Asus ROG STRIX Z490-A GAMING DDR4 10th Gen Intel LGA1200 Socket Mainboard

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Asus ROG STRIX Z490-A GAMING DDR4 10th Gen Intel LGA1200 Socket Mainboard

Product Id: 02.01.006.279

Regular Price  26,580
Special Price  25,000

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Quick Overview

sus ROG STRIX Z490-A GAMING
CPU Sockets - LGA1200
Chipset - Intel Z490
Generation - 10th
Memory Channel - Dual Channel

General

Model
Asus ROG STRIX Z490-A GAMING
Chipset
Intel Z490
Form Factor
ATX
Warranty
3 year
Country Of Origin
Taiwan
Made in/ Assemble
China

Compatibility

Sockets Supported
LGA1200
Supported CPU
10th Generation Intel Core i9 / i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors
Generation
10th
Supported Operating System
Windows 10

Memory Support

Memory Type
DDR4
Memory MHz
4800(O.C.)/ 4600(O.C)/ 4500(O.C)/ 4400(O.C)/ 4266(O.C.)/ 4133(O.C.)/ 4000(O.C.)/ 3866(O.C.)/ 3733(O.C.)/ 3600(O.C.)/ 3466(O.C.)/ 3333(O.C.)/ 3200(O.C.)/ 3000(O.C.)/ 2933(O.C.)/ 2800(O.C.)/ 2666/ 2400/ 2133 MHz
Memory Channel
Dual
Memory Slot
4
Memory Max.
128GB
Optane Memory Support
Yes

Graphics

Graphics
Integrated Graphics
Multi-GPU Support
2-Way AMD CrossFireX Technology
PCI Express Slot
3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 3.0 x4, 1 PCIe 3.0 x1
CrossFire Support
Yes
Sli Support
No

Storage

Storage Interface
6.0Gb/s
M.2/SSD Expansion Slot
2
SATA Port
6 x SATA
Raid Support
0, 1, 5, 10

Network & Connectivity

LAN Chipset
Intel I225-V
LAN Speed (Mbps)
2.5Gb

Ports

USB Port
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 TypeC, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0
HDMI Port
1

Audio

Audio Chipset.
ROG SupremeFX
Audio Channel
8

Bios Information

BIOS Type
192 Mb flash
BIOS Model
AMI UEFI BIOS

Additional Info

Brand
Asus
WiFi
No
Bluetooth
No
DisplayPort (DP)
No
FireWire
No
Thunderbolt
Yes
TPM Port
No
COM Port
No
RGB Support
Yes
RGB Sync
Aura Sync
RGB Connector
2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
Feature
The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming motherboard is perfect if you are looking for an eye-catching gaming build. Its cyberpunk-inspired aesthetics embodies the vibrant spirit of ROG Strix, and sports an all-new white and silver color scheme. Looks aside, ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming is designed to cope with the demands of 10th Generation Intel Core processors through its boosted power delivery and an improved cooling design, while featuring AI enhancements and intuitive dashboards to help you overclock and tweak various parameters easily. Aura Feature - Standard RGB headers - Addressable Gen 2 RGB header ASUS Q-Design -ASUS Q-DIMM -ASUS Q-LED (CPU [red], DRAM [yellow], VGA [white], Boot Device [yellow green]) -ASUS Q-Slot, ASUS Thermal Solution - Aluminum M.2 heatsink, ASUS EZ DIY - BIOS FlashBack button - BIOS FlashBack LED - Procool II - Pre-mounted I/O Shield - SafeSlot
Others
1 x Thunderbolt header(s), 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s), 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s), 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s), 1 x System panel(s) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt), 1 x Thermal sensor connector(s), 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s), 1 x CPU_OV jumper, 1 x VRM_HS_FAN Header, 1 x M.2_FAN connector, 1 x CPU Fan connector(s), 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s), 2 x Chassis Fan connector(s), 1 x AIO_PUMP connector, 1 x Addressable RGB header, 1 x AAFP connector, 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers, 1 x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 x Type-A + USB Type-CTM), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS FlashBack), 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button(s), 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks

Details

Asus ROG STRIX Z490-A GAMING

                                                           

Powered exclusively by 10th Generation Intel Core Pentium Gold, and Celeron processors, the Republic of Gamers Strix Z490-A Gaming LGA 1200 ATX Motherboard from ASUS features boosted power delivery and an improved cooling design, while AI enhancements and intuitive dashboards help users easily overlock and tweak various parameters. The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming fits in ATX-sized cases, supports the LGA 1200 socket and Intel Z4900 chipset, and is compatible with Windows 10 (64-bit).

