme will feature a 16-phase power delivery running in teamed mode for better transient response, with two 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power inputs. It is likely the Glacial will have integrated water blocks, but we will confirm this when we get more information, but both Maximus XII Extreme models are likely to have the same core feature set.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme will feature support for up to DDR4-4700 memory with four slots supporting up to 128 GB of capacity. It has two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16 and x8/x8, with a half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot. It looks to have a wave of aluminium armour stretching around the PCIe slot area, with a black and silver design. There are four PCIe 3.0 x4 slots with two of the slots supporting M.2 22110 and two M.2 2280 form factor drives. It looks as though two of the M.2 slots will be present on the board, with the additional two coming via an included ROG.DIMM.2 M.2 add-on card. It has eight SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.
Networking support is also impressive, which consists of an Aquantia AQC107 10 G Ethernet controller, with a second Ethernet port controlled by an Intel I225-V 2.5 G. Another addition is an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless interface with support for BT 5.1. Included in the specifications is a Thunderbolt EX 3-TR card which will come in the accessories bundle, with two USB 3.2 Type-C front panel headers. Controlling the audio will be a SupremeFX S1220 HD audio codec which provides five 3.5 mm audio jacks and a single S/PDIF optical output. From what we can see on the rear panel, there are two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, six USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports, and a Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback button.
ASUS hasn't provided details on when we might see the ROG Maximus XII Extreme model to hit retail shelves, but it has set an MSRP of $750 which puts it as one of the most expensive Z490 models to date.
This page will be updated when more information becomes available to us.