Intel Z490 vs Z590 Chipset

Everyone understands the importance of a good work/gaming setup. In order to get that efficiency-boosting, everything has to be in order. But with the rapid advancements in the field of technology, it has become vital that we also updated in terms of our computer hardware and software. While the Internet can hook you up with the latest software, the hardware will need some digging.

Therefore, this article will brief you all about Intel’s Z490 and Z590 Chipset. Furthermore, we have laid down all the key differences that separate the two in order to make choosing easier.

Intel Z490 Chipset Review

Intel Z490 Chipset Review

The Z490 Intel Chipset is the perfect fit for a 10th generation processor or looking for one.  Unlike the Z390 Chipset, the Z490 uses LGA 1200 CPU socket for the new Comet Lake CPUs.  Though the Z490 is often viewed as a cheap alternative to the Intel Z590, it does come with dozens of additional features. Despite being an older generation chipset, the Z490 was launched solely for a premium lineup of motherboards that offer features such as effective VRMs and power delivery systems.

The Z490 is an efficient and budget-friendly choice if you aren’t looking for PCIe 4.0 support or memory overclocking features. Meanwhile, this Intel chipset bodes perfectly with Intel’s i3 and i5 Rocket Lake processors. In addition to saving you from the additional expenses, this chipset can get you better components such as an SSD or a GPU.

The Z490 currently stands as Intel’s most overclocking-friendly chipset and comes with a wide range of motherboard options. This high-end chipset is designed to support CPUs based on the B-series and the H-series. The, high processor level in the Z490 offers slightly high memory support and speed than the Intel Z390 chipset. The Intel Z490 is a wise choice for those wanting to enjoy Intel’s premium chipset feature. However, if you are looking to build a high-end i7 or i9 setup, then you go for Z490 motherboard.

Intel Z590 Chipset Review

Intel Z590 Chipset Review

Launched back in 2020, Intel’s latest Z590 chipset is an incremental upgrade over Intel’s earlier Z490 chipset. However, both these motherboards use the same LGA 1200 sockets, making the Intel Z590 fully compatible with 10th and 11th generation Intel core processors. The new Z590 does have a significant amount of advantages over the previous Z490, precisely when it comes to connectivity.

Starting from the PCI Gen 4, this is run from the CPU but is a lot more optimized in this particular platform. It has 16 slots at the top that are directly routed towards the CPU. This means that if you wish to use either a PCI Gen 4 card or any graphic card, in particular, those should work just fine with the Intel Z590 chipset.

With the Intel Z590 chipset, you get additional features such as the Intel 2.5 Gbps LAN and 8 USB ports. Also, Intel has doubled the link speed with the Z590 with the PCIe 4.0 support, USB 3.2 support, and upgraded power delivery. Additionally, the chipset now has native support for USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 Gbps), so we should see these ultra-fast USB Type-A and Type-C ports on most Z590 motherboards.

Intel Z490 vs. Intel Z590: Comparison

Here is a detailed comparison chart outlining all the specifications between Intel’s Z490 and Z590 chipset.

SpecificationsIntel Z490Intel Z590
SocketLGA 1200 CPU SocketLGA 1200 CPU Socket
PCIe Configurationx16, x8/x8, x8/x4/x4x16, x8/x8, x8/x4/x4
SATA 3.0 Ports66
PCI Lanes16/2420
USB Ports1414
Compatibility10th And 11th Generation Intel Core Processors10th And 11th Generation Intel Core Processors
Intel OptaneYesYes
Integrated WiFiWiFi 6WiFi 6E
DMI 3.0 (x4)3.0 (x8)
Overclocking YesYes
TDP6W6W

1. Memory Support

The Intel Z590 supports the latest DDR 4-3200 chipset, unlike the Z490, configured to support the older DDR 4-2933 frequency. However, both these Intel chipsets are designed explicitly to support a maximum frequency of up to DDR 4- 5333.

Although, this is costly, and you will lose out on your warranty if you overclock. Suppose you are stuck between the Z490 and the Z590, the Z590 utilizes efficient and faster RAM to deliver a power-efficient output.  Given the high processor level in the Z490, it offers slightly high memory support and speed than the Intel Z390 chipset.

2. Connectivity

The Intel Z590 comes with dozens of newly added connectivity options, such as the Intel 2.5 Gbps LAN and 8 USB ports. The USB 3.2 Generation 2.2 ports allow for a maximum data transfer speed of up to 20 Gbps. The Z590 is equipped with the Thunderbolt 4 controller that supports additional features such as an 8k display (check the difference between 720p vs 1080p vs 1440p vs 4K vs 8K), secured encryption, utilizes efficient RAM, and delivers power-integrated graphics with the 11th Generation Intel Core Processors. Apart from the Thunderbolt 4 slots, the Z590 also supports the Wifi 6E, allowing peripherals to connect to 6GHz via wireless blocks.