The ATX form factor of the ROG Strix Z490-AE Gaming can support up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM over four slots, or 32GB per slot, at speeds of 4600 (OC), 4500 (OC), 4400 (OC), 4266 (OC), 4133 (OC), 4000 (OC), 3866 (OC), 3733 (OC), 3600 (OC), 3466 (OC), 3333 (OC), 3200 (OC), 3000 (OC), 2933 (OC), 2800 (OC), 2666, 2400, and 2133 MHz. For storage, there are six SATA III 6 Gb/s ports and two M.2 Sockets with M key, one of which supports type 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110 PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA SSDs, while the other supports type 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs.

There is also one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port (rear panel), one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports (rear panel), four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports (rear panel), two USB 2.0 Type-A ports (rear panel), one USB 3.2 Gen 1 connector (front panel), plus additional internal USB headers that support USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 2.0. For those looking to expand their system using PCIe, there are three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16 or x8+x4+x4), one PCIe 3.0 x4 slot (max at x2), and one PCIe 3.0 x1 slot.

For delivering sharp, clear graphics, this motherboard has integrated HDMI 1.4b and DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, and the DisplayPort output supports a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2304 at 60 Hz. For users looking to take advantage of multi-GPUs, the ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming supports AMD 2-Way CrossFireX technology.

Using the ROG SupremeFX S1220 HD audio codec, the ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming can support audio with higher fidelity than standard controllers. This motherboard is also equipped with features such as OptiMem II, AURA Sync, SafeSlot, Q-LED, RAMCache III, UEFI BIOS, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, and more. This motherboard is protected by a limited 3-year warranty.

General Features

All-Round Performance

The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming helps you get the most out of your gaming build with uprated power delivery and optimized cooling. Intelligent controls let you manage overclocking, cooling, and networking settings easily, giving you everything you need to harness the full potential of your build for top-tier gaming performance.

Power Design

Power Design

Digital power control and an array of power stages help ensure the ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming has the muscle to control Intel CPUs.

ProCool II Power Connector

The ProCool II socket is built to tight specifications to ensure flush contact with the PSU power lines and have metal armor for improved dissipation. The connector's lower impedance helps prevent hotspots and improves reliability.

Digi+ Power Control

The Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) ensures smooth and clean power delivery to the CPU.

12+2 Power Stages

The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming utilizes 12+2 power stages to combine high-side and low-side MOSFETs and drivers into a single package, delivering necessary power and efficiency for Intel processors.

Alloy Choke & Capacitor

Improved chokes and durable capacitors are engineered to resist extreme temperatures and provide increased performance.

Cooling

Cooler by Design

The ROG Strix Z490 series features comprehensive cooling options, configurable via Fan Xpert 4 or the UEFI BIOS.

CPU

CPU Fan Header
A dedicated pair of PWN/DC fan headers for CPU coolers.

AIO Pump Fan Header
A dedicated PWN/DC header for self-contained water-cooling setups.

M.2

M.2 Heatsink
The M.2 heatsink keeps the M.2 SSD at the optimum operating temperature for consistent performance and reliability.

M.2 Fan Header
A dedicated M.2 fan header helps keep temperatures low for improved performance and longevity. The M.2 fan holder is 3D-printable.

Chassis

4-Pin PWM/DC Fan Header
Every onboard header supports auto-detection of PWM or DC fans.

VRM

VRM Heatsink
An MOS heatsink provides a large contact area for the MOSFETs and chokes.

Thermal Pad
A high-quality thermal pad helps transfer heat from the inductor and phase array to the heatsink.

Intelligent Control

ROG AI Overclocking

ROG AI Overclocking is an intelligent utility that helps you get the most out of your build by automatically profiling your CPU and cooling system to predict optimal voltage and frequency settings. Accessible via the AI Suite software in Windows or directly through the UEFI, the intuitive AI Overclocking user interface enables users of all levels. A range of customizable settings are available for seasoned overclockers, and an auto-tuning option is available for beginners.

Predictive Edge
The algorithm analyzes your CPU and cooling system and, based on what it finds, predicts optimal settings. The software then uses these settings to automatically guide the clocking process, balancing frequency and voltage.

Real-Time Adjustments
The software monitors workload, system temperature, fan speed, and power draw every minute, and makes real-time adjustments to ensure ongoing optimal performance.

AI Cooling

ASUS AI Cooling function will automatically manage and control motherboard-connected fans to ensure optimal settings based on current system load and temperature.

CPU Temperature Detection
AI Cooling detects CPU temperatures and uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate the lowest fan speed required to effectively cool the system and keep fan noise down.

Automated Optimization
Under stable system loads, the software then automatically lowers fan speed to the optimal setting, decreasing fan noise without compromising performance.

Ongoing Monitoring
AI Cooling continues to monitor the system and adjust fan speed based on current load.

Automatic Tuning - One-Click Activation
AI Cooling can be easily activated via the FanXpert 4 dashboard in ASUS AI Suite 3. Once activated, it will override all manual controls.

Manual Tuning - Fan Speed References
For those who prefer manual control, AI Cooling provides reference points on a graph that details fan speed in relation to temperature, providing a guide for fan settings.

AI Networking

The proprietary ROG GameFirst VI utility is designed to help all users - beginners, experts, and everyone in between - optimize network settings to ensure smooth online gameplay. New to this generation, GameFirst VI features AI enhanced identification and boost technology to ensure faster and smarter network optimization.

How It Works - Identification
GameFirst VI analyzes your usage patterns and applications' digital signatures and compares them to a database of over 200,000 apps. This database is regularly updated to ensure apps are recognized correctly.

How It Works - Boost
GameFirst VI intelligent switches application priority and adjusts bandwidth accordingly depending on the situation. When gaming, it accelerates and prioritizes game packets to give you smooth online gameplay even when you're streaming high-quality video to your audience or transferring large files.

How It Works - Visualization
An intuitive graph gives you an overview of the network in real-time, simply click on the tab to view the current bandwidth usage of each application, geolocation status of each network connection, and an analysis of the Wi-Fi channels.

What It Does - Adaptive Intelligence
GameFirst VI takes note of what you're currently doing and adjusts bandwidth accordingly to ensure smoother online experiences, even when multitasking.

What It Does - Gaming First Mode Gaming First mode leverages on a massive application database and analysis of your frequently-used apps to prioritize gaming network traffic. This reduces jitter and decreases ping to give you lag-free online gaming.

What It Does - Network Insight
Wi-Fi Quick Assist analyzes network information including real-time bandwidth use to generate a graph to give you a clear overview of current network status. On top of that, when paired with a ROG router, you can scan your Wi-Fi network to find the best channel, as well as use Game Boost to prioritize gaming devices and packets on your network for fast online speeds.

Leading Connectivity

Connectivity

The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming provides you with the latest connectivity for smooth online experiences and blisteringly-fast file transfers. Superior audio performance gives you a massive advantage, allowing you to pick up on the smallest audio cues for a completely immersive gaming experience.

Storage and Memory

DDR4 OC 4600 MHz
The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming supports up to 128GB of DDR4 memory across four slots. OptiMem II technology improves trace layout to significantly reduce vias and crosstalk to enhance memory stability and compatibility, giving memory kits higher frequency margins.

Dual PCIe 3.0 M.2
Two M.2 slots are available, with one supporting both SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4 modes, and the other supporting PCIe 3.0 x4 for NVMe. Together, they give you a fast and flexible M.2 interface.