3. PCIe 4.0 Support

Starting from the PCI Gen 4, the Intel Z590  runs from the CPU but is a lot more optimized in this particular platform. At the top, the Intel Z590 chipset has 16 slots that are routed directly to the CPU. Similarly, the latest 11th Generation Rocket Lake Intel CPUs come with PCIe 4.0 support which allows you to utilize the faster speeds.

In addition, the Z590 has a total of 20 lanes followed by x8 DMI support. Also, the Intel Z490 has now been configured to support the PCIe 4.0 on all the 11th generation Intel core processors. However, the majority of the manufacturers aren’t too keen on equipping the Z490 chipset on their motherboards, making the Z590 your best option.

4. CPU Chipset Link

The Z490 comes equipped with 4 DMI connectivity lines, whereas the Z590 features a whopping eight-lane architecture. While the Z490 has only 6 USB 3.2 Generation ports, the Z590 has 10 of them. The eight-lane architecture of the Intel Z590 allows for maximum bandwidth to the  8 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

5. Wireless Networking

The Intel Z590 is equipped with the Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201 and has an integrated MAC. These Z590 motherboards offer better connectivity as compared to the Z490, which also features the Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201. Meanwhile, the USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports allow for faster wireless networking, supporting speeds up to 20 Gbps

6. USB Support

 One of the critical features of the Intel Z590 is the USB 3.2 that can support up to 20 Gbps speeds for improved connectivity and upgraded power delivery. The majority of the Z590 motherboards feature ultra-fast Type-A and Type-C USB ports on their design. Meanwhile, the Intel Z490 supports up to 6 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports along with six SATA3 ports.

7. Overclocking

Both the above chipsets have a 6W thermal display. However, the Z490 is designed explicitly for those whose workflow does not call for memory overclocking and PCIe 4.0 support. Meawnhile, the Intel Z590 is the perfect option for those who like to push their system to the limit. Apart from all this, there have been no significant updates to the Intel Z590 chipset in terms of overlocking.

Note: Overclocking your system above 6W can lead to over voltage and current overflow.

Also Read: Overclocking with Ryzen Master vs BIOS

Why Should You Choose An Intel Z490 Chipset?

The Z490 currently stands as Intel’s most overclocking-friendly chipset and comes with a wide range of motherboard options. This high-end chipset is designed to support CPUs based on the B-series and the H-series. The Z490 is amongst the premium motherboard lineup, providing additional features at a comparatively lower cost. It stands as the perfect option for regular buyers whose workflow doesn’t call for memory overclocking and PCIe 4.0 support. Also, the added features include effective VRM’s and an upgraded power delivery system.

Why Should You Buy A Intel Z590 Chipset?

Intel’s latest Z590 chipset is an incremental upgrade over the Z490, which was released back in 2020 and is fully compatible with Intel’s 10th and 11th generation processors. Also, Intel has doubled the link speed with the Z590 with the PCIe 4.0 support, USB 3.2 support, and upgraded power delivery. The Intel Z590 chipset comes with dual DMI link lanes between the chipset and the processor. Because of this, the manufacturers have found it easy to add additional slots for network and storage. Unlike the Z490, the Intel Z590 chipset offers full support to the PCIe 4.0, which not only provides better performance but can also be utilized for adding extra slots, networks devices, and other hardware peripherals.

This chipset is an ideal choice for Intel’s latest 11th Generation core processors since the extra features allow for a high data transfer rate with higher frequency and RAM support. In simple words, the Intel Z590 Chipset works best if you are looking to push your PC to the limit. One of the key features is the USB 3.2 that can support up to 20 Gbps speeds for improved connectivity. The PCIe 4.0 lanes can be configured accordingly to deliver faster networking and internet connectivity. However, this feature is subjected to the motherboard’s manufacturing.

The Bottom Line

We hope our article successfully walkedTheyou through the key differences and specifications that separate the Intel Z490 and Z590 from each other. Note that both these Intel chipsets have their unique set of perks and abilities, making them fully compatible with the specified Intel Core Processors.

The Z490 is a viable option for those using their setup for lighter tasks that do not ask for extra connectivity. Meanwhile, the Z590 is the best option for those wanting to push their system to the limit. All in all, each chipset has distinguishing features that make them a suitable choice for the processor.

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