Networking

M.2 Socket with E Key
Integrated with Intel Wireless AC/AX technology, M.2 supports CNVi/PCIe/USB mode to build a faster and more cost-effective Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1 solution.

Intel 2.5Gb Ethernet
Onboard 2.5Gb Ethernet gives your wired connection a boost, with up to a 2.5x improvement over standard Ethernet connections for faster file transfers, smoother lag-free gaming, and high-res video streaming.

Audio

SupremeFX
Built-in SupremeFX audio technology ensures pristine audio. It provides a flat frequency response for a neutral, detailed sound signature. And if you're using a gaming headset, the front panel output is driven by two OP amps to preserve audio quality.

Audio Cover
Effective shielding against electromagnetic interference preserves the integrity of audio signals for the best sound quality.

Audio-Line Shielding
Blocks electromagnetic interference from the motherboard or add-ons to provide cleaner audio.

Nichion Audio Capacitors
Fine-quality Japanese-made components that produce a warmer, natural sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity.

Play Your Own Style

Customization

ID Design - ROG Strix
The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming embodies the Strix spirit, with its white and silver color scheme and cyberpunk-inspired markings across its stainless steel I/O shroud. It's good for builds with stand-out aesthetics.

Aura Sync - Outshine the Competition
ROG Strix motherboards deliver performance and aesthetics to outshine the competition. ASUS Aura offers full RGB lighting control with a variety of functional presets for the built-in RGB LEDs, as well as strips connected to the onboard RGB header - and it can all be synced with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura-capable ASUS hardware.

Addressable Gen 2 RGB Header
The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming's Addressable Gen 2 RGB headers are now capable of detecting the number of LEDs on second-gen addressable RGB devices, allowing the software to automatically tailor lighting effects to specific devices. The headers also offer backward-compatibility with existing Aura RGB gear.

ROG Gives You More

5-Way Optimization

Take care of complex tuning with just one click. ASUS 5-Way Optimization is a system-wide tuning utility that overclocks the processor and tunes fan speeds to ensure a good balance between cooling and acoustics. The automated CPU tuning feature of 5-Way Optimization leverages the same onboard intelligence as AI Overclocking, but goes further by running a Prime95 based stress test to deliver a result that's well-tuned from the get-go.

TPU Insight
The TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) provides AI Suite 3 with the intelligence needed to automatically fine-tune voltages, monitor system stats, and adjust overclocking settings. ASUS has upgraded this tool to provide AI Overclocking prediction values for users who want more insight when experimenting with different settings.

EPU Guidance
With the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) you'll enjoy system-wide power savings. The EPU automatically optimizes power consumption and maximizes savings with Away mode - a smart setting that creates an extreme energy-saving scenario by shutting down unused I/O controllers.

Fan Xpert 4
Enjoy comprehensive control over fans, water pumps, and all-in-one (AIO) coolers via either Fan Expert 4 or the UEFI. Whether you're cooling with air or water, Auto-Tuning mode intelligently configures all parameters with a single click. There's also an Extreme Quiet mode, which reduces all fan speeds to below the default minimum and keeping your system whisper-quiet when performing light tasks.

Digi+ Power Control
The Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) delivers real-time control over voltage droop, switching frequency, and power-efficiency settings, allowing you to fine-tune CPU voltage regulation for ultimate stability and performance.

Turbo App
This intuitive tool allows you to define CPU overclocking, apply fan profiles, prioritize network data, and optimize audio settings at app level ― so your system is optimized for whatever you're doing.

Audio Effect

Sonic Studio III
Sonic Studio supports HRTF-based (head-related transfer function) virtual surround for VR headsets, casting an immersive aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action. The intuitive Sonic Studio interface also offers a range of EQ options and one-click presets, allowing you to tailor acoustics to suit personal preferences or the characteristics of your headset.

Sonic Studio Link
The Sonic Studio Link now allows you to apply Sonic Studio effects on all playback devices. Simply press the Sonic Studio Link button to enjoy the effect on any playback devices.

Sonic Studio Virtual Mixer
A virtual audio device that lets streamers combine sound output from different apps. This allows you to mix your voice and video game audio within streaming software. A variety of adjustment and monitoring tools provide a high level of digital control.

App-Specific Profiles
Apply customized audio settings to different applications, so everything you do is perfectly tuned to the way you want to listen.

DTS: Sound Unbound
The ROG Strix Z490 series includes a pre-loaded DTS Sound Unbound app that envelops you in audio, conjuring whole new levels of immersion for extraordinary gaming and entertainment experiences. By exploiting Windows Sonic spatial technology, DTS Sound Unbound delivers audio in a virtual 3D space - putting you right in the middle of the soundscape, where you can sense the location and direction of every gunshot, footstep or other sound in your virtual environment.​

Stereo Sound
The classic headphones or two-speaker setup, delivering discrete left and right audio channels.

Surround Sound
Audio that's split into and served over multiple speaker channels - such as 5.1 or 7.1 - creating an enveloping experience, but on a single logical plane.

Spatial Sound
This experience creates a virtual audio 'sphere', with you at the center, so sounds seem to travel in all directions, creating 360° immersion.

Armoury Crate

Armoury Crate is a software utility that provides centralized control of supported ROG gaming products. From a single intuitive interface, Armoury Crate puts command of all your Aura gear at your fingertips, with the new Aura Creator ready. The software also provides control of settings for a select and growing number of ROG products, making it easier to tune the look and feel of your system. Armoury Crate even features dedicated product registration and ROG news feeds areas to help you stay in touch with the ROG gaming community.

RAMCache III

RAMCache III turns milliseconds into microseconds to boost game-load times. Fully compatible with NVM Express storage options, its uniquely intelligent technology effectively caches an entire storage device so that favorite games and apps launch at fast speeds. Smart Mode automatically caches all your storage devices to maximize your system's resources. The intuitive interface displays real-time drive information, such as current read/write speeds and allows you to quickly check the health status of assigned memory.

UEFI BIOS

Advanced Mode
When you're ready for a deeper dive into the configuration of your system, delve into the UEFI's Advanced mode and take complete control. Each section is intuitively organized, and a built-in search feature makes it easy to find the options you need. Advanced functions are coded with the intelligence to adapt to your settings, and when you're ready to take charge, parameters have the granularity to dial in performance just the way you want.

EZ Mode
Designed to simplify setup, EZ mode presents all the vital settings and stats on a single page. With guided wizards, drag-and-drop functionality, and one-click application of important settings, your rig will be up and running in no time.

 

 

Brand - Asus, Model - Asus ROG STRIX Z490-A GAMING, CPU Sockets - LGA1200, Chipset - Intel Z490, Supported CPU - Intel Core i9 / i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium Gold / Celeron Processors, Generation - 10th, Memory Type - DDR4, Memory MHz - 4800(O.C.)/ 4600(O.C)/ 4500(O.C)/ 4400(O.C)/ 4266(O.C.)/ 4133(O.C.)/ 4000(O.C.)/ 3866(O.C.)/ 3733(O.C.)/ 3600(O.C.)/ 3466(O.C.)/ 3333(O.C.)/ 3200(O.C.)/ 3000(O.C.)/ 2933(O.C.)/ 2800(O.C.)/ 2666/ 2400/ 2133 MHz, Memory Channel - Dual Channel, Memory Slot - 4, Memory Max. - 128GB, Optane Memory Support - Yes, Graphic - Integrated Graphics, Multi-GPU Support - 2-Way AMD CrossFireX Technology, PCI Express Slot - 3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 3.0 x4, 1 PCIe 3.0 x1, Storage Interface - 6Gb/s, M.2 Slot - 2 x M.2 (1 x M.2_1 socket 3 M key type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode), (1 x M.2_2 socket 3 M key type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)), LAN Chipset - Intel I225-V, LAN Speed (Mbps) - 2.5Gb, Audio Chipset - ROG SupremeFX, Audio Channel - 8-Channel, Wi-Fi - No, Bluetooth - No, USB Port - 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 TypeC, 5 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0, VGA Port - No, DVI Port - No, HDMI Port - 1, DisplayPort (DP) - No, IDE Port - No, SATA Port - 6 x SATA, BIOS Type - 192 Mb flash, BIOS Model - AMI UEFI BIOS, FireWire - No, CrossFire Support - Yes, Sli Support - No, RaidSupport - 0, 1, 5, 10, Thunderbolt - 1 x Thunderbolt, TPM Port - No, COM Port - No, RGB Support - Yes, RGB Sync - Aura Sync, RGB Connector - 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers, Form Factor - ATX, Supported Operating System - Windows 10, Special Features - The ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming motherboard is perfect if you are looking for an eye-catching gaming build. Its cyberpunk-inspired aesthetics embodies the vibrant spirit of ROG Strix, and sports an all-new white and silver color scheme. Looks aside, ROG Strix Z490-A Gaming is designed to cope with the demands of 10th Generation Intel Core processors through its boosted power delivery and an improved cooling design, while featuring AI enhancements and intuitive dashboards to help you overclock and tweak various parameters easily. Aura Feature - Standard RGB headers - Addressable Gen 2 RGB header ASUS Q-Design -ASUS Q-DIMM -ASUS Q-LED (CPU [red], DRAM [yellow], VGA [white], Boot Device [yellow green]) -ASUS Q-Slot, ASUS Thermal Solution - Aluminum M.2 heatsink, ASUS EZ DIY - BIOS FlashBack button - BIOS FlashBack LED - Procool II - Pre-mounted I/O Shield - SafeSlot, Others - 1 x Thunderbolt header(s), 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s), 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s), 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s), 1 x System panel(s) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt), 1 x Thermal sensor connector(s), 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s), 1 x CPU_OV jumper, 1 x VRM_HS_FAN Header, 1 x M.2_FAN connector, 1 x CPU Fan connector(s), 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s), 2 x Chassis Fan connector(s), 1 x AIO_PUMP connector, 1 x Addressable RGB header, 1 x AAFP connector, 1 x Intel I225-V 2.5Gb Ethernet, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1 x Type-A + USB Type-CTM), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS FlashBack), 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 1 x USB BIOS FlashBack Button(s), 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks, Warranty - 3 Year, Country of Origin - Taiwan, Made in/ Assemble - China

Whether you build a new PC or upgrade the existing one, the motherboard is the most vital component to choose when you have already picked the processor of your choice.
 

It is important to keep a few things in mind while purchasing the mainboard: 


Pick up the Right Socket: You can single out a great CPU from either Intel or AMD, but whatever CPU you choose, make sure your mainboard has the right socket for the selected CPU. The latest mainstream AMD chips use AM4 sockets while current Intel 9th Gen Core CPUs require LGA 1151v2 sockets.


Motherboard Sizes: Motherboards typically come in three sizes from largest to smallest: ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ATX motherboards. ATX motherboards offer the highest number of RAM and expansion slots. If you are looking for a budget build, you can use a smaller chassis with the micro or mini boards, but you'll have to settle for fewer PCIe slots, RAM banks, and other connectors.
 

Number of RAM Slots: Most mainstream boards these days have four RAM slots, although Mini-ITX models often have just two, and high-end boards frequently offer eight. The amount of slots, of course, limits the amount of RAM you can install.
 

Motherboard ports: It’s essential to check the I/O area on a motherboard to make sure it has the external connection options you need. You may need more USB 3 ports while others may want more audio ports. Among the most common ports, there are USB 3, USB 2, audio, USB type C, USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2, HDMI, Display port, PS/2 and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Ports one probably want the most are USB 2 and USB 3 Gen1 ports, as the first one is perfect for keyboard, mouse, and many other devices and the later one work with most peripherals. USB 3.1 Gen2 and USB Type-C ports will come handy in the near future, although most peripherals do not support this standard yet.
 

Motherboard Chipsets: CPU mainly dictates the compatible chipset options. For Intel motherboards, one can choose from the cheaper options that can’t be overclocked or the expensive ones that can. Chipset with the letter 'Z' in the name has the overclocking feature and chipsets with letters 'B', 'H', 'Q'… do not come with this particular feature.

